EFUF 2020: Themes and further details

Read below for more information on the 23rd European Forum of Urban Forestry conference themes and full programme details.

Conference themes

Global changes such as climate change, population growth and increasing urbanisation is putting unprecedented pressure on ecosystems across the globe.

Cities are at the sharp end of these pressures but are also the crucible in which solutions can be forged. Trees are silent witnesses to global change, yet whether they are in great forests or neighbourhood streets they perform life support functions at modest cost. To be resilient our cities need to foster many solutions and urban trees are a vital part of that mix.

In May 2020 EFUF addresses these hard questions directly in an international city synonymous with the industrial revolution that has fuelled progress and challenge in equal measures. EFUF 2020 is using the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals and the European Union’s EKLIPSE framework to guide its conference themes.

  • Theme 1 - ‘Keeping cities cool and reducing flood risk’ – How our urban forests help to provide resilience, and what we can do to make them more adaptable to climate change and urban expansion
  • Theme 2 - ‘The air we breathe, the water we drink and the way we feel – The role of the urban forest in meeting our basic life needs and addressing the challenges of physical and mental health.
  • Theme 3 - ‘Trees and urban design’ – How trees and GI are integral to the development of our towns and cities in creating places where people want to live, work and play and how forest products can help to reduce our carbon footprint.

To view this information in PDF format as a flyer please download below.


Programme information

The event will begin with a drinks reception on Tuesday 19 May in central Manchester with the main conference programme starting on Wednesday 20 May, opened by Professor Dr Cecil Konijnendijk, University of British Columbia, Canada on behalf of the EFUF International Steering Group.

Throughout the 3 day conference programme there will be over 50 speakers, 20 poster presentations as well as two afternoon excursions to Manchester's urban forest.

In addition there is an optional gala dinner to be held at The Ethiad, home to the world famous Manchester City Football Club on the Thursday evening, and an optional Saturday excursion for those staying on. 

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Dr Georg Winkel – Head of Bonn, Germany Office & Governance Programme at the European Forest Institute (EFI)
  • Professor Robert Tregay - Eminent Environmental planner and landscape architect
  • Professor Rob MacKenzie - Director, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research and Professor of Atmospheric Science   
  • Kathy Oldham - Head of Resilience, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) 


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