Globalization has brought higher levels of dependence between societies and ecosystems, scaling the interconnection at the level planetary.

The greater capacity for affection over the environment and the interdependence between distant societies and ecosystems has been increased. At present, the effects of climate change generate extreme weather events in specific regions affecting societies that have not necessarily directly caused alterations in their environment closest natural.

In the last century, as a result of a greater demand for resources the degradation of natural environments has increased. This has entailed to the loss of biodiversity, the increase in the scarcity of resources and the fragmentation of natural habitats on a planetary level.

In Europe, a historically artificial continent with scarce virgin environments due to agrarian expansion and density population, in the last decade artificialization rates have been reached (urban environments and infrastructures) of land up to 5% of the total territory.

In the last century, there has also been a process of urbanization of humanity. Populations, increasingly urban, have suffered a disconnection with the natural environment in their daily lives. There is a physical uprooting with the natural and rural environment caused by a scarcity of life experiences linked to nature. This results in a loss of awareness and further disengagement.

Losing the link with the natural environment on a personal level leads to losing awareness of our interdependence with the environment atmosphere. This makes it easier for the collective to exploit with impunity the natural environment.

Among the most notable disasters, the result of this drift of disconnected with the natural environment, human society has managed to change the climate global, degrade the ozone layer, cut down 20% of the Amazon rainforest and dry up seas like that of Aral in a few decades.

Environmental education has focused on teaching us to separate waste and to use the bicycle. But we still do not know the planting cycles of the vegetables we eat or to identify tracks in the forest. The natural is makes someone else’s.

Reincorporating nature into our lives urban means naturalizing our urban environments. The renaturation of urban environment supposes a series of benefits in several areas; so much economic, as well as social and environmental. But among all of them, too facilitates reconnection with the environment, which evokes a change of consciousness predecessor to a real paradigm shift.

In the last decade the renaturation of cities has been present in the urban policies of cities all over the planet. The incorporation of green infrastructure in the urban fabric has been presented as a key tool to reverse our relationship with nature.

Once this relationship changes and we reconnect with the living environment, it will be easier to rethink our production and consumption system to one that stops exploiting nature and starts making conscious and sustainable use of the benefits it provides us through its ecosystem services.

Aitor Mingo Bilbao

MSc in Cities and Sustainability