UCCRN co-sponsors “What Nature in the City?” Conference in Paris
This past June, Natureparif – the Agency for Nature and Biodiversity of the Region Ille-de-France and IFORE – the French Institute for the Development of the Environment organized the “What Nature in the City?” Conference. Two of the themes addressed were climate change and biodiversity and how urban ecology can significantly improve the quality of life while building more sustainable and resilient cities.
For the first time the event involved two relevant networks that deal with urgent urban issues: UCCRN – Urban Climate Change Research Network and SURE – Society for Urban Ecology. Both networks were represented by Cecilia P. Herzog, who is the president of the SURE Brazilian chapter and a Coordinating Lead Author, along with Timon McPhearson, of the Urban Ecology, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services Chapter of the UCCRN Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3-2). Together with with Liliane Pays, President of Naturparif; Corinne Rufet, Vice-president of the Île-de-France Region; and Olivier Robine, Director of IFORE, Cecilia welcomed the participants and opened the conference. Cecilia is the president of SURE Brazilian Chapter. Dr. Radley Horton, representing the UCCRN, spoke about Biodiversity and Climate Change during the General Introduction. The conference gathered about 200 attendees that were limited by the venue’s capacity.
The two day conference was very successful with presenters from different cities representing many countries that brought ecosystem based examples of climate change adaptation and mitigation. They showed how ecosystem services, such as clean waters, fertile and healthy soil, food production and better human health can be offered in cities with strategic and participatory landscape urban planning. The presenters showed how their cities plan, design, implement, and monitor multi-functional green infrastructure typologies in different scales – from local to regional. The conference’s outcome was positive regarding the value of introducing urban biodiversity and the restoration of ecosystems as essential means to give more flexibility to the urban system to face the challenges caused by extreme climatic events. Following the conference there were planned visits in urban areas and in the region, when the participants had a chance to see what is being done in the city of Paris and its surroundings – Grand Paris.