EU Science Hub

Biodiver-City: Enhancing urban biodiversity and ecosystem services to make cities more resilient

Apr 24 2018
Sofia
(BG)

Background and objectives

If we think about nature conservation or increasing essential ecosystem services we usually think of protected areas, conserving valuable ecosystems such as forests and wetlands, or maintaining rural landscapes. But can cities also help achieve biodiversity goals and targets? This largely depends on the amount, the quality and management of urban green infrastructure. However, the potential of cities to help protect biodiversity and ecosystem services is likely underestimated.

This conference aims to deliver a set of key messages and principles on how cities can contribute to regional, national and European biodiversity policies, goals and targets.

The conference will address the following key questions:

  • What is our present knowledge of urban biodiversity? What indicators are used and what do the current patterns and trends reveal about urban biodiversity?
  • Why is urban biodiversity important? What are the links between urban biodiversity, urban ecosystem services and well-being?
  • Is high urban biodiversity important for citizens and other stakeholders? How can citizens monitor biodiversity?
  • How can urban green infrastructure be designed and managed to maintain and enhance urban biodiversity and ecosystem services?

Conference organisers

  • European Commission - Joint Research Centre
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • EnRoute project

Participants

  • Scientists with expertise on urban green infrastructure, ecosystem services and biodiversity
  • Policymakers from Bulgaria and the European Commission
  • Stakeholders and researchers from 20 cities across Europe that are partners of the EnRoute project (Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Utrecht, the Hague, Antwerp, Helsinki, Tallinn, Oslo, Leipzig, Karlovo, Limassol, Valletta, Rome, Verona, Padova, Trento, Poznan, Lyon and Lisbon)
  • Local stakeholders from the Bulgarian environment and planning authorities

Date and Venue

The meeting starts at 09:00 in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 15th November Street 1, 1040 Sofia. During the lunchbreak we will move to the Hotel Metropolitan, bul. "Tsarigradsko Shose" 64, 1784 Mladost 1, Sofia. Transport will be provided.

Registration

Registration for this event is closed.

For questions contact: jrc-enroute-project@ec.europa.eu

 

Agenda

09.00 – 09.30

Welcome and registration

09.30 – 10:00

Opening by the chair of the meeting (Joachim Maes, European Commission - Joint Research Centre)

Welcome by:

  • Mr. Stoyo Karagenski - Karlovo Municipality - Deputy Mayor
  • Mrs. Penka Stoichkova - Ministry of Environment and Waters - National Service for Nature Protection 
  • The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

10.00 – 10.45

 

 

Plenary session 1: The importance of urban biodiversity for nature and people (Session chair: Miglena Zhiyanski)

  • Biodiversity in cities (Prof. Axel Hochkirch, University of Trier, Germany)
  • Functional biodiversity and urban ecosystem services (Prof. Fausto Manes, Prof. Carlo Blasi, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy)
  • Green infrastructure and biodiversity in Bulgarian cities (Dr Stoyan Nedkov, BAS, Bulgaria)

10.45 – 11.15

Coffee break

11.15 – 12.30

 

 

Plenary session 2: Policies to enhance biodiversity in cities (Session chair: Martijn Thijssen)

  • Local level (Fernando Louro Alves, Lisbon City Council)
  • National level (Denitsa Pandeva (Director), Executive Forest Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry)
  • EU and global level (Chantal van Ham, IUCN, European Regional Office)
  • EU policy initiatives in the EU to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into policy making (Rayka Hauser, European Commission)

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch (provided at the venue) and transport to hotel Metropolitan (Departure at 13.30 pm by bus – meeting point: in front of BAS)

14.00 – 16.00

 

 

Afternoon parallel sessions

  • Urban ecosystem services and the role of urban biodiversity (session chairs: Stoyan Nedkov and Joachim Maes)
  • Citizens and urban biodiversity (session chairs: Martijn Thijssen and Tsvetina Zaharlieva)
  • Green infrastructure and urban biodiversity (session chairs: Grazia Zulian and Miglena Zhiyanski)

16.00 – 16.30

Coffee break

16.30 – 17.00

Final plenary session: Making urban nature: practical examples of nature inclusive design in European cities (Niels de Zwarte, Bureau Stadsnatuur, Rotterdam)

 

Parallel sessions (14:00-16:00) in hotel Metropolitan

Session 1: Urban ecosystem services and the role of urban biodiversity (session chairs: Joachim Maes and Stoyan Nedkov)

14:00 – 14:05

Opening of the session and objectives

14:05 – 14:20

Session keynote: Gene flows in and through cities: relevance for the management of urban biodiversity (Joscha Beninde - University of Trier)

