[Biodiv Vienna] Vienna’s global biodiversity footprint. A multi-scale analysis outlining options to reduce urban pressures on biodiversity

Duration: 2018 – 2022

Funding: Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF)


Urban governments are increasingly engaging in biodiversity conservation within their own city’s territories. While these conservation efforts are important, cities exert much higher pressures on biodiversity beyond their own territories related to the provision of resources required to supply urban populations with food, energy and other products. We will develop an approach to quantify, map and predict the national and global “biodiversity footprint” of large cities. The approach will combine methods from socio-ecological sustainability science (material flow analysis, embodied HANPP calculations) and biodiversity research (macro-ecological modelling). We will calculate and map the national and global biodiversity footprint of Vienna’s consumption of biomass-based products (food, fiber, bioenergy) for a recent year and explore possible reductions in the city’s biodiversity footprint resulting from changes in consumption and increased efficiency in the biomass provision chains. The project will involve participatory tools to prioritize potential options for policy interventions based on the experience of policy makers and stakeholders from civil society organizations (producer and consumer organizations and environmental groups). It will contribute to the exploration of options that exploit the considerable potential of cities towards UN sustainability development goals.


Stefan Dullinger

Philipp Semenchuk