Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Jian Lin; Charles N. Kroll; David J. NowakEric J. Greenfield
    Date: 2019
    Source: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (638.0 KB)


    Urban forest modeling is becoming increasingly complex, global, and transdisciplinary. Increased modeling of urban forest structure and function presents an urgent need for comparative studies to assess the similarities and differences between modeling techniques and applications. This paper provides a systematic review of 242 journal papers over the past two-decades, and identifies 476 case studies. We assess model case studies among different locations, units and scales, compare the ability and functional capacity of the models and different tools, compare papers published in different disciplines, and identify new emerging topics in the field of urban forest modeling. Conclusions from this analysis include: (1) the spatial distribution of case studies is primarily clustered around the US, Europe, and China, with the most popular units to model being streets and parks; (2) the most commonly used model types are the i-Tree toolset, ENVI-met, computational fluid dynamic models, and the Hedonic price model; (3) uncertainty assessment of urban forest models is limited; (4) spatially explicit models are critically important for estimating of ecosystem services as well as for environment management; (5) most case studies focus on biophysical benefits with few studies estimating economic and social benefits; and (6) linkages between urban forests and their social-psychological and health effects are less common due to subjectivity and uncertainty in expressing and quantifying human cultures, attitudes and behaviors. Based on a comparison of different models and a syntheses of case studies, we make suggestions for future research connecting urban forestry and urban ecosystems, model development, and ecosystem services. Such knowledge is critical for policy- and decision-makers, and can help improve urban forest planning, design and management.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Lin, Jian; Kroll, Charles N.; Nowak, David J.; Greenfield, Eric J. 2019. A review of urban forest modeling: Implications for management and future research. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 43: 126366. 11 p.


    Google Scholar


    Urban forestry, Comparative studies, Multi-scale, Ecosystem services, Social-ecological system

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page