Biodiversity in cities

Holistic urban development includes biodiversity as creating value for people, society, wildlife, and the environment. Through strong collaboration between urban planners, biologists and engineers, Ramboll assists clients in integrating global goals for improving biodiversity in local plans and projects. Creating more urban nature as living ecosystems with native species and nature types adds an extra dimension to liveable cities.

Bishan Park, Singapore


Peter Forfang Sørensen

Peter Forfang Sørensen

Department Manager
T: +45 51618569
Peter Bønløkke Adamsen

Peter Bønløkke Adamsen

Market Manager
T: +45 5161 5828

Ramboll offers solutions to urban planning and urban projects including an often cost effective integration of nature which is native to the area. It is all about the right planning and design, and then leaving the area for natural succession and dynamics of the ecosystem with a minimum of maintenance. 

In the urban ecosystem, man is a main contributor and it is our responsibility to not only create aesthetically pleasant green and blue areas but rather living urban nature with functions for human use as well as habitats for wild species.

Urban nature should be a focus in both the development of new urban areas, where existing nature should be considered in the planning and design, as well as in the development of existing urban areas, where habitats for locally native species and nature types can be restored.

Urban nature can be found and established in all green and blue areas of the city, but also as green roofs and walls as well as road verges, on brown fields etc. The potential is often large in business areas with huge lawn areas with very little biodiversity.    

Benefits of urban nature

Nature in the city has a positive effect on people, society, wildlife, and the environment as:

  • Green areas in the city can hold large amounts of water as well as create cool areas with natural shade, and thereby work as a buffer against climate change.
  • Nature in the city can contribute to strengthening the local, national and global biodiversity.
  • Nature has a calming and healing effect on a number of illness symptoms and stress, and can thereby strengthen public health. This can ultimately lead to healthcare savings.
  • Urban nature can be used for educational purposes. Spending time in nature strengthen learning and the development of the brain and makes nature conservation and sustainable living more present in the consciousness of people.
  • Green corridors connecting the inner city with the less busy surroundings can contribute to increased air renewal and thereby a better air quality. More plants in the cities can also hold back emissions and contribute to cleaner air.
  • Contrary to traditional parks, urban nature is by definition living ecosystems in which organisms live and reproduce in a dynamic system, and they thereby demand less maintenance.

References on urban nature

Integrating biodiversity as natural ecosystems in urban development projects has not traditionally been done on purpose, especially not in the more wealthy parts of the world. But a new agenda is moving ahead, and in 2015 the municipality of Copenhagen as the first in Denmark agreed on a strategy for urban nature in the city. Other innovative cities in Europe and the US are already actively working with restoring natural habitats as e.g. Berlin and New York, but the concept is still developing.


Ashmount School, Crouch Hill

Crouch Hill Park

Proposals at Crouch Hill Park involved the relocation of Ashmount Primary School, Bowler’s Nursery and the renovation of the community CAPE building. The brief is challenging as the site is Metropolitan Open Land. Sustainability, energy and landscaping have all been integral to design development. Designs are based on a ‘tree house’ concept to connect with the surrounding environment.

From early design stages to project completion, Ramboll’s Sustainability experts has been working closely with HOK architects in the US and Saudi Aramco, our primary client. The team provided energy modelling and technical energy studies to ensure achieving the maximum energy scores: 10/10 points for optimised energy performance credit and a total of 16 out 17 available points under overall Energy & Atmosphere category.

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC)

Ramboll is advising on one of the first LEED Platinum developments in the Middle East

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies & Research Center (KAPSARC) is a community development comprising a research centre, community facilities and single family residential buildings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The community facilities, with seven buildings, are pursuing LEED Platinum under the LEED NC for Multiple Buildings, making it one of the first developments targeting this rating in the Middle East. In addition, the single family residential development of 200 residential buildings is targeting a Platinum rating under the LEED for Homes, the first project to attempt this outside of North America.

The project adopts sustainable design and construction practices from the concept stage to achieve the Platinum certification and to reduce the carbon footprint of the project from a life cycle perspective. The project introduces multiple on-site renewable energy systems and water saving strategies. In addition, the project limits site disturbance through considerate design and the implementation of a construction activities management plan. The project also promotes biodiversity through ecology rehabilitation.

Show more projects for this service


4245 North Fairfax Drive
Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel:+1 703 516 2300
Fax:+1 703 516 2345

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll USA, Inc.

Other sites

Other sites