Green urban spaces provide a wide range of benefits for people and the planet. They reduce air, water and noise pollution, provide protection from flooding, droughts, heat waves and much more. In an increasingly human-dominated world of expanding cities, integrating the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services into urban planning and practices is therefore of importance for a sustainable future. This poses the difficult question of how to integrate pollinator conservation objectives into urban greening plans.
As part of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the Commission calls on European towns and cities of at least 20,000 inhabitants to design urban greening plans (UGP). Designing climate and biodiversity proof urban greening plans will be critical in the context of a
Safeguard organised a second online webinar focused on urban greening and pollinators: Urban pollinators: how can cities protect pollinators and build resilience to climate change? (you can read more about Safeguard’s first urban greening workshop here
). The event was held online on September 20th, 2023 and addressed the topic of climate adaptation and pollinators in cities. The aim of the workshop was to help provide keys for city managers to optimise co-benefits for pollinator conservation and climate through urban greening and highlight best practices.
The webinar welcomed around 70 participants, including 50 representatives from cities. It was kick-started by a presentation on the impacts of heat on wild pollinators in cities from Costanza Geppert, Safeguard scientist at the University of Padua. Shreya Utkarsh, Nature-based solutions and Biodiversity officer, ICLEI provided a glimpse at the global and european policies surrounding urban greening and biodiversity. There were also presentations from Paris and Berlin. Jonathan Sorel, Advisor to the Mayor of Paris on public space, transport, mobility and nature in the city, presented Paris’ strategy for integrating climate and biodiversity in urban planning via its new ‘bioclimatic masterplan’. Anja Proske, project manager for the Berlin wildbee project at the German Wildlife foundation (Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung), presented Berlin’s pollinator strategy and the project “More bees for Berlin. Berlin is blooming!”.
The presentations are available on the Safeguard’s media centre
. Click here
for the recording. The webinar report is available here
Presentations were followed by a panel discussion touching on the different challenges faced by city managers for integrating biodiversity and climate into urban planning and ways to overcome them. The discussion focused on the issues of public perceptions, research and policy gap, and lack of cooperation and skills. Learn more on the discussions in the webinar report.
The webinar was attended by urban greening policy makers from 36 cities, who are directly responsible for shaping the policies in their cities. Feedback received from the webinar was very positive. Many participants commented on the quality of the presentations and informativeness of contents: excellent webinar and/or presentations (x10), interesting (x3), inspiring/motivating (x4), well organised (x2). 15 participants expressed their thankfulness for the organisation of the webinar.
This event is organised by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and EUROCITIES with help from IUCN Europe for the Safeguard project.
Photo: Workshop participants' opinions on the he main challenges formainstreaming biodiversity into spatial planning