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People’s Attitudes and Emotions towards Different Urban Forest Types in the Berlin Region, Germany

Lippert, Henry; Kowarik, Ingo; Straka, Tanja M.

In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. In a comparative self-administered online survey, we assessed attitudes and emotions of residents (n = 299) from the Berlin region, Germany, towards forest types that represent transformation stages from natural to novel forests: (1) natural remnants, (2) silvicultural plantings, (3) park forests and (4) novel wild forests in wastelands. Respondents expressed positive attitudes and emotions towards all forest types, including the novel wild forest. Ratings were most positive towards natural remnants and least positive towards the novel wild forest. The indicated prevalence of non-native trees (Ailanthus altissima, Robinia pseudoacacia) did not evoke negative responses. Women and younger people were more positive towards the novel wild forest compared to other respondents, and men were most positive towards natural remnants. Place attachment was positively related to the park forest. Results indicate support for a wide range of forest types, including novel wild forests and non-native tree species, which can be used to expand urban forest areas and enhance opportunities for nature experience in cities.
Published in: Land, 10.3390/land11050701, MDPI