Conference 2003

Conference 2003
Greening the City:
Bringing Biodiversity Back
into the Urban Environment


Shaping Landscape Policy and Strategy to Promote Biodiversity - Issues and Options

Simon Swaffield (Environment Society and Design, Lincoln University, Canterbury)

Urban biodiversity issues lie at the intersection of two high level government policy initiatives — the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, and the sustainable cities component within the Sustainable Development for New Zealand: Programme of action (2003). The priority accorded to these areas by government through its various agencies ensures that there is wide institutional interest in the potential for urban biodiversity programmes. At the same time, there is enthusiasm for action at the grassroots level, and a growing number of examples of community revegetation and ecological restoration projects. However, urban biodiversity lies within a complex web of statutory and non statutory frameworks, and has cultural and social as well as ecological dimensions. To integrate these dimensions and ensure local action contributes effectively to higher-level goals, we need practical ways to 'walk the biodiversity talk' at the city and district scale.

Landscape strategy offers one way to integrate biodiversity into urban sustainability, and to bridge between national and international goals and grassroots action. In this presentation I will first identify connections between biodiversity and other aspects of urban management, and identify a range of management issues. I will make particular reference to community development and asset management under the Local Government Act, District plans and rules under the Resource Management Act, open space and reserve management plans, iwi management plans and other key mechanisms. Next, I briefly review current directions in urban landscape policy internationally and within New Zealand. Finally, using examples, I will show how landscape policy concepts such as network, mosaic and corridor; heritage, place and identity; and health, care and regeneration, can be used to provide a strategic landscape framework for biodiversity initiatives.

The key feature of a robust yet flexible strategy is the identification of a landscape structure which utilises a range of management approaches, both public and private, to protect critical ecological processes and systems, create opportunities for biodiversity enhancement, and engage long term political and community support.

Conference sponsored by:

British Council NZ
The Community Trust
Landcare Research

Follow this link to view other organisations supportive of the conference

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Last updated: October 10, 2003