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  • Record-breaking rainfall events are occurring more frequently in a warming climate. Impacts on lives and livelihoods disproportionately occur in traditionally underserved communities, particularly in urban areas. To influence policy and behavioral change at the community level, climate services must be developed specific to extreme rainfall events and subsequent floods in urban environments.

    • Mona Hemmati
    • Kai Kornhuber
    • Andrew Kruczkiewicz
    Comment Open Access
  • Climate change and the increasing complexity of society necessitate rethinking of siloed threat scenarios in emergency response planning. Incorporating a compounding threat model into disaster response by leveraging network science techniques and dynamic data can help account for the complexity and disproportionate nature of hurricane impacts.

    • Jeffrey C. Cegan
    • Maureen S. Golan
    • Igor Linkov
    Comment Open Access
  • COVID-19 has magnified the deficiencies of how we manage our cities while giving us a unique chance to re-envision these, particularly in the global South. We argue that pandemic-resilient cities require rental-housing stocks and highly accessible urban environments, financed by land value capture.

    • Mahendra Sethi
    • Felix Creutzig
    Comment Open Access
  • Cities around the world are promoting tree-planting initiatives to mitigate climate change. The potential of such efforts to assist tree migration has often been overlooked. Due to the urban heat island effect, cities could provide suitable climates for the establishment of outlier populations, serving as propagule sources for poleward tree migration.

    • Qiyao Han
    • Greg Keeffe
    • Alan Simson
    Comment Open Access
  • 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