In the face of growing urbanised areas, the presence of forests and their appropriate shaping is a key challenge for contemporary urban planning. The importance of forests is largely identified with natural, economic and social functions in non-urban areas; however, forests are of vital value in urbanised areas. This article explores young Polish urbanites’ awareness of the role forests play, and submits diagnoses of the forests multidimensional benefits and their functions in Poland’s urban areas. Moreover, the research is based on the premise that the management of urban forests must ultimately lead to the satisfying of social needs. Based on empirical research, the perceptions of the value of urban forests as assessed by young people (students) in the Śląskie Voivodeship are presented, leading to the authors’ postulation that urban forests are underestimated resources. Furthermore, the study suggests that young Poles do not recognise the multi-beneficial aspects of urban forests; and the authors indicate feasible directions for local policy to achieve sustainable development. The final statements argue that in the face of serious threats to the functioning of Earth’s ecosystem, a campaign for the presence of forests and green spaces in cities is necessary.
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