(PITTSBURGH) Feb. 4, 2013 Months after Pittsburgh bested Boston and New York City to land the 2014 Pro Walk/Pro Bike National Conference, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that the City has been chosen again to host another national conference that focuses on best practices in urban sustainability. On November 4-7, the City will host hundreds of urban forestry professionals for the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Partners in Community Forestry 2013 National Conference at the Westin Hotel Downtown. Urban forestry professionals from across the country will visit Pittsburgh to discuss best practices in maintaining and growing trees in an urban environment and learn about Pittsburgh’s efforts to improve its “urban canopy.”
“Over the past six years, we’ve established strong partnerships with residents and stakeholders that have resulted in thousands of tree plantings in vacant lots, business districts and parks,” Ravenstahl said. “Most importantly, we’re planning ahead by developing a robust plan to further improve our urban forest and provide better health and cleaner air for Pittsburgh’s families. This conference will showcase our work and bring together the best and brightest to collaborate and cultivate best ‘tree’ practices for the country.”
Planners will discuss the crucial role that trees play in residents’ daily lives when it comes to protecting the environment and improving quality of life. The City will showcase its first Urban Forest Master Plan. In collaboration with Tree Pittsburgh, the Urban Forest Master Plan details a management framework that includes goals and objectives based around improved quality of life, pollution mitigation and economic influence.
Other efforts the City will showcase include the aggressive initiative to plant 20,000 trees in the region, and the Urban Tree Canopy Study. In partnership with TreePittsburgh and the TreeVitalize initiative, the Mayor’s and partners’ goal to plant 20,000 trees is on the horizon. As of fall 2012, just over 18,000 trees have been planted, 3,000 of which were planted last year. About 2,000 trees are slated to be planted this spring, and the 20,000th tree is set to be planted this fall.
The Urban Tree Canopy Study, conducted by the University of Vermont and partially funded by the Mayor’s Shade Tree Commission, utilized LIDAR technology to analyze the City’s tree canopy and determine target areas for new tree planting and allows for an overall increase in the City’s shade canopy.
In 2007, Mayor Ravenstahl created the Office of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, and hired the City’s first Urban Forester, Sustainability Coordinator, and Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687