Imperial College London

Susanne Raum

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Visiting Researcher







50716 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

13 results found

Raum S, Collins CM, Urquhart J, Potter C, Pauleit S, Egerer Met al., 2023, Tree insect pests and pathogens: a global systematic review of their impacts in urban areas, Urban Ecosystems, Vol: 26, Pages: 587-604, ISSN: 1083-8155

Trees contribute greatly to urban environments and human well-being, yet relatively little is known about the extent to which a rising incidence of tree insect pests and pathogens may be affecting these contributions. To address this issue, we undertook a systematic review and synthesis of the diverse global empirical evidence on the impacts of urban tree insect pests and pathogens, using bibliographic databases. Following screening and appraisal of over 3000 articles from a wide range of fields, 100 studies from 28 countries, spanning 1979–2021, were conceptually sorted into a three-part framework: (1) environmental impacts, representing 95 of the studies, including those reporting on tree damage, mortality, reduced growth, and changes in tree function; (2) social impacts were reported by 35 of studies, including on aesthetics, human health, and safety hazards; and (3) economic impacts, reported in 24 of studies, including on costs of pest management, and economic losses. There has been a considerable increase in urban impact studies since 2011. Evidence gaps exist on impacts on climate-regulating capacity, including temperature regulation, water retention, soil erosion, and wind protection, but also on specific hazards, nuisances, human well-being, property damages, and hazard liabilities. As a knowledge synthesis, this article presents the best available evidence of urban tree insect / pathogen impacts to guide policy, management and further research. It will enable us to better forecast how growing threats will affect the urban forest and plan for these eventualities.

Journal article

Pauleit S, Gulsrud N, Raum S, Taubenböck H, Leichtle T, Erlwein S, Rötzer T, Rahman M, Moser-Reischl Aet al., 2022, Smart Urban Forestry: Is it the Future?, The Urban Book Series, Springer

The urban forest, i.e. the stock of urban trees, is a major component of urban green spaces. It can make significant contributions to urban sustainability and climate change adaptation. Urban forest governance and management play a key role in the extent to which these contributions are realized for good. This chapter presents a selection of promising new technologies in support of urban forestry. Techniques and applications are introduced in the domains of remote sensing, modeling and citizen science. These technology-driven developments offer new potentials for ‘smart’ urban forestry but may also create new risks of a shift towards techno-managerialism as opposed to more open and democratic processes.

Journal article

Raum S, Rawlings-Sanaei F, 2022, WCM: A web content‐based method of stakeholder analysis, MethodsX, Vol: 9, Pages: 101635-101635, ISSN: 2215-0161

This article presents a systematic method to conduct stakeholder analyses using textual data from stakeholder websites. WCM, a novel web content-based method comprises stakeholder information and the use of keywords in a content analysis of relevant preselected stakeholder websites. Traditional stakeholder analysis approaches frequently rely on personal interpretation rather than empirical analysis. WCM aims to address this limitation by offering a user-friendly and empirical method that helps generate knowledge from multiple websites. With qualitative and / or quantitative application, it is particularly useful for small-scale studies in complex contexts and where resources are limited. WCM differs from many commonly used stakeholder analysis methods as it adopts replicable, systematic and transparent procedures. While not without limitations, this method provides an effective tool to support researchers, non-governmental organizations, and industry in different fields and locations, to undertake stakeholder analysis.•The WCM method is a systematic, explicit, transparent, and transferable procedure to conduct stakeholder analysis.•WCM has application in both qualitative and quantitative content analysis of stakeholder websites.•WCM provides a user-friendly method to provide a broad overview of stakeholder interests with limited resources.

Journal article

Raum S, Dr Rawlings-Sanaei F, Potter C, 2021, A web content-based method of stakeholder analysis: the case of forestry in the context of natural resource management, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 300, ISSN: 0301-4797

A range of approaches have been developed to support natural resource management. One such approach, stakeholder analysis, involves the use of a range of tools to identify and assess stakeholder interests and influence. Comprehensive empirical stakeholder analysis, however, can be time consuming and resource intensive. Approaches therefore frequently rely on the researcher's personal interpretation rather than empirical analysis. To address this limitation, a web content-based method (WCM) is proposed. Innovative and user-friendly, this empirical method comprises stakeholder information and the use of keywords in a content analysis of preselected stakeholder webpages, demonstrated here, through UK forestry, as an illustrative example. In this study, the application of WCM provides a comprehensive overview of the multitude of stakeholders in UK forestry and in the various goods and services they provide: Stakeholders' primary interests were in the provisioning services of timber and fuel wood; the cultural services of education and recreation; and to a lesser extent, the regulating services of climate and water regulation. While not without limitations, this systematic method provides an effective tool to support researchers, industry, and non-governmental organisations in different fields and countries, to undertake stakeholder analysis, especially in the case of small-scale studies in complex contexts and where resources are limited.

