Welcome to the (urban) jungle
Cities key to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The world is turning increasingly urban with more than five billion people projected to live in cities by 2030. No wonder then that the role of cities in maintaining biodiversity for functional ecosystems is becoming an increasingly important topic on the global agenda.
High biodiversity richness around cities
In conjunction with the launch of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Stockholm Resilience Centre launched Urban Planet, an online tool for sustainable urban development.
Coinciding with the International Biodiversity Day, 22 May, an updated version has been launched with a number of interactive graphics illustrating the links between urban areas and biodiversity.
The new graphics on the Urban Planet website display several dimensions of urbanization and biodiversity, including Cities and Biodiversity Hotspots and Cities and global forest cover change.
Cities and Biodiversity Hotspots. Photo: Conservation International, 2004
It shows how a remarkable amount of native species diversity exist in and around large cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Istanbul, Singapore, Cape Town and Stockholm.
Today 25 percent of the world´s protected areas are within 17 km of an urban area. In 10 years this is projected to shrink to 15 km making it a hot topic for future urban planning and development.
Cities and Ecoregions. Photo: WWF WildFinder, 2006
Urbanization not just a threatHowever, increased urbanization can also represent an opportunity for change. Increasingly growing cities are also hubs for knowledge, innovations and human and financial resources, making them crucial for solving global environmental problems.
Urban Planet is a joint project of the centre, Albaeco and the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD).
Cities andForestCover. Photo: WRI (World Resources Institute), 1997
For more information on Urban Planet, contact Project leader Danil Lundback
+46 73 707 8718