Journal Article

Greening cities – To be socially inclusive?

Can we green cities without gentrification effects? How can urban strategies achieve both ecological benefits and social inclusion? Our new publication provides a new angle to this on-going urban sustainability debate. This publication is a co-production outcome of a research workshop on nature-based solutions for inclusive cities hosted by UFZ in Leipzig in 2015.


Greening cities contributes to an increase in wellbeing and enhances the attractiveness of open spaces in cities. Simultaneously, the increasing use of greening strategies as ingredients of urban renewal, upgrading and revitalization reflects primarily market-driven endeavours, affecting middle class and higher income groups – sometimes at the expense of less privileged residents.

What do trade-offs between social and ecological developments in cities mean for the future debate on greening cities, and how can we establish a socially balanced and inclusive way of developing our cities for various groups of urban dwellers? This new publication reflects on the current debate of the social effects of greening using selected examples. We conclude that current and future functions and features of greening cities have to be discussed more critically including a greater awareness of social impacts.



Haase, D., Kabisch, S., Haase, A., Andersson, E., Banzhaf, E., Baro, F., Brenck, M., Fischer, L.K., Frantzeskaki, N., Kabisch, N., Krellenberg, K., Kremer, P., Kronenberg, J., Larondelle, N., Mathey, J., Pauleit, S., Ring, I., Rink, D., Schwarz, N., and Wolf, M., (2017)


Greening cities – To be socially inclusive? About the alleged paradox of society and ecology in cities, Habitat International, 64, 41-48


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April 24, 2017