Improving cities with nature: Introducing INTERACT-Bio

By Kobie Brand, Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center — INTERACT-Bio is about working together to mainstream biodiversity and associated nature-based solutions into the way we plan and build the cities of the Global South. This ambitious new project enables ICLEI to work directly with nine biodiverse city-regions, their national governments and other stakeholders 

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Why nature matters in our new urban world: Making the case for nature in cities

For over 10,000 years people have been irresistibly drawn to urban life, where they live, work and play in close proximity. Our early settlements often rose, quite literally, from mud to irrevocably transform society, necessitating the development of new codes of behavior and laws to reorganize ourselves in a world of close coexistence. We have 

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How cities are using nature for sustainable urban development

Nature-based solutions can address urban challenges exacerbated by growing urban populations and the impacts of climate change. They are multi-functional, cost-effective and provide a wide range of benefits, from improving public health to reducing energy costs and pollution to regenerating urban spaces. Local governments can use green roofs and green infrastructure to help cities become 

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Green and blue infrastructure: a solution with multiple benefits

by David Lammers, MSc Environmental Studies and Sustainability Studies, Lund University Water systems have a crucial function in many cities. Rivers and coastlines act as veins of life as they provide cities with a plethora of ecosystem services – water supply, income generation, relaxation and many more. At the same time, however, they can be the 

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Trees make cities cooler

From Chicago to Paris, Ottawa or Montreal, cities look for solutions to cope with hotter summers and climate change adverse effects. The solutions might be simpler than one might think. Due to the high building density and surfaces of covered soils, cities have lost the ability to regulate temperature and, in fact, are creating heat 

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Cities in Action: São Paulo’s Protected Areas

São Paulo is the largest city in South America, with over 11 million inhabitants. Remarkably, 40% of its metropolitan area is still covered by forest. In the inner city, the vegetated areas are fragmented and scattered throughout the urban area. However, the scenario is completely different in the peripheral areas – especially in the South 

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Cities in Action: Edmonton’s Wildlife Passage Program

With continual urban development and fragmenting wildlife habitats, wildlife-vehicle collisions have become a growing concern for Canadian municipalities. With strong growth in the province of Alberta, the Alberta Transportation authority reported a correlated increase in wildlife-vehicle collisions of 170%, which has led to many injuries and deaths, as well as $240 million CAD in legal 

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7 Days to the ICLEI World Congress: Linking Biodiversity and Water

Post by Irina Velasco, ICLEI Africa In seven days, the third Urban Nature Congress will take place at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, and we are busy preparing for this exciting gathering! Providing a platform to share information, promote case studies, encourage interactive discussion, and offer inspiration for cities, “Urban Nature 2015: Local Action for 

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ICLEI Links: 6 March 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of ICLEI Links, our roundup of sustainability-related news and commentary from around the web! Okay, we don’t have quite so many this week…but thanks to all on Twitter and elsewhere for sharing. ICLEI Stories Tokyo announces 23 percent emissions reduction in 2013 through cap-and-trade program City Stories Jobs are shifting 

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2 Days to Lima: Focus on Durban, South Africa

With a population of 2.5 million, the Durban Metropolitan Area (DMA) is the largest port on the east coast of Africa. While it is a typical South African city in terms of the legacy left from racial planning and institutions, it is distinctive in terms of language, ethnic and racial mix, and political make-up. As 

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