Advancing Urban Ecosystem Governance in New York City

        Advancing Urban Ecosystem Governance in New York City

          Article summary

          New York City’s extensive municipal park system is home to forests, wetlands, and grasslands that provide important ecological and social benefits to the city’s population. While efforts and programs exist to restore and protect these spaces, management recommendations are complex due to variable conditions in urban natural areas. To advance the management of urban natural areas, the first comprehensive ecological assessment was conducted through a collaborative effort across 4000 ha of natural areas within New York City parkland. Field and spatial data were collected and analyzed to identify the extent of forests, the types of forests, and their conditions. This approach will help guide decision-making and prioritization of natural area management at the regional level by developing unique quantitative targets for urban forests. This project serves as an example of collaboration between private and public institutions advancing the governance of urban natural areas to achieve citywide conservation and policy goals.

          In a nutshell, this resource offers:

          • A description of why and how a baseline ecological assessment was conducted in urban forested natural areas.
          • A table with key ecological attributes (canopy closure, soil quality and chemistry, etc.) to measure forest health.
          • A case study that demonstrates how baseline ecological data and ecosystem cover maps helped restore a unique urban marine ecosystem.

          How to use this resource:

          • As a citation to support a local effort to collect baseline ecological data.
          • As an example of an approach to collect baseline ecological data.

          Author: Helen Forgione, Clara Pregitzer, Sarah Charlop-Powers, Bram Gunther

          Date published: August 2016

          Point of contact: Clara C. Pregitzer, Deputy Director of Conservation Science, Natural Areas Conservancy, 

          Citation: H.M. Forgione, et al. 2016. Advancing urban ecosystem governance in New York City: Shifting towards a unified perspective for conservation management. Environ. Sci. Policy. Vol 62, 127-132.

          Resource is available online here.


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