Impact Testimonial

Cecil Konijnendijk

Name: Cecil Konijnendijk

Title: Professor, Dr

Organisations: Nature Based Solutions Institute (Barcelona) & The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)

Other relevant info: Coordinator of IUFRO Division 6 (Social aspects of forests and forestry)

Please outline your work and how our research on green space and health has been helpful in supporting your activities.

As a researcher, educator, and consultant, I have been involved in developing and implementing evidence-based approaches for greening cities across the world. I have usually done this from an urban forestry perspective, focusing on the important role of forests and trees in providing health, climate, and other benefits to urban communities. Early last year, I introduced new guidance for urban forestry and the greening of cities, titled the 3-30-300 rule. It calls for making trees and green space visible and readily available for all people. Everyone should be able to see at least three well-established trees from their home, place of work, or place of learning, and live in a neighbourhood with at least 30% tree canopy cover. Moreover, all people should have a high-quality public green space within 300 metres from their home.

The rule is evidence based and for the 30% canopy I have drawn heavily upon research from the PowerLab, showing that mental health, general health, and even sleeping patterns improve significantly when there is a canopy cover of at least 30% in the neighbourhood.

What are your team/organisational goals over the next 3 to 5 years and how might our research on green space and health continue to be useful?

There is a lot of interest in urban forests and urban green space, as governments and other actors work on ways of adapting cities to climate change and making them healthier. We will support these stakeholders in their efforts and having a strong evidence base on how much, and what types of trees and green we need to enhance various benefits is crucial. Therefore the work of the PowerLab on the links between urban nature and public health is really important. I especially appreciate the quality of the work and the innovative approaches used in the research.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

For more information about the 3-30-300 rule, people can read a background article at and visit I regular post relevant information on research, events, etc. on Twitter (@AnUrbanForester) and Linkedin (