Vibrant Cities for People and Nature: Connecting Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Cities are becoming critical hubs for human development. However, urbanization creates a tough environment for human life. Ecosystem services provided by cities green and blue infrastructure are increasingly suggest as a way to mitigate the negative effects of urbanization. However, ecosystem services depend on biodiversity, which in turn is affected by air quality, urban-heat island effect and habitat fragmentation, among others. And being socio-economic systems, cities blue and green infrastructure greatly depend on people’s perception. Still, the relation between urban biodiversity and ecosystem services, modulated by multiple environmental factors, is still poorly known.

Set at an European scale, This session aims at disentangling the role of local and landscape drivers of urban biodiversity in relation to ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services, based on both taxonomic and functional aspects of the biodiversity of urban parks. More specifically we aim at linking multi-taxa biodiversity, to the provision of environmental and socio-cultural ecosystem services. A broad range of taxa might be considered from plants, to animals, from micro-organisms to trees. Ecosystem services of interest are, amongst others, air pollution mitigation, microclimate regulation, carbon sequestration, pollination and provision of nursery habitats for multiple taxa. Latt but not least, session also discuss the importance of integrating stakeholders in urban BEF/BES investigation and the involvement of citizens by the use of citizen science approaches, and the social importance of urban parks.