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Urban Forestry & Municipal Sustainability Initiatives 

Two projects by Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group students have investigated the linkages between urban forestry and municipal sustainability in the state of Indiana. In the spring and summer of 2010, Burney Fischer and Jess Vogt conducted a survey of the urban forestry and community sustainability programs of Indiana municipalities with the designation of Tree City USA. They developed two indices to assess urban forestry program strength and community sustainability program strength using parallel factor analyses. Regression of index scores revealed a significant correlation between urban forestry and community sustainability program strength, although not all cities showed this relationship. Thus, there is potential to use the relative strength of one program to improve the strength of the other.

In a separate study, Sarah Mincey and Jess Vogt collaborated with then-SPEA PhD in Public Affairs students Rachel M. Krause and Tatyana Ruseva to survey 22 Indiana municipalities involved in the Statewide Urban Street tree Inventory (SUSI) program in 2008 to investigate the relationship of local policies, management activities, and institutional arrangements to the biophysical outcomes produced by the urban forest. We find generally find that higher levels of ecosystem services are found in cities with more comprehensive forestry management and community involvement.

White Paper

Vogt, J.M. & B.C. Fischer. 2012. Exploring the relationship between the urban forestry and community sustainability programs of Tree City USA municipalities in Indiana. Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group White Paper, November 2012.

Conference Presentations/Proceedings

R.M. Krause, Mincey, S.K., & J.M. Vogt. 2010. Tying Local Policy, Management, and Institutional Arrangements to Environmental Outcomes: The Role of Urban Forests in Municipal Sustainability Initiatives. Association for the Advancement of Public Policy and Management 2010 Conference, November 4-6, 2010, Boston, MA. (Poster Presentation and Conference Proceedings; Awarded 2nd place in APPAM poster session)

Vogt, J.M. & B.C. Fischer. 2010.  Tree City USA: A Potential Catalyst for Community Sustainability. 86th International Society of Arboriculture Annual Conference & Trade Show, July 24-27, 2010, Navy Pier Convention Center, Chicago, IL. (Poster Presentation and Conference Proceedings)