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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into Urban Policy in China and Germany (2nd edition)

International cooperation
Cities represent a socio-ecological system in which the highest density of human population coincides with a mosaic of various types of habitats and niches, ranging from natural remnants, semi-natural, emulated natural, to entirely human-created habitats.


Interactions between social and ecological systems critically shape the liveability of cities since urban biodiversity and ecosystems provide a wide spectrum of ecosystem services (ESS) – encompassing but not limited to air and water purification, climate regulation, recreational benefits, mental and physical health improvement – thereby enhance human well-being and the resilience and sustainability of urban areas. However, the ongoing trend of urbanisation including outward expansion and inward (re-) densification, which can be widely observed in both China, a representative transitional economy, and Germany, an industrialised economy, has resulted in serious loss and fragmentation of ecological habitats and niches in urbanising areas. In response to the constant sealing of soil associated with urbanisation and densification in Germany, the German Government has set up an aim to limit soil sealing arising from development projects to less than 30 hectare per day by 2030

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