Journal article

Raum S, 2021, Afforestation: UK Forestry Policy in Response to Changing Resource Needs, European Forests Our Cultural Heritage., Editors: Johann, Kusmin, Woitsch, Publisher: Nová tiskárna Pelhřimov and Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Pages: 85-106, ISBN: 978-80-7415-234-4

Forestry in the United Kingdom (UK) has been subject to a series of policy changes since the early 1900s. At the time, the country’s forest cover was down to an estimated 4.7%, which created dangerous dependencies on the timber supply of other countries, especially during World War I. In response, the UK government embarked on an intensive afforestation programme. The aim of this chapter is to provide a better understanding of the challenges involved in re-storing a key natural resource, using forests in the UK as a case study example. Through a comprehensive review of scholarly literature, documents, and reports, this work examines the UK Government’s afforestation programme, which began in 1919 and held sway until the 1970s. This has since been overlain with ideas about multi-functionality and sustainable forest management and, more recently, a renewed emphasis on forest expansion. The findings offer important insights into the long-standing impact of natural resource depletion and the efforts needed to undo, at least some of the damage.

Book chapter

Raum S, 2020, Land-use legacies of twentieth-century forestry in the UK – a perspective, Landscape Ecology, Vol: 35, Pages: 2713-2722, ISSN: 0921-2973

ContextComplex interactions between societies and their environment have shaped landscapes across Europe over centuries. Therefore, taking a historical perspective can be important when designing new forestry policy and management activities.ObjectivesThis perspective aims to improve our appreciation of how a better historical understanding of landscapes can increase our understanding of current conditions and inform current and future policy and practice. I provide a perspective on land-use legacies and forest change, with a particular emphasis on landscapes, and using the example of forestry in the United Kingdom.MethodsFor this purpose, I undertook a comprehensive review of scholarly forestry literature and of relevant policy and legal documents in the UK, covering the last 100 years.ResultsThis brief review of the dynamics of forest landscapes in the UK over the last 100 years, shows that certain decisions, policies and management activities had major effects on the landscape, especially in terms of landscape patterns and species distribution, constraining it until today. Historic research investigated some of these legacies, leading to real change in policy and management, including a Broadleaved Policy, an Ancient Woodland Inventory, habitat restoration, habitat network and rewilding schemes. Research on past experiences of Dutch Elm disease in the UK and of similar outbreaks in other countries have guided responses to today’s tree pest/disease outbreaks and plant trade decisions.ConclusionA better appreciation of past decisions and activities, especially in forestry, helps to anticipate landscape legacy effects and potential cross-scale interactions of new policies and practices. It may also help to better justify and negotiate new decisions and long-term planning among multiple actors.

Journal article

Raum S, Hand K, Hall C, Edwards D, O'Brien L, Doick Ket al., 2019, Achieving impact from ecosystem assessment and valuation of urban greenspace: the case of i-Tree Eco in Great Britain, Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol: 190, ISSN: 0169-2046

Numerous tools have been developed to assist environmental decision-making, but there has been little examination of whether these tools achieve this aim, particularly for urban environments. This study aimed to evaluate the use of the i-Tree Eco tool in Great Britain, an assessment tool developed to support urban forest management. The study employed a documentary review, an online survey, and interviews in six case study areas to examine five impacts (instrumental, conceptual, capacity-building, enduring connectivity, and culture/attitudes towards knowledge exchange) and to identify which factors inhibited or supported achievement of impact. It revealed that the i-Tree Eco projects had helped to increase knowledge of urban forests and awareness of the benefits they provide. While there was often broad use of i-Tree Eco findings in various internal reports, external forums, and discussions of wider policies and plans, direct changes relating to improved urban forest management, increased funding or new tree policies were less frequent. The barriers we identified which limited impact included a lack of project champions, policy drivers and resources, problems with knowledge transfer and exchange, organisational and staff change, and negative views of trees. Overall, i-Tree Eco, similar to other environmental decision-making tools, can help to improve the management of urban trees when planned as one step in a longer process of engagement with stakeholders and development of new management plans and policies. In this first published impact evaluation of multiple i-Tree Eco projects, we identified eight lessons to enhance the impact of future i-Tree Eco projects, transferable to other environmental decision-making tools.

