Research Agenda for Biocities – ReBio

Project description

With exponential population growth and rapid urbanization, cities present some of our greatest challenges. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Cities are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s energy consumption and emit more than 70 % of greenhouse gases. In addition, they face climate change, densification, and natural hazards such as flooding. Against this backdrop, there is a need to rethink current urban structures to create more sustainable, resilient, and bio-based cities: biocities.

To help our cities transform into biocities, the European Forest Institute (EFI) aims to create a biocities facility to better link scientific knowledge with policy and practice. To lay the groundwork for this, the EFI launched a call for the development of a research agenda in 2020. Our project ReBio – Recipes for Biocities – aims to identify synergies, knowledge gaps, and trade-offs within and between the various areas of urban development in order to develop an innovative research agenda that addresses the current needs of cities and proposes solutions to existing challenges.

The research agenda is currently being developed based on different methodologies and with the participation of experts from different fields (architecture, spatial planning, circular bioeconomy, biodiversity, etc.). In a first step, first research gaps were identified using foresight scenarios and the Q-method. In the second step of our research approach, we are conducting a series of webinars on different topics (biodiversity, circular bioeconomy, climate change and bioresilience, governance, and social environment) with practitioners and scientists. The aim is to identify specific synergies, trade-offs, and knowledge gaps for each selected topic. In subsequent steps, the first draft of the research agenda will be validated by discussing the results with experts who were not involved in the research agenda development process, as well as through discussions with experts who have already developed a research agenda at city level in a European context.


Journal Articles
Wilkes-Allemann, J.; Kopp, M.; van der Velde, R.; Bernasconi, A.; Karaca, E.; Cepic, S.; Tomicevic-Dubljevic, J.; Bauer, N.; Petit-Boix, A.; Brantschen, E. C.; Cueva, J.; Leipold, S.; Saha, S.; Živojinović, I.
Envisioning the future - creating sustainable, healthy and resilient BioCities
2023. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 84, Article no: 127935. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2023.127935
Wilkes-Allemann, J.; Velde, R. van der; Kopp, M.; Bernasconi, A.; Karaca, E.; Coleman Brantschen, E.; Cepic, S.; Tomicevic-Dubljevic, J.; Bauer, N.; Petit-Boix, A.; Cueva, J.; Živojinović, I.; Leipold, S.; Saha, S.
Research Agenda : Biocities of the future
2022. European Forest Institute (EFI). doi:10.36333/rs4


Dr. rer. nat. Somidh Saha
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24644