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Increasing the uptake of nature-based solutions (NBS) requires greater collaboration amongst different policy areas, sectors and stakeholders. This chapter showcases examples of multi-stakeholder partnerships, private sector leadership, and citizen engagement, which have supported the development or implementation of NBS in urban areas. It aims to complement the theoretical contributions of the previous chapters of this book by providing real-world insights into how such partnerships can promote climate resilience and nature conservation, as well as the lessons that can be learned from them. It thereby hopes to spark ideas for future research and the development of collaborative, multi-stakeholder partnerships for NBS.
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275© The Author(s) 2017
N. Kabisch et al. (eds.), Naturebased Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation
in Urban Areas, Theory and Practice of Urban Sustainability Transitions,
Chapter 16
Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions
inUrban Areas– Showcasing Successful
Chantal vanHam andHelenKlimmek
This chapter is written from IUCNs perspective as a global membership organisation uniquely com-
posed of state and government agencies, NGOs, scientic institutions and business associations.
C. vanHam (*) • H. Klimmek
IUCN European Regional Ofce, Brussels, Belgium
Abstract Increasing the uptake of nature-based solutions (NBS) requires greater
collaboration amongst different policy areas, sectors and stakeholders. This chapter
showcases examples of multi-stakeholder partnerships, private sector leadership,
and citizen engagement, which have supported the development or implementation
of NBS in urban areas. It aims to complement the theoretical contributions of the
previous chapters of this book by providing real-world insights into how such part-
nerships can promote climate resilience and nature conservation, as well as the les-
sons that can be learned from them. It thereby hopes to spark ideas for future research
and the development of collaborative, multi-stakeholder partnerships for NBS.
Keywords Multidisciplinary partnerships • natural capital • citizen engagement •
nature-based solutions
16.1 Introduction
Recent research (Kabisch etal. 2016) has shown that there is a need to forge new
networks and develop trans-disciplinary and inclusive partnerships and governance
approaches in order to foster the uptake of nature-based solutions (NBS) in response
to climate-related challenges. Producing stronger evidence on NBS for climate
change adaptation and mitigation, and raising awareness of their benets to society,
are also key priorities for policy and practice.
Partnerships are collaborative arrangements which are important for implement-
ing sustainability agendas due to two distinct and dening characteristics: (a) They
can create and catalyse synergies between different parts of society by pooling
together resources and skills, knowledge, institutional and governance capacities
and (b) they are exible and versatile in the roles they adopt, as partners match and
complement their competencies and capacities to undertake a task or aim to achieve
a common target (Frantzeskaki etal. 2014).
For IUCN, partnerships are a key driving force for successful conservation action.
The socio-economic and environmental challenges confronting society today are
complex and far from clear-cut. Bringing together diverse stakeholders such as gov-
ernments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities and indigenous peoples
groups, can help to address these challenges in a comprehensive and inclusive way.
The complexity of urban environments underlines the importance of multi-
disciplinary and multi-scale partnerships in cities. Cities represent a new class of
ecosystems shaped by the dynamic interactions between ecological and social sys-
tems (CBD 2012). Urban citizens depend on ecosystems both within and beyond
cities for a wide variety of goods and services (e.g. food, water, energy, climate
regulation), and while cities are increasingly recognised for their role in conserva-
tion (CBD 2012), urbanisation also presents a major environmental challenge, for
example by driving habitat conversion (McDonald etal. 2013).
Nature offers great untapped potential for improving the quality of life of urban
citizens and nding solutions to challenges such as rising temperatures (the urban
heat island effect) or ooding (CBD 2012). The challenge lies in developing and
adopting urban planning and management approaches that ensure the delivery of
regulating, provisioning, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services, while also
promoting the sustainable use of resources.
Ideally, stakeholders from different policy areas and sectors should come together to
develop holistic approaches to managing natural capital– the world’s stocks of natural
assets which includes geology, soil, air, water and all living things. In reality however,
collaboration between sectors and stakeholders is often hindered by a lack of exchange
and cooperation, presenting a barrier to effective policymaking (Science for Environment
Policy 2016) and the implementation of successful conservation initiatives.
Multidisciplinary and cross-cutting concepts such as NBS have the potential to
facilitate cooperation between sectors and contribute to a more holistic approach to
tackling socio-economic and environmental challenges. From IUCNs perspective,
NBS are interventions which use nature, and the ecosystem services they provide,
to address societal challenges such as climate change. Well-functioning ecosystems
that deliver services needed by society are at the core of these types of solutions,
which include, for instance, the creation or restoration of large ecosystems; invest-
ing in natural infrastructure and watershed management for water, food and energy
security and climate change adaptation; ecosystem-based mitigation oriented solu-
tions, such as the conservation and sustainable management of forests; and using
ecologically engineered solutions, such as intertidal habitats or oyster reefs to pro-
tect shorelines and reduce sea-level rise impact and coastal inundation.
The aim of this chapter is to prole a broad range of partnerships led by the pri-
vate sector, local communities and local/regional governments, which have restored,
conserved and managed ecosystems to the benet of people and the environment.
The following sections include reections on key outcomes and lessons that can be
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
learned from each of these examples, which can provide the basis for further
research into the implementation of NBS.The examples contained in this chapter
were sourced through IUCNs global knowledge network and connections, supple-
mented by existing literature, and were chosen based on their suitability for high-
lighting success factors of, and challenges to partnerships for NBS.The examples
were also selected to reect diversity in terms of the partners involved and their
geographical location.
16.2 The Private Sector– AValuable Partner
forImplementing NBS
The private sector (i.e. for-prot businesses) is a key partner to engage with in the
process of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets. While the private sector
can have negative impacts on biodiversity, it also has the potential to offer innova-
tive solutions to urban challenges. Businesses can provide insights and perspectives
which are complementary to those from governments and civil society. In particular,
their knowledge of markets, management experience, and ability to harness
advanced research and development to deliver solutions, can be valuable assets in
the context of implementing NBS (IUCN 2012a).
Many businesses are increasingly realising that their future depends (directly or
indirectly) on natural resources and that solely relying on man-made infrastructure is
not enough (Ozment etal. 2015). Man-made storm surge barriers, for example, can
help protect harbours, but can also seriously increase surge levels in surrounding areas.
River ecosystems throughout Europe have been severely impacted by engineering
projects for ood protection, navigation, water supply and hydroelectricity; it is esti-
mated that less than 20% of Europe’s rivers and oodplains are in their natural state
(RESTORE 2016). A combination of measures is needed to tackle ood and climate
change related challenges effectively. This must include land-use management and
nature-based measures which embrace natural systems as a means of enhancing our
well-being and reducing risk (Munich RE 2015). Growing oyster reefs, for example,
can help to reduce coastal erosion and protect businesses from storm surges, while
also ltering contaminated seawater and supporting local sheries (RESTORE 2016).
