Today, changes to our living lands and waters are being driven by metropolitan regions, often characterized by high-intensity land use and high degrees of fragmentation. Opportunities exist, however, to simultaneously embrace and accelerate land-sharing and land-saving strategies in cities and their surrounding regions:

  • Land-sharing | Solutions that integrate living, natural systems and functionality into the built environment—the places where we live, work, learn, and play.
  • Land-saving | Identifying, protecting, and connecting significant tracts of land that make up our local forests, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, rivers, creeks, and streams, enabling these places to collectively function and thrive in ways that maximize their value as environmental, social, and economic assets.

Activating and maximizing these opportunities requires a regional vision that puts healthy, vibrant living lands and waters at the center of how we design, plan, and sustain our communities. As part of the OneSTL Sustainability Plan, a multi-sector working group focused on biodiversity worked together for the past two years to develop and hone a single target for the region based on this central concept: By 2025, 100 percent of counties in the metropolitan St. Louis region are using a regional biodiversity vision and atlas to actively guide their planning, policies, and practices in ways that increase habitat connectivity, ecological functionality, and quality of life for all.

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