City Focus

If current trends continue, 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050, which means that cities will have a major role in shaping a sustainable future. Nature-based and innovative solutions are essential to accommodate the current and future needs of people living in urban areas.


Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Given the limited availability of urban green space per capita, Barcelona’s City Council is focusing its attention on enhancing the quantity and quality of green areas and the ecosystem services they provide. The city’s commitment to a green future is demonstrated by policies such as the Barcelona Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Plan 2020.

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Berlin, Germany

Germany’s capital Berlin is situated in the eastern part of the country. Its administrative boundaries cover more than 89,000 ha, and the city is home to 3.5 million inhabitants. Berlin’s population has grown by 3.5% over the last decade, which has coincided with a 16% increase in the size of residential areas and has put pressure on green spaces.

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Rotterdam, Netherlands

Situated in the Rhine-Meuse Delta on the North Sea, Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and an international centre for trade and distribution. The city is a thriving metropolis with over 610,000 inhabitants and 173 different nationalities, and acts as the main gateway to Europe for many emerging economies in Asia, the Middle East and South America.

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View on Salzburg from Mönchsberg at dawn

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is a relatively small city, home to 150,000 inhabitants and covering a total area of 6,568 hectares. It is located at the foothills of the Northern Alps, near the German border, on the banks of the Salzach River, and its baroque historic city centre is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although more than half of Salzburg is covered by green spaces, the city faces significant environmental challenges.

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The URBES project is by BiodivERsA, a network of 21 research-funding agencies across 15 European countries promoting pan-European research that generates new knowledge for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity.

EU 7th Framework Programme for Research 
BiodivERsA website

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