Why does urban biodiversity matter?
Created By RISC | 2 months ago
Have you ever wondered why 90% of big cities are in fertile areas or near rivers?
Before they became metropolises, their sites were chosen where crops would grow and rivers could supply fish.
Urban regions are still crucial to economies. Cities accounted for up to 80% of GDP in 2019. They also host 56% of the world’s population and are set to have 60% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Cities will surely continue to develop and spread, reducing natural areas and biodiversity.
Loss of ecosystems eventually impacts more people than you might expect. Environmental loss will disrupt 44% of global GDP, according to the World Economic Forum. Four industries are especially vulnerable:
• Supply Chains and Transport
• Energy and Utilities
• Retail, Consumer Goods, and Lifestyle
• Aviation, Travel, and Tourism
Biodiversity should be a major consideration in urban planning. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is a concept that protects, preserves, and restores natural areas to provide the same infrastructure services as human-engineered gray infrastructure at a lower cost with additional benefits, such as using artificial wetlands for wastewater treatment, using plants to help absorb air pollution, and so on.
Developing urban green spaces such as urban forests, wetlands, parks, green roofs, and green corridors is another technology that will improve the residential environment, which will benefit biodiversity and reduce the city's heat island effect as a carbon reservoir. All these factors will improve human well-being.
Story by Thanawat Jinjaruk, Senior Researcher, Environment Division, RISC
World Economic Forum. BiodiverCity by 2030: Transforming Cities’ Relationship with Nature. January 2022.
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).