Urban greening policies and measures have recently shown a high potential impact on the design and reshaping of the built environment, especially in urban regeneration processes. This book provides insights on analytical methods, planning strategies and shared governance tools for successfully integrating Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the urban planning practice. The selected contributions present real-life application cases, in which the mainstreaming of NBS are investigated according to two main challenges: the planning and designing of physical and spatial integration of NBS in cities on one side, and the implementation of suitable shared governance models and co-creation pathways on the other.
Chapter 5 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.
Over recent decades Urban Living Labs (ULLs) have become a common space for co-creation processes' experimentation, whereby new approaches for sustainable urban development are highly connected to support evidence-based policy generation. Europe seems a particular 'hotspot' for this approach whenever it comes to public policy and specifically planning for urban transition. Systemic changes related to urban governance and different public participatory mechanisms, as in the case of ULLs, demand a growing interest from the stakeholders and deliberation in decision-making mechanisms. In this research paper, we analyze co-creation pathways and different shared governance mechanisms in three ongoing European projects: CLEVER Cities, Sharing Cities, and SUNEX projects from a practice perspective. This comparative study investigates stakeholder engagement (1) scales, (2) mechanisms, (3) methodologies of engagement, and finally the co-creation pathway challenges and pitfalls. From the analyzed ULLs' experiences, we identified key principles that suggest relevant clues to enable the consolidation of a forthcoming ULL 2.0 model and related innovation pathways for co-creating urban planning policies. We lastly reflect on the enablers and catalysts of co-creation processes to inform shared urban governance as major takeaways from our research.
This paper explores how varied systems of governance work at the European city level to deliver different policy mixes for implementing nature-based approaches which support integrated water management and policy. Urban systems provide unique insights here due to the concentration of consumption, economic activities and excessive land-use pressures. However, few studies are providing generic insights, rooted in policy and political theory perspectives, on the dynamic impact of urban governance systems on different mixes of policies to integrate urban nature and water management approaches. The paper fills this gap through an extensive literature review. It first draws on analysis that focuses on institutional logics of operation to understand how urban institutional arrangements of governance shape the framing of the policy problem and how this influences the choice of policy approaches. It then explores the related administrative processes including decision support tools, participatory approaches, and funding regimes. These administrative approaches deliver, potentially, different policy responses that take into account integrated nature-based policy approaches to urban water governance.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) for mitigating climate change are gaining popularity. The number of NBS is increasing, but research gaps still exist at the governance level. The objectives of this paper are (i) to give an overview of the implemented NBS for flood risk management and mitigation in Germany, (ii) to identify governance models that are applied, and (iii) to explore the differences between these models. The results of a hierarchical clustering procedure and a qualitative analysis show that while no one-size-fits-all governance model exists, polycentricism is an important commonality between the projects. The study concludes by highlighting the need for further research on traditional governance model reconversion and paradigm changes. We expect the findings to identify what has worked in the past, as well as what is important for the implementation of NBS for flood risk management in future projects.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) to climate change currently have considerable political traction. However, national intentions to deploy NbS have yet to be fully translated into evidence-based targets and action on the ground. To enable NbS policy and practice to be better informed by science, we produced the first global systematic map of evidence on the effectiveness of nature-based interventions for addressing the impacts of climate change and hydrometeorological hazards on people. Most of the interventions in natural or semi-natural ecosystems were reported to have ameliorated adverse climate impacts. Conversely, interventions involving created ecosystems (e.g., afforestation) were associated with trade-offs; such studies primarily reported reduced soil erosion or increased vegetation cover but lower water availability, although this evidence was geographically restricted. Overall, studies reported more synergies than trade-offs between reduced climate impacts and broader ecological, social, and climate change mitigation outcomes. In addition, nature-based interventions were most often shown to be as effective or more so than alternative interventions for addressing climate impacts. However, there were substantial gaps in the evidence base. Notably, there were few studies of the cost-effectiveness of interventions compared to alternatives and few integrated assessments considering broader social and ecological outcomes. There was also a bias in evidence toward the Global North, despite communities in the Global South being generally more vulnerable to climate impacts. To build resilience to climate change worldwide, it is imperative that we protect and harness the benefits that nature can provide, which can only be done effectively if informed by a strengthened evidence base.
The year 2015 saw a momentous transformation in the global environment and development agenda with the signing of Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These milestone agreements promise to transform the way global community deal with environmental issues and strive to achieve sustainable development. A number of planned other global initiatives such as post 2020 biodiversity framework and IUCN’s World Conservation Congress promise additional avenues for realising global goals and targets at ground to global level. This will of course require sustainable approach both in their planning and implementing strategies. Nature-based solution (NbS)-related interventions inspired from nature’s tremendous capacity to address the challenges facing the societies today bridges this gap by offering multiple opportunities. For example, to address the complex task of meeting SDGs at a local scale, NbS can provide cost-effective and no-regret solutions. This chapter shares experiences of the key challenges and opportunities in implementing NbS interventions at a local level. It highlights the key entry points for NbS through community-led initiatives and mainstreaming these in government plans and programmes. The chapter contents suggest the road ahead for NbS to address the post 2015 development and post COP 21 climate adaptation agenda and beyond by identifying specific role for communities, private sectors and government agencies.
