TOWARDS GREEN SMART CITIES: IMPORTANCE OF URBAN FORESTRY AND URBAN VEGETATION
More than half of the total world’s population lives in urban areas, and it is expected that 66% of all them will live in urban areas by 2050. The population growth and continuing urbanization in the world cause many social, economic, technical, and organizational problems related to transportation, businesses, communication networks, services, and utilities that can risk the cities’ economic and environmental sustainability. Recently, a smart city concept has been developed to provide a solution to improve citizens’ quality of life in urban areas with the adoption of smart and digital technologies and infrastructure for energy, water, mobility, buildings, and government. The smart city concept considers “zero vision” that refers to the use of smart city technologies, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Internet of Things (IoT) tools, to minimize negative impacts (i.e., zero traffic accident, zero CO 2 emission, zero waste, zero crime) in the cities. However, the research in this zero-vision approach mainly focused on transportation and energy. Urban forestry and urban vegetated areas in the cities inherently provide benefits such as reducing air pollution, urban heat island effects, and flood risk and increasing the water quality, aesthetic value, and value of the property that improve citizens’ quality of life. The smart city concept switched towards to sustainable smart city concept that takes into account the services provided by urban forestry and urban vegetation. In this study, the shifts in the smart city concept towards the sustainable smart city, the role of the urban forestry and urban vegetation in this shift was presented. Also, ICTs and IoT tools specifically designed for monitoring, assessing, and managing urban forestry and urban vegetation was reviewed.