Journal article

Collins C, Cook-Monie I, Raum S, 2019, What do people know? Ecosystem services, public perception and sustainable management of urban park trees in London, U.K., Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Vol: 43, ISSN: 1618-8667

Engagement with users and other public stakeholder groups is important when making planning and planting decisions for urban parks; it ensures the public feel involved and that decisions have longstanding support. Park trees provide an array of important ecosystem services but are threatened by pressures such as climate change, diseases and lack of management resources. It is important to ensure the public appreciate the breadth of services provided, and the challenges faced, by park trees. To evaluate the baseline public understanding of these issues, we surveyed 344 members of the public in London, U.K. parks to examine their perception of the importance of park trees and their understanding of the challenges they face. This exploratory study found that though the term ‘Ecosystem Service’ was largely unfamiliar, the public value park trees highly. Affluence and other demographic factors appear to have little influence on these perceptions, however, age and visit frequency slightly influenced the perceived importance of trees for their contribution to park aesthetics. Urbanisation and proximate human threats, especially pollution were considered by respondents the most important challenges facing park trees. Disease and climate change ranked 4th and 15th respectively, indicating that public education about the challenges facing park trees may be needed in advance of, or as part of plans for sustainable park management and plantings.

Journal article

Fellenor J, Barnett J, Potter C, Urquhart J, Mumford JD, Quine CP, Raum Set al., 2019, 'I'd like to report a suspicious looking tree': Public concern, public attention and the nature of reporting about ash dieback in the United Kingdom, Public Understanding of Science, Vol: 28, Pages: 339-356, ISSN: 0963-6625

'Public concern', a ubiquitous notion used in descriptive and explanatory modes by policy makers, academics and the media, is often presented as axiomatic. However, the variability with which it is deployed in different contexts, for example, as justification for policy attention or having equivalence with what is considered 'newsworthy', belies this status. This article presents an empirical analysis of emails and phone calls from the UK public to UK government agencies, reporting suspected cases of ash dieback disease - a tree health issue which attracted intense media and policy attention in the United Kingdom in 2012. We challenge the view that public attentiveness is necessarily indicative of public concern, or that media attention can be taken as its proxy. Examination of concern at macro and micro levels reveals heterogeneous processes with multiple dimensions. Understanding the nature of public concern is crucial in enabling more effective policy development and operational responses to risk-related issues.

Journal article

Raum S, 2018, A framework for integrating systematic stakeholder analysis in ecosystem services research: Stakeholder mapping for forest ecosystem services in the UK, Ecosystem Services, Vol: 29, Pages: 170-184, ISSN: 2212-0416

The concept of ecosystem services offers a useful framework for the systematic assessment of the multiple benefits ecosystems deliver. However, the anthropogenic focus of the concept also requires a detailed understanding of the stakeholders interested in the goods and services ecosystems provide. Indeed, linking ecosystem services to stakeholders and systematically mapping their potential stakes in these is essential for effective, equitable and sustainable ecosystem governance and management because it specifies who is in the system and why. This paper endeavours to provide a better appreciation of systematic stakeholder analysis in ecosystem services research by, first, presenting an illustrative stakeholder analysis example, using a key natural resource in relation to ecosystem services: forests in the UK. In this exploratory study, a qualitative approach was adopted, using a literature review and interviews to identify the stakeholders with a stake in the provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services of forests, to distinguish their characteristics, and to examine their relationships towards each other on different levels. The illustrative example then informed the design of a conceptual framework for the systematic application of stakeholder analysis in ecosystem services research. The comprehensive framework consists of a three-phase model entailing the planning phase, the execution of the actual stakeholder analysis phase, and, finally the subsequent actions. The framework incorporates stakeholders and ecosystem services on a geographical, institutional and ecosystem level. Systematic stakeholder analysis can be used to develop future activities linked to ecosystem services, including new policy or instruments, stakeholder engagement activities, and decision-making processes.

