Biodiversity—the essential variety of life forms on Earth—continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature's capacity to contribute to people's well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security, and the quality of life of people everywhere. Compounding this with the urgency outlined in the recent UN report on climate change, cities will play an increasingly important role in fostering natural connections not only to mitigate heat island effect and carbon production, but also to create habitat to slow the alarming loss of global biodiversity.
Cities will continue to be the “Front Country” gateway to nature, providing many with the first or only connection to the natural world. The opening keynote and plenary session will explore the connections between cities, the humans that live in them, and nature. The session will offer new perspectives on the expanding role greening and biodiversity play in making our cities more livable and more sustainable, featuring leading voices in developing, stewarding, and measuring urban greening efforts, with a particular focus on building biodiversity and resilience.