Scientific documentation for Urban Green’s effect

A recently report published by researchers from the National Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University and the Natural History Museum, conclude that Urban Greens habitats increases the diversity of nature in the urban space by replacing impoverished lawns with species-rich flower meadows that entices a diversity of interesting insects.

Based on the studies, the report determines that nature in the cities can do more than you would think. Even smaller flowerbeds will attract various pollinating species of wild bees and hoverflies, including several rare species.

”We are pleased that we can now document that Urban Green biotopes adds a greater diversity of plants and insects to the urban fabric, and thus create better nature in cities. It is precisely the intention of the concept", says Dorte Nissen, biologist and director of the Urban Green

The rare ‘Ilfracombe bumblebee’ seen in Bagsvaerd

At Novo Nordisk headquarters in Bagsvaerd, a nice bee-surprise has emerged in Urban Greens grasslands-biotope, namely the very beautiful ‘Ilfracombe bumblebee’, which in recent decades has decreased a lot, because there are fewer bellflowers in the Danish countryside. Unlike other bumblebees which gathers pollen from various flowers plants, this bumblebee is very choosy; it will only gather pollen from bellflowers. The biotopes in Novos Nature Park offers plenty of bellflowers and the bumblebee has apparently found the area attractive enough to settle down.

The plant species planted with Urban Green, does not already exist in the urban fabric, which means a net supply of plant species. The higher density of flowers in Urban Green compared to the types of land that replaced is certainly a positive contribution to the city’s pollinating fauna.

The species richness blooms

The report documents that more flowering plants in cities, like the Urban Green biotopes, attracts a variety of interesting insects - various insects, depending on which Urban Green biotopes that is planted.

In total, 127 different species of pollinators were collected to the report, both wild bees and hoverflies, of which there were several rare species. What matters In particular, to the species diversity of pollinators, proved to be: 1) nearby natural areas 2) the temporal continuity of the biotope (the older the better), and 3) the density of flowering plants in the habitat. In the latter Urban Green makes an especially positive difference.

Wild inspiration in the heart of the city

Based on the studies, the report concludes that urban nature can do more than you would think. If you replace lawns with habitats of wild flowering plants, nature in the cities will get a big boost:

"Initiatives such as Urban Green has a great potential to increase the diversity of nature in the urban fabric by replacing impoverished lawns with species-rich flower meadows. Even in smaller plantbeds the flowers attract pollinators to the delight of the area's visitors. The great potential for Urban Green is to inspire decision makers in the urban space to replace a significant proportion of the city's many areas of monotonous lawns with a far more species rich and flourishing vegetation".

Download the full report here (Danish): 

2016.01.12

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