Through the “Stakeholder Analysis and Training Needs’ Assessment (TNA)” the Uforest team investigated the existing demand for training on urban forestry and Nature Based Solutions (NBS).
The Uforest project is a partnership between universities, organisations, businesses, and public bodies from different European countries. The aim of the Uforest is to develop new training opportunities, and support students and practitioners in the promotion of innovative urban forestry projects. To do so, understanding the training needs of this sector is a key starting point. That’s why in June 2021 the Uforest team conducted a survey on the stakeholders involved in urban forestry, as well as their training needs - the so-called “Uforest Stakeholder Analysis and Training Needs’ Assessment (TNA)”. The objective of this study was to have a clear understanding of what is needed, in terms of training, to promote and encourage urban forestry initiatives. At a later stage, these results will be used to develop a tailored online course in urban forestry, as well as other training opportunities for students and professionals in the field. This research was conducted through a questionnaire specifically designed to assess training needs and knowledge gaps in urban forestry. The main targets were university students, professionals, and citizens from different countries. The questionnaire was translated into 8 languages, corresponding to the native languages of Uforest partners. In total, 246 valid questionnaires from 27 different countries were filled out.
The “Uforest Stakeholder Analysis and Training Needs’ Assessment (TNA)” report provides an overview of the results, offering useful insights on the training needed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in urban forestry. Results on knowledge gaps and training needs are in line, and they are related mainly to transversal concepts, such as economics and marketing, urban design, communication, and technologies. This is particularly true with regard to leadership and management, and especially cooperative leadership, social and environmental justice, governance, and innovative technologies. In addition, more training is needed with regard to urban food forests and related services. Finally, the project team interviewed some of Uforest partners and experts on the same topics of the TNA. These interviews provide interesting insights training in urban forestry, knowledge exchange, and how to involve people in the decision-making process.
Uforest (full name “European Alliance on Interdisciplinary Learning and Business Innovation for Urban Forests Project”) is a three-year Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The project is promoted by the ERSAF, Politecnico di Milano, Etifor, EFI, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, CREAF, Agresta, Transilvania University of Brasov, Forest Design, Trinity College Dublin, Nature Based Solutions Insitute, Green City Watch.