Urban Biodiversity Survey

Project Details

Description

This survey aims to examine the development and present state of the Finnish urban biodiversity and assess the future of the urban nature. The purpose of the survey is to find out how the quality of the urban biodiversity can be maintained and actively nurtured. The research focuses on the effects of urbanization on biodiversity, populations and conservation and the importance of urban nature for the wellbeing of both individuals and society at large.
The survey aims to provide tools and knowledge to support better and more sustainable urban policymaking and to demonstrate means to improve the urban planning, green space management and the overall state of urban nature. The results will be gathered in a report which will be published by the Finnish Nature Panel at the end of 2023.

Urban biodiversity

Human became mainly an urban species in 2008 when the percentage of urban population exceeded 50% of the world population. The pace has since only accelerated and the number of people living in cities increases all the time. In developed countries it is estimated that by 2050 85% of the population will be living in cities. In Finland, these estimates are already met.

Cities have always been found on fertile soil or close to good transport connections. Natural conditions have dictated where it is most suitable for humans to settle. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that rich nature can still be found in some urban areas. Although human interference has shaped conditions profoundly, resulting in loss of various species and habitats in urban areas, human activity has also introduced and created new ones.
Urban nature has often been considered ruined and degraded by human interference and thus rarely valued. During the last few decades, when urban biodiversity in itself became a subject of research, it has been indicated that some areas of urban nature are actually quite rich in biodiversity. This is a result of small but diverse habitats and the newcomer species brought in alongside human activity.

Urban nature is the most familiar kind of nature to many as it is the type of nature people can easily access. Maintaining a connection to nature is important to also those who live in cities. Beneficial health effects and how they can even result in savings in health care costs have already been indicated and counted. Urban nature increases wellbeing, improves health and decreases stress.


StatusActive
Effective start/end date01.11.202131.08.2023

Funding

  • Ympäristöministeriö: €107,665.00

Field of Science

  • Ecology, evolutionary biology

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