The importance and value of engaging with the private sector is aptly demon-
strated in relation to climate change. According to a survey conducted by the
Economist Intelligence Unit in 2014, 90% of business leaders believe that they have
a role in building resilience and preparing cities for the impact of climate change
(Kongrukgreatiyos 2014). This has already translated into action– in 2014, the pri-
vate sector was the largest source of climate nance, devoting $243 billion to
climate- related investments (Buchner etal. 2015). Partnerships between businesses,
cities, civil society organisations, scientists and other urban stakeholders are crucial
to showcasing the value of natural capital as the foundation for economic prosperity
and human well-being, and help to bring about changes in business practices and
leverage contributions from the private sector.
16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
During the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (COP of UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015, the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched Natural
Infrastructure for Business– an online platform to increase awareness of business
opportunities for investing in ecosystems, or natural infrastructure, and scale up
action. The ultimate objective of the initiative is that by 2020 companies systemati-
cally assess natural infrastructure options when investing in new sites or projects,
thereby contributing to the protection, restoration and creation of new ecosystems.
The online platform contains case studies from different industries leveraging vari-
ous ecosystem services and decision-making tools, including a cost-benet analysis
tool. Some of these case studies are highlighted below.
16.2.1 Examples ofPrivate Sector Led Partnerships forNBS Volkswagen Restores Nature toSecure Reliable Water Supply
One example from the Natural Infrastructure for Business database is the Volkswagen
initiative in the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley in Mexico (WBCSD 2010). This project was
initiated after years of deforestation from illegal logging and livestock farming, had
led to increased water runoff and a reduction in capture and storage in the ground-
water table. Realising that a reliable water supply was critical to ensuring the future
of the company’s production efforts, Volkswagen de Mexico, in partnership with the
Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas and the Secretary of the
Environment for Mexico, invested in a project to plant trees, dig pits, and earthen
banks to enable more than 1,300,000 cubic meters of additional water per year to be
fed into the ground reserves in the source region, which is signicantly more ground-
water than Volkswagen in México itself consumes every year (WBCSD 2010). In
the long term, these measures will help to ensure the provision of fresh water for the
growing city of Puebla, while securing a reliable water supply for the stability of the
company’s production plant in the region (WBCSD 2010). The additional biomass
will also help sequester carbon dioxide and improve living conditions for the native
fauna (WBCSD 2010), demonstrating the multiple benets restoration efforts can
bring to both people and the natural environment. Rehabilitation ofQuarries Provides Multiple Benets forNature,
People andBusiness
Another example showcased in the WBCSD Natural Infrastructure for Business
platform (Rushworth and Warau 2015) is a project in Bellegarde in the South of
France, initiated by LafargeHolcim, a global leader in the building materials indus-
try. This project focuses on stormwater management and ood prevention through
targeted quarry rehabilitation and management programmes that provide stormwater
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
catchments and create wetland habitats (Rushworth and Warau 2015). The sand and
gravel quarry of Bellegarde has been in operation since 1970 and LafargeHolcim has
worked with the local municipality to develop ood prevention infrastructure and
create wetlands. The extracted quarry areas have been converted into stormwater
reservoirs with a capacity of 2.5 million cubic meters, reducing the risk of ooding
for local communities. Rehabilitation measures included the creation of shoreline
areas and gently sloped riverbanks with varied contours, which have created diverse
natural habitats such as ponds, resting places, and small islands that are favourable
to many species. Research has shown that wetlands created from quarries in France
have become a habitat for 132 species of birds (more than 48 percent of the French
avifauna), 17% of the ora (1001 vascular plant species), and 63% of dragonies
found in France. Quarries have also become important refuge areas for many pro-
tected species. In addition to improving biodiversity in the area, the measures have
also resulted in water quality and recreational benets. Provided that there is access
to sufcient land area to accommodate quarrying activities, the approach adopted by
LafargeHolcim could be replicated in other areas and result in similar benets.
16.2.2 Reections andLessons Learned
These examples demonstrate the potential of NBS to address multiple needs; spe-
cic interventions in, for example, reed beds, wetlands and forests can provide
signicant benets to species’ populations, while also improving water quality
and quantity. Sharing these types of best practices via an online platform, such as
the WBCSD Natural Infrastructure for Business platform, can help to promote
investments in natural infrastructure, and provide the basis for developing similar
initiatives, adapted to local contexts.
Based on IUCNs experience, a key criterion for successful partnerships with the
business sector is a shared understanding of landscape, land use, ecosystem relation-
ships, benets of investment in natural capital, key policies, development strategies and
legal frameworks, and rights and responsibilities over resources. Acting in partnership
also means being clear on the values of different stakeholders, the needs of the natural
environment and local communities. Business actors may for example want to know the
quantied impacts of water shortage on their business operations, whereas conservation
actors may want to assess the actual impacts of water pollution on biodiversity. These
aspects should be kept in mind when developing partnerships with the private sector.
16.3 Citizen Participation andLeadership
From IUCN’s perspective, recognising and respecting the rights of people who
live close to and rely on nature is a central component of effective and inclusive
conservation action.
16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
Though citizen participation in environmental decision-making can bring its own
sets of challenges (Irvin and Stansbury 2004), it can also support sustainable devel-
opment (Abbott 2013) and is often promoted by governments based on the assump-
tion that citizen participation can help make governance more democratic and
effective (Irvin etal. 2004). There are numerous examples from around the world
where people have come together to restore the landscape’s ecological functions
and enhance well-being within and around cities, for example by growing organic
food, building nature-friendly spaces or restoring rivers and creeks (Herzog 2013;
URBES 2014a). Such examples illustrate the potential of citizens to bring about
meaningful social and environmental change.
While policymakers and urban planners recognise the value of engaging with
local communities, engaging citizens in urban planning and management decisions
is not always easy. Municipality-promoted participation processes require political
support and backing, as well as mechanisms and policies that promote inclusive
governance practices (Greensurge 2015). Funding is also needed to ensure high
participation levels and sound participatory engagement processes.
The section below highlights instances of citizen leadership which have helped
to integrate local concerns into environmental management plans and foster the
delivery of a range of ecosystem services and benets.
16.3.1 Examples ofPartnerships Building onCitizen
Participation The Miyun Watershed (Beijing)– Illustrating theValue
ofEngaging Local Stakeholders
The Miyun watershed is generally understood to comprise the six sub-catchments
of the Chao He and Bai He Rivers, which together feed the Miyun reservoir. Located
north of Beijing, the catchment covers an area of 15,788 km2. In total, around one
million people live in the watershed area and the reservoir supplies between 60–80%
of urban drinking water needs; an estimated 17 million people rely on it for their
drinking water. This makes the watershed one of the most important water protec-
tion areas in the world (Li and Emerton 2012).
In the past 30–40 years, several attempts had been made to reforest the Miyun
landscape in response to worsening water crises (Li and Emerton 2012). Conifers
(Pinophyta) and other species were planted to compensate for the disappearance of
the original broadleaf forest, and strict controls on logging, land and forest use were
implemented (Li and Emerton 2012). Due to a lack of active management however,
the newly planted trees did not achieve a healthy ecological status– around three-
quarters of the trees were categorised as ‘sub-healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. The strict
controls also economically disadvantaged the local communities whose livelihoods
had previously been associated with forest products (Li and Emerton 2012).
