Loss of species and natural ecosystems is inevitable in densely populated cities, but as centres of cultural change cities provide opportunities for biodiversity. This chapter looks at the relationship between cities and biodiversity and ways cities can support biodiversity in coming decades.
Urban biodiversity matters. It connects city dwellers with the natural environment, enhances recreational spaces and serves practical functions like cooling the air and reducing stormwater run-off.
Loss of species and natural ecosystems is inevitable in densely populated cities. Although some species appear to prosper in cities, their populations are usually too small to have a significant influence on their overall conservation status.
Australia has spent too little effort on the urban environment, thus we lack information on which to base urban biodiversity strategies. However, we know that the status and trends of biodiversity in cities and their surrounding regions can be improved by visionary urban design and by providing urban communities in Australia with biodiversity information and tools to monitor urban biodiversity.
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Mark Lonsdale and Richard Fuller