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Injecting Biodiversity into City Spaces

By Nathalie Butt

Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

More than half of the world’s people live in cities, and this will reach two-thirds by 2050. Most cities are situated on coasts or rivers, and currently more than 400 cities across the world are directly threatened by sea level rise, putting more than 400 million people at risk.

Cities are therefore right at the frontline of climate change, and they are already being impacted in many places. Because of this, they are leading the way in implementing adaptation strategies worth billions of dollars. These often involve large-scale environmental management, such as tree planting and sea walls, and can mean changes in infrastructure. Some of these can have negative impacts for biodiversity, and others can be beneficial, but in most cases the impacts on biodiversity are accidental as it is not considered in the adaptation planning process.

Because of their greenhouse gas emissions, cities make an enormous contribution to climate change. However, because cities have considerable wealth and resources, they are also in a position to actively respond to climate change threats.

Around the world it’s been estimated that 1.7 million adaptation measures are currently ongoing. Many actions, such as catchment afforestation, street tree planting and additional green space provision, will not only reduce human exposure to climate hazards, but can also be beneficial...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.