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
Against this backdrop, IUCN initiated a project in the Miyun watershed in
2007, which introduced a new set of forest management tools and brought about
a shift from a strictly protective and very conservative regime, to one based on
sustainable use and active management by local communities. The policy advo-
cacy activities undertaken as part of the project focused on showcasing the mul-
tiple benets of a multi-functional forest landscape. This reassured the Chinese
government of the local community’s capacity to responsibly manage the area’s
forests, and helped to bring about a formal agreement to recognise different for-
est management and use regimes, harmonising the technical information held
by government foresters with local knowledge and interests (Li and Emerton
2012; IUCN 2012b).
By bringing together many diverse stakeholders and sectors at different levels,
the project effectively developed a more integrated form of landscape management
and restored the Miyun landscape in a way that recognises the multiple needs and
functions of the watershed. With this approach, the initiative brought about a regen-
eration of natural forest and improvements in forest structure, quality and function
(Li and Emerton 2012). The Harava Survery Tool– AnInnovative Mechanism
toSupport Citizen Participation inVitoria-Gasteiz
As outlined above, citizen engagement requires signicant investment and plan-
ning. However, there are a range of innovative tools that can support the process.
Harava, for example, is an interactive map-based survey tool for smart planning,
which enables organisations to conduct structured surveys with spatial data to
inform decision-making, by collecting insights, ideas, and feedback from citizens
who have practical knowledge and understanding of their surroundings.
Following an agreement between the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and
Tecnalia, and with support from partners (SYKE Finnish Environment Institute),
Harava was used to develop an urban management plan for Vitoria Gasteiz in 2013
(Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz, nd). The platform provided citizens with the
opportunity to actively participate in the urban planning process by allowing them
to take part in a survey covering a range of topics related to favourite and most
frequented public areas, and more general views related to urban development and
social inclusiveness.
Three hundred citizens participated in the two-month consultation process, pro-
viding information about 2497 spatial elements within the city (Herranz-Pasual
etal. 2014). The consultation captured information such as how often and for what
purpose citizens visit the city centre and rural areas. The tool also allowed citizens
to convey their views on areas for improvement e.g. the need more trade and eco-
nomic activities, particularly small businesses, to help make the city a more liveable
place, as well as the need for better bike and pedestrian connections and public
transport (Herranz-Pasual etal. 2014).
16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
By engaging citizens in these types of participatory processes, governments
have the opportunity to obtain information they might otherwise not have access to
and on this basis, adapt spatial planning and management approaches to make cit-
ies more liveable and appealing to the people who live in them. Given that live-
ability is closely linked to the existence of green spaces (Beatley 2012) this type of
collaboration has the potential to provide a sound basis for developing innovative
solutions to urban challenges and implementing NBS, which benet both local
people and the environment. Berlin– ThePower ofCitizen Engagement andLeadership
The Vitoria-Gasteiz example illustrates how governments can employ innovative
mechanisms to engage citizens and ensure that city planning incorporates the needs
and wishes of its people. But there are also instances where social activism has been
the driver of conservation action.
In Berlin, Germany, the decision to protect the disused Tempelhof aireld from
housing development and convert it into one of the city’s most popular parks came
as a result of a citizen-initiated referendum in May 2014 and a series of open com-
munity meetings, citizen working groups and consultations through an online plat-
form. Citizen engagement in determining the future of the Tempelhof site started
through public meetings, forums and lectures before the airport was closed in 2008.
A web dialogue drew 68,000 users and 2500 idea contributors, and surveys were
distributed to 6000 local households and to 1000 households in Berlin (Burgess
2014). Moderated focus groups were established to engage migrants groups, often
marginalised in consultation processes. Following the closure of the airport, consul-
tations and large-scale public events continued to take place. In 2009, 3500 people
attended a “Call for Ideas”, and more than 2000 people visited an Open House event
showcasing concept ideas for developing the site (Burgess 2014). Finally, it was the
“100% Tempelhofer Feld” civil society group, who pushed for the referendum that
determined the future of the site (Burgess 2014).
Today, Tempelhof Park is one of the most popular parks in Berlin, hosting a
variety of recreation facilities. Sealed areas such as former runways are used for
cycling and running, while some lawn areas have become nature conservation
zones and other zones have been designated for urban gardening, educational activ-
ities or recreational activities such as barbecuing (Burgess 2014). The 100%
Tempelhofer Feld group continues to actively work to protect the natural areas and
cultural heritage of the park and ensure continued open public access for the future.
The transformation of the Tempelhof Park in Berlin from a disused aireld to a lively
urban park illustrates how strong social engagement can result in the creation or main-
tenance of green areas which support biodiversity conservation, contributing to urban
resilience and providing cultural and recreational ecosystem services (URBES 2014b).
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
16.3.2 Reections andLessons Learned
The above examples illustrate how involving local users of natural resources in
planning and decision-making can help to support the implementation of more
effective environmental management regimes which benet both people and nature.
Citizen engagement in urban planning and ecosystem management can be
time consuming and costly, and requires the development of trust between
stakeholder groups and exibility to accommodate changes in planning and pro-
cesses (Li and Emerton 2012). When done successfully however, citizen partici-
pation and engagement can support urban planning by helping to uncover the
needs and wishes of local people, thereby providing the basis for increasing the
livability of urban spaces, which has the potential to benet both people and
nature. Citizen engagement can also provide an entry-point to identifying poten-
tial NBS which could address the key societal challenges identied by urban
citizens in a holistic manner that is respectful of community needs and
16.4 Integrated Urban andRegional Planning forNBS
Governments are increasingly searching for cost-effective and holistic ways of
addressing environmental challenges, which not only reliably deliver their imme-
diate intended impacts, such as space for recreation and reduced air pollution, but
also bring additional benets to society, such as improved health and
Policymakers in cities and at the sub-national level can lead the way in making
the transition towards increasing resilience and integrating ecological concerns
within urban planning and decision-making. Instead of an infrastructure agenda in
which nature is a problem, a cost, and a political risk, nature can become part of
the solution.
Cities around Europe have already shown a commitment to integrating nature
into their urban planning and management, and thereby demonstrated awareness of
the importance of protecting natural capital. The Regional Climate Plan for Paris,
for example, highlights the importance of protecting ecosystems in order to adapt to
and mitigate climate change (Conseil Regional D’Île-De-France 2011). The city
also recognises that forest management practices which optimise their capacity for
adaptation and resilience can lead to multiple benets for biodiversity, people and
the city (Natureparif 2015).
Additional examples of cities that have integrated nature within their planning
and strategies are outlined below.
16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
16.4.1 Examples fortheIntegration ofNature inUrban
Planning Gibsons’ Eco-Asset Strategy forClimate Adaptation
Mapping and assessing ecosystems and their services is essential to ensure that their
values are taken into account in decision-making and integrated across policies and
sectors. The town of Gibsons, north of Vancouver in Canada, is pioneering a strategy
that could contribute to the efforts of municipalities in Canada and elsewhere to
improve climate resilience. Gibsons’ “Eco-Asset strategy” focuses on identifying
existing natural assets such as green space, forests, topsoil, aquifers and creeks that
provide municipal services such as storm water management; measuring the value
of the municipal services provided by these assets; and making this information
operational by integrating it into municipal asset management. This is proving to be
an effective nancial and municipal management approach that complements strate-
gies to maintain, replace and build both traditional engineered assets such as roads
and storm sewers and engineered ‘green assets’ such as rain gardens, parks and bio-
swales. Integrating natural assets into decision-making can support municipal cli-
mate change adaptation and resilience building efforts in a cost-effective way.
