IT4FOREST team analyses the Tiny Forest.

The consequences of climate change have long since arrived in Germany and, despite the successful reduction of CO2 emissions and increasing environmental awareness among the population, the climate resilience of cities must be strengthened to meet the challenges of the future. In this respect, the concept of the Tiny Forest according to Akira Miyawaki offers a promising, holistic approach.

The Miyawaki method refers to an innovative planting methodology originating in Japan. It involves the establishment of site-appropriate, highly diverse forest ecosystems on small areas of 100 m² or more, which can be used primarily in urban areas, e.g. for climate adaptation, air filtration or to increase biodiversity. Areas of low ecological value are particularly suitable for this method, which can be transformed into self-sufficient ecosystems within a short period through appropriate soil regeneration and dense planting.

The non-profit association MIYA e.V., located in Eberswalde, plants Tiny Forests since 2020. The IT4FOREST team started collaborating after being asked to help with technical expertise to analyze the growth dynamics of the tiny forest.

The study area of this research is located in Zichow, which is a small village in the northwest of Brandenburg, Germany. The plots in Zichow is one of the first tiny forest plots in which a total of 2400 saplings were planted on an 800 m² area.

Data collection is done by a handheld personal laser scanner based on the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) method by using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology that has made it possible to detect the vertical and horizontal distribution of a forest area. Apart from general applications such as identifying the height, canopy and crown volume, and biomass calculation of a forest, it also allows more detailed applications such as individual tree delineation with 3D mapping (Duncanson, Cook, Hurtt, & Dubayah, 2014). Scanning activities were carried out at the end of March 2022 and the beginning of April 2023. Future scanning activities are planned to be carried out once a year on the same dates.

Left: 2022 spring scan by Ramazan Bülbül – Right: Right: 2023 spring scan by Prof Dr Jan-Peter Mund