Smart technology adoption and integration in urban forestry: a national study of Australian stakeholders
Urban forests are increasingly recognised for their importance for ecosystem services, producing benefits for human health and well-being. The emerging application of smart sensing technologies provides opportunities to improve urban forest management. Previous studies focussed on the unique use of technologies, or their use in one or more locations. Technology integration is another emerging opportunity; however, research in this area is lacking. While the benefits are compelling, knowledge of widespread technology adoption is limited, and there appears to be a gap in current research on adoption at a country-wide level.
This study assessed the adoption of smart technology across Australia, surveying professionals and land managers in urban forestry. Use of smart technology, satisfaction with technology choices, and technology integration were examined, along with barriers to entry and intentions for future use. Responses (n=87) were evenly distributed across all Australian states, with respondents using smart technology (57%) reporting a high level of technology integration (67%). Lack of awareness of the technology, or the cost and complexity of technology or implementation, were major barriers to adoption. This study is a unique snapshot of adoption at a country-wide level, prompting the need for further research on the broad-scale adoption of smart urban forestry.