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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Municipal woodland in Denmark: resources, governance and management

Busse Nielsen, Anders; Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Cecil; Wiström, Björn; Jensen, Rasmus B.


Urban woodlands are the subject of complex decision-making that requires a strategic overview of the resource. This article contributes a national study of municipal woodland in Denmark. Data were collected among all Danish municipalities through a postal survey (with a response rate of 52%). As much as 83% of the woodland units were located within urban settlements or at their fringe, emphasising that municipalities are important urban woodland providers. Municipal woodland resources were typically divided into many separate units of varying size. On average, the responding municipalities owned 12.6 woodland units with an allocated area of 265 ha, resulting in a mean size of 21.5 ha. A general lack of management plans, and a significant drop in recreational facilities provided with decreasing woodland size indicate that the recreational use potential of small woodland units was largely overlooked. Municipal woodland units frequently bordered other woodland or nature areas of different ownership. Thus even small municipal woodlands can play a key role in the development of multifunctional green infrastructures in the urban landscape. Only municipalities with extensive woodland property had issued a woodland policy, and/or certified woodland management. This indicates a need for development of governance and strategic management instruments attractive to municipalities with limited woodland property.


City forest; forest governance; forest recreation; municipality; recreational facilities; urban forestry; woodland ownership

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2013, volume: 28, number: 1, pages: 49-63

Authors' information

Busse Nielsen, Anders
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management
Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Cecil (Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Cecil)
University of Copenhagen
Jensen, Rasmus B.

Associated SLU-program


Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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