BiodiverCities is a project in the context of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. It aims to enhance civil society participation in local and urban decision-making, leading to building a joint vision of the green city of tomorrow shared among civil society, scientists and policymakers. The project will collect practical examples of how to engage citizens in vision building around urban nature, monitoring, and solutions to improve urban biodiversity. It will also assess how urban green infrastructure can be used to provide local benefits for people and nature and how can it contribute to enhancing regional biodiversity. BiodiverCities is funded by a grant of the European Parliament. It is implemented by the Joint Research Centre and DG Environment. Our ambition is to deliver a roadmap to enhance the biodiversity and green infrastructure of European cities by 2030.

Public posts

Ambitious urban green plans in Barcelona and Paris

Barcelona and Paris have presented ambitious plans to undergo a green facelift. The current pandemic has made cities and citizens realise that urban green infrastructure is an essential urban resource and service. Urban green spaces and parks have been rediscovered by urbanites for recreation during the pandemic. In addition, research has shown that covid-19 infections are higher in areas with higher levels of air pollution. This prompted cities to also consider the regulating functions that urban trees and forests perform as they filter particulate matter and other air pollutants from the...

The city council of Palma endorses the BiodiverCities project

Palma, the biggest city on the Spanish island Mallorca, is one of the BiodiverCities. The Palma BiodiverCities  team succeeded in bringing the debate on biodiversity into heart of the city descision-making and to raise awareness for biodiversity.

Neus Truyol, member of the Palma city council, said: "The EU support for a city model that is committed to conceiving the city as an ecosystem, self-sufficient and resilient to the climate emergency, strengthens us to continue the work path we have set in motion.”

The Palma BiodiverCities team is currently assessing the following...

3rd Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival

The European Commission is holding its 3rd annual Citizen Engagement & Deliberative Democracy Festival from 6-12 December, 2020.  Registration are open and the draft agenda can be found here

The 3rd annual Citizen Engagement & Deliberative Democracy Festival is an open online event that brings together people of diverse backgrounds that are interested in, and...

Join the #EUGreenWeek 2020 virtual conference, registrations are open!

The EU Green Week conference, the central EU event dedicated to environment policy, is taking place from 19 to 22 October 2020, in an entirely virtual format, on the theme of nature and biodiversity. Join three days of exciting virtual discussions on how protecting and restoring nature can stimulate recovery and create jobs, helping us to build more resilient and healthier societies.

After the adoption of a new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in May...

Tools to map urban trees

Do you need to map individual urban trees? Here are some tools and methods that use modern data technology. 

TreepediaExploring the Green Canopy in cities around the world. Treepedia measures the canopy cover in cities. Rather than count the individual number of trees, we’ve developed a scaleable and universally applicable method by analyzing the amount of green perceived while walking down the street. The visualization maps street-level perception only, so your favorite parks aren't included! Presented here is...

Planting of mini-forests in cities is growing in popularity

Planting urban forests can boost biodiversity, help mitigate climate change, contribute to a cleaner air, and cool cities during heath waves. Above all, it looks like a lot of fun to plant and take care of these mini-forests with citizens or schools to green neighbourhoods.  A good idea for BiodiverCities? 

More on minitature urban forests here.  A nice video by WEF is on their twitter page. 

Bye bye grass: a charter to to turn urban green deserts into flower rich meadows

Cities can take effective measures to increase biodiversity.  For instance, the city of Leuven, Belgium, signed the Bye Bye Grass charter. This charter motivates businesses to turn monoculture grass lawns into flower-rich meadows which are better for climate and for biodiversity.  This means less mowing, sawing specific seeds, and allow weeds to partially take over. Also citizens can help make cities a little bit wilder by turning ever green gardens into flower fields. 

The Bye bye Grass charter is available in Dutch  but a press kit is...

Varese News reports on BiodiverCities and on the citizen science initiative on swifts

Together with other 12 European cities Varese is part of BiodiverCities promoted by the European Parliament. The project aims at improving civil society participation in decision-making related to the deployment of urban green infrastructure.

Thanks to the collaboration between LIPU (Lega italiana protezione uccelli – Italian association for birds protection) and GIO (Gruppo Insubrico Ornitologia, a local ornithology association) Varese is setting up a citizen science activity for swift data collection and mapping.

The objective of the activity is to raise awareness between...

The EU's 2030 Biodiversity Strategy has now also urban biodiversity targets

On 20 May 2020 ,  the European Commission adopted a new biodiversity strategy to 2030. It sets ambitious targets to protect more nature, to restore ecosystems and to step up governance, monitoring and global efforts. 

The urban dimension is now well recognised in the new biodiversity policy. 

As part of a wider nature restoration plan, more focus will go to cities. To bring nature back to cities and reward community action, the Commission  will motivate cities to develop...