Leveraging Nature-based Solutions for climate resilient and biodiverse urban futures

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Following the joint IPCC and IPBES call to action to align policy, finance, and action for solving the twin crises of biodiversity and climate change, we propose to launch a Special Collection in npj Urban Sustainability that will publish high quality case studies, comparative assessments, and conceptual advances for leveraging urban nature-based solutions to reveal progress and advance research and action on climate mitigation, adaptation, and biodiversity conservation in ways that support equity and human well-being. How can cities take the lead? What empirical examples of successes can be championed to create models for replication and scaling up NBS approaches to transform cities for resilience, equity and sustainability? What can we learn from successes and difficulties in urban NBS initiatives to jointly address the biodiversity and climate crises in urban territories?

At COP26, trillions of dollars were pledged to invest in NBS for carbon drawdown, but none were committed in urban areas. There is a disconnect between NBS for climate mitigation and the need to invest in NBS for adaptation in cities where most people live and are impacted by climate driven extreme events. Additional Urban areas have the most direct potential impacts of NBS on human health. Aligning goals for solving the biodiversity crisis and limiting impacts of climate change on people, infrastructure, and economies requires a focus on cities and urban regions.

We are seeking a balance of perspective papers, empirical papers and case studies from the Global North and Global South across the following three themes.

Theme 1: Studies that uncover tensions in the assessment and achievement of carbon neutrality, biodiversity and well-being goals through NBS that point towards solutions for uniting adaptation and mitigation to conserve biodiversity and support human well-being outcomes

Theme 2: Empirical case studies and analyses that demonstrate shifts in policy, planning, and new governance structures that can enable joint biodiversity and climate solutions at local scales (e.g., new forms of public-private partnerships, or multi-level governance arrangements)

Theme 3: Examples of enabling finance and other business and governance measures to support the upscaling of nature-based and climate solutions to support rapid transformations toward sustainability

City view of roads and greenery