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  • Cities are vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), but different local strategies to advance on the same SDG may cause different ‘spillovers’ elsewhere. Research efforts that support governance of such spillovers are urgently needed to empower ambitious cities to ‘account globally’ when acting locally on SDG implementation strategies.

    • Rebecka Ericsdotter Engström
    • David Collste
    • Francesco Fuso-Nerini
    Comment Open Access
  • Key insights on needs in urban regional governance - Global urbanization (the increasing concentration in urban settlements of the increasing world population), is a driver and accelerator of shifts in diversity, new cross-scale interactions, decoupling from ecological processes, increasing risk and exposure to shocks. Responding to the challenges of urbanization demands fresh commitments to a city–regional perspective in ways that are explictly embedded in the Anthopocene bio- techno- and noospheres, to extend existing understanding of the city–nature nexus and regional scale. Three key dimensions of cities that constrain or enable constructive, cross scale responses to disturbances and extreme events include 1) shifting diversity, 2) shifting connectivity and modularity, and 3) shifting complexity. These three dimensions are characteristic of current urban processes and offer potential intervention points for local to global action.

    • T. Elmqvist
    • E. Andersson
    • S. Van Der Leeuw
    Comment Open Access
  • Cities globally are greening their urban fabric, but to contribute positively to the biodiversity extinction crisis, local governments must explicitly target actions for biodiversity. We apply the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) framework — nature for nature, society and culture — to elevate local governments’ efforts in the lead up to the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference. The UN’s Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature can only be realised if cities are recognised and resourced for their roles in biodiversity protection — for nature, for society and for culture.

    • Cathy Oke
    • Sarah A. Bekessy
    • Steve Gawler
    Comment Open Access