The benefits of Nature Positive Cities can be far-reaching for the economy, health, social wellbeing and biodiversity.
Urban environments designed with nature front of mind have been shown to lead to increased property values, a reduction in crime, better social inclusion, and improved mental and physical wellbeing. They can also reduce air pollution, make spaces more habitable through urban cooling, and cut down on heating and cooling costs. Of course, Nature Positive Cities also provide improved natural habitats for local fauna and refuges for threatened species.
Our cities still co-exist with a diverse range of threatened flora and fauna. Many cities in our region also face significant water supply challenges, pollution, and a loss of connection to nature. Meanwhile, Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet yet has seen an alarming rate of species loss in the last 240 years.
At a global level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2023 Synthesis Report found that human-induced climate change has had ‘adverse impacts on human health, livelihoods and key infrastructure’. These impacts are most severe in urban and suburban areas. Cities have had a huge influence on the decline in biodiversity and changes in climate. Can they also be the epicentre of positive change and recovery?
In this context, the EIANZ 2024 Nature Positive Cities Symposium seeks to move beyond debates that assume a dichotomy between economy or environment, housing or habitat, and progress or plants by promoting nuanced discussion on how we can build, plan, design and live in our urban centres.
The Symposium will explore what is needed to improve delivery of Nature Positive Cities and develop a communiqué in the lead up to the Global Nature Positive Summit.
Topics to be discussed include:
- Defining ‘Nature Positive’ and avoiding greenwashing
- Benefits of a nature positive city and how we measure them
- Embracing First Nations knowledge of Nature Positive
- Overcoming obstacles to Nature Positive Cities
- Where does nature positive fit in strategic urban planning and design
- Financing Nature Positive
- Urban ecology in practice
Professionals from any field with an interest in urban ecology are encouraged to join us at this timely symposium.