Gibsons’ aquifer, for example, which is part of the municipal asset management
strategy, requires about $28,000 annually in monitoring costs. This is a cost- effective
NBS to water security compared to the much higher operational costs of a ltration
and treatment plant. Philadelphia’s Natural Solution forStormwater Management
Philadelphia is another city in North America which has integrated nature into
city planning (Qin etal. 2015). Already in the 19th century, the city had acquired
approximately 3600 hectares of natural areas to help lter and regulate its pota-
ble water, and the land remains protected as parkland (Gartner etal. 2014).
Confronted by frequent sewer overows during storms, Philadelphia recently
conducted a cost- benet analysis of green infrastructure options—such as tree
planting, permeable pavement and green roofs—and conventional grey options,
such as storage tunnels (UNEP 2014). The economic benets associated with
green infrastructure ranged from $1.94 billion to $4.45 billion, compared to just
$0.06 billion to $0.14 billion from grey infrastructure (UNEP 2014). In 2011,
the city adopted the “Green City, Clean Waters” plan to reduce stormwater pol-
lution by greening public spaces and creating a living landscape that slows, l-
ters and consumes rainfall. City ofcials expect to reduce stormwater and
sewage pollution entering the waterways by 85% when the project is completed
(Qin etal. 2015).
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
285 Nature Flood Management intheUK– “Slow theFlow”
In the UK, a natural ood management scheme played a prominent role in
preventing oods in a small town in North Yorkshire, Pickering, in December
2015. An upstream ood storage reservoir was installed, 40,000 trees planted
and heather moorland restored to soak up incoming water (Harrabin 2016).
Based on the success of this “Slow the Flow” scheme, options for developing a
25-year plan which looks at the management of river catchment areas to improve
ood resilience for the environment are now being explored (Harrabin 2016). A
major study by Forest Research, an arm of the Forestry Commission in the UK,
recently found that planting trees in hills and along watercourses could signi-
cantly reduce ooding, soil erosion and water pollution and highlighted the need
to “increase incentives for woodland planting by making these better reect the
full range of water and other benets” (Nisbet etal. 2011). Quantifying water
benets and evaluating how woodland can be best integrated with agriculture
and urban activities for water and wider environmental benets, while minimis-
ing any water trade-offs, is a critical step in order to garner support from local
stakeholders such as landowners and farmers (Nisbet etal. 2011).
16.4.2 Reections andLessons Learned
Integrating nature within planning and policies can have clear benets for citizens,
not only by improving water quality or climate resilience, but also by saving money.
Green spaces in cities can also add value to commercial and private property and
can contribute to a city’s tax revenues as well as attract more visitors and private
sector investment (CBD 2012).
Urban planning often fails to fully recognise the connection between cities
and their natural surroundings. Natural infrastructure must play a more inuen-
tial role in the planning and design of cities and urban regions, but this is often
hampered by budgetary constraints. The examples above demonstrate that mak-
ing the protection of natural assets and enhancement of ecosystem functions a
prominent part of decision- making can offer cost-effective solutions to a range
of challenges.
A major challenge to upscaling the implementation of NBS is the lack of a
solid evidence base showcasing the benefits of NBS over traditional approaches
to climate change adaptation. As a result, policy-makers tend to favour the
implementation of traditional engineering solutions for climate adaptation,
instead of investing in NBS (Rizvi etal. 2015). More concrete data on the cost-
effectiveness of nature- based approaches and field evidence is required to
showcase the solutions ecosystems have to offer (Rizvi etal. 2015) and the ben-
efits they can bring.
16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
16.5 Conclusion
This chapter has demonstrated that multi-stakeholder partnerships for NBS can lead
to substantial social, economic and environmental benets and can support adapta-
tion to climate change (see Table16.1 below).
The chapter also highlighted a number of lessons that can inform future partner-
ships for NBS:
Table 16.1 Summary of NBS partnerships and resulting benets discussed in this chapter
Example Type of partnership Benets
Natural Infrastructure for
Online platform for members
(businesses) of the World
Business Council for
Sustainable Development
Increased awareness of the
business opportunities for
investing in ecosystems
Volkswagen, ecosystem
restoration initiative in
Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley,
Volkswagen, National
protected areas Commission
and Secretary of the
Environment, Mexico
Secure drinking water supply and
water supply for Volkswagen’s
production plant, carbon
sequestration, biodiversity
Rehabilitation of quarry
in Bellegarde, France
LafargeHolcim, French
National Musueum of
National History, local
municipality Bellegarde
Stormwater management, ood
prevention, biodiversity, water
quality, recreational benets
Miyun watershed, Beijng IUCN (with support from
DGIS–Netherlands Ministry
of Foreign Affairs), local
communities, local
Strengthened livelihoods,
sustainable forest use, regeneration
of natural forest and improvements
in forest structure, quality and
Vitoria-Gasteiz citizen
Municipality of Vitoria-
Gasteiz, citizens, Tecnalia,
SYKE Finnish Environment
Access to information to make the
city more liveable, sustainable
urban development
Citizen engagement in
Tempelhof Park, Berlin
City of Berlin, citizen working
Public access to Tempelhof Park,
providing natural space and
cultural and educational
Gibsons Eco-asset
Municipality of Gibsons,
scientic partners and
Mapping and assessing ecosystems
and their services within the
municipality and integration of the
value of nature into municipal
asset management
stormwater management
Philadelphia Water
Department, private
developers, US Environmental
Protection Agency,
universities, citizens
Cost-benet analysis to integrate
natural solutions into city planning
for reduced storm water and
sewage pollution
Pickering “Slow the
Forestry Commission, Town
of Pickering
Improved ood resilience,
assessment of water trade-offs with
agriculture and urban development
C. vanHam and H. Klimmek
Multidisciplinary and inclusive partnerships can foster the uptake of NBS in
response to climate-related challenges. They can create and catalyse synergies
between different parts of society by pooling together resources skills and
Involving citizens in urban decision making can help to make cities more live-
able, identify opportunities for implementing NBS, and create trust, ownership
and stewardship.
Innovative tools (e.g. Harava) can help to incorporate different stakeholder views
within urban planning and policymaking and have the potential to support the
development of NBS.
Creating trust and learning to understand each other’s language better can help to
form the basis for joint action.
The development of replicable business models which quantify the values of
nature at local and landscape level and present a reliable return on invest-
ment can help to gain private sector support and leverage public investment
in NBS.
There is a need to develop a more solid evidence base on the multiple benets,
and particularly the cost-effectiveness of nature-based approaches to gain
more wide-spread support for NBS at city level. Experts on measuring the
qualitative and quantitative economic and social benets and services provided
by ecosystems, can help to create visibility for the value of a city’s natural
assets and promote the uptake of NBS in urban planning and management.
