Cities and Biodiversity

Re-posted from The Nature of Cities

Cities and biodiversity and national parks.

It is about equating the Natural Environment of National Parks to the natural environment of Cities – there are the one environment!

Many the time I have had frustrating debates with bureaucracies over how we address the issues of biodiversity and landscape. Often it results in the otherwise intelligent bureaucrat insisting that we talk about two separate entities, the built environment and the natural environment. This perception has also surfaced in discussions with organisations such as Conservation Foundations and their like.

It is seems so unfortunate that this divided approach to dealing with our issues of landscape, sustainability and climate change adaptation is approached through having to have separations between the natural and built environments in our strategies.

With this on-going frustration in mind, I was interested to read an opinion piece by Glenn Steward of Lincoln University in New Zealand.

Here’s his conclusions:

It is worth noting that most urban areas in New Zealand (and the world for that matter) are at ecosystem junctions — where marine, maritime, estuarine, hills, lowland freshwater swamps, dry arable areas and building sites meet. These junctions are extraordinarily diverse and many animal species depend on the presence of these elements. As a generality it does appear that many of the larger cities are actually some of the richest in habitats and biodiversity, and are those that have the greatest natural productivity and diversity of environments.

Based on these numbers above urban areas are as intrinsically interesting and diverse and worthy of conservation as the mountainous National Parks. So in a biodiversity sense New Zealand cities could be regarded as National Parks as well!!!!

Now we just need to let the city dwellers know so that they can appreciate Nature in the City, not just in the wild mountains!!!

the full article is here

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