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Forestry and Health: Second lesson of Forestami Academy

Milan, June 21, 2024 – A new meeting was held at the Salone D’Onore of the Triennale Milano, as part of the second training year of the Forestami Academy, the initiative created by Forestami in partnership with the Prada Group to promote and disseminate the scientific foundations, principles and values of urban forestry. The training day entitled “Why are urban forests so important for us? Talking about trees to talk about health” was another successful event for the organizers.

Lorenzo Bertelli, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility of the Prada Group, commented: 'We are proud to see the positive reaction of the city of Milan to these initiatives, which always have a high attendance, a tangible sign of the constant interest of the citizens towards the issues that the Academy addresses.”

The speakers included Francesco Ferrini, Professor of Arboriculture and Tree Cultivation at the University of Florence; and Federica Marando, Scientific Officer at the European Commission – Joint Research Centre.

Francesco Ferrini’s talk analyzed the extensive and varied biodiversity in cities and investigated its role in the balance of a world that is constantly changing. The variety of coexisting urban species also plays a crucial role in the destiny of humanity: it actually mitigates the effects of climate change, improves air quality and contributes to the psychological well-being of citizens.

Next, Federica Marando explored how current urban ecosystems contain a variety of elements (forests, parks and agricultural areas) that play an important role as habitats for animal and plant species, but also for human health. Her talk centered on providing an overview of European policies on biodiversity and health, with a focus on urban areas. Several recent studies were presented, which demonstrated the positive impact of urban ecosystems on the quality of life of citizens.

Both experts agree on the importance of being familiar with and valuing the enormous potential of biodiversity in urban settings, and its fundamental role in making cities more sustainable and resilient places.

The Academy’s final event of the year will take place on October 25 at the Parco Nord Milano, and will consist of an outdoor “Forest Bathing” lesson, the Japanese practice of total immersion in nature, to test out the skills acquired during the training course. In the context of the growing and widespread efforts of many cities around the world toward the reestablishment of urban forests for the ecological rebalancing of metropolitan areas and to create conditions for better population well-being, the search for solutions capable of offering opportunities to improve well-being through contact with the forest ecosystem becomes a necessary challenge for those who intend to promote the enhancement of urban forests.

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