Leiden one of ten BiodiverCities in Europe
Leiden has been selected as one of ten cities in the European BiodiverCities project. The aim of the project is to increase the quality of life in these cities, for instance by developing a green infrastructure and enhancing biodiversity. The Municipality of Leiden will work together with Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Leiden University on the project.
Together with the nine other selected cities, Leiden wants to involve its citizens in increasing and monitoring biodiversity in the city. A more natural urban environment will help halt the loss of biodiversity. More plant and animal diversity improves the natural environment and benefits crop pollination and water purification. BiodiverCities is part of the EU’s ambition to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
‘Proud of collaboration’
‘I am very proud that we and our partners Naturalis and Leiden University will be doing this,’ said Leiden alderman Ashley North. ‘For us, the title of BiodiverCity emphasises the importance of restoring and enhancing biodiversity in the city.’
Together with students
The BiodiverCities project will collect practical examples of ways to improve the city’s involvement in monitoring and enhancing biodiversity. The Municipality will conduct research together with students from the Biology and Environmental Sciences programmes. It is also important to involve citizens in increasing biodiversity in the city because half of the ground in Leiden is in private hands. The Municipality is therefore asking residents, businesses and public organisations to work together to create a green and biodiverse city.
Profile as city of knowledge
Naturalis Biodiversity Center is the national research institute in the field of biodiversity. By combining the knowledge of the researchers from Naturalis with that of the Leiden University Institute of Environmental Sciences, we will be able to increase biodiversity in our city. We can also raise the national and European profile of Leiden as the city of knowledge in the area of urban ecology.
Leiden City of Knowledge
The Municipality and knowledge institutions have been working together for some time already in the Leiden City of Knowledge partnership. Their efforts focus on campus development, internationalisation, enhancing teaching and research, the city as a lab and inclusion. The Leiden City of Knowledge projects are for and by the community, students, businesses and knowledge institutions in the city. Together we will benefit from the knowledge in the city. For more information see www.leidenkennisstad.nl (in Dutch).