Sharing these types of examples and lessons can serve as a strong foundation for
promoting NBS and can help to inspire future partnerships for, and investments in
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16 Partnerships forNature-Based Solutions inUrban Areas– Showcasing...
... Type3 19 (Andersson et al., 2017;Arkema et al., 2017;Denjean et al., 2017;Droste et al., 2017;Emilsson & Ode Sang, 2017;Engström et al., 2018;Faivre et al., 2017;Fan et al., 2017;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Hoyle et al., 2017;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Liquete et al., 2016;Pontee et al., 2016;Raymond et al., 2017;Santiago Fink, 2016;Turkelboom et al., 2018;A. P. N. van der Jagt et al., 2017;Xing et al., 2017) Type2 3 (Artmann & Sartison, 2018;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Short et al., 2019) Type1 2 (Chen et al., 2019;Thorslund et al., 2017) Multiple types 11 (Albert et al., 2019;Bridgewater, 2018;Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Eggermont et al., 2015;Frantzeskaki et al., 2017;Keesstra et al., 2018;Krauze & Wagner, 2019;Langemeyer et al., 2018;Nesshöver et al., 2017;Santoro et al., 2019;van Ham & Klimmek, 2017) Table 2-3 points out that type 3 of NBS, characterized by a high level of managerial intervention, has received most attention in the literature. In fact, actions involving less managerial interventions were only rarely identified as NBS (see type 1 and 2 in Table 2-3). ...
... An analysis of the empirical studies (i.e., 22 of the 40 publications) serves to identify which challenges have been addressed in the literature : see Table 2-4. Albert et al., 2019;Chen et al., 2019;Engström et al., 2018;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Keesstra et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Santiago Fink, 2016;van Ham & Klimmek, 2017;Wamsler, 2015) Water Management 14 (Albert et al., 2019;Blau et al., 2018;Chen et al., 2019;Engström et al., 2018;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Keesstra et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Liquete et al., 2016;Pontee et al., 2016;Santoro et al., 2019;Short et al., 2019;Thorslund et al., 2017;van Ham & Klimmek, 2017;Wamsler, 2015) Coastal Resilience 2 (Pontee et al., 2016;Thorslund et al., 2017) Green Space Management 7 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Chen et al., 2019;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Hoyle et al., 2017;Santiago Fink, 2016;A. P. N. van der Jagt et al., 2017) Air Quality 4 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Engström et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Langemeyer et al., 2018) Urban Regeneration 8 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Fan et al., 2017;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Frantzeskaki et al., 2017;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Langemeyer et al., 2018;A. ...
... An analysis of the empirical studies (i.e., 22 of the 40 publications) serves to identify which challenges have been addressed in the literature : see Table 2-4. Albert et al., 2019;Chen et al., 2019;Engström et al., 2018;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Keesstra et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Santiago Fink, 2016;van Ham & Klimmek, 2017;Wamsler, 2015) Water Management 14 (Albert et al., 2019;Blau et al., 2018;Chen et al., 2019;Engström et al., 2018;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Keesstra et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Liquete et al., 2016;Pontee et al., 2016;Santoro et al., 2019;Short et al., 2019;Thorslund et al., 2017;van Ham & Klimmek, 2017;Wamsler, 2015) Coastal Resilience 2 (Pontee et al., 2016;Thorslund et al., 2017) Green Space Management 7 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Chen et al., 2019;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Hoyle et al., 2017;Santiago Fink, 2016;A. P. N. van der Jagt et al., 2017) Air Quality 4 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Engström et al., 2018;Kronenberg et al., 2017;Langemeyer et al., 2018) Urban Regeneration 8 (Camps-Calvet et al., 2016;Fan et al., 2017;Frantzeskaki, 2019;Frantzeskaki et al., 2017;Gulsrud et al., 2018;Langemeyer et al., 2018;A. ...
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Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are increasingly recognized as multifunctional, effective solutions to a wide range of societal challenges arising from climate change and rapid urbanization. NBS are inspired and supported by nature, providing multiple social, environmental, and economic benefits simultaneously. Such solutions are widely promoted and supported especially in Europe, however, their uptake is still limited. NBS are integrative solutions, and their implementation requires combining knowledge from various domains and bringing together stakeholders with different backgrounds and roles. Therefore, cities have to adopt systemic thinking in their planning and decision-making practices to gain a better picture of the underlying conditions affecting NBS uptake. This research aims to facilitate NBS uptake by providing insights, methods, and tools that can support cities in applying systemic thinking to NBS planning. Chapter 2 reviews the relevant literature to help understand NBS from a theoretical and practical perspective. Besides exploring various NBS definitions and typologies, this study discusses the aims for implementing these solutions and identifies stakeholder groups involved in developing NBS, and explores the barriers and enablers of implementing NBS in urban settings. It provides a strategic planning framework that can help cities identify solutions for their challenges. Chapter 3 examines the barriers to NBS uptake and implementation in urban settings. The interdependencies among these barriers are analyzed using Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM), a soft systems approach. The resulting analysis provides a hierarchical model that can better prioritize actions for addressing such barriers. This study finds political and institutional barriers to significantly affect NBS uptake. By highlighting the pivotal role of the lack of knowledge and knowledge-sharing mechanisms, this study argues that enhancing the availability and accessibility of NBS knowledge can systemically improve the underlying conditions that limit NBS uptake. This research offers solutions that improve knowledge accessibility and help cities operationalize NBS knowledge. Chapter 4 presents an information system named Nature-Based Solutions Planning Support System (NBS-PSS). This GIS-based system provides users with recommendations regarding suitable NBS measures, sites for implementation, and performs a cost estimation analysis. The system’s multi-scale structure helps align actions and objectives between different scales, which is necessary for systemic NBS viii planning. This study demonstrates the potential of NBS-PSS as a collaborative NBS planning tool. Another information system named Nature-Based Solutions Case-Based System (NBS-CBS) is presented in chapter 5. NBS-CBS applies the knowledge derived from past experiences of implementing NBS for recommending how to tackle new problems. NBS-CBS uses a hybrid black-box/white-box architecture combining Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). By providing intelligent, transparent, and fast access to an immense amount of information, NBSCBS offers relevant recommendations without relying on extensive user inputs. This research emphasizes systemic thinking as necessary for NBS uptake, underlining how important it is to consider the broader societal conditions rather than looking at NBS projects in isolation. This study helps cities adopt a systemic view through analyzing factors that influence NBS uptake and implementation, and presenting information systems that make the knowledge needed for systemic NBS planning accessible to a wide range of stakeholders.
... governance conditions). Institutionalising a systems' approach to NBS The first mainstreaming strategy addresses the need to institutionalise a systems' approach to NBS that recognises synergies and provides a reliable and consolidated framework for integrated governance across institutional siloes, priorities, and agendas 20,25,51,52 . Existing sectoral approaches in the cities, characterised by fragmented and narrow priorities, management responsibilities and financing frameworks, posed barriers to the prioritisation of NBS and the mobilisation of resources. ...
