Cities need to be fit for purpose. The one thing we know is that the future holds many uncertainties. This may be the consequence of climate change such as flooding or prolonged droughts; economic cycles of ‘boom’ and ‘bust’, neo-liberalisation of the policy environment and a shrinking role for the state; geostrategic conflicts such as rapid inward migration. The reasons are many. What is the role of genetic diversity when thinking about resilience of different scenarios. Urban forests and other green infrastructure and the ecosystem services they provide can play an important role; but what is that role and how it can it be made robust.