By 2040, about 10 million people will live in the Bay Area. Most will live in highly urban environments. Climate change will bring more extreme weather: hotter days, more drought, increased flooding, and sea level rise. Can we revitalize nature in these communities where our children and grandchildren will live? Can we create healthy neighborhoods where people and nature thrive?
Dr. Erica Spotswood and a team of SFEI scientists have developed a framework outlining the key elements for supporting biodiversity in urban environments.
As part of the Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands Project, the new framework entitled Making Nature’s City synthesizes findings from decades of urban ecology research to inform innovative urban design. It identifies seven key elements to consider when designing cities for both people and nature: habitat patch size, connections, matrix quality, habitat diversity, native vegetation, special resources, and management. The report uses Silicon Valley as a case study to illustrate how urban planners and conservationists can use geospatial data to assess opportunities and assets within each of these categories.
Various challenges are facing cities as their populations continue to grow, sea levels rise, and weather patterns shift with climate change. Making Nature’s City provides critical insights to help cities become more resilient to these changes and more livable for people, plants, and animals.