... The focus on how institutional mainstreaming is achieved underscores the critical roles of institutional entrepreneurs, in this case the city teams, in enacting the stepping stones 9,52 . The city teams invested in alliances and trust, showcased new strategies, pilots, and practices, bridged across different agendas and networks, forged partnerships with key stakeholders and citizens, and contracted necessary expertise and skills to e.g. ...
Full-text available
This paper explores the institutional mainstreaming of nature-based solutions (NBS) to advance a process-based understanding about how to strategically develop the governance capacities needed for systemic, localised and inclusive NBS. To this end, it reports how policy officers in ten European cities have started to mainstream NBS by interacting with and changing incumbent governance arrangements when experimenting with novel governance processes and mechanisms to plan, deliver and steward NBS. Based on these activities of the policy officers, the analysis identifies three strategies, associated stepping stones and changes in governance conditions, to mainstream NBS in governance capacities: institutionalising (a) a systems’ approach to link NBS to policies, regulations, and departments across goals and sectors, (b) inclusive collaborations for localised and inclusive interventions, and (c) reflexivity and learning about how NBS interact with the (institutional, ecological, social, etc.) contexts and create impacts. The strategies illustrate institutional entrepreneurship in interacting with incumbent governance contexts, and how starting from NBS as a type of systemic innovation can promote broader shifts in urban governance arrangements.
... Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify the potential key stakeholders that could be considered in promoting NbS by examining their role in controlling different actions and their character regarding changes or innovative actions. Our study is also exploring the collaboration network of such stakeholders in order to help addressing the NbS in a trans-disciplinary manner and developing multi-stakeholder partnerships and inclusive planning approaches (van Ham and Klimmek, 2017). Thus, we explore the most important stakeholders responsible to address the environmental challenges from the Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs), to indicate the key stakeholders that should be engaged in integrating NbS into environmental planning processes. ...
... This is no different at county scale, where the existing environmental challenges identified within the LEAPs require a sustainable approach and NbS could represent an opportunity to be embraced by the relevant stakeholders responsible for addressing these environmental challenges. Furthermore, matching environmental challenges with relevant NbS highlights the need to have a multi-sectoral, inter-disciplinary, and trans-disciplinary approach concerning the key stakeholders involved in NbS promotion (i.e., both private and public actors from fields such as water and green space management, development in research and innovation, private investments) (van Ham and Klimmek, 2017). Moreover, to efficiently integrate different NbS such as renaturing riverbanks in urban areas, designing green walls or designing green spaces with green sports facilities within the LEAPs it is necessary to use the knowledge of stakeholders with strong experience and expertise in the field of NbS that can help conceptualizing and delivering NbS (Kabisch et al., 2016). ...
Environmental planning is considered an important process to positively encourage the inclusion of nature-based solutions (NbS) in urban areas. The success of their implementation relies on the collaboration between the involved stakeholders in the environmental planning process. The aim of this study is to identify the key stakeholders within the environmental planning processes that could be considered in NbS promotion, as well as to understand their actual position in a conceptual collaboration network. Therefore, a sample of seven Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) from Romania was selected to identify the relevant stakeholders for addressing environmental challenges through the promotion of NbS. We use social network analysis (SNA) to understand the barriers and opportunities of the collaborative planning process by identifying (i) 42 distinct stakeholders classified, based on the diffusion of innovation theory, according to their interests and reasons in promoting or hindering an innovation, and (ii) 12 categories of environmental challenges. Our findings illustrate a relatively low centrality and influence of stakeholders as innovators, change agents, and transformers. Furthermore, those who have greater influence in the collaboration network and therefore those who could emphasize the use of NbS into environmental planning based on the actions from LEAPs come from the following categories of stakeholders: controllers, mainstreamers, and laggards. The environmental challenges are addressed mainly by institutional stakeholders, to the detriment of community ones. Our study highlights the necessity for collaboration to support efficient NbS integration into environmental planning processes.
... As green roofs are governed by hydrological principles, their behavior and efficiency can be quantitatively assessed, although this requires new methodological developments taking into account the heterogeneity of precipitation and the built environment (Qiu et al., 2021). Consequently, their "quantifiable" nature responds to the need for providing stronger evidence on NBaS (van Ham and Klimmek, 2017). ...
... NBS applications are generally criticized for not including robust and quantifiable evidence of their effectiveness . This criticism is particularly pronounced in the case of NBS for CCA and mitigation (van Ham and Klimmek, 2017). Often NBS or NBaS are designed with ambitious expectations without robust evidence or quantifiable metrics. ...
Exploring nature-based adaptation solutions for urban ecohydrology: Definitions, concepts, institutional framework, and demonstration - With a focus on green roofs
... Andersson et al. [39] assessed ecological and social factors contributing to durable and effective NbS for extreme climate episodes. Frantzeskaki et al. [40] assessed NbS's contribution to accelerating urban sustainability transitions in three European cities. Van Ham and Klimmek [41] highlighted successful examples of partnerships for NbS in urban areas, e.g. a reforestation project in Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley, Mexico, with a partnership between Volkswagen de Mexico, the National Committee for Protected Areas and the Secretary of the Environment for Mexico, successfully ensuring 1 300 000 cubic meters of additional water per year to be fed into the ground reserves in the source region. The links between the UGBI types and well-being dimensions have been assessed and corroborated multiple times from different perspectives and research fields. ...
Full-text available
The article explores the contributions of Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure (UGBI) and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to enhance human and ecological wellbeing and health in urban areas. It delves into the concepts of UGBI and NbS, highlighting their importance in creating sustainable and liveable cities. We consider UGBI natural elements in the urban environment, grouped into different typologies. NbS are considered solutions, or actions, to promote environmental and human health based on the use of UGBI. The assessment was done under the umbrella of human and ecosystem health, linking wellbeing dimensions from the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services – Freedom of choice, Social relations, Mental health, Physical health, Food security, and Physical security – with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, showing a link with 12 of the 15 goals. The article presents non-exhaustive lists of UGBI types and NbS actions linked to wellbeing dimensions. We assess ecosystem services provided by GBI and NbS and the implications of incorporating these solutions in urban environments for human and ecosystem health and the future of healthy and liveable cities.
... A common social dimension that must be considered when implementing measures is trust among stakeholders. As van Ham and Klimmek (2017) indicate, trust can be something that has been built or unbuilt during projects; thus, trust can be a decisive condition between success and failure. ...
Full-text available
Sand and dust storms (SDS) are a major disruptor in both the source areas where they occur and at distant locations. This critical review aims to address the question of whether mitigation and adaptation measures have been or can be implemented and what is the optimal scale of their implementation to negate the impacts of SDS in Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR)? Measures which differ in approach are also assessed by recording their successes, failures, and future challenges. We conclude that developing and implementing appropriate mitigation or adaptation measures for SDS at the local level is feasible but, at a wider scale, is a new challenge. This challenge is even more complex in areas like the EMR and the SDS sources affecting it, as it is a crossroad of air masses originating from three major SDS areas, which exhibit economic, political, and social diversity. This review also aims to identify successful mitigation strategies that have been used for similar environmental issues and to draw attention to the lack of adaptation measures in the region. This critical synthesis will serve as a guide for public stakeholders considering measures to mitigate or adapt to SDS based on their effectiveness and the area of implementation.
