urban river

Read our July issue

Hydrologic data from river gauges inform water management decisions and should capture the broad diversity of streams and rivers on Earth, as Krabbenhoft and colleagues suggest.


  • As a result of the significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we are aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with our peer review process during normal times. Please do let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original timelines but we intend to be highly flexible at this time.

  • Batteries are crucial to move towards a more sustainable energy supply. This Focus highlights recent advances on battery technology research that has embedded sustainability principles in different components and at different life cycle stages.

Nature Sustainability is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • With a growing demand for minerals, protected areas (PAs) are under pressure to allow mining activities. This study examines the impacts of five policy scenarios under which combinations of PAs allow mining in the Brazilian Amazon, and shows the need for long-term planning to safeguard biodiversity.

    • Juliana Siqueira-Gay
    • Jean Paul Metzger
    • Laura J. Sonter
  • While fears of ‘water wars’ have been publicized in recent years, this Article illustrates the complexities surrounding resource availability and socio-political dynamics that may induce, or prevent, conflicts over water in arid landscapes.

    • Nikolas Galli
    • Jampel Dell’Angelo
    • Maria Cristina Rulli
  • Urban regions are growing rapidly worldwide, threatening surrounding habitats, including in drylands. This study finds that indirect impacts to surrounding drylands are more than ten times greater than direct impacts and that such impacted areas contain almost 60% of threatened species globally.

    • Qiang Ren
    • Chunyang He
    • Burak Güneralp
  • Recovering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic while achieving environmental goals requires creative policy measures. This study analyses the sustainability co-benefits of reducing sugar consumption through redirecting existing sugar cropland to alternative uses via sugar taxation.

    • Lewis C. King
    • Jeroen van den Bergh
  • Mechanical soil decontamination is an important tool in remediating contaminated soils. Remediation efforts following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster increased soil erosion and downstream sediment loads that showed reduced 137Cs concentrations, but rapid revegetation quickly restored decontaminated landscapes.

    • Bin Feng
    • Yuichi Onda
    • Yupan Zhang
    Article Open Access
    • There are no silver bullet chemistries for batteries — but zinc technology, with its safety, cost and environmental advantages, has received renewed interest as a choice for sustainability. Now, direct imaging sheds light on the charge carrier, clearing a major barrier to understanding and upgrading this energy system.

      • Fei Wang
      • Kang Xu
      • Chunsheng Wang
      News & Views
    • Hydrological modelling makes it possible to derive measures of water availability that are representative of its importance for human sustenance. This approach, and focusing on water utilization processes rather than simplifying them into environmental factors, helps identify new quantitative evidence of interconnections between conflict, society and the environment.

      Research Briefing
    • Sustainable agrifood systems are critical to redefining the interactions of humanity and nature in the twenty-first century. This Perspective presents an agenda and examples for the comprehensive redesign of agrifood systems according to principles of sufficiency, regeneration, distribution, commons and care.

      • Steven R. McGreevy
      • Christoph D. D. Rupprecht
      • Masashi Tachikawa
    • Little is known about the potential of digital twins in the pursuit of sustainability. This study examines the likely benefits of digital twins in urban sustainability paradigms, their limitations when modelling socio-technical and socio-ecological systems and possible ways to attenuate them.

      • Asaf Tzachor
      • Soheil Sabri
      • Michele Acuto
  • The anniversary of a historic publication provides the chance to reflect on how we consider limits and on the value of cross-fertilization between research traditions.

  • Flooding, already the largest hazard facing humankind, is becoming more frequent and affecting more people. Adapting to flooding must consider more than just water to encapsulate the effects of sediment movement, re-imagine flooding through a sociogeomorphic lens and expand approaches to knowing about floods.

    • Jim Best
    • Peter Ashmore
    • Stephen E. Darby
  • While traditional farming has fed billions of people, it is exerting mounting pressure on land, water and the environment. To complement current agricultural practices, we present a green chemical farming concept that provides pathways to efficient and renewable food production by leveraging chemistry and chemical engineering.

    • Ning Yan
    • Kang Zhou
    • Maxim Park Dickieson
  • Commemorating the environmental movement matters, but fulfilling its goals matters more.

  • The protection and enhancement of biological diversity as an essential driver of sustainable development is in need of transformative change. It’s time to make that happen.

  • Debates about the need to avert environmental disasters and to help the most vulnerable are marred by economic and energy security concerns. They shouldn’t be, as the only path to success is a green and equitable one.