In 2013, the European Commission passed out the EU Adaptation strategy to increase knowledge-based framework related to resilience impacts on climate change adaptation actions. This study addresses the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in three urban living labs in Milan as an experimental co-creation process. The ideation is mainly based on co-designing and co-implementing the possible NBS interventions with multiplicity of local stakeholders and involving citizens. The planned interventions starting in June 2019, in urban living labs known as CLEVER Action Labs (CALs), are summarized as follows: (1) Public tender for promoting green roofs and green facades in private buildings, (2) Giambellino 129 public park, and (3) vertical green interventions on the new Tibaldi train stop ; these are subject to investigation based on scale of application, urban policies, and governance. The comparative analysis between the three CALs showed: (1) a great potential to incentivize greening alliances and tax bonds from the local governmental authority, (2) the place-based morphology influences the urban resilience of the overall space context. The preliminary results correlate the stimulation of the 2015 European Commission framework on “NBS implementation and Re-Naturing Cities” to help shape the major funds behind the local governmental authorities’ involvement; yet, the economic feasibility of the NBS interventions remains a critical point to tackle local stakeholders’ engagement. Another strong aspect refers to the existing greening initiatives in the local Milanese context such as ‘Milan 2030 vision’ and the resilience strategy put in place to adapt and mitigate the Milanese climate change challenges and address its urban sustainability issues.
Climate change and the overexploitation of natural resources increase the need to integrate sustainable development policies at both national and international levels to fit the demands of a growing population. In 2015 the United Nations (UN) established the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, reducing inequality and protecting the planet. The Agenda 2030 highlights the importance of biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems to maintain economic activities and the well-being of local communities. Nature Based Solutions (NBS) support biodiversity conservation and the functioning of ecosystems. NBS are increasingly seen as innovative solutions to manage water-related risks while transforming natural capital into a source of green growth and sustainable development. In this context, NBS could potentially contribute to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting the delivery of bundles of ecosystem services together generating various social, economic and environmental co-benefits. However, to achieve the full potential of NBS, it is necessary to recognize the trade-offs and synergies of the co-benefits associated with their implementation. To this aim, we have adopted a system perspective and a multi-sectoral approach to analyse the potential of NBS to deliver co-benefits while at the same time reducing the negative effects of water-related hazards. Using the case study of Copenhagen, we have analysed the relationships between the co-benefits associated with the scenario of the restoration of the Ladegaardsaa urban river. Our hypothesis is that enhancing the understanding of the social, economic and environmental factors of the system, including mutual influences and trade-offs, could improve the decision-making process and thereby enhance the capability of NBS to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
In this paper, we examine how cities are working with nature-based solutions for biodiversity. Drawing on a sample of 199 nature-based solutions across Europe, we identify how cities work with nature-based solutions to conserve nature, restore nature, and to find ways to thrive through harnessing nature’s contribution to people. Our findings show that cities are making explicit contributions to biodiversity through nature-based solutions, and often adopt specific and quantifiable targets to guide their actions. Yet there is significant variation in the ways in which biodiversity goals and interventions are being pursued. Where biodiversity goals and actions are included in nature-based solutions, they are mainly ecosystem-based - focusing on the protection, restoration or enhancement of the integrity, functionality, and connectivity of habitats and ecosystems - with fewer focused on specific species, and very few projects concerned with genetic diversity. Although it is often assumed that urban action towards biodiversity goals will be undertaken through local planning processes, our analysis shows that European cities are taking project-based actions for biodiversity through a set of explicit, quantitative and measurable targets, which are tailored to the specific conditions of urban settings. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that if cities are to achieve ambitious goals for biodiversity over the next decade, new international frameworks being developed for the post-2020 period should include targets that acknowledge the way in which biodiversity is governed in cities and the contribution that cities make to conserve, restore and thrive with nature to guide urban action.
Abstract Amplifying the impact of sustainability initiatives to foster transformations in urban and rural contexts, has received increasing attention in resilience, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research. We review the literature on amplification frameworks and propose an integrative typology of eight processes, which aim to increase the impact of such initiatives. The eight amplification processes are: stabilizing, speeding up, growing, replicating, transferring, spreading, scaling up, and scaling deep. We aggregated these processes into three categories: amplifying within, amplifying out, and amplifying beyond. This integrative typology aims to stimulate the debate on impact amplification from urban and rural sustainability initiatives across research areas to support sustainability transformations. We propose going beyond an understanding of amplification, which focuses only on the increase of numbers of sustainability initiatives, by considering how these initiatives create transformative change.
Urban waters represent a crucial component for the enhancement of urban resilience due to their importance in cities. Nature-based solutions (NBS) have emerged as sustainable solutions to contribute to urban resilience in order to meet the challenges of climate change. In order to promote the use of NBS for increasing urban resilience, tools that demonstrate the value of this type of solutions over the long-term are required. A performance assessment system provides an adequate basis for demonstrating this value, as well as for diagnosing the current city situation, selecting and monitoring the implementation of solutions. Regarding NBS management, some assessment approaches have been published, focusing on assessing the effectiveness of NBS in the face of climate change and supporting their design and impact assessment. Nevertheless, an integrated approach to assess the NBS contribution for urban resilience has not been published. This paper presents a comprehensive resilience assessment framework (RAF) to evaluate the NBS contribution for urban resilience, focused on solutions for stormwater management and control. Furthermore, details on stakeholders’ validation, with focus on the metrics’ relevance and applicability to cities, is also presented.
The Handbook of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies provides methodological support to cities, managing authorities and other stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of urban strategies under Cohesion Policy. In particular, it refers to Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) as supported by the European Regional Development Fund during the current programming period (2014-2020) and the upcoming one (2021-2027).
The Handbook is a policy learning tool, adaptable to the needs arising from different territorial and administrative contexts. It considers urban strategies as bridges between Cohesion Policy and local territorial governance systems.
The Handbook does not provide a ‘quick fix’, but rather provides suggestions - giving concrete examples and referring to existing tools and guidelines - on how to tackle key challenges during the process of strategy-making.
