This video discussion took place at the recent ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil this month and discusses the value of urban biodiversity and how to bring that diversity back to the cities. It’s presented by the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Oliver Hillel discusses how nature used to be in the cities and how we simply have to stop impeding it and let it back in. However, many of our systems are so changed that they now need to be managed to restore nature by bringing in new infrastructure. He also discusses how cities are laboratories for innovation and the importance of education by bringing nature back into cities so people are aware of biological processes and how dependent we are on them.
From the website::
Cities, ecosytems and biodiversity
Bringing biodiversity back into cities
Keith Tidball in conversation with Oliver…
- Access to wildlife should be a right, not a privilege:: An interesting article from the Guardian which discusses “that every child and young person has the right to grow up and live in a high-quality, wildlife-rich environment with ready access to the physical and mental health benefits, developmental advantages and play opportunities it affords.”
- Do not harm invasive species that pollinate, study warns:: This article details a fascinating study which found that many invasive pollinator species which have damaged native pollinator populations should not necessarily be removed or eradicated because they often take over the role of the pollinator they eliminated.
- Wild flowers are nature’s anarchists. Yet today even weeds must conform:: This wonderful article discusses wildflowers as “nature’s flotsam, survivors, anarchists, freelances, defying the horrors of modern life.” The author describes his search not in the meadows and wildlands but instead as “urban geeks are scrambling…
- BiodiverCITY:: A community blog that features the nature in New York City.
- Seattle Urban Wildlife Experiences:: Inspired by BiodiverCITY (above) the Seattle Urban Wildlife Group started a similar community blog about the urban wildlife of Seattle.
- Maryland aims to curb wildlife carnage on roads:: This article from the Baltimore Sun describes a large project consisting of 10 wildlife crossings over an 18-mile stretch and how it’s already working for wildlife despite not yet being completed.
- Wildlife on Bridges:: This is a Flickr set from Washington State DOT that features the variety of wildlife found on the bridges in Seattle.
- Sunday Snapshots: Log Pile:: This post from the blog The Marvelous in Nature, shows the many wildlife species, including spiders, caterpillars, moths, beetles, snakes and more that made use of a log pile. It’s a really diverse set of photos.
- Huge Housing Project…
The Pollinator Pathway is planned along a one-mile stretch in Seattle from Seattle University to Nora’s Woods replacing grass strips with pollinator gardens. The brainchild and creation of Sarah Bergmann, the Pollinator Pathway currently consists of two installed gardens with another 16 planned and has 20 total homeowners signed up to participate. I visited one of the gardens where Sarah was kind enough to meet me and tell me all about this fascinating project. The first garden was installed in July of 2008 after much planning and work and has been a great start with a lot learned. The gardens are created for the space between the sidewalk and the street and range in size from 4′ to 12′ wide and for the most part are currently grass.
At one end is Seattle University which has been a supporter of the project, themselves having a number…
Over on the BBC news website is a good video about a school in Oldham that was lucky enough to have a company offer to install a green roof on their building. Now the roof is used for lessons about plants and wildlife and has become a magnet for birds. Many of the kids don’t have gardens at home and tell the BBC they enjoy the school’s roof garden very much.
Chalk it up as one more reason to integrate habitat into an urban setting.
Watch the short video:: Roof Garden With a Difference
There have been many creative approaches to environmental art over the years, many installations found in forests, waterways, or fields. Elkpen, an artist in Los Angeles has a more urban approach to environmental art and combines awareness, education as well as art in the city. Some pieces are simple, such as a sign hung on a Magnolia tree to educate a passerby about the history of the species. Other pieces are drawn on walls or even the sidewalk to raise awareness of the nature happening in that very spot should they take a moment to look up.
Visit the Elkology website to view the portfolio with descriptions about each piece of artwork.