Resilient Urbanscapes

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and this number is predicted to increase to about 60% by the end of the current decade. Urbanisation drastically changes landscape and land-use patterns, affecting natural ecosystem function. The programme consists of several projects that help to understand and maintain biodiversity and ecological sustainability in urban areas, crucial to our quality of life. It undertakes rigorous research to understand biodiversity composition and distribution in urban areas, assess ecosystem processes and services, and engage in data-driven, on-ground action to build stakeholder and citizen capacity for resilient urban planning. The programme seeks to build resilience into existing urban landscapes and encourage the inclusion of biodiversity as a key consideration in all planning projects.


  • To document and monitor biodiversity and ecosystem services in urbanscapes.
  • To identify the drivers underlying the formation and/or modification of urban ecosystems.
  • To work towards evidence-based restoration of urban ecosystems and its biodiversity.
  • To undertake rigorous research to understand the drivers of biodiversity composition and distribution in urban areas.
  • To assess the ecosystem processes, ecological functions and ecosystem services associated with these areas.
  • To engage in on-ground action using data-driven approaches for building capacity among all stakeholders, thus ensuring our urbanscapes are resilient for posterity.

Research Questions

  • What are the drivers determining urban ecosystem structures and functions?
  • How do urbanscapes influence biodiversity as ‘novel ecosystems’?
  • How can urban ecosystems be made resilient to climate change and also sustain ecosystem services?

Alignment with India’s international commitments:

Realisation of the objectives of this programme will contribute to India meeting its commitments to:

  • The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework 2022 (Targets 2, 3, 11, 12, 14)
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2018 (Targets 11.4, 11.a, 15.9)
  • The Paris Agreement