The Urban Development Funding Day on 13 May 2023 is a nationwide event where cities and municipalities provide information about their urban development projects. With the motto "Wir im Quartier" (We in the neighbourhood), events will take place in many municipalities and cities in 2023. In the BioVibeS project, Ecologic Institute is working together with Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences to ensure that biodiversity is given greater consideration in urban development funding and to provide support to municipalities in its implementation.
More information on the programme can be found at the event website.
Urban development funding is one of the most important instruments for the sustainable development of urban districts. In this context, sustainable urban development means looking at the city as a whole and considering all dimensions of sustainability – namely economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. In the area of the environment, this involves protected goods such as climate, soil, water, air, but also biodiversity, which is often still insufficiently considered.
For the past year, the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences and the Ecologic Institute have been working on the research project "BioVibeS – Using Urban Development Funding to Promote Biodiversity", which is looking into the possibilities of biodiversity-friendly urban development in areas supported with the urban development funding. The two-year project is funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. In order to discuss the opportunities and challenges, interviews were held with representatives of relevant associations and societies, as well as federal and state authorities. Currently, representatives of various municipalities are also being asked about their experiences and assessments. Together with these actors, a learning alliance is being established to promote an intensive exchange.
The work carried out so far shows that many stakeholders are in favour of considering a wide range of ecological concerns, including biodiversity, in urban development. At the same time, many urban development projects focus on other concerns, and positive effects on urban biodiversity are often assumed to be automatic if, for example, the amount of green space in neighbourhoods is increased. However, persistent loss of biodiversity and further declines even in common urban species indicate that robust and diverse urban nature must be consciously promoted.
The aim of the BioVibeS project is therefore to offer municipalities support in the development of biodiversity-promoting measures within the framework of urban development funding. To this end, a practice-oriented guideline is being developed together with the learning alliance. In addition, recommendations are being developed for the federal and state levels.