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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 48, Issue 2 — March 2022

Modern Urban Forestry for Modern Cities: Technology Challenges and Opportunities for the Remote Sensing of Urban Forests

Daniel C. Staley

Abstract: Background: As human populations urbanize, urban forests in many areas are decreasing in canopy extent due to disruptions on several fronts, including novel pests and diseases, climate change, and changing land uses. Methods: A review of the remote sensing, computing, and environmental literature was performed to provide an overview of current technology capabilities and to detail an agenda for a modern approach to urban forestry challenges. How to prepare current and future professionals to collect and analyze “Big Data,” how to implement results, and what communication skills are needed in a modern world to provide resilient urban forests in the connected future were also reviewed. Results: This paper outlines an agenda for how the urban forestry professions can identify, analyze, and manage emergent disruptions to continue to provide urban forest benefits to residents in its shade. Current remote-sensing systems, the paradigm of Big Data, and collection and analysis platforms are discussed, and relevant scenarios are provided to guide insight into managing forests with a rejuvenated perspective using remote-sensing hardware and software. Conclusions: Modern cities will require modern digital urban forestry management, and current and future professionals must be able to access and utilize technology, sensors, and Big Data to effectively perform vegetation management and communication tasks. This paper details the framework for a new era of modern urban forest management in highly connected, resilient cities.

Keywords: Computing; Sensors; Smart Cities; Urban Forest Management.

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