Our Priorities

Build Healthy Cities

An urban Leopard in Mumbai, India at night
Healthy Cities Banana vendors smile behind their produce at a street stall in Valmiki Nagar, Chennai. © Steve Winter/National Geographic Creative

India’s human population is expected to reach 1.6 billion people by 2027, overtaking China to become the most populated country on Earth.

Banana street vendors
Banana vendors at a street stall in Valmiki Nagar, Chennai © McKay Savage, Creative Commons

With more and more people moving into cities, overcoming urban challenges like air pollution, the availability of clean drinking water, flood control and the heat island effect are becoming more critical than ever if cities are to remain liveable.

We’re working in Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, to slow any further decline and save what remains of its natural wetlands by restoring Sembakkam Lake, one of the 54 lakes that drain into the Pallikaranai wetland. We’re demonstrating how green infrastructure, such as planting trees, can address urban challenges, including stormwater run-off, air pollution and heat islands.

Father calling An endangered Humayun Night Frog calling in front of a clutch of eggs that he has fertilized. © Karthik AK/TNC Photo Contest 2019