Urban forests provide many environmental, social and economic benefits and contribute to quality of life of people in urban areas. Taking into consideration constantly growing population in urban areas all around the world, and all what comes with it, we cannot but to agree that urban forests are our urban future. Therefore the way how we treat them and how we make decisions about them becomes very important.
With the aim to highlight the importance of the urban forests and to present it to the wider scientific and professional audience, Croatian Forest Research Institute together with IUFRO (Division 6 – Social Aspects of Forests and Forestry; unit 6.07.00 - Urban Forestry) and FOPER project of the European Forest Institute organised conference “Forests for cities, forests for people: perspectives on urban forest governance”. The idea for the Conference came from the ongoing South East European regional project FORCITY (“Citizens and urban forest governance in SEE: case studies in selected cities”) that addresses urban forest governance and satisfaction of citizens with their urban forests.
The Conference was held on 27th and 28th of October 2012 in Zagreb and has attracted many scientists and experts that deal with urban forestry. On the behalf of the organizers the Conference was opened by the welcoming words of the Director of Croatian Forest Research Institute, Dr. Dijana Vuletić, and then followed by keynotes of Prof. Dr. Margaret A. Shannon, Prof. Dr. Maureen McDonough and Prof. Dr. Cecil C. Konijnendijk. During two days, 20 oral and 14 poster presentations were presented. In total, the Conference was attended by 80 participants from 20 countries, 15 European and 5 non-Europe (USA, Turkey, India, Iran, Colombia). After the official part of the Conference, attendees had opportunity to visit The Green Horseshoe of Zagreb, a series of parks and tree-lined squares that run from Zagreb’s main station, up to the city’s main square and loop around in the shape of horseshoe. Once again, on behalf of organizers we use the opportunity to thank all those who contributed in any way to the successful organization of the Conference.
Since many interesting and meaningful research on urban forests were presented at the Conference, we decided to publish this thematic issue of SEEFOR Journal. All presenters have been invited to prepare their paper for publishing in SEEFOR Journal. After standard procedure of peer-reviewing, we brought you seven accepted papers and truly hope that they will occupy your interest.