From theory to practice: Applying multispecies justice in nature-based solutions and urban sustainability planning

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Nature-based solutions research and planning efforts have demonstrated the challenges to and possibilities for supporting environmental justice outcomes in decision-making, commonly drawing upon issues of procedure, recognition and distribution of co-benefits and costs of environmental harms and benefits across diverse human communities. However, the achievement of targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including the full integration of biodiversity and its multiple values into policies, regulations, planning and development processes (target 14), will require a rethinking of the subject of justice in NBS planning from one of ‘between us’ humans and other species to one of ‘all of us’.

The concept of ‘multispecies justice’ is a promising concept for NBS and urban sustainability planning because it invites us to understand the types of relationships between humans and other species that could produce and sustain economically, ecologically and socially just outcomes. However, to date there remains multiple knowledge gaps about how to apply multispecies justice in NBS planning.

This npj Urban Sustainability collection invites high quality case studies, comparative assessments, and conceptual or empirical advances for applying multispecies justice in NBS planning to reveal progress and advance research and action on justice, adaptation, and biodiversity conservation in ways that support multispecies needs. How can cities take the lead? What empirical examples of successes can be championed to create models for replication and scaling up multispecies and 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 wellbeing of humans and other species in urban territories?

There is a disconnect between NBS for biodiversity conservation and scholarships on animal rights, political science, design and urban and regional planning, all calling for improved representation and agency of diverse beings in urban sustainability planning. Aligning goals for solving justice and biodiversity issues requires a focus on people and their interactions with multiple species in cities and urban regions. 

We welcome submissions from globally leading scholars on multispecies justice, nature-based solutions and urban sustainability. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Studies that uncover tensions and prospects in applying multispecies justice to NBS and urban sustainability
  • Empirical case studies and analyses that demonstrate shifts in policy, planning, and new governance structures that can enable joint biodiversity and multispecies justice outcomes
  • Examples of enabling governance measures to recognize, represent and give agency to humans and other species in nature-based solutions and urban sustainability planning

About the timeline

Please note the deadline of the 30th November 2024 is for completed draft papers submitted to the editors for review.

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Applying multispecies justice in nature-based solutions and urban sustainability planning.


  • David Schlosberg, PhD

    Director, Sydney Environment Institute, Sydney University, Australia

  • Christopher Raymond, PhD

    Professor, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Nora Fagerholm, PhD

    Professor, Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, Finland

  • Pauliina Rautio, PhD

    Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland

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