Journal article

Raum S, 2017, Reasons for adoption and advocacy of the ecosystem services concept in UK forestry, Ecological Economics, Vol: 143, Pages: 47-54, ISSN: 1873-6106

The ecosystem services concept has enjoyed widespread interest and recognition in recent years. In particular, the monetary valuation and commodification of ecosystem services in form of payments for ecosystem services schemes and the development of new markets for ecosystem services has appreciated large popularity. However, who is behind this strong momentum towards ecosystem services and especially why is less well known. In this paper I aim to shed light on this by looking specifically at advocates of the concept of ecosystem services, using forestry in the United Kingdom (UK) as an example. I explore the motivations for accommodating or actively pursuing ecosystem services thinking in this important sector through interviews with forestry and conservation experts. Four prominent groups with a specific interest in the ecosystem services concept in the context of UK forestry are governmental organisations, non-governmental conservation organisations, private forest owners, and the timber and forest industry. These stakeholder groups are interested in this new perspective, chiefly, but not exclusively, because (1) it is required under international obligations; (2) it is in line with dominant market political philosophy; (3) it holds the promise to include the environment more fully into prevailing economic decision-making processes; (4) it can help to draw more attention to biodiversity conservation; (5) it holds the promise of new sources of income from both public and private sources; and (6) it can be used as a convenient argument to promote further tree planting. However, these groups have different, but frequently overlapping reasons for pursuing this new perspective. The results provide a baseline and important insights into who was embracing ecosystem services thinking and why during the early years of the adoption of this approach in the UK.

Journal article

Raum S, 2017, The ecosystem approach, ecosystem services and established forestry policy approaches in the United Kingdom, Land Use Policy, Vol: 64, Pages: 282-291, ISSN: 1873-5754

A series of approaches have been proposed for natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in recent decades. In the important forestry sector, two of the most dominant policy paradigms have been multi-purpose forestry and sustainable forest management. The Convention on Biological Diversity, amongst other transnational commitments, added the ecosystem approach and its related idea of ecosystem services to this succession which is increasingly becoming the basis for natural resource management, including in the United Kingdom (UK). However, this latest addition raises the stimulating question of whether in forestry the ecosystem approach and the associated ecosystem services concept really constitute something fundamentally new, or are merely an extension or re-branding of existing policy approaches. This paper contributes to a lively contemporary debate surrounding the ecosystem approach and ecosystem services, by examining how these two interrelated but distinctly different concepts are currently understood and adopted within UK forestry and in the context of established forestry policy paradigms. For this purpose, I undertook a review of the scholarly literature and legal and policy documents which have been triangulated with a survey of the attitudes, interpretations and opinions of forestry stakeholders through expert interviews. The analysis suggests that in the UK forestry sector, as elsewhere, the frequency of, often broad and ambiguous approaches to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in general, and forestry policy and management in particular, are causing confusion amongst some stakeholders, who, unsurprisingly frequently conflate concepts seemingly without understanding the details. However, a clear understanding of the differences and similarities of these important concepts, stemming from overlapping but different disciplines, is crucially important for successful policy implementation and sustainable forest managemen

Journal article

Raum S, Potter C, 2015, Forestry paradigms and policy change: The evolution of forestry policy in Britain in relation to the ecosystem approach, Land Use Policy, Vol: 49, Pages: 462-470, ISSN: 1873-5754

Forestry policy and practice in Britain has been subject to a series of paradigm changes since the establishment of the Forestry Commission in 1919. Drawing on a documentary analysis of legislation, published policy statements, commentaries and scholarly critiques, this paper argues that British forestry policy has undergone three significant paradigm shifts since it was first mooted in the late 19th century. With origins in a largely ad hoc and laissez-faire attitude towards forest expansion and management which dominated up to World War I, a productivist stance based on intensive mono-culture plantations in order to reduce import dependence then held sway until the early 1970s. This has since been overlain with ideas about multi-functionality and sustainability that continue to be important today. The new Ecosystem Approach (and its specific emphasis on the provision of ecosystem services) can arguably be viewed as an emerging new forestry paradigm era in which ideas of resilience and sustainability are to the fore. It is suggested in conclusion that while the policy and practice of forestry in Britain continues to mirror broader shifts in environmental governance within the country, these in turn are increasingly influenced by international debates and obligations.

Journal article

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