... Stakeholder participation has received attention as one of the essential elements in risk management processes and NBS implementation. It is crucial to respect the right of stakeholders, including those affected by NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction purpose, to be involved in decision-making processes and to facilitate effective solutions for societal problems (van Ham & Klimmek, 2017). ...
Full-text available
Traditional ways of reducing flood risk have encountered limitations in a climate-changing and rapidly urbanizing world. For instance, there has been a demanding requirement for massive investment in order to maintain a consistent level of security as well as increased flood exposure of people and property due to a false sense of security arising from the flood protection infrastructure. Against this background, nature-based solutions (NBS) have gained popularity as a sustainable and alternative way of dealing with diverse societal challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. In particular, their ability to reduce flood risks while also offering ecological benefits has recently received global attention. Diverse co-benefits of NBS that favor both humans and nature are viewed as promising a wide endorsement of NBS. However, people’s perceptions of NBS are not always positive. Local resistance to NBS projects as well as decision-makers’ and practitioners’ unwillingness to adopt NBS have been pointed out as a bottleneck to the successful realization and mainstreaming of NBS. In this regard, there has been a growing necessity to investigate people’s perceptions of NBS. Current research has lacked an integrative perspective of both attitudinal and contextual factors that guide perceptions of NBS; it not only lacks empirical evidence, but a few existing ones are rather conflicting without having underlying theories. This has led to the overarching research question of this dissertation, "What shapes people’s perceptions of NBS in the context of flooding?" The dissertation aims to answer the following sub-questions in the three papers that make up this dissertation: 1. What are the topics reflected in the previous literature influencing perceptions of NBS as a means to reduce hydro-meteorological risks? (Paper I) 2. What are the stimulating and hampering attitudinal and contextual factors for mainstreaming NBS for flood risk management? How are NBS conceptualized? (Paper II) 3. How are public attitudes toward the NBS projects shaped? How do risk-and place-related factors shape individual attitudes toward NBS? (Paper III) This dissertation follows an integrative approach of considering “place” and “risk”, as well as the surrounding context, by analyzing attitudinal (i.e., individual) and contextual (i.e., systemic) factors. “Place” is mainly concerned with affective elements (e.g., bond to locality and natural environment) whereas “risk” is related to cognitive elements (e.g., threat appraisal). The surrounding context provides systemic drivers and barriers with the possibility of interfering the influence of place and risk for perceptions of NBS. To empirically address the research questions, the current status of the knowledge about people’s perceptions of NBS for flood risks was investigated by conducting a systematic review (Paper I). Based on these insights, a case study of South Korea was used to demonstrate key contextual and attitudinal factors for mainstreaming NBS through the lens of experts (Paper II). Lastly, by conducting a citizen survey, it investigated the relationship between the previously discussed concepts in Papers I and II using structural equation modeling, focusing on the core concepts, namely risk and place (Paper III). As a result, Paper I identified the key topics relating to people’s perceptions, including the perceived value of co-benefits, perceived effectiveness of risk reduction effectiveness, participation of stakeholders, socio-economic and place-specific conditions, environmental attitude, and uncertainty of NBS. Paper II confirmed Paper I's findings regarding attitudinal factors. In addition, several contextual hampering or stimulating factors were found to be similar to those of any emerging technologies (i.e., path dependence, lack of operational and systemic capacity). Among all, one of the distinctive features in NBS contexts, at least in the South Korean case, is the politicization of NBS, which can lead to polarization of ideas and undermine the decision-making process. Finally, Paper III provides a framework with the core topics (i.e., place and risk) that were considered critical in Paper I and Paper II. This place-based risk appraisal model (PRAM) connects people at risk and places where hazards (i.e., floods) and interventions (i.e., NBS) take place. The empirical analysis shows that, among the place-related variables, nature bonding was a positive predictor of the perceived risk-reduction effectiveness of NBS, and place identity was a negative predictor of supportive attitude. Among the risk-related variables, threat appraisal had a negative effect on perceived risk reduction effectiveness and supportive attitude, while well-communicated information, trust in flood risk management, and perceived co-benefit were positive predictors. This dissertation proves that the place and risk attributes of NBS shape people’s perceptions of NBS. In order to optimize the NBS implementation, it is necessary to consider the meanings and values held in place before project implementation and how these attributes interact with individual and/or community risk profiles and other contextual factors. With the increasing necessity of using NBS to lower flood risks, these results make important suggestions for the future NBS project strategy and NBS governance.
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The Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda emphasise the role of cities for achieving progressive, grounded, and holistic socio-environmental change. Food sharing activities, such as participation in community gardens, organic cooperatives, and urban farms and orchards, are recognised as positive urbanism transition pathways that can harbour many social, environmental, and economic co-benefits. To realise sustainable urbanism goals, the international project, EdiCitNet, applied “edible” Nature-based Solutions to facilitate societal challenges in 10 participating cities. The project assumed that participatory processes across sectors within diverse cities would foster resilient project outcomes. However, while social engagement proved crucial, its implementation across diverse contexts also raised several questions regarding participants’ initial engagement and the ongoing social sustainability of the project. Analysing outcomes from the project’s first 18 months, we recognise how the type and scope of engagement can impact project implementation, highlighting how “soft” aspects such as trust, emotions, and values are crucial for the success of large-scale multi-sector projects and how aspects of power and empowerment are embedded in the process. These findings can inform the design and implementation of other sustainable urbanism projects, in addition to contributing to literature on social participation, engagement, and translocal governance.
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The attention given to nature-based solutions (NBS) in urban governance is often hindered by the fragmentation of responsibilities in technical and administrative services and by rigid structural conditions within urban regimes. This drastically harms NBS implementation and their co-benefits. There is limited information regarding NBS integration across levels and scales of urban governance, in particular a lack of studies that access such integration in urban policy and planning. This study aims to address this gap by exploring the integration of NBS in urban policy and planning in Barcelona, Lisbon, and Turin, the three European municipalities participating in the H2020 project CONEXUS. The objectives are: (1) to understand the state of top-down and bottom-up integration of NBS in urban policy and planning in the three cities; (2) to understand barriers in integration that might hinder the evolution of the NBS agenda in said instruments; (3) to identify policy and planning entry points that can catalyze forms of cross-sectoral, multi-level, and interdisciplinary governance of NBS toward transformative change. The methods used include an in-depth analysis of official municipal, metropolitan, regional, and national documents and expert interviews. The results show that NBS integration in urban policy and planning is novel in all cities but advancing considerably with initial dialogues among the public sector, academia, and local actors of various provenances. Planning in silos persists, negatively impacting any possible confluence of actions toward NBS integration and implementation. However, a constellation of national and international plans including NBS, combined with the development of cross-cutting policies and plans, and an increasing interest from the municipalities and citizens, reveal an enabling environment for NBS integration in urban policies. Our findings are translated into insights that can support policy and decision makers to operationalize NBS integration in their municipal agendas, policies, and plans.
