Urbanisation is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, imposing the most rapid and ecologically damaging impacts of any human driven land-use change. Despite the trend of biodiversity decline, urban nature provides many health, wellbeing and workplace productivity benefits to city dwellers. Hence, there is an urgent need to return nature to cities not only to conserve biodiversity, but also to maintain human experiences of nature. To meet this challenge, there are currently significant global attempts to re-green cities to improve environmental condition, including restoring habitat for biodiversity. However, many barriers to widespread implementation still exist, including competition for limited space, a lack of technical capacity, and a disengaged community. New approaches to urban restoration are urgently needed that suit the small fragments of space available, and that can deliver multiple benefits not only to conserve urban biodiversity but also to reconnect people with nature. To overcome these challenges, an ‘ecology with cities’ perspective, combining horticultural, ecological and social approaches to urban habitat management and restoration, is needed. Significant opportunities exist for urban ecologists and zoologists to engage with practitioners and the community to co-develop and implement approaches to successfully achieve the aim of creating biodiverse urban environments.

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