Portsmouth is one of only 21 UK cities to receive the special recognition by the Tree Cities of the World programme. The programme was founded by The Arbor Day Foundation, the largest membership non-profit in the world dedicated to planting trees, and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to recognise cities around the globe that have committed to creating and maintaining green spaces in their community.
Portsmouth City Council is continuing to pledge its commitment to be a sustainability and urban forestry leader, and to meet the programme’s core standards for the care and planning of urban trees and forests.
The council aims to double the city’s tree canopy coverage as part of its work towards becoming ‘carbon net zero’ by 2030. Having more trees in the city doesn’t just make Portsmouth a great place to live, it’s also known to improve our mental wellbeing, air quality, biodiversity, as well as helping to protect us from flooding during heavy rain and cool the air during heatwaves.
The programme provides a network of like-minded city leaders in urban forestry to celebrate and share best practices to foster greenery in the community.
Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Greening the City at Portsmouth City Council, said:
“I am thrilled that Portsmouth has again been recognised by a leading, international organisation for its continued efforts to planting trees in the city. Being recognised in the Tree Cities of the World programme means that our city is committing to go above and beyond to define trees as critical green infrastructure.
“Trees are important to everyone, and we all want to live in a city that is healthy, resilient, and beautiful – trees make that possible.
“Through this recognition, we are part of an international network of like-minded communities who understand the importance of planting trees in cities. We look forward to continuing our work with the programme through its local UK partner organisation, Trees for Cities, who have supported us through their new coastal urban forest initiative.”
Since 2021, the council has planted nearly 900 trees, so we’re on the right path to making our city greener, cleaner, and healthier for all.