Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 675–681 | Cite as

Urban sacred natural sites – a call for research

  • Wendy JacksonEmail author
  • Alison Ormsby


Urban sacred natural sites are not well documented or understood as potential repositories of biological diversity or as critical components of local and indigenous tradition and cultural patrimony in urban areas. Virtually all research and activity on sacred natural sites thus far has focused on sites in non-urban areas, and most interest in sacred sites in urban areas has been on human-built heritage and structures. Minimal attention has been given to sacred natural sites that are in urban areas. These urban sacred natural sites may be connected to mainstream religions, or may exist where cities have developed on indigenous land and associated sacred sites. Given the lack of systematic study of urban sacred natural sites, we recommend further research, including: undertaking inventories; assessing biological features and their possible contributions to conservation; assessing the possible contribution of these sites to wider strategies; examining possible management and protection options; and promoting linkages to relevant global initiatives.


Biodiversity conservation Indigenous and local knowledge Urban sacred natural sites Urban heritage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Zealand Department of ConservationWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of North Carolina AshevilleAshevilleUSA

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