‘Nature-based solutions’ is the new jargon used to promote ideas of urban sustainability, which is gaining traction in both academic and policy circles, especially in the European Union. Through an analysis of the definitions and discourse around nature-based solutions, we discern a number of assumptions stemming from positivist science that are embedded in the term, and which we find create an inviting space for nature’s neoliberalisation processes. We provide empirical analysis of how these assumptions realise in two city-initiated projects in Barcelona, Spain, that have been identified as nature-based solutions: the green corridor of Passeig de Sant Joan and the community garden of Espai Germanetes supported under the municipal Pla Buits scheme. Both projects were born in a neoliberal political climate, but their outcomes in terms of neoliberalism and its contestation were very distinct – not least because of the different forms of governance and socio-natural interaction that these two projects foster. Urban nature can serve elite economic players at the expense of widespread socio-ecological benefits. But it can also serve as a ground for the articulation of demands for open and participatory green spaces that go beyond precarious and controlled stewardship for, or market-mediated interactions with, urban nature. We urge for future research and practice on nature-based solutions to be more critical of the term itself, and to guide its instrumentalisation in urban planning away from neoliberal agendas and towards more emancipatory and just socio-ecological futures.
There is growing awareness that ‘nature-based solutions' (NbS) can help to protect us from climate change impacts while slowing further warming, supporting biodiversity and securing ecosystem services. However, the potential of NbS to provide the intended benefits has not been rigorously assessed. There are concerns over their reliability and cost-effectiveness compared to engineered alternatives, and their resilience to climate change. Trade-offs can arise if climate mitigation policy encourages NbS with low biodiversity value, such as afforestation with non-native monocultures. This can result in maladaptation, especially in a rapidly changing world where biodiversity-based resilience and multi-functional landscapes are key. Here, we highlight the rise of NbS in climate policy—focusing on their potential for climate change adaptation as well as mitigation—and discuss barriers to their evidence-based implementation. We outline the major financial and governance challenges to implementing NbS at scale, highlighting avenues for further research. As climate policy turns increasingly towards greenhouse gas removal approaches such as afforestation, we stress the urgent need for natural and social scientists to engage with policy makers. They must ensure that NbS can achieve their potential to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crisis while also contributing to sustainable development. This will require systemic change in the way we conduct research and run our institutions.
This article is part of the theme issue ‘Climate change and ecosystems: threats, opportunities and solutions’.
The concept of a nature-based solution (NBS) has been developed in order to operationalize an ecosystem services approach within spatial planning policies and practices, to fully integrate the ecological dimension, and, at the same time, to address current societal challenges in cities. It exceeds the bounds of traditional approaches that aim ‘to protect and preserve’ by considering enhancing, restoring, co-creating, and co-designing urban green networks with nature that are characterized by multifunctionality and connectivity. NBSs include the main ideas of green and blue infrastructure, ecosystem services, and biomimicry concepts, and they are considered to be urban design and planning tools for ecologically sensitive urban development. Nowadays, NBSs are on their way to the mainstream as part of both national and international policies. The successful implementation of NBSs in Europe and worldwide, which is becoming increasingly common, highlights the importance and relevance of NBS for sustainable and livable cities. This paper discusses the roles, development processes, and functions of NBSs in cities by taking Leipzig as a case study. Using data from interviews conducted from 2017 to 2019, we study the past and current challenges that the city faces, including the whole process of NBS implementation and successful realization. We discuss the main drivers, governance actors, and design options of NBSs. We highlight the ecosystem services provided by each NBS. We discuss these drivers and governance strategies by applying the framework for assessing the co-benefits of NBSs in urban areas in order to assess the opportunities and challenges that NBSs may have. This way, we are able to identify steps and procedures that help to increase the evidence base for the effectiveness of NBS by providing examples of best practice that demonstrate the multiple co-benefits provided by NBSs.
Urbanization deletes and degrades natural ecosystems, threatens biodiversity, and alienates people from the experience of nature. Nature-based solutions (NbS) that are inspired and supported by nature have the potential to deliver multifunctional environmental and social benefits to address these challenges in urban areas under context-specific conditions. NbS implementation often relies on a one-size-fits-all approach, although interventions that maximize one benefit (e.g., biodiversity conservation) may have no influence on, or even negatively affect, others (e.g., social justice). Furthermore, the current pathways from NbS to various benefits do not rely on a deep understanding of the underlying processes, prohibiting the identification of optimal solutions that maximize synergies across pathways. We present a comprehensive socio-ecological framework that addresses these issues by recognizing that cities are human-dominated environments that are foremost built and maintained to support humans. Our framework demonstrates how we can use experiments and niche species models to understand and predict where species will be and where people will be healthy and happy in a comparable manner. This knowledge can then be integrated into decision support tools that use optimization algorithms to understand trade-offs, identify synergies, and provide planners with the tools needed to tailor context-specific NbS to yield greener, more resilient cities with happier people and reduced inequality.
Nature-based solutions (NBSs) have been on the forefront of the urban regeneration processes in a later fashion; that direction fundamentally intertwines with the European Commission framework of Research and Innovation policy on “Re-Naturing cities and Green Infrastructure” aiming towards positioning the EU as leader in ‘Innovating with nature’. This research paper exploits the originality of using Co-Creation as Pathway for cities to better implement NBSs, and achieve flexible, open, equitable urban resilience, and adapt climate change strategies. Co-Creation dynamic processes build on involving stakeholders and engaging local community at every stage; moreover, account on collective governance and outputting social, economic and environmental ‘Co-benefits’. Primitively, the aim of this paper is to highlight the innovation of Co-Creation tools towards addressing NBS challenges, as well as, the assessment of front-runner cities’ governmental approaches in facilitations or deficiency towards the accomplishment of Co-creation processes. The case-study application of this work refers to the NBS Co-creation guidance -under development- for the H2020 project ‘Clever Cities’ under GA776604, specifically tailored for the cities of London, Hamburg and Milan.
