Helping cities protect and integrate forests to combat climate change, preserve watersheds and biodiversity, and improve human well-being

Forests—both near and far—are immensely valuable to cities and their residents.

Cities4Forests is a coalition of 69 cities from around the world that are using their political, economic, and cultural power to protect and restore forests, both within cities and beyond. The coalition is managed by World Resources Institute and Pilot Projects. Cities4Forests encourages peer-to-peer inspiration and learning, and members receive technical support from institutions with expertise in forests, climate change, water, communications, finance, and policy.

Trees and forests are immensely valuable to cities and their citizens. They provide multiple health benefits, sustain water resources, help to combat climate change, and protect global biodiversity.

Specifically, trees within cities—the inner forests—clean the air, offset heat islands (and lower energy bills), and support human health and wildlife.

Trees in watersheds surrounding cities—the nearby forests—contribute to cleaner air and drinking water, reduce flooding, and offer an escape from hectic urban life.

And trees in the faraway forests, particularly in the tropics, sequester large amounts of carbon, generate rain for the world’s farm belts, provide a wealth of useful products, and host the majority of the world’s land-based biodiversity.

In return, cities can provide immense value to forests. Because urban areas are increasingly where people live and work, the public policies and procurement practices of cities—as well as the values, votes, and consumption patterns of citizens—have enormous potential to support the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests.

Many cities already support forests in some way, from parks and urban forest to “green infrastructure” and watershed management programs. Fewer, if any, have efforts to support the faraway forests that are vital for combating climate change.

Cities4Forests catalyzes political, social, and economic support among city governments and urban citizens to integrate the inner, nearby, and faraway forests into city development plans and programs. Participants share an aspiration to help reduce deforestation, restore forests (including more trees in cities), and manage forests more sustainably. Our goal is to amplify current best practices and extend the deliberate city-forest relationship to the global scale on which cities and forests interact.

The founding cities of Cities4Forests are:

  1. Accra, Ghana
  2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  3. Aguascalientes, Mexico
  4. Amman, Jordan
  5. Antalya, Turkey
  6. Antananarivo, Madagascar
  7. Auckland, New Zealand
  8. Baltimore, USA
  9. Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  10. Bogotá, Colombia
  11. Campinas, Brazil
  12. Culiacán, Mexico
  13. Detroit, USA
  14. Eugene (OR), USA
  15. Guadalajara, Mexico
  16. Haifa, Israel
  17. Honolulu, USA
  18. Jakarta, Indonesia
  19. Johannesburg, South Africa
  20. Kigali, Rwanda
  21. King County (WA), USA
  22. Kochi, India
  23. Lin'an, China
  1. Little Rock, USA
  2. Los Angeles, USA
  3. Manchester, UK
  4. Mérida, Mexico
  5. Mexico City, Mexico
  6. New York City, USA
  7. North Little Rock, USA
  8. Oakland, USA
  9. Oslo, Norway
  10. Philadelphia, USA
  11. Portland (OR), USA
  12. Quito, Ecuador
  13. Raleigh, USA
  14. Sacramento, USA
  15. Salem (OR), USA
  16. Salt Lake City, USA
  17. Salvador, Brazil
  18. São Paulo, Brazil
  19. Seattle, USA
  20. Toronto, Canada
  21. Vienna, Austria
  22. Washington, DC, USA

To join the partnership, please contact John-Rob Pool (

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