Urban rewilding is a concept and practice that involves reintroducing elements of nature into urban environments, with the aim of restoring ecological balance, enhancing biodiversity, and improving the overall well-being of both human and non-human inhabitants of cities. It is a response to the loss of natural habitats and green spaces caused by urbanization.
Urban rewilding typically involves transforming underutilized or degraded urban areas, such as abandoned lots, rooftops, or industrial sites, into thriving ecosystems that mimic natural habitats. This process often includes planting native vegetation, reintroducing native species of plants and animals, creating wildlife corridors, and implementing sustainable landscape design techniques.
|There are a number of beneficial components of urban rewilding, including, for example biodiversity conservation - By reintroducing native plants and animals, urban rewilding aims to support a diverse range of species and promote their survival within urban areas.
Urban rewilding projects also provide ecosystem services - By creating green spaces and restoring natural habitats, rewilding projects can contribute to improved air quality, water management, temperature regulation, and overall ecological functioning.
Urban parks that result from rewilding also create well-being among a city's residents - Urban rewilding acknowledges the positive effects of nature on human health and well-being. Access to green spaces and exposure to natural elements have been linked to reduced stress, improved mental health, increased physical activity, and enhanced community cohesion.
Climate resilience is another benefit from urban rewilding - Rewilded urban areas can help cities adapt to climate change by mitigating the effects of heat islands, reducing stormwater runoff, and sequestering carbon dioxide.
Urban rewilding projects can take various forms, ranging from small-scale community gardens and rooftop green spaces to large-scale restoration projects in vacant lots or along riverbanks. The exact approach depends on the available space, local context, and community involvement. Collaborative efforts between urban planners, environmental organizations, local communities, and government bodies are often necessary to implement successful urban rewilding initiatives.
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Urban rewilding forms an important part of ecosystem restoration. The United Nations has designated the decade from 2021 to 2030 as the "Decade on Ecosystem Restoration"
Its estimated that cities will be home to more than two-thirds of the worlds population by 2050, and municipalities worldwide are acknowledging that nature Ewildness, in particular Eis essential to human well-being.