Most Canadians live in cities. This can cause problems for both people and nature. Clearing of land for urbanization can worsen conditions for biodiversity. A lack of opportunities to experience and connect with nature can have public health consequences.

Yet, nature in cities presents enormous opportunities. Nature-based programs can reconnect people with the natural world and bolster neighbourhood health, all while fostering local biodiversity. If planned appropriately, urban nature can be part of the push for racial justice and equity.

The front lines of biodiversity conservation are right in our own backyards.

Our team is looking at how nature-based programs can address multiple issues and make cities better for everyone. We’ll target key knowledge gaps to maximize biodiversity, health, and equity outcomes from nature-based projects in Canadian cities. Our work will be informed by a two-eyed seeing framework, and we aim to interweave different ways of knowing and understanding of urban nature.

Do you work on nature-based projects in Canadian cities? Perhaps you restore urban nature, run a community science program, help green school grounds, carry out land-based healing, plant community gardens, or other amazing nature-based initiatives?

We’d love to hear from you! Please visit our map page to add your nature-based initiative to our Equitable Cities Living Database and Map.