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Biodiverse Cities in Europe’s North Sea Region - New Project Launch

Our Research Center for Sustainable Landscapes under Global Change (SustainScapes) at the Department of Biology at Aarhus University is taking action to address the biodiversity and climate crisis and help the transition towards nature-inclusive societies, where nature and people can thrive together. We are delighted to announce the launch of our new project: Biodiverse Cities, led by the city of Dordrecht in the Netherlands and co-funded by the European Union through the Interreg North Sea Region (NSR) Programme

As a heavily urbanised area, the NSR directly faces the impacts of biodiversity loss. Though policy attention is increasing, biodiversity is often overlooked in cities and planning professionals lack the necessary experience. Cities introduce nature-based solutions (NBS) to mitigate climate change impacts, but rarely is biodiversity an equal objective - a missed opportunity.

Biodiverse Cities aims to implement biodiverse NBS in 5 pilot cities and replicate them in 3 pollinator cities in the North Sea region. We will deploy innovative community engagement methods using spatial experimentation and social design to connect citizens to nature.

This work will go beyond existing organisational practices to integrate biodiversity criteria in urban planning, urban development and investments. To ensure lasting results, the project will influence relevant policies with regional and national governments to integrate biodiversity action.

As a knowledge partner SustainScapes will lead the co-design of site-specific Nature-based solutions in the 5 pilot cities to increase the existing biodiversity while also making the cities more climate resilient. SustainScapes researchers will also deliver expertise to the partnership on how to monitor the ecological and socio-ecological impact of the Nature-based solutions. The researchers aim to collate evidence from the 5 pilot cities and 3 pollinator cities for future cities to benefit from.

Biodiverse Cities brings together 16 partners from 7 countries, with wide expertise from ecology, to co-creation, policy, governance and climate adaptation.

  • 8 cities: City of Dordrecht (NL), Aarhus (DK), Bremen (DE), Vaxjo (SE), Lille (FR), Hamburg (DE), Bergen (NO) and Brest (FR)
  • 3 universities: Aeres University of Applied Sciences (NL), Aarhus University (DK), and the University of Bremen (DE)
  • 3 knowledge expert and network partners: International Union for Conservation of Nature (BE), Flanders Environment Agency (BE), and Open Kaart (NL)
  • 2 local environmental and community NGOs: Bremer Umwelt Beratung (DE) and Vogelnest (NL)

For four years we will work together to accelerate action for biodiversity in urban environments and pave the way for cities across Europe.

Biodiverse Cities is an Interreg North Sea project co-funded by the European Union.

Project start: September 2022

If you want to know more contact

Pil Pedersen (pil.pedersen@bio.au.dk and Sara Iversen (sara.iversen@agro.au.dk)