Forest Report, urban greenery is not taking off

In 2022 in the Peninsula, out of 105 capitals monitored by Legambiente, the average is only 24 trees per 100 inhabitants.

If in Italy the forest and woodland heritage has grown in recent years, covering 36.7% of the national territory, extending over more than 11 million hectares, greenery in urban areas does not take off. In 2022 in the Peninsula out of 105 capitals monitored by Legambiente, as part of the Urban Ecosystem, the average is only 24 trees/100 inhabitants. Legambiente takes stock of the situation on the occasion of the VI National Forum ‘The Bioeconomy of Forests. Conserve, rebuild, regenerate’ organized today in Rome, in conjunction with the World City Day, presents the Forests 2023 report with data and numbers and a focus dedicated to urban areas.

The numbers

There are 43 cities with an allocation greater than or equal to 20 trees/100 inhabitants, 18 cities with less than 10 trees/100 inhabitants and 10 cities with 5 or less than 5 trees/100 inhabitants.

Compared to the per capita greenery, Legambiente has calculated, based on ISTAT 2021 data, that out of 105 capital cities examined, the average green space per capita in Italy stands at around 53.7 square metres.

Virtuous cities

Modena (117 trees/100 inhabitants), Cremona (99 trees/100 inhabitants) and Trieste (96 trees/100 inhabitants) are the most attentive and virtuous cities.

Legambiente’s proposals

Legambiente indicates five priority actions on which it is essential to accelerate the pace: “Implement the commitments for the National Forestry Strategy to achieve the 2030 targets of increasing the CO2 absorption capacity of forest surfaces and soils and strengthening the circular bioeconomy, making the sector and supply chains transparent productive; full application, with controls and checks, of Law 10/2013 ‘New rules for the development of urban green spaces’; encouraging the creation of regional clusters on the basis of the ‘Italian Forest Wood National Cluster’, to strengthen the made in Italy, increase the internal production of forest products and accelerate the ecological transition by using forest products more to replace the use of plastic and cement in construction; successfully complete the Pnrr projects dedicated to urban greenery, avoiding the planned cuts, fundamental for combating heat waves in urban areas and therefore the climate crisis; promoting a national plan for planting trees and urban public greenery, focusing on the sustainable growth of nurseries and the recovery of public nurseries”.

“Rethinking and regenerating urban areas by making them greener, more sustainable and accessible – declares Stefano Ciafani, national president of Legambiente – means taking care of the health of citizens and making cities more resilient to the climate crisis. In addition to protecting forest ecosystems, promoting a circular bioeconomy that enhances the multifunctional role of forests is the only way to achieve the EU objectives on climate and biodiversity”.