Urban Forest Best Management Practices

Towards best practices in urban forest management for climate change mitigation and adaptation: A case example of Launceston, Tasmania

Degree type

Masters by research

Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Climate change is impacting the liveability of many cities across the globe. Some cities are facing unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Others, while facing slower and more gradual change, may have limitations imposed by their current systems of governance, land use planning and management practices, and staff and financial resources. Urban Forests have been hailed as a workable solution to a multitude of issues associated with climate change, including urban heat island (UHI) effects, increased stormwater runoff, and heightened wind speed.

Designing urban forests with ‘intentional functionality’ - as green infrastructure, may help cities cope with expected changes. If designed well, urban forests have the added benefit of positive social, health and environmental benefits, presenting a ‘no regrets’ approach to climate change response. But urban greening is known to have both positive and negative outcomes. A key question is which best practices might enable a city to avoid or limit costs and to maximise the benefits derived from rapid, large-scale, urban greening as part of climate change response (e.g., avoiding inappropriate species selection and concomitant negative health impacts and infrastructure damage).

This research aims to synthesise grey literature and peer-reviewed research to develop a best-practice framework for the creation and maintenance of urban forests across the thermal gradient, from cool temperate to humid subtropical climates, and from coast to inland. The research project will formulate a draft suite of best practices and then test these with key industry partners.

These objectives will be achieved via two key tasks:

  1. develop a framework for best-practice in urban forest management and
  2. synthesise insights from industry stakeholders about how to maximise opportunities for the uptake of best practices across local government, industry, and private landowners.

The research will employ a case study research design and the methodology will use a combination of a desk top review and interviews with key industry partners.

There are two main outcomes expected from this research:

  1. a set of best-practices in urban forest planning and management for use in using town planning and environmental management instruments to facilitate rapid, large scale urban greening;
  2. increased understanding of urban forest solutions available, and their potential benefits, the improve the development and implementation of urban forest strategies for cool temperate climates.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Jason Byrne


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to domestic applicants
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Demonstrated capacity in critical thinking
  • An undergraduate degree in subject areas relevant to the project (e.g., urban geography, sociology, planning, health)
  • Well-developed research skills (e.g., data analysis, project management)
  • Evidence of ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and a high level of proficiency in English

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Familiarity with text analysis software
  • Knowledge of Australian land use planning systems
  • Experience in stakeholder engagement

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Jason Byrne to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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