Despite substantial increases in the scope and magnitude of biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration, there remains ongoing degradation of natural resources that adversely affects both biodiversity and human well-being. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can be an effective framework for reversing this trend, by increasing the alignment between conservation and sustainable development objectives. However, unless there is clarity on its evolution, definition and principles, and relationship with related approaches, it will not be possible to develop evidence-based standards and guidelines, or to implement, assess, improve and upscale NbS interventions globally. In order to address this gap, we present the definition and principles underpinning the NbS framework, recently adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and compare it to (1) the Ecosystem Approach that was the foundation for developing the NbS definitional framework, and (2) four specific ecosystem based approaches (Forest Landscape Restoration, Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Ecological Restoration and Protected Areas) that can be considered as falling under the NbS framework. Although we found substantial alignment between NbS principles and the principles of the other frameworks, three of the eight NbS principles stand out from other approaches: NbS can be implemented alone or in an integrated manner with other solutions ; NbS should be applied at a landscape scale; and, NbS are integral to the overall design of policies, measures and actions, to address societal challenges. Reversely, concepts such as adaptive management/governance, effectiveness , uncertainty, multi-stakeholder participation, and temporal scale are present in other frameworks but not captured at all or detailed enough in the NbS principles. This critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the NbS principles can inform the review and revision of principles supporting specific types of NbS (such as the approaches reviewed here), as well as serve as the foundation for the development of standards for the successful implementation of NbS.
The paper presents the requirements and challenges of urban transitions towards sustainability from the perspective of the SAB of the JPI Urban Europe. Critical reflections on the achievements and identification of gaps in the activities of JPI Urban Europe, based on the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda SRIA (2015–2020), reveal advanced research questions, tasks, and approaches that influenced the development process of the SRIA 2.0 (released in February 2019). The authors emphasize the dilemma approach, the local context and the co-creation concept to pursue urban transitions in real-world context. Considering this frame, they propose specific domains for further research on urban transitions.
Nature-based solutions are proliferating in European cities over the past years as viable solutions to urban challenges such as climate change, urban degeneration and aging infrastructures. With evidence amounting about nature-based solutions, there is a need to translate knowledge about nature-based solutions to future policy and planning. In this paper, we analysed fifteen cases of nature-based solutions’ experiments across 11 European cities. What makes our case studies stand out is the balanced focus between ecosystem and social benefits in contrast to many published cases on nature-based solutions that have a weighted focus on the climate benefits. From a cross-case comparative analysis we draw seven overarching lessons related to all stages of proof-of-concept and implementation of nature-based solutions in cities: (a) nature-based solutions need to be aesthetically appealing to citizens, (b) nature-based solutions create new green urban commons, (c) experimenting with nature-based solutions requires trust in the local government and in experimentation process itself, (d) co-creation of nature-based solutions requires diversity and learning from social innovation, (e) nature-based solutions require collaborative governance, (f) an inclusive narrative of mission for nature-based solutions can enable integration to many urban agendas and (g) design nature-based solutions so as to learn and replicate them on the long-term. The lessons we draw show that nature-based solutions require multiple disciplines for their design, diversity (of settings) for co-creation and recognition of the place-based transformative potential of nature-based solutions as ‘superior’ to grey infrastructure. We further discern that urban planners need to have an open approach to collaborative governance of nature-based solutions that allows learning with and about new appealing designs, perceptions and images of nature from different urban actors, allows forming of new institutions for operating and maintaining nature-based solutions to ensure inclusivity, livability and resilience.
Urban Living Labs (ULL) are considered spaces to facilitate experimentation about sustainability solutions. ULL represent sites that allow different urban actors to design, test and learn from socio-technical innovations. However, despite their recent proliferation in the European policy sphere, the underlying processes through which ULL might be able to generate and diffuse new socio-technical configurations beyond their immediate boundaries have been largely disregarded and it remains to be examined how they contribute to urban sustainability transitions. With this study, we contribute to a better understanding of the diffusion mechanisms and strategies through which ULL (seek to) create a wider impact using the conceptual lens of transition studies. The mechanisms of diffusion are investigated in four distinct ULL in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Malmö, Sweden. The empirical results indicate six specific strategies that aim to support the diffusion of innovations and know-how developed within ULL to a broader context: transformative place-making, activating network partners, replication of lab structure, education and training, stimulating entrepreneurial growth and narratives of impact.
Increasing global urbanization yields substantial potential for enhanced sustainability through careful management of urban development and optimized resource use efficiency. Nature-based solutions (NBS) can provide a means for cities to successfully navigate the water-energy-climate relationship, thus enhancing urban resilience. Implementation of NBS can improve local or regional economic resilience underpinned by the sustainable use of natural resources. The innovative governance, institutional, business, and finance models and frameworks inherent to NBS implementation also provide a wealth of opportunity for social transformation and increased social inclusiveness in cities. The ultimate benefit of NBS implementation in cities is increased livability, which is typically measured as a function of multiple social, economic and environmental variables. Given the range of different interventions classified as NBS and the cross-sectoral character of their co-benefits, different assessment schemes can be used to evaluate NBS performance and impact. Herein, performance and impact indicators within three robust NBS- and Smart City-related assessment schemes—Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), Knowledge and Learning Mechanism on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (EKLIPSE), and Smart City Performance Measurement Framework (CITYkeys)—were critically analyzed with respect to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Each selected assessment scheme was benchmarked with respect to the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators' global indicator framework for the sub-objectives of SDG 11. The alignment between each of the selected NBS assessment schemes and the SDG indicator framework was mapped with particular emphasis on consistency with city-level framework indicators for each SDG 11 sub-objective. The results were illustrated as composite scores describing the alignment of the analyzed NBS and Smart city assessment schemes with the SDG 11 sub-objectives. These results facilitate NBS assessment scheme selection based on alignment between each analyzed assessment scheme and specific SDG 11 sub-objectives. Cities face multiple challenges amidst a complex hierarchy of legislative, regulatory and other stakeholder obligations. The present study showed that strategic selection of an NBS assessment scheme which closely aligns with one or more sub-objectives within SDG 11 can maximize operational efficiency by exploiting synergies between evaluation schemes.
