This webinar is brought to you by the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)

Urban ecological restoration has been the focus of our New Zealand government funded research since 2005. Our most recent research program People, Cities and Nature was initiated in 2016 and concludes in 2021.The program seeks to improve the quality of life, health and economic wellbeing in New Zealand’s cities and towns through advanced understanding of urban ecology and the creation of flourishing natural environments. Multidisciplinary research is being undertaken in nine New Zealand cities via six inter-related projects:

  • Restoration plantings
  • Urban lizards
  • Mammalian predators
  • Māori restoration values
  • Green space benefits
  • Cross-sector alliances.

While our emphasis was on the ecological science of urban biodiversity restoration at the outset, we have become increasingly involved in understanding the multiple benefits of urban ecological restoration projects including social cohesion and health and recreation benefits. This webinar will focus on the progress made in bringing indigenous nature back into Hamilton City on North Island New Zealand since the advent of two community-based initiatives the Gully Restoration Program (2000) and the establishment of Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park (2004). Our research has strongly underpinned the design and management of both projects and documented the many benefits they provide to the city and its people.

Professor Bruce Clarkson is a restoration ecologist interested in habitat restoration to bring indigenous nature back into towns and cities based at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He leads a New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funded research programme: People, Cities and Nature: restoring indigenous nature in urban environments (https://www.peoplecitiesnature.co.nz/). Bruce has been a member of SER since 2005, a Director of the Australasian chapter board since 2011. He is currently chairperson of SERA and on the He is currently chairperson of SERA and on the SER Board as Regional Director for the Pacific.

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