City rainforest? Why urban natural climate solutions are key to our future

We often think of ‘land-based’ climate solutions or nature as being something that’s far removed from the urban lives that more than half of us live. Cities are powerhouses of global GDP (around 80%)  but are also responsible for at least 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. Could they also be the unseen heroes of natural climate solutions where green spaces providing health and community benefits, and also shelter us from the full effect and impacts of climate change. A recent of the UK’s urban parks showed that they could store as much carbon as a tropical rainforest. The remarkable findings will be vital for city planners who are hoping to create the next generation of sustainable cities. The study was carried out using airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collected by the UK Environment Agency, combined with ground-based LiDAR measurements. In his article, Pascal Mittermaier argues that great cities are green cities and that nature based solutions can help us plan better and wiser.

This was first published on Project Syndicate on June 15th.