In the current context, it is observed the need of organizations and institutions not only to satisfy diverse stakeholder expectations as well as meeting the growing need for sustainability innovations. Taking that into account, co-creation can play a key role in stakeholders engagement and sustainable practices could provide a participatory and integrative environment. However, it is barely discussed by academics and practitioners how value co-creation can be a relevant mechanism for sustainable development (SD), what are the key factors for co-creation aimed at SD and how to align co-creation with sustainability. To answer these questions, this study aims to propose a conceptual model of co-creation for sustainability, involving techniques and methodologies aimed at stakeholder engagement and contribution to SD. We used mixed methods approach, based on the use of a bibliometric model, followed by a Survey with application of a structured questionnaire for participants from virtual communities of co-creation processes or sustainability. Based on content analysis and statistical analyzes, a complex interconnection was observed, demonstrating the configuration of an open system, which could be better understood from the construction of a holistic model of co-creation for sustainability. The model can contribute to the meeting of the disciplines of co-creation and the triple bottom line vision of sustainability, integrating key factors and different methodologies that generally are studied in an exclusive and non-complementary way, becoming innovative for the academic, business and social environment. Lastly, it can be concluded that the model can be used integrally or in parts, in organizations of any nature, formal or otherwise, or even from the integration of some individuals of the society who seek solutions for sustainable development.
Urban living labs (ULLs) offer opportunities to foster sustainability in cities. They are sites to design, test and learn from innovation in real time. A key element in the operation and success of ULLs is user involvement. Users are often viewed as co-creators who shape ULL outcomes by contributing with their knowledge and experi ence. The transformative potential of ULLs for sustainability is often interconnected with user participation. Despite its importance, user involvement in ULLs remains a practical challenge that is also understudied. In this article, we examine how ULLs engage in a participatory methodology that facilitates co-creation with users, and discuss the link between user involvement and the transformative potential of ULLs. While co-creation is a cornerstone of the ULL concept, we also show that a combination of different user participation levels in different stages of the ULL life cycle has a potential to enhance the outcomes and transformative potential of ULLs. User involvement plays a positive role in realising the transformative potential of ULLs for sustainability, but governance structure, leadership and power distribution are also important factors for ULLs to become transformative.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2015 form a universal and integrated policy agenda to be realized over the next 15 years. One of the targets is the attainment of policy coherence for sustainable development, which requires the individual goals to become interlinked. This article's main research interest lies in assessing how national governments and their competent ministries interpret and strive to implement the target of policy coherence for sustainable development. Drawing on the Voluntary National Reviews submitted in 2016 and 2017 by six countries, this study shows that at the national level, the links among the different goals and the idea of policy integration are subject to divergent interpretations. The differences observed do not stem from the interlinkages of the SDGs as defined by the United Nations, neither do they result from different levels of income or degree of political centralization. Instead, the respective domestic policy-making processes are likely to explain the implementation strategies adopted by the individual states. For example, the implementation approach adopted by the government of Turkey suggests that path-dependency is critical, whereas the Colombian approach consists of defining new policy measures and institutional arrangements.
Sustainable development aims at addressing economic, social, and environmental concerns, but the current lack of responsive environmental governance hinders progress. Short-term economic development has led to limited actions, unsustainable resource management, and degraded ecosystems. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may continue to fall short of achieving significant progress without a better understanding of how ecosystems contribute to achieving sustainability for all people. Ecosystem governance is an approach that integrates the social and ecological components for improved sustainability and includes principles such as adaptive ecosystem co-management, subsidiarity, and telecoupling framework, as well as principles of democracy and accountability. We explain the importance of ecosystem governance in achieving the SDGs, and suggest some ways to ensure that ecosystem services are meaningfully considered. This paper reflects on how integration of these approaches into policies can enhance the current agenda of sustainability.
Urban living labs (ULLs) are emerging as a form of collective urban governance and experimentation to address sustainability challenges and opportunities created by urbanisation. ULLs have different goals, they are initiated by various actors, and they form different types of partnerships. There is no uniform ULL definition. However, many projects studying and testing living lab methodologies are focussing on urban sustainability and low carbon challenges, as demonstrated by the current projects funded by the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe. At the same time, there is no clear understanding of what the ultimate role of ULLs is in urban governance, and whether they represent a completely new phenomenon that is replacing other forms of participation, collaboration, experimentation, learning and governing in cities. There is a need to clarify what makes the ULL approach attractive and novel. The aim of this article is to develop current understandings through an examination of how the ULL concept is being operationalised in contemporary urban governance for sustainability and low carbon cities. This is undertaken through the analysis of academic literature complemented with five snapshot case studies of major ongoing ULL projects funded by JPI Urban Europe. Five key ULL characteristics are identified and elaborated: geographical embeddedness, experimentation and learning, participation and user involvement, leadership and ownership, and evaluation and refinement. The paper concludes by outlining a research agenda that highlights four key topics: ways in which the ULL approach is operationalised, the nature of ULL partnerships and the role of research institutions, the types of challenges addressed by different ULLs, and the role of sustainability and low carbon issues in framing ULLs.
