Anna Paola Quaglia
Main Organisation
Other Organisations
DG Joint Research Centre, JRC.D3 and JRC.B6
Directorate General of the Environment, European Commission


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.

Participation Spectrum

When and Where

Start Year
End Year
Other Country

Policy Context

Science or Policy Field


Communities or representatives involved
At this stage of the process, the total number of participants involved is still uncertain. Each local partner involved in BiodiverCities, engages with different communities with diverse methods and tools. We have inserted a symbolic '500', representing a plausible aggregate number of citizens engaged across all cities of the project.
How were the Participants selected?


Methodology description
Each city/expert is required to organize at least three citizen engagement activities. The number of events sums up the events designed and implemented at the local level. Similarly, the selected methodologies return the variety of approaches employed by local partners.
Tools Used


Main Outcomes and Lasting Achievement
BiodiverCities is an ongoing project. In principle, BiodiverCities supports participatory processes that are anchored or aim to be, into the policy process. Each city aims at different outputs and policy outcomes.
How were the outcome taken up within the process they were carried out?
Feedback provided
Other Feedback
Were the methodologies used elsewhere?


Main Challenges
Reason for such challenges and solutions
BiodiverCities is an ongoing project. Challenges are manifold (e.g. including institutional challenges) and locally situated. When the project will be approaching the end, this section will be updated.
Lessons Learn
BiodiverCities is an ongoing project. When the project will be approaching the end, this section will be updated.
Once the project is over, this section will be updated.