This briefing draws on recent research to show how people benefit from ecoystems in and around cities, and how these benefits can be integrated into urban planning and policy.
There is a growing international consensus that cities must form the vanguard in addressing the numerous challenges of sustainable development. Sustainability is also an essential ingredient for a globally competitive city. However, in rapidly growing cities of South Asia, governments and international agencies must not simply think of cities as urban islands. Cities must be understood in terms of the processes of urbanisation which unfold across the rural-urban continuum, with environmental processes integral. We argue that failure to do so is undermining the ability to build inclusive and resilient cities.