14:20 – 14:35

Antwerp Greentool: finding priority locations to improve urban biodiversity and ecosystem services (Steven Broekx, Stijn Vranckx, Inge Liekens, Iris Gommers, Griet Lambrechts - VITO and City of Antwerp)

14:35 – 14:50

Revealing the spatial distribution of ecosystem services in cities based on the functional traits of urban trees (Chiara Cortinovis, Claudia Alzetta, F. Agostini, A. Miola, Davide Geneletti – University of Trento)

14:50 – 15:05

Functional biodiversity and air pollution removal potential of urban Green Infrastructure in 5 municipalities of the Latium Region (Federica Marando, Alessandro Sebastiani, Giulia Capotorti, Lina Fusaro, Elisabetta Salvatori, Carlo Blasi, Fausto Manes – La Sapienza University)

15:05 – 16:00

Common discussion and drafting of key messages:

  • How to mainstream urban biodiversity and ecosystem services in global and European biodiversity policies.
  • Urban biodiversity targets – Policy ambitions and objectives

 

Session 2: Citizens and urban biodiversity (session chairs: Martijn Thijssen and Tsvetina Zaharlieva)

14:00 – 14:05

Opening of the session and objectives

14:05 – 14:20

Understanding the science-policy interface in planning urban green infrastructure projects (Susann Günther, Grazia Zullian, Joachim Maes, Martijn Thijssen – JRC)

14:20 – 14:35

Public perception of invasive alien species as a threat to urban biodiversity (Rumen Tomov, Teodora Trichkova - University of Forestry)

14:35 – 14:50

Nature can do more work in our habitats (Dirk van Toledo - Nature for Life Foundation)

14:50 – 15:05

Niels De Zwarte – Bureau Stadsnatuur

15:05 – 16:00

Common discussion and drafting of key messages:

  • How to mainstream the role of cities in global and European biodiversity policy processes.
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for cities to engage in the global debate on better protecting nature and biodiversity?

 

Session 3: Green infrastructure and urban biodiversity (lead) (session chairs: Grazia Zulian and Miglena Zhiyanski)

14:00 – 14:05

Opening of the session and objectives

14:05 – 14: 20

Ecosystem condition and services provided by urban Green Infrastructure of Karlovo within the local policy context (Miglena Zhiyanski, Stoyan Nedkov, Rositsa Yaneva – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

14:20 – 14:30

Greenway network proposal in Limassol, Cyprus (Nerantzia Tzortzi-Julia Georgi, Alexis Ioannou - Neapolis University of Pafos)

14:30 – 14:40

Critical biodiversity features for urban GI planning: some evidence on the plant’s side (Giulia Capotorti, Riccardo Copiz, Laura Zavattero, Federica Marando, Alessandro Sebastiani, Fausto Manes, Carlo Blasi – La Sapienza University)

14:40 – 14:50

Monitoring of the urban green areas in the master plan of Sofia. Initial findings and new concepts for innovations in the framework instrument (Nikolay Naydenov, Angel Burov, Dimitar Trifonov - University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy)

14:50 – 15:00

Urban tree management in Padova (Claudia Alzetta – City of Padova)

15:00 – 16:00

Common discussion and drafting of key messages:

  • How to mainstream urban biodiversity and green infrastructure in global and European biodiversity policies.
  • How can urban Green Infrastructure be integrated in regional GI networks.

Travelling and practical arrangements

Book your flights to the international airport of Sofia.

Hotel suggestions:

Attention! Bulgaria is not inside the Schengen area. You need a valid ID card or passport to travel to Bulgaria.

The local currency is Bulgarian Lev. 1 euro is about 2 lev

Local transport

From the airport to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and to Hotel Metropolitan/Dream Hotel:

  • By Metro: Take the metro M2 at "Sofia Airport". For hotel Metropolitan stop and station Mladost-1; for BAS, stop at station Sofia University
  • By taxi: taxis are not expensive.
  • Both hotels offer a shuttle service to and from the airport (order during booking)

From the Metropolitan hotel to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS):

  • By Metro: Take the metro M2 at "Mladost-1" and get off at "Sofia University". Walk about 5 minutes to BAS which is situated in 15th November street (see map)
  • By bus using nr 306. There are two bus stops close to the hotel (see map). BAS is very close to the last stop on this bus which is at the Sofia University. Walk about 5 minutes to BAS which is situated in 15th November street (see map)

Metro map

A travel guide is available here: Urban Mobility Center Sofia