This article presents a systematic review of 122 articles and books (1987-2013) of co-creation / co-production with citizens in public innovation. It analyses a) the objectives of co-creation and co-production, b) its influential factors and c) the outcomes of co-creation and co-production processes. It shows that most studies focus on the identification of influential factors, while hardly any attention is paid to the outcomes. Future studies could focus on outcomes of co-creation/co-production processes. Furthermore, more quantitative studies are welcome, given the qualitative, case study, dominance in the field. We conclude with a research agenda to tackle methodological, theoretical and empirical lacunas.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are recognized as promising actions to alleviate societal challenges and achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One scientific challenge to implement NBS in practice is to locate areas suitable for an effective implementation of NBS (opportunity spaces). Opportunity spaces either already host NBS that need to be safeguarded or restored, or provide the socio-ecological conditions for establishing new NBS. Complex methods have been proposed to model potential locations of selected NBS, but they are often too data and resource intensive to be applied in practice for landscape planning. The aim of this article is to put forward a pragmatic method for identifying NBS opportunity spaces that contribute to advance multiple SDGs, and to test its application in a participatory, extended peer-review process in the Lahn river landscape, Germany. Our method includes: (i) synthesizing a generic catalogue of NBS in river landscapes, (ii) estimating the potential of NBS to achieve simultaneously Lahn development goals (LDGs) and SDGs, and (iii) applying key spatial indicators and best available data to explore opportunity spaces for selected NBS. The generic catalogue provides a systematic overview of 650 individual NBS for river landscapes and their respective potentials for addressing LDGs and SDGs. The NBS Renaturalising floodplains through land use changes, Revitalising historic floodplains, and Creating buffer strips are those actions contributing to the greatest number of local SDGs (locally adapted SDGs that include LDGs). Results of the spatial analysis in the Lahn river landscape showed about 4739 ha of areas where NBS were already in place and need to be safeguarded and additional 1323 ha with opportunities for further NBS creation. The proposed method presents a robust and transferable approach that facilitates spatial mapping of NBS to local SDGs for planning practitioners facing time and resource constraints.
Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) provide a systemic approach to promote the maintenance, enhancement, and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) in urban areas, helping to enhance urban resilience in the water sector. Within the sustainable development goals proposed by UNHABITAT, resilience in cities was established as a critical issue. The assessment of the NBS contribution to urban resilience and the development of tools to determine the long-term value of these solutions comprise a most needed step forward. A comprehensive Resilience Assessment Framework to assess the NBS contribution to urban resilience (RAF), focused on NBS for stormwater management and control, was proposed and developed (Beceiro et al., 2020). This assessment framework aims to support the diagnosis, decision-making, implementation, planning, and management of the NBS and to identify the solutions with greater potential to contribute to city resilience drawbacks. This paper aims to demonstrate the purpose and relevance of the RAF, by presenting its application to a case study, highlighting both data demands (given different complexity requirements for metric's determination) and specific considerations regarding the level of assessment (either to the overall city area or to specific NBS). The application to the case study allows assessing the contribution to urban resilience of the main NBS in the urban area of Porto and, specifically, the contribution of an infiltration basin, which will be implemented in the Asprela catchment. Main resilience shortcomings in the city that may be upgraded by NBS are also identified, as recommendations for future urban planning in Porto. This application also intends to deliver a thorough example for other cities aiming to assess NBS contribution to urban resilience using the proposed RAF. At the city level, the main opportunities to improve the NBS contribution identified corresponded to the Governance and stakeholders' involvement, Environmental resilience and Resilience engaged service. On the other hand, the Social involvement and co-benefits and the Service management (obj.6) are identified as consolidated aspects across the urban area. At the NBS level, it was possible to conclude that the infiltration basin, considering the design characteristics, will enhance significantly the contribution to urban resilience in the Asprela catchment, based on the results for the model based metrics and the defined scenarios. Furthermore, it was possible to conclude that the NBS will operate in overall good hydraulic condition, even for the most severe rainfall conditions.
The present paper traces a chronological history, or roadmap, of the documentation produced by the European Union (EU) to promote and implement nature-based solutions (NBS) as an innovation action aiming to establish a socially inclusive, economically vibrant and ecologically resilient society. The EU’s ambition is to position Europe as the world leader in NBS Research (via scientific research aiming at generating knowledge and theories) and Innovation (NBS implementation via identifying innovative approaches and best practices), as well as in a global market (for sharing, communicating, collaborating and promoting NBS). Considerable efforts have been made by the European Commission (the executive branch of the EU) as featured in a number of documents, funding programmes and Horizon 2020 (Research and Innovation) projects that span the period from 2012 to 2020. While the European Commission’s commitment to promoting NBS within its Member States and beyond is still an ongoing process, we aim to review the efforts undertaken, knowledge gained, and practices accomplished. This roadmap intends to provide interested practitioners, policymakers, researchers, as well as civil organisations with an updated understanding of the leading role of the EU in NBS conceptualisation and operationalisation. This can inform future directions of NBS Research and Innovation actions, which in turn address environmental and societal challenges prompted by urbanisation/re-urbanisation, globalisation/de-globalisation, climate change and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cities all over the world are confronting intertwined environmental, social and economic problems and aim to become resilient to climate change and promote wellbeing for all their citizens. Nature-based solutions have been proposed as a promising policy approach to addressing urban problems for the potential they have to deliver multiple benefits and foster wellbeing for individuals and communities. However, the evidence for their multiple benefits is rather scarce and highly fragmented, and more robust frameworks for the monitoring and assessment of their impacts are needed to guide urban policy-making. This paper focuses on the current state of impact assessment of nature-based solutions in Europe and through a systematic review of the literature identifies four conceptual problems and three empirical gaps that impede the accumulation of solid evidence regarding of the impacts of different types of nature-based solutions for different social groups; as well as of the contextual conditions that contribute to their performance and delivery of multiple outcomes. Based on the identified mis-conceptualizations and gaps, we derive a series of principles that should guide the development of robust impact assessment frameworks for nature-based solutions. We discuss the policy implications of these gaps and principles. We conclude by making a series of recommendations that should inform the design of impact monitoring and evaluation frameworks in cities, in order to develop the comparative evidence base on the effectiveness of nature-based solutions. This, in turn, can inform urban decision-making on the appropriate design, implementation, and long-term regeneration of nature-based solutions, to ensure long-term delivery of important ecosystem services for different social groups.
