BiodiverCities is funded by a grant of the European Parliament. It is implemented by the Joint Research Centre and DG Environment.
The project has two main strands of work. Firstly, BiodiverCities collects practices of how to engage citizens in co-creating visions around urban nature, monitoring, and solutions to improve urban biodiversity in the fields of planning and policy-making. Secondly, the project assesses how urban green infrastructure can be used to provide local benefits for people and nature and how can it contribute to enhancing regional biodiversity.
Through a public Call for an expression of interest, the BiodiverCities project has selected ten cities to experiment participatory and innovative approaches to enhance biodiversity in urban areas. The cities we work with are: Leiden (Netherlands), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Valongo (Portugal), Vilnius (Lithuania), Maribor (Slovenia), Novi Sad (Serbia), Palermo (Italy), Regalbuto (Italy), Varese (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal). The cities of Sofia (Bulgaria) and Oslo (Norway) are involved into the second stream of work of this project, dedicated to the mapping of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services at European scale. In general, seven EU member states are represented within BiodiverCities, plus Norway and Serbia.
We collaborate with experts representing each city, coming from different “walks of life”: practitioners of citizen engagement, planners, institutional representatives of local municipalities, researchers and CSO.
BiodiverCities is centered on co-creation as a pivotal element in urban planning and policymaking for biodiversity. In this spirit, ten participatory and innovative experiments are taking shape, with different focuses: from mapping of trees to establishing a new culture of biodiversity, reframing the relationship between humans and nature. Yet, they share the aim to empower citizens to co-create policies that are fit-for-purpose: designed with citizens and for citizens. Today, following the co-design phase, the citizen engagement activities are in the process of being implemented.