Social and Ecological benefit of bringing nature back into cities

This research project forms part of a series of subprojects associated with The Living Pavilion, a temporary festival that aims to illuminate Indigenous and ecological knowledge of past and present, foster collaboration across disciplines, and share and celebrate the uniqueness and potential of ‘place’.

Research team

Dr Luis Mata
Dr Leila Mahmoudi Farahani
Dr Cecily Maller

Project Objective

This project aims to explore the effect that The Living Pavilion bringing nature back into cities actions might have on the diversity of native insect herbivores and pollinators before, during and after the event. Additionally, this project will aim to understand the benefits that The Living Pavilion might have on people’s connection to nature and their experiences within a temporary event space.

Key research questions

  • Does The Living Pavilion provide the necessary new plant resources to increase the diversity of native insect herbivores and pollinators?
  • Can The Living Pavilion strengthen people’s connection to nature?


There is a worldwide enthusiasm for bringing nature back into cities and incorporating nature into urban design. However, few studies have investigated the social and ecological changes occurring after bringing nature back actions take place using a standardised method. This subproject is being conducted as part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) Hub Project 6: Social and Biodiversity Benefits of Urban Greening: A network of Integrated Study Sites.

This subproject aims to increase understanding of the effects of small scale, temporary bringing nature back initiatives on local societies and ecologies.

Why is this research important?

Understanding the effect that increased plant food and habitat resources can have on native biodiversity and human-nature connection is important for the conceptualisation of bringing nature back into cities initiatives. By monitoring species diversity and people’s interaction with the native plants, this subproject will contribute to an evaluation of the social and ecological benefits of The Living Pavilion. If successful this subproject has the potential to inform future design of both permanent and temporary green spaces.