Interconnected green spaces: here is the global podium

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Stuttgart, Vilnius, Caracas. The three cities are champions of biodiversity at a global level if you look at the natural potential combined with the degree of interconnection between green areas. And they manage to obtain, with equal merit, a biodiversity indicator score of 36 out of 100. At the opposite pole there are Lima, Dubai and Riyadh with just 1 out of 100. In the world the average indicator is 22 and Europe with a score of 27 is significantly better than the USA and Asia (both at 11) and Latin America (14). There are three Italian cities present on the platform: Milan is at 14, Rome at 19, Venice at 13.

The item examined is the key indicator of the Biodiversity alert, the new function developed by Husqvarna, the largest manufacturer in the world of equipment for the care of forests, parks and gardens. It is accessed, in fact, from the online platform Hugsi (Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index), active since 2019, which reviews 279 cities in 61 countries. Artificial intelligence and satellite images, which so far have made it possible to precisely indicate how green urban centers are, will make it possible to identify the areas to be protected and those to be further developed.

«Even in cities – points out Daniele Pesavento, Husqvarna business developer for Italy – there are ecosystems rich in biodiversity. By recognizing and improving them we can contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change.” Moreover, the new EU law on nature restoration, the Nature restoration law regulation, also provides that cities, responsible for around 70% of overall emissions, must do their part.

To understand the potential in the defense of biodiversity, “it is necessary, first of all – explains Pesavento – to evaluate the quantity and quality of green spaces, but also the degree to which the different areas are connected to each other”. Any examples? Narrowing the focus reveals that Stuttgart stands out for a natural potential of 35%, with a degree of connection of 38 percent. In Vilnius, however, greenery accounts for 39% of the territory and connectivity reaches 30%, in Caracas as many as 42% of green areas are connected. In the Lombardy capital the natural potential is 20% but the degree of connectivity is just 1 percent, in Rome the two items are 27% and 3 percent respectively. Venice has a potential of 14% but a higher degree of connectivity: 10 percent. There is therefore still a long way to go. «Biodiversity – concludes Pesavento – must be integrated into the urban planning of cities, restoring existing greenery or creating new spaces. Public administrations must understand that these are long-term investments with benefits not only in terms of air quality but also for the health of citizens.”

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