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Dienstag, 18.06.2024
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City mayors unveil a rewilding guide for cities, based on research by C40 Cities and Arup, which aims to reverse biodiversity loss and tackle climate change.

Transformational change in urban areas is needed to reverse biodiversity loss and tackle climate change, according to new research on “urban rewilding” by C40 and Arup.

London mayor and C40 chair Sadiq Khan and Montréal mayor and C40 vice chair Valérie Plante met in London to discuss city collaboration on climate and other issues. In addition, they convened a roundtable of experts to explore opportunities to bring back nature to cities.

Restoring natural habitat

The research shows that restoring natural habitat in cities can help to reduce impacts of climate change and improve the mental health and wellbeing of city dwellers.

Mayor Khan created the London Rewilding Taskforce to explore opportunities to restore natural habitat within the city. Mayor Plante led the historic Montréal Pledge on Cities United in Action for Biodiversity at the most recent United Nations Biodiversity Conference (Cop15) in December.

Through this initiative and C40’s Urban Nature Accelerator, cities are exchanging best practices with one another as they grapple with increasing ecological degradation. Restoring urban nature can help to mitigate the worsening effects of climate change with rising temperatures and more extreme weather.

“Since being elected, I have invested almost £30m in green space and tree planting projects, and City Hall’s world leading Rewild London Fund is helping to restore the capital’s precious wildlife sites, improve biodiversity and ensure all Londoners have a thriving web of nature on their doorstep.”

“We think of cities as concrete jungles – as spaces for humans, with nature pushed aside. But re-integrating nature into human spaces is crucial to reversing biodiversity loss and tackling climate change,” said Lily Ginsberg-Keig, sustainability and climate change expert at Arup.

“There are inspiring examples of cities finding creative ways to make this happen – from green corridors and pocket forests to wetlands. But we must do more, so our research shows cities how to create urban rewilding projects that lead to improved biodiversity, better health and wellbeing, and help adapt to and mitigate climate impacts.”

The new report by Arup and C40, titled Urban Rewilding: the Value and Co-benefits of Nature in Urban Spaces, defines urban rewilding as “restoring natural habitats and their processes in urban spaces, working towards a state of human-nature coexistence”.

It aims to celebrate and share best practices from urban nature initiatives from around the world, including:

  • London’s Wild West End initiative is adding spaces for wildlife within dense areas of central London. Since the project’s inception, a network of green roofs, walls, planters and pocket parks have been designed across London to bring pollinators, birds and bats to urban spaces back
  • Montréal is leading the sustainable development of the Frédéric-Back Park from a former limestone quarry and landfill site into 153 hectares large scale park by 2025. The rehabilitation of the park has succeeded in encouraging the return of birds, insects and small amphibians
  • Delhi established several “biodiversity parks’’ in response to growing concerns of rapid urbanisation and decreasing biodiverse habitats. The parks have helped to improve water and air quality, helped with floodwater management and carbon sequestration, and lowered temperature levels
  • Lagos is using community-driven vertical gardens to lower temperature levels, increase biodiversity and provide alternative food sources. The project, led by a collaboration between the University of Cardiff and leaders in the Yoruba community, is based in Agege, one of Lagos’ most densely populated areas whose low-income residents are disproportionately affected by the region’s increasing droughts and floods
  • São Paulo is working to restore some of the rainforest and savannah habitats that existed before the city was built. Local authorities and community groups are working together to create “pocket forests” (“Florestas de Bolso”) across the city.

    C40 said it will work with partners to build on this work to help cities around the world restore natural habitat.

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    Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 25.04.2023

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