• Program 2010-11

Biodiversity in Our Cities - The Case for Urban Nature


June 21, 2011


6-8 pm


The New School 65 West 11th Street Wollman Hall (5th Fl.) The New School New York , NY 10011

Did you know that there is nature in New York City? The five boroughs are rich with forests, marshes, and meadows – more nature than any other city in North America . Yet these natural resources are threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation - the same factors that threaten biodiversity everywhere. In fact, about one-third of the native flora and fauna in the United States faces extinction. In our urbanized world, the idea of cities as “concrete jungles” is inaccurate and only further alienates people from the natural world. Conserving and maintaining the ecosystems on which cities depend is essential to the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of their citizens.

This panel will discuss the status of urban ecology in regional policies and national trends and especially the newly revised PlaNYC which mentions biodiversity and natural systems for the first time. The panel will examine how cities can develop comprehensive, collaborative, and proactive strategies for biodiversity conservation, management and restoration through government policies, public education, grassroots initiatives, business strategies and living systems design.


Marielle Anzelone, Conservation Biologist & Executive Director, NYC Wildflower Week


Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director, New York League of Conservation Voters; Chris Garvin, Senior Associate, Cook+Fox Architects; P. Timon McPhearson, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School; Samara Swanston, Counsel to the Committee on Environmental Protection, New York City Council