‘Nature in the plural’: eye-opener for urban and landscape futures


At two recent international conferences, presentations on ‘Nature in the Plural’ were well-received. Participants particularly appreciated the notion of broadening the concept of nature and reacted positively to the visualisations of the various perspectives on nature. They were also interested in how the ‘nature perspectives’ approach of the Nature Outlook could be translated to regional and local levels.

COST Action GreenInUrbs, Orvieto

Green Infrastructure: ‘Nature-based solutions for sustainable and resilient cities’ was the theme of the final conference of the COST Action FP1204 GreenInUrbs project  (Orvieto, 4–7 April). PBL presented its Nature Outlook report during a session on future urban planning. The thought-provoking videos showing the study’s various perspectives on nature was well-received by the audience. Furthermore, the perspectives approach was appreciated as a valuable contribution to the conference, which otherwise would have been centred mostly on the perspective named ‘Working with Nature’.

Landscape Futures conference, Copenhagen

What could future landscapes look like? What decision-making processes and knowledge are needed to guide change and future management? These were central questions at the Landscape Futures conference, held in Copenhagen on 19-21 June 2017. As co-author, Wageningen Environmental Research presented the Nature Outlook report during a session on imagining future landscapes. This provoked questions on the importance of the intrinsic value of nature, on how the various perspectives could be combined, how biodiversity characterises specific landscapes (and vice versa), and how the study’s results could be translated to regional and local levels. It was interesting to note that the perspectives approach also found its way into discussions later on during the conference. The 14,000 ha ‘Nephin Beg Wilderness area’ in Ireland, for instance, appeared to be a perfect example of the perspective ‘Allowing Nature to Find its Way’.