Dr Cecil C. Konijnendijk
Dr Cecil C. Konijnendijk
For the past 25 years I have studied, taught and advised on the role of trees and green space in our cities and towns. My particular interests include green space governance (including community involvement), people-nature relationships and cultural ecosystem services, and urban forestry and urban greening. My work has brought me across the globe and I have always worked in close dialogue with decision-makers and practitioners, and I am eager to develop new research that has high practical relevance. Before coming to UBC, I worked at Wageningen University (Netherlands), the European Forest Institute (Finland), the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), and the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China).
My research and teaching at UBC focus on some of the aspects above. I will e.g, teach the UFOR 100 introduction course, the UFOR 402 course on urban forest governance, legislation and administration, and other courses in UBC’s urban forestry program. From July 2017 until December 2018, I served as Program Director for the Bachelor of Urban Forestry. I am currently heading the development of a new Master of Urban Forestry Leadership.
Together with Francesco Ferrini and Alessio Fini (both University of Florence) I edited a new Handbook on Urban Forestry, with 35 chapters by over 50 authors on all aspects of urban forestry.
I was the PI and Project Coordinator of this European-Union funded research project until my move to UBC. During the final stages of this project (which ends in November 2017) I am still contributing to some of the outputs and publications. Moreover I am a member of the project’s scientific advisory group.
This project led by postdoctoral fellow Tahia Devisscher adopts an innovative integrated approach to study social-ecological interactions that can enhance the management of urban forests for climate adaptation. Vancouver is one of the case studies.
Project led by postdoctoral fellow Adrina Bardekjian. This research looks into the current role of women in the fields and professions of arboriculture and urban forestry, with focus on North America.
This joint effort with UBC Campus & Community Planning and the SEEDS programme aims to carry out a full, step-wise inventory and assessment of the urban forest at UBC’s Vancouver campus. As a first step, trees in the Stadium Neighbourhood were inventoried.
This International Research Roundtable, funded and hosted by the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, will bring together experts and stakeholders from across the globe to discuss diversity challenges and opportunities in urban forestry. The event will was held in October 2017. An associated SSHRC Connection Grant provided further support to the event, and the development of a network and future research.
Project funded by Environment Canada and led by Tree Canada. The aim is to improve carbon accounting of urban forests and urban forestry, as part of Canada’s overall carbon accounting for forests. Moreover, proposals will be developed for future policy and urban forest assessment.
SSHRC-funded project on urban forest governance in selected Canadian cities.
Current Graduate Students
Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants
Previous Students, Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants
Past members of the UFORIA lab included:
Ziru Chen, Visiting International Research Student (VIRS), Environmental quality assessment and analysis methods of urban greening space (PhD student, Fuzhou Agriculture and Forestry University)
Weicong Fu, Postdoctoral fellow, Assessing environmental and cultural values of urban forests
Lihong Han, Visiting scholar, Harbin University, China
Shuping Huang, Visiting International Research Student (VIRS), Urban forests as cultural landscapes (Chinese PhD scholar, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University)
Qunyue Liu, VIRS, Urban forests and human health on campus (PhD student, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University)
Nuria Monica Navarro, MSc student, Assessment of the urban forest of Mexico City, its benefits and public preferences (completed in autumn 2017)
Lorien Nesbitt, Postdoctoral fellow, Carbon accounting for Canada’s urban forests / Urban forest governance
Yui Omori, VIRS, Urban forestry, services, and design (Master student, Kyoto University, Japan)
Jehane Samaha, MSc student, Finding urban trees for a changing world (completed in August 2019)
Zach Wirtz, MSc student, Governing for success in urban forestry: A Canadian perspective (completed in August 2019)
Dan Ye, VIRS, Urban forest use and social cohesion (MSc student, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, China)
Ya (Alice) Nao, Visiting PhD student, Analysis of the governance and impacts of the Beijing afforestation program
Elliot Bellis, student research assistant (co-op)
Thomas Ikeda, student research assistant
Alice Miao, student research assistant
Alexis Naveau, student research assistant (visiting overseas student)
Reg Eddy, work-learn student
During my past employments in Denmark and Sweden I’ve had the pleasure to (co-)supervise the following PhD students in their research on aspects of urban forestry and urban greening: Nor Akmar Abdul Aziz, Adrina Bardekjian, Johnson Chan, Hanna Fors, Natalie Gulsrud, April Jackson, Zanariah Jasmani, Christian P. Kjoeller, Silvija Krajter Ostoic, Anna Levinsson, Li Liu, Victoria Lygum, Helena Mellqvist, Sreetheran Maruthaveeran, Maja Steen Moeller, Julie F. Molin, Christine Nuppenau, Martyna Surma and Na Xiu. In addition, I have (co-)supervised over 20 Master students in completing their thesis.
UFOR 100 – Greening the City (winter term), with Andrew Almas
UFOR 402 – Urban forestry administration, policy and law (spring term)Winter 2020
UFOR100 Greening the City Sections
Roles played by urban forestry and greenspace systems in a rapidly changing world; topics include urban ecology, urban forest conservation, urban forest management, climate change, society and human well-being, design and planning, urban/rural interface issues, and urban forest policy.
One fine body…
UFOR402 Urban Forestry Administration, Policy and Law Sections
The administrative, legal, policy, and business environments for urban forestry governance, management, and planning.
One fine body…
Other Courses and Workshops
Annual Urban Forestry Design Challenge (with the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point) – first edition in August 2018.
Member of the teaching cadre for the 2020 Municipal Forestry Institute in Alabama, USA.
- CNBC Sustainable Energy series, episode on urban forests as nature-based solutions, 17 April 2020.
- How the mass planting of trees could transform our cities and tackle air pollution, CNBC, 17 April 2020.
- Why we need green spaces in cities, 29 January 2020
- Trees! with Cecil Konijnendijk. The Making Good Podcast, November 27, 2019
- Natura. French documentary on the importance of nature for our health. Autumn 2019.
- Decolonizing trees in a tropical city to nurture multi-cultural identity. Mongabay, 13 September 2019.
- Are canopy cover targets the best way to maximize the benefits of trees? Horticultural Week, September 19, 2019
- Understanding Victoria’s Urban Forest. YAM Magazine, spring 2019
- Speaker to discuss the importance of urban forestry, April 3, 2019
- CBC Sunday Edition, on the importance of urban forests, July 1, 2018
- New campaign needed to bring urban nature into the healthcare system, August 7, 2017
- Vancouver ranks highest in tree canopy coverage among world’s major cities, January 4, 2017
- 250 News, “Panel examines Healthy Forests, Healthy Lives”, October 14, 2016
- CBC Daybreak North, “Living near nature makes you healthier and happier, research says”, October 11, 2016
- Le Devoir, “Vitales, nos forêts urbaines”, October 8, 2016