Recovering nature in our cities: benefits, challenges and opportunities

29 Sep 2022 18:00 - 19:30

Cities have long been perceived as spaces of little conservation relevance, yet local urban wildlife underpins the provision of a range of ecosystem services, including climate and water regulation and reduction in air pollution levels. In the face of rapid changes in climatic conditions and increased frequency and intensity of extreme natural events, urban nature recovery could be key to securing resilient cities and ensuring wildlife and people’s wellbeing. How to recover nature in cities is however far from straightforward, with challenges and opportunities varying tremendously according to the approach considered and the local socio-ecological contexts. This event will discuss differences and complementarities in approaches to nature recovery in cities, looking at the suite of factors and issues that may shape their potential to increase ecosystem services delivery in urban environments. It will explore how urban nature recovery could support wildlife recovery while triggering new challenges for human-wildlife coexistence in cities. Importantly, it will compare and contrast approaches to support local management decisions, providing recommendations and guidelines that should help identify best pathways for nature recovery.


  • Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "Rewilding cities - how does it work, and what are the challenges"
  • Joe Pecorelli, Conservation Project Manager, Marine and Freshwater, Conservation & Policy, ZSL: "Restoring urban freshwater ecological systems - the importance of working across sectors"
  • Dr Chris Carbone, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL: "Improving connectivity to recover wildlife in cities using hedgehogs as an example"
  • This event will be chaired by Dr Andrew Terry, Director of Conservation & Policy, ZSL.

Click here to read a landmark report, "Rewilding our cities", recently published by ZSL ahead of this event. 


Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend but registration is required so we can monitor event numbers.

Register for your free ticket here

  • The event will feature talks from several speakers, followed by a Q&A discussion panel. It will run from 6:00pm - 7:30pm, and doors will open at 5:30pm.
  • Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre at the Meeting Rooms of the Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, NW1 4RY. See map (number 2 on the Key). 
  • Travel: Nearest underground: Camden Town Station; Nearest bus: no. 274.
  • Recording disclaimer: The presentations and Q&A session will be filmed during this event, and the recording published on our Science and Conservation YouTube channel afterwards. Please be aware that by attending this event you consent to be filmed or your voice to be recorded during the Q&A session, which will be included in the published video. 


ZSL Library & Archive Talks

ZSL Library & Archives will be open before the event and will offer free introductory talks to its special collections from 4.45pm - 5.05pm; no need to book. The Library will remain open until the event starts at 5:30pm. Please click here for further information about the Library, and email if you have any questions.

Further Information

  • For enquiries about this event, please email
  • For press enquiries, please contact the ZSL Press
  • Sign up here to receive email updates about upcoming ZSL Science and Conservation Events, or browse our What's on page here
  • Listen to our ZSL Wild Science podcast here or subscribe on your favourite podcast app.
  • Read the latest blog posts from our scientists and conservationists here.
  • Follow us on Twitter @ZSLScience to hear about new publications from our researchers, upcoming events and podcast episode releases. 
  • Follow us on Facebook @ZSLScienceAndConservation to receive notifications about new events.
  • To catch up on all our previous online events, you can find them on our YouTube channel, or here.
  • For more information about how to join the ZSL Fellowship programme and engage with a network of thousands who are shaping the future of conservation, please click here.