ENLIGHT joint courses

Adapting to Climate Change: Ecosystem Services of Urban Green Zones


About the course



During the course, a wide range of ecosystem services that urban green zones provide will be explored, and possibilities to manage urban greenery in order to maximise provided services for the benefit of citizens will be studied. The course investigates climate change's impact on cities (such as heat waves and heat islands) and the mitigating role of urban green areas in relation to that, with a specific focus on health security and safe microclimate formation for local inhabitants.

Topics covered in the course include ecology and biodiversity of urban green areas, municipal inventory systems for urban vegetation, planning and management of urban greenery, as well as related legislation and policies in Sweden and the EU. Furthermore, the course will cover related global health aspects, social inequality, cultural aspects, microclimate formation, air and water quality impact, and climate change mitigation in relation to urban green areas.

You will study the best worldwide recognized cases of urban tree mapping (such as the New York City Street Tree Map), ecosystem trees' inventory and community engagement including regional (EU), and local Swedish cases. In a practical part of the course, you will participate in an outdoor tree inventory near the university campus using i-Tree (USA) modelling tools as a combination of theory and practice.

Learning outcomes

Judgement and approach

On completing the course, the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • Critically evaluate and analyze future challenges for the development of urban green areas and well-being of local inhabitants;
  • Communicate scientific results and their implications for sustainable development and management of green areas for different target audiences.

Competence and skills

On completing the course, the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • Compare different tree inventory systems, mapping techniques, and quantification of urban green spaces, as well as practically use some of them;
  • Integrate interdisciplinary scientific knowledge from ecology, global health, social studies for comparing the planning and management of green spaces in provided cases from cities (regional as well as international examples);
  • Perform field inventory of trees using i-Tree Eco toolkit, generate and present the report on i-Tree Eco modelling.


Course Outline

Mandatory meetings:

  • 1st week ( week 20, online): 5 lectures + 5 seminars = 20 hours;
  • 2nd week (week 21, online): 5 lectures + 5 seminars = 20 hours;
  • 3rd week (week 22, on-site in Uppsala): 2 lectures + 2 seminars, 1 visit to the municipality, fieldwork, final coursework presentations = 20 hours

To be able to participate in this online course you will need a computer with internet access, a headset with a mic and sound and a webcam. Contact between teacher and student will be via Studium and Zoom.


Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)

Transcript of record: Issued by Uppsala University for credit transfer at students‘ home institution.

To pass, an active participation, as defined in the assessment criteria, on seminars and group exercises is mandatory (4hp). In addition, students need to gain a pass grade in the fieldwork (urban trees inventory in Uppsala) and presenting the generated iTree Eco inventory report in subgroups (1hp). For special reasons, the examiner may exempt from the indicated examination method and allow an alternative examination form. A special reason may for instance be a decision by the University's disability coordinator that special pedagogical support should be provided.


Hans Orru, Professor of Environmental Health, Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of Tartu, Estonia (ENLIGHT partner) – online teaching

Urtza Uriarte, Postdoctoral Researcher, Architect, the University of the Basque Country, Spain (ENLIGHT partner) – online teaching

Johan Östberg, Associate Professor, The Tree Office (Trädkontoret AB) – onsite teaching, fieldworkElisabet Jonsson, City Gardener, Department of street park nature and Johanna Andersson, Strategic community planner, Uppsala municipality– onsite teaching, fieldwork

Ellis Alexis and Jason Henning, Research Urban Foresters, the Davey Tree Expert Company | Davey Institute, USA– online teaching

Syed Moshfiqur Rahman, Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University – online teaching

Margareta Krabbe, Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Biology Education Centre, Uppsala University – online teaching, assistance in fieldwork

Oleksandra Khalaim, Researcher and Lecturer, SWEDESD - Sustainability Learning and Research Center, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University – course coordination, teaching, fieldwork


    Practical Details

    Courses – Focus area: Health and Well-being, Climate Change
    Study Field: All fields
    Type: course
    Format: Blended
    Host: Uppsala University
    Course dates: 13-31 May 2024 (On-site in Uppsala 27-31 May)
    Apply by: Registration closed
    ECTS: 5
    Number of places available: 3 per ENLIGHT university
    Level: Master