Journal articles

Regenerative living cities and the urban climate–biodiversity–wellbeing nexus

2022. By: PEDERSEN ZARI, M; MACKINNON, M.; VARSHNEY, K.; and BAKSHI, N.

In: Nature Climate Change. Online https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01390-w

Extract: Understanding this urban climate– biodiversity–wellbeing nexus reveals an urgent need for cities to evolve at a systemic level and suggests a holistic, nature-based approach to urban climate change mitigation and adaptation. Reversing the current feedback loop between cities, climate change and biodiversity loss will require optimizing this nexus of relationships through the strategic design, construction and retrofit of increased green (relating to living vegetation and soil) and blue (relating to water) infrastructure, as well as increased building-integrated vegetation. This would increase urban biomass while producing measurable biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and wellbeing co-benefits


An Oceania Urban Design Agenda Linking Ecosystem Services, Nature-Based Solutions, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wellbeing


2021. By: KIDDLE, G.L.; PEDERSEN ZARI, M.;  BLASCHKE, P.; CHANSE, V.; KIDDLE, R.

In: Sustainability. Special Issue: Responding to Climate Emergency: Design, Planning and Assessment of the Built Environment

Abstract: Many coastal peri-urban and urban populations in Oceania are heavily reliant on terrestrial and marine ecosystem services for subsistence and wellbeing. However, climate change and urbanisation have put significant pressure on ecosystems and compelled nations and territories in Oceania to urgently adapt. This article, with a focus on Pacific Island Oceania but some insight from Aotearoa New Zealand, reviews key literature focused on ecosystem health and human health and wellbeing in Oceania and the important potential contribution of nature-based solutions to limiting the negative impacts of climate change and urbanisation. The inextricable link between human wellbeing and provision of ecosystem services is well established. However, given the uniqueness of Oceania, rich in cultural and biological diversity and traditional ecological knowledge, these links require further examination leading potentially to a new conceptualisation of wellbeing frameworks in relation to human/nature relationships. Rapidly urbanising Oceania has a growing body of rural, peri-urban and urban nature-based solutions experience to draw from. However, important gaps in knowledge and practice remain. Pertinently, there is a need, potential—and therefore opportunity—to define an urban design agenda positioned within an urban ecosystem services framework, focused on human wellbeing and informed by traditional ecological knowledge, determined by and relevant for those living in the islands of Oceania as a means to work towards effective urban climate change adaptation.


Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Wellbeing: Evidence and Opportunities From Kiribati, Samoa, and Vanuatu

2021. By: KIDDLE, G.L.; BAKINETI, T.; LATAI-NIUSULU, A.; MISSACK, WPEDERSEN ZARI, M; KIDDLE, RCHANSE, VBLASCHKE, P; and LOUBSER, D.

In: Frontiers in Environmental Science. Special Issue: Nature-based Solutions for Natural Hazards and Climate Change, online.

Abstract: Climate change and urbanisation in combination put great pressure on terrestrial and ocean ecosystems, vital for subsistence and wellbeing in both rural and urban areas of Pacific islands. Adaptation is urgently required. Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer great potential, with the region increasingly implementing NbS and linked approaches like ecosystem-based adaptation in response. This paper utilises three Pacific island nation case-studies, Kiribati, Samoa and Vanuatu, to review current NbS approaches to adapt and mitigate the converging resilience challenges of climate change and urbanisation. We look at associated government policies, current NbS experience, and offer insights into opportunities for future work with focus on urban areas. These three Pacific island case-studies showcase their rich cultural and biological diversity and, importantly, the role of traditional ecological knowledge in shaping localised, place-based, NbS for climate change adaptation and enhanced wellbeing. But gaps in knowledge, policy, and practice remain. There is great potential for a nature-based urban design agenda positioned within an urban ecosystems framework linked closely to Indigenous understandings of wellbeing.