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This paper identifies and examines the strategies and governance conditions by which ten European cities have started mainstreaming nature-based solutions (NBS) as innovative systemic solutions in urban planning. The three sets of mainstreaming strategies focus on how teams of policy entrepreneurs within the cities experimented with innovative governance processes and mechanisms to strategically develop procedures, knowledge, skills, and relationships to integrate (a) a systems’ approach to link NBS to policies, regulations, and departments across goals and sectors, (b) inclusive collaborations for localised interventions, and (c) reflexivity and learning about how they interact with the (institutional, ecological, social, etc.) contexts and create impacts. The strategies demonstrate how starting from NBS as a type of systemic innovation can help promote shifts in urban planning to address complex sustainability problems in cities, and how starting points and specific processes depend on a respective city’s contexts and needs.
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ABSTRACT. Nature-based solutions promoting green and blue urban areas have significant potential to decrease the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of cities in light of climatic change. They can thereby help to mitigate climate change-induced impacts and serve as proactive adaptation options for municipalities. We explore the various contexts in which nature-based solutions are relevant for climate mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, identify indicators for assessing the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and related knowledge gaps. In addition, we explore existing barriers and potential opportunities for increasing the scale and effectiveness of nature-based solution implementation. The results were derived from an inter-and transdisciplinary workshop with experts from research, municipalities, policy, and society. As an outcome of the workshop discussions and building on existing evidence, we highlight three main needs for future science and policy agendas when dealing with nature-based solutions: (i) produce stronger evidence on nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation and raise awareness by increasing implementation; (ii) adapt for governance challenges in implementing nature-based solutions by using reflexive approaches, which implies bringing together new networks of society, nature-based solution ambassadors, and practitioners; (iii) consider socio-environmental justice and social cohesion when implementing nature-based solutions by using integrated governance approaches that take into account an integrative and transdisciplinary participation of diverse actors. Taking these needs into account, nature-based solutions can serve as climate mitigation and adaptation tools that produce additional cobenefits for societal well-being, thereby serving as strong investment options for sustainable urban planning.
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This chapter introduces patterns of urbanization, biodiversity, and ecosystem services at the global scale. Underpinning the goals of the chapter is the notion that cities are inextricably linked to the biophysical world, although these linkages are increasingly difficult to clearly identify. The chapter starts by introducing the idea that cities both impact and depend upon the biophysical environment. We go on to discuss how urbanization is both the cause of societal or environmental problems and the solution to many problems, depending on the time-scale and scope of the analysis. Finally, we provide a global overview of cities’ relationships with two key facets of the environment: biodiversity and freshwater ecosystem services.
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Recent advancements in the understanding of the benefits provided by healthy, well-managed forests provide water systems nationwide with a new approach to tackle America's imposing drinking water infrastructure needs. With sturdy, long-lived roots, multilayered canopies, and varied soil composition, forests help to regulate water yield and peak flow, as well as mitigate sedimentation and nutrient loading. Therefore, maintaining healthy, forested landscapes and implementing best practices in forestry management can be effective strategies for promoting source water quality and regulating flow. Because of aging water utility infrastructure, a growing population, growing affluence, and increasing threats to forested watersheds from climate change and other factors, water quality managers are paying closer attention to the benefits of forests as a least-cost option compared with, say, costly engineered solutions. This is not an either-or proposition. Society will always need well-financed, effective, and well-engineered gray infrastructure.
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Port relocation leaves a mark on the city's landscape and history. In Rotterdam, a medium-sized urban delta, the harbour activities are being relocated from close to the city centre to outwards on the sea. This leaves the city with a regeneration challenge accounting for an area of 1600 ha that it is addressed through the drawing up of an ambitious vision. We investigate the partnerships that emerged and contributed by taking up the realisation of the vision. The partnerships further develop and bring to the ground the vision while remaining inspired and driven by sustainability as a guiding and practicing principle. A mapping framework is developed to examine the governance imprint of partnerships along two axes: their impact in terms of synergies and the governance role they adopt. Success factors pertinent to the case include: the sustainability vision created a momentum for action, enjoyed political attention and commitment and was received as a flagship committing different actors to its implementation. Additional factors are the quick reflexes of different agencies to take up action at the aftermath of the vision creation, the local government was open to experiment with new and old arrangements and in this way, it reinvented its role without losing its governing responsibility. In this context, partnerships take up meta-governance roles and coordinate self-organised collaborative governance processes while ensuring synergies and delivering on sustainability ambitions.
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It is widely argued that increased community participation in government decision making produces many important benefits. Dissent is rare: It is difficult to envision anything but positive outcomes from citizens joining the policy process, collaborating with others and reaching consensus to bring about positive social and environmental change. This article, motivated by contextual problems encountered in a participatory watershed management initiative, reviews the citizen-participation literature and analyzes key considerations in determining whether community participation is an effective policy-making tool. We list conditions under which community participation may be costly and ineffective and when it can thrive and produce the greatest gains in effective citizen governance. From the detritus of an unsuccessful citizen-participation effort, we arrive at a more informed approach to guide policy makers in choosing a decision-making process that is appropriate for a community's particular needs.
In the absence of federal leadership, states and localities are stepping forward to address critical problems like climate change, urban sprawl, and polluted water and air. Fortunately, they have dynamic, innovative models outside U.S. borders. Green Cities of Europe draws on the world's best examples of sustainability to show how other cities can become greener and more livable.
As the need to confront unplanned growth increases, planners, policymakers, and citizens are scrambling for practical tools and examples of successful and workable approaches. Growth management initiatives are underway in the U.S. at all levels, but many American "success stories" provide only one piece of the puzzle. To find examples of a holistic approach to dealing with sprawl, one must turn to models outside of the United States. In Green Urbanism, Timothy Beatley explains what planners and local officials in the United States can learn from the sustainable city movement in Europe. The book draws from the extensive European experience, examining the progress and policies of twenty-five of the most innovative cities in eleven European countries, which Beatley researched and observed in depth during a year-long stay in the Netherlands. Chapters examine: the sustainable cities movement in Europe examples and ideas of different housing and living options transit systems and policies for promoting transit use, increasing bicycle use, and minimizing the role of the automobile creative ways of incorporating greenness into cities ways of readjusting "urban metabolism" so that waste flows become circular programs to promote more sustainable forms of economic development sustainable building and sustainable design measures and features renewable energy initiatives and local efforts to promote solar energy ways of greening the many decisions of local government including ecological budgeting, green accounting, and other city management tools.Throughout, Beatley focuses on the key lessons from these cities -- including Vienna, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Zurich, Amsterdam, London, and Berlin -- and what their experience can teach us about effectively and creatively promoting sustainable development in the United States. Green Urbanism is the first full-length book to describe urban sustainability in European cities, and provides concrete examples and detailed discussions of innovative and practical sustainable planning ideas. It will be a useful reference and source of ideas for urban and regional planners, state and local officials, policymakers, students of planning and geography, and anyone concerned with how cities can become more livable.
Plan Regional Pour Le Climat D’Île-De-France Available at
  • Conseil Regional
Conseil Regional D'Île-De-France (2011) Plan Regional Pour Le Climat D'Île-De-France. Available at: Convention on Biological Diversity (2012) Cities and biodiversity outlook. Montreal. Available at: