“We need to imagine what our cities, neighborhoods and communities could look like. A larger degree of visionary thinking is needed. Instead of just trying to fix the problems, we also need to imagine how things could be. A world where we succeed in living a good life with diverse nature. This way of thinking is also motivational and a great way to get more people involved.”
How do we create cross-sector collaboration that supports large-scale biodiversity?
Did you know that birdsong makes people less sick? Biodiversity is essential to all life on earth. Restoration of nature areas in cities, among other places, is a key element both in the EU’s biodiversity strategy and in the post-Covid19 pandemic recon- struction plan, but how do we create cross-sector collaboration that sup- ports large-scale biodiversity – in an entire city, for example? BLOXHUB and the nature consultant Habitats set out to investigate this at an interdisciplinary workshop.
When Habitats was just a young start-up, biodiversity was still an unknown field and they started out slowly by writing the first brochures on the subject, but the ambitions were sky high: Biodiversity should no longer be reserved for biologists, it should enter the boardroom and meet the business world.
In recent years the interest in biodiversity has exploded, and that is why Habitats partnered with BLOXHUB to examine the next step on their path, which they have yet to solve: How do you connect a biodiversity project on area A to the nearby areas? What if you allowed yourself the luxury of a more holistic perspective where projects across municipality, private and residential land and estate owners were integrated?
Through an Urban Partnerships workshop, BLOXHUB matched Habitats with carefully selected companies and research institutions to unfold and condense their three challenges into five different solutions concepts. The three challenges were:
- THE ACTORS: What will it take for many more actors to integrate biodiversity into their visions, concrete planning and decisions?
- TOP-DOWN MODEL: Which elements should a “top-down” model contain in order to mobilize stakeholders in large-scale biodiversity?
- STRATEGIC PLANNING: How is a broad palette of actors mobilized to actively participate in and coordinate within a strategic cross-cutting planning franework for biodiversity?
“At Danica Real Estate, which is part of Danica Pension, our perspective as a real estate investor is that it is important to promote biodiversity and create space for wild nature whenever possible. It is good for society and we are convinced that it strengthens our properties and thus provides a better return to our pension customers.”
Workshop participant: Christian Kahr Andersen
Chief Developer, Danica Real Estate
The most obvious commercial opportunity at this workshop was the chance for a lean process in all the participating organisations.
The dialogue and knowledge-sharing resulted in collaboration between participants with basically the same goal and, furthermore, in reuse of ideas and solutions that have already proven their effect when it comes to increasing both biodiversity and awareness.
This also showed in the feedback where more than 80% stated that there may be a basis for a future business collaboration with other workshop participants.
The 3 challenges were unfolded and condensed into 3 different solution concepts:
- A common language
Create a common language with the purpose of forming a framework for a shared understanding of biodiversity. The common language will ensure a better dialogue and open our minds to a different way of thinking and operating.
- An interdisciplinary independent advisory body
An interdisciplinary independent advisory body could tackle the barriers posed by silo thinking. Guidelines should motivate and ensure dissemination of knowledge, good cases, methods, financing, evaluation and more.
- An overall visionary strategy for biodiversity
An overall visionary strategy for biodiversity across regions, municipalities and the State.
Worskhop participants: Municipality of Aalborg, Copenhagen University, Habitats, London National Park City, Danica Real Estate, Schønherr Architects, Sustainable Change, Futurista, Municipality of Copenhagen, KAB, Banedanmark, Cware, Centre for Regional Development, Municipality of Gladsaxe, Algreen Architects, Rigshospitalet