This viewpoint presents insights on designing, engaging with and researching multi-stakeholder engagement spaces based on the experience of the ARTS project (2014–2016), active in five European cities also relevant for a broader European scale. We argue that those spaces represent an important new instrument of participatory governance that can elucidate the way different actors like community initiatives relate to and employ planning and policy contexts for working towards sustainable urban futures. The multi-stakeholder engagement spaces are analyzed regarding three functions they fulfill: co-creating new knowledge for action, making sense of contemporary transitions, and, exploring how sustainable solutions impact transitions. The lessons learned focus on the roles of different actors within those spaces as well as the link between the multi-stakeholder engagement spaces and a broader local context. We name three caveats including deeply entrenched mistrust between local transition initiatives and local government representatives, existing power imbalances and inclusivity.
The recent upsurge of interest in the experimental city as an arena within and through which urban sustainability is governed marks not only the emergence of the proliferation of forms of experimentation – from novel governance arrangements to demonstration projects, transition management processes to grassroots innovations – but also an increasing sensibility amongst the research community that urban interventions can be considered in experimental terms. Yet as research has progressed, it has become clear that experimentation is not a singular phenomenon that can be readily understood using any one conceptual entry point. In this paper, we focus on one particular mode of experimentation – the urban living laboratory (ULL) – and develop a typology through which to undertake a comparative analysis of 40 European ULLs, to understand how and why such forms of experimentation are being designed and implemented, and to identify the particular forms of experimentation they entail. We argue that there are distinct types of ULL taking shape, delimited by the ways in which they are designed and deployed through, on the one hand, specific kinds of configuration and practice and, on the other hand, by the ways in which they take laboratory form: the different dispositions towards the laboratory they entail. We propose three ‘ideal’ ULL types – strategic, civic and organic – and argue that these can be placed along the spectrum of four dispositions: trial, enclave, demonstration and platform.
Urban green infrastructure planning aims to develop green space networks on limited space in compact cities. Multifunctionality is considered key to achieving this goal as it supports planning practice that considers the ability of green spaces to provide multiple benefits concurrently. However, multifunctionality is an elusive concept and little information is available on how it is perceived and actioned by planners. Therefore, this paper will examine the application of the multifunctionality concept in urban planning based on a semi-quantitative study, including interviews with chief planners and analyses of planning documents, in 20 European cities as well as three qualitative good practice case studies. The semi-quantitative study revealed a broad awareness of the variety of social and ecological functions provided by green spaces in planning. Yet, the analysed strategic plans contained little information on how to enhance multifunctionality. Regardless of the lack of details, cities facing growth were more likely to consider promoting multifunctionality as a planning aim. The qualitative case studies in Germany (Berlin), the United Kingdom (Edinburgh) and Denmark (Aarhus) provided a detailed insight into how multifunctionality is handled on different spatial scales and revealed great differences from academic multifunctionality approaches that were developed in the context of ecosystem service assessments. The approaches applied in practice include audits based on indicators for multiple green space functions or the purposive design and management of multifunctional parks. Based on the findings, we arrive at five recommendations for promoting multifunctional urban green infrastructure in densifying urban areas: 1) undertake systematic spatial assessments of all urban green (and blue) spaces and their social, ecological and economic functions; 2) include standards and guidelines for multifunctionality in city-wide strategic planning; 3) encourage design and management for multifunctionality at the site-level while considering that not all sites must deliver the same set of functions. Further, spatial assessment, strategic planning and site design need to 4) consider synergies, trade-offs and the capacity of urban green spaces to provide functions as part of the wider green infrastructure network; and 5) largely benefit from cooperation between different sectors and public departments. These recommendations can also be instructive for research on ecosystem service assessments in order to develop approaches that more strongly correspond to the demands of planning practice.
Contemporary societies are facing a broad range of challenges, from pressures on human health and well-being to natural capital depletion, and the security of food, water and energy. These challenges are deeply intertwined with global processes, such as climate change and with local events such as natural disasters. The EU's research & innovation (R&I) policy is now seeking to address these challenges from a new perspective, with Nature-Based Solutions, and turn them into innovation opportunities that optimise the synergies between nature, society and the economy. Nature-Based Solutions can be an opportunity for innovation, and are here promoted by both policymakers and practitioners as a cost-effective way of creating a greener, more sustainable, and more competitive economy.
Since 2013, the European Commission has devoted particular attention to Nature-Based Solutions through consultations and dialogues that sought to make the concept of these solutions more concrete and to define the concept's place within the spectrum of ecosystem-based approaches. In 2014, the Commission launched an expert group, which conducted further analysis, and made recommendations to help increase the use of Nature-Based Solutions and bring nature back into cities. In 2015, a survey was conducted on citizens' views and perceptions of 'Nature in Cities' to provide further insight for future work. Based on these elements and on results from running EU projects, the Commission has developed an R&I agenda for Nature-Based Solutions and has published targeted calls for proposals for large-scale demonstration projects in this field in 2016 and 2017.
