(Re-)balancing urban areas and nature: conclusions from a year of reflection guided by the Palladio Institute

Photo du Grand Parc Garonne

In the face of increasing urbanisation around the world, climate change and declining biodiversity, the question of the relationship between urban areas and nature is becoming ever more pressing. Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and this rate is even higher in developed countries (80% in France). This urban growth has been synonymous with widespread land take and soil sealing, with nature driven back to dedicated zones or areas not often frequented by humans. Today, an about-turn is under way in our approach to nature, the ecosystem services it provides, and our desire as humans to have access to it.
Balancing or reconciling urban areas and nature was the theme of reflection for 2023 selected by the Palladio Foundation, a French institution dedicated to building the urban areas of tomorrow. The foundation’s auditor, Jean-Sébastian Milesi, an expert in residential buildings and mixed-use projects at Artelia, gives us an account of the rich discussions that took place.