International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

20th Vilmer Summer Academy

Green cities? Nature conservation in urban areas between competition for use and synergies

In nature conservation, cities were long seen as a negative antithesis to the valued natural and rural cultural landscapes. This image has been changing significantly for some time, as the importance and potential of nature conservation in urban areas has been increasingly recognized. For example, the German National Strategy on Biological Diversity adopted in 2007 also includes the protection of urban areas.

16 August 2021 - 19 August 2021
hybrid, at the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation - International Academy for Nature Conservation Insel Vilm and online

Information

Jutta Stadler

038301-86-134
jutta.stadler@bfn.de

Organisators

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in collaboration with the University of Kiel and the University of Tübingen

Leadership

Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast, Dr. Lieske Voget-Kleschin (University of Tübingen)
Prof. Dr. Konrad Ott (University of Kiel)
Dr. Simon Meisch (University of Tübingen)
Jutta Stadler (BfN-INA)

Participants

Representatives of authorities and associations from the fields of nature conservation and agriculture, environmental and agricultural politicians, voluntary nature conservationists, people active at the interface "nature conservation and agriculture", nature scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars, all others interested in the topic.

Further information

In nature conservation, cities were long seen as a negative counterpart to the valued natural and rural cultural landscapes. This image has changed significantly in recent times, as the importance and potential of nature conservation in urban areas has become increasingly apparent. For example, the German National Strategy on Biological Diversity adopted in 2007 also includes the protection of urban areas. At the international level, the adoption of Decision IX/28 - 'Promoting the involvement of cities and local authorities' - at the 9th Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) confirms the importance of cities in achieving the objectives of the CBD. However, the relationship between biodiversity and urban spaces remains ambivalent. On the one hand, urban areas provide habitats for many animal and plant species. On the other hand, land sealing and the unchecked growth of cities represent one of the main threats to biodiversity. Here, there are considerable land use conflicts with regard to nature conservation goals.

For many people, contact with open landscape and biodiversity is limited to experiencing urban nature. How "green" cities and neighborhoods are largely determines the quality of life for those who live there. However, the opportunities to experience nature are unequally distributed socially. People with low income and low education often have less access to (urban) nature and are at the same time exposed to higher environmental impacts than socially better off people. This raises important questions of (environmental) justice in the city.

The Vilmer Summer Academy 2021 deals with the question of how the perspectives of nature conservation on the city as well as of city dwellers on nature and nature conservation have changed over time, which dimensions and aspects of nature in the city should be protected and how the treatment of urban nature can be designed fairly. It shows innovative approaches how nature conservation and participation in nature can be promoted in the city.

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