Additional R&I actions at EU level that promote systemic Nature-Based Solutions and their benefits to cities and territories are planned with the aim to improve the implementation capacity and evidence base for deploying Nature-Based Solutions and developing corresponding future markets. They are also expected to foster an interdisciplinary R&I and stakeholder community and the exchange of good practices in this field, as well as help shaping and implementing international R&I agendas on Nature-Based Solutions.
Urban Living Labs (ULL) are advanced as an explicit form of intervention delivering sustainability goals for cities. Established at the boundaries between research, innovation and policy, ULL are intended to design, demonstrate and learn about the effects of urban interventions in real time. While rapidly growing as an empirical phenomenon, our understanding of the nature and purpose of ULL is still evolving. While much of the existing literature draws attention to the aims and workings of ULL, there have to date been fewer critical accounts that seek to understand their purpose and implications. In this paper, we suggest that transition studies and the literature on urban governance offer important insights that can enable us to address this gap.
Sustainable development (SD) envisions business and their projects to deliver benefits to a broad group of stakeholders. Yet, projects are challenged to realize benefits to meet individual organization business objectives and value concerns. Given the benefits focus of SD, benefits realization helps to understand how SD can be integrated in the management of projects, linking it to strategy. This paper offers benefits co-creation as a strategy for creating benefits for a broad group of stakeholders reflecting holistic SD. The study presents an exploratory case study through a conceptual framework, illustrating one possible approach based on adaptation and emergence. The findings demonstrate how stakeholder co-creation enables the shaping of project SD benefits, addressing stakeholder value concerns and suggest the need to consider a two dimension conceptual approach to benefits realization—benefits creation and benefits capture, reducing the conceptual distance between projects and benefits realization.
Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere. The focus is shifting from the environment as externality to the biosphere as precondition for social justice, economic development, and sustainability. In this article, we exemplify the intertwined nature of social-ecological systems and emphasize that they operate within, and as embedded parts of the biosphere and as such coevolve with and depend on it. We regard social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems and use a social-ecological resilience approach as a lens to address and understand their dynamics. We raise the challenge of stewardship of development in concert with the biosphere for people in diverse contexts and places as critical for long-term sustainability and dignity in human relations. Biosphere stewardship is essential, in the globalized world of interactions with the Earth system, to sustain and enhance our life-supporting environment for human well-being and future human development on Earth, hence, the need to reconnect development to the biosphere foundation and the need for a biosphere-based sustainability science.
A B S T R A C T
If a ‘Renaturing of Cities’ strategy is to maximise the ecosystem service provision of urban green infrastructure (UGI), then detailed consideration of a habitat services, biodiversity-led approach and multifunctionality are necessary rather than relying on the assumed benefits of UGI per se. The paper presents preliminary data from three case studies, two in England and one in Germany, that explore how multifunctionality can be achieved, the stakeholders required, the usefulness of an experimental approach for demonstrating transformation, and how this can be fed back into policy. We argue that incorporating locally contextualised biodiversity-led UGI design into the planning and policy spheres contributes to the functioning and resilience of the city and provides the adaptability to respond to locally contextualised challenges, such as overheating, flooding, air pollution, health and wellbeing as well as biodiversity loss. Framing our research to encompass both the science of biodiversity-led UGI and codeveloping methods for incorporating a strategic approach to implementation of biodiversity-led UGI by planners and developers addresses a gap in current knowledge and begins to address barriers to UGI implementation. By combining scientific with policy learning and defined urban environmental targets with community needs, our research to date has begun to demonstrate how nature-based solutions to building resilience and adaptive governance can be strategically incorporated within cities through UGI.
Whether the goal is building a local park or developing disaster response models, collaborative governance is changing the way public agencies at the local, regional, and national levels are working with each other and with key partners in the nonprofit and private sectors. While the academic literature has spawned numerous case studies and context- or policy-specific models for collaboration, the growth of these innovative collaborative governance systems has outpaced the scholarship needed to define it. Collaborative Governance Regimes breaks new conceptual and practical ground by presenting an integrative framework for working across boundaries to solve shared problems, a typology for understanding variations among collaborative governance regimes, and an approach for assessing both process and productivity performance. This book draws on diverse literatures and uses rich case illustrations to inform scholars and practitioners about collaborative governance regimes and to provide guidance for designing, managing, and studying such endeavors in the future.
The heated controversy over “citizen participation,” “citizen control”, and “maximum feasible involvement of the poor,” has been waged largely in terms of exacerbated rhetoric and misleading euphemisms. To encourage a more enlightened dialogue, a typology of citizen participation is offered using examples from three federal social programs: urban renewal, anti-poverty, and Model Cities. The typology, which is designed to be provocative, is arranged in a ladder pattern with each rung corresponding to the extent of citizens' power in determining the plan and/or program.
Step-by-step guide for co-production and co-creation of Naturebased Solutions
Y J Duneworks
Breukers, S., & Duneworks, Y. J. (2017). Step-by-step
guide for co-production and co-creation of Naturebased Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.
Indicators for European cities to assess and monitor the UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs )
S De Maio
J F Esteve
De Maio, S., Kuhn, S., Esteve, J. F., & Prokop, G. (2020).
Indicators for European cities to assess and monitor the
UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ).
Retrieved from https://www.eionet.europa.eu/etcs/etculs/products/etc-uls-report-2020-08-indicators-foreuropean-cities-to-assess-and-monitor-the-un-sustain