Talking about Transitions: Dialogue #6 – The Future of Nature in Mid-Sized Citi

This episode of Talking about Transitions, explored the future of nature in growing cities and their role in reducing impacts of climate change as well as protecting the needs and aspirations of the vulnerable communities.

On Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024, we hosted our latest dialogue of the Talking About Transitions series, “Future of Nature in India’s Mid-Sized Cities”, where our panelists, Dr. Anjali Karol Mohan (Partner, Integrated Design), Dr. Dhruba Purkayastha (India Director, Climate Policy Initiative), Dr. Vikrom Mathur (Founding Director, Transitions Research) and moderator Dr. Prerna Singh (Research Fellow, Transitions Research) discussed integrating natural ecologies into our rapidly growing mid-sized cities and the challenges it poses. Watch the entire dialogue here:

Some key takeaways from the dialogue:

➡ ️ Dr. Mohan emphasized the importance of preventing displacement during urban expansion by retaining local practices into urban environments. She stressed the need to imagine ecologies as part of urban landscapes and suggested strategies like proactive mapping, integrating community livelihood with nature in urban development and establishing zoning regulations to protect them. 

➡ ️ Dr. Purkayastha called for reform to empower local bodies and ensure equitable distribution of resources for urban development, whether addressing nature, infrastructure, or pollution. He delved into the fiscal and financial challenges faced by urban areas, discussing the need for stronger regulations for emerging economic development in mid-size cities to preserve nature with the ongoing development.

➡ ️ Dr. Mathur emphasized the adaptive capacity of nature in addressing various climate risks, such as food security, extreme heat, and flood mitigation. He suggested that integrating NBS (Nature based Solutions) with traditional infrastructure can lead to more effective solutions. He also expressed concerns about linking NBS to carbon offsets, which could lead to privatization and injustice against local communities, if left unregulated. 

Stay tuned for more Talking about Transitions dialogues where we facilitate critical conversations on systemic transitions at the interplay of technology, society and sustainability.

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