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Nature-based solutions for cities transitioning towards sustainability: A participatory evaluation through a social and environmental lens

Global urbanization trends have made people move to cities where they tend to have less access to nature. Urban nature is important for human well-being and biodiversity, therefore urban planners are increasingly integrating Nature-based Solutions (NbS) projects in urban environments. 

This research investigated how to support citizen engagement for NbS while evaluating the urban environment, focusing on young people as they are often excluded from decision-making and planning processes. 

The research design included a literature review and interviews with city planners, to...

Ecosystem services futures for Lochaber

Leanachan forest survey

The aim of my research is to provide evidence to forest planners and policy makers on the effects of alternative woodland management and expansion strategies on the delivery of a range of key ecosystem services, using the public forest estate in Lochaber as a case study.

The lifespan of woodlands and length of commercial forest rotations are long enough that trees planted today are growing into an uncertain future. As a result, forest planners and policy makers are having to make management decisions to increase the resilience of forests to climate change. These management decisions...

Demonstrating and promoting natural values to support decision-making in Romania

Nature for decision making

The Project “Demonstrating and promoting natural values, to support the decision-making process in Romania” (N4D) was developed based on folowing activities: A1. institutional infrastructure development; A2. Development of the ecosystem mapping and assessment framework in Romania; A3. Data analysis and management under the MAES process;  A4. Biophysical mapping and assessment of ecosystems and of their services;  A5. Project promotion; A6. Knowledge exchange with the neighbouring countries and with Norway, as the country providing the Project financing.

Abandoned lands: Agricultural shifts in the Mediterranean

This exemplar examines how changes in the way farmers manage their land in the Mediterranean area lead to changes in sustainable provisioning of ecosystem services. Land management needs to respond to threats such as economic crises, poverty, climate change, changing water availability, increasing dependency on technology, urbanization and pollution. In the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, all of these issues are present. Governments, farmers and land owners are searching for information to make the best decisions possible for the future.

Measuring and Improving Urban Tree Vitality and ES Provisioning through Inoculation with Ectomycorrhizal Fungi in Porto (URBANMYCOSERVE)

Urban trees in Porto

The aim is (i) to provide an assessment of the EcM community and functional group composition of urban trees, and of its environmental drivers, using next generation sequencing techniques; (ii) to relate specific EcM, or functional groups of EcM, to tree health, and tree ecosystem service delivery and resilience, using advanced noninvasive spectral and physiological sensing technology, diameter growth measurements, and urban biophysical modeling; and (iii) to develop and test (in situ & ex situ) a dedicated EcM-inoculum to improve urban tree health, and ecosystem service delivery and...

Paying for watershed services to cities in Peru

Peruvian lanscape

This case study from the SINCERE project had the goal to:

  • Involve multiple stakeholders in decision-making and share intervention costs and benefits in a fair manner.
  • Provide an opportunity to improve relationships between upstream communities and a downstream water company.
  • The innovative mechanism (IM) consists in a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme which obliges water users in Cusco to pay an extra fee on the water bill to improve hydrological services.

NATURE-IN New Sustainable Nature-Inclusive Architectural Devices for the Transformation of our Interior Dwelling Space: through Selected Case Studies.

NATURE-IN introduces Nature-connection sensory experiences through architectural interior space to improve our health and wellbeing.

Nature-In is an artistic, technical and historical research, that will gain knowledge from our architectural heritage to inform us of a Contemporary Design, through Landscape, Architectural Interior and Biophilic Design approaches, as a resource to mitigate an urgent problem. The overall aim is to improve Nature’s connection with the interior spaces of buildings, to enhance the health and wellbeing in dwellings and urban areas in the EU and beyond. Thus, Nature-In may transform the reality towards a better life.

Favela green roof

Green roof at the Arará community in the heart of a highly built-up and paved area


In Rio de Janeiro the population living in slums (favelas) in 2010 was 19 % of the inhabitants (last census). The informal occupation of steep slopes and flood-prone areas occurs mainly because of the absence of social housing planning, inducing low-income people to use protected areas that the formal real-estate market cannot occupy. The climate is tropical, with extremely high temperatures especially in the northern zone where there are almost no green areas and where the low-income population live in extensive slums (favelas). The temperature can reach over 60 °C in...

Uforest Case Study: Barcelona Nature Plan

One of the activities foreseen by the Uforest project is researching innovative Urban Forestry initiatives across Europe. For this reason, the Uforest team has selected and analysed some of the most interesting urban forestry projects in the continent, with the aim to illustrate real practices and eventually inspire others to start greening their cities. Among them, we selected the Barcelona Nature Plan. 

The Pla Natura Barcelona (Barcelona Nature Plan) is a public initiative led by the Barcelona City Council with the aim to improve and increase...

Malaga - Urban garden in Lagunillas

The Connecting Nature project in Malaga  is part of developing a new perspective for  urban  planning and in the Lagunillas neighborhood. The implementation of this new perspective can cover the three types of interventions:

The renovation of three public squares  in Lagunillas

  • The renovation of public squares.
  • The development of a green corridor between Lagunillas and the mount Gibralfaro

Finally, the Connecting Nature project in Lagunillas aims for urban revitalization of this dense neighborhood located in the city center.


European demonstration site network for integrating biodiversity conservation into forest management

Marteloscope sites

The aim is to establish a network of demonstration sites covering a broad range of European forest types in which integrative forest management measures are being practiced. Having such sites will help train and eventually improve decision making capacities related to integrating biodiversity aspects into managed forests.

Urban gardens in Barcelona: multifunctional green to enhance Nature-Based Thinking in cities

Renaturing Barcelona: various green typologies in the centre of the city. Bellow, on the left: Cover of the government measure “The Programme for Enhancing the Urban Green Infrastructure”. Photo captures: Corina Basnou.

The Programme for Enhancing the Urban Green Infrastructure is an ambitious government measure approved in 2017. It establishes the main strategies for enhancing the quality and quantity of green infrastructure in Barcelona till 2030. Barcelona wants to renature the city and create, in this period, 165 ha of new green spaces, which increases the green spaces/inhabitant ratio by 1m2. As Barcelona is a compact city, there are various strategies to improve, transform or create new green spaces. The actions will take place at various urban scales (street, district or city scale) and...

Glasgow Nature-based Solution exemplar Case Study

Figure 1. Glasgow's Open Space Strategy showcasing how nature-based solutions can be interwoven into the city's urban fabric

Meeting these multifaceted demands on Glasgow’s open spaces is going to be important in ensuring that Glasgow is well-equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century and to enhance the attractiveness of the city as a place in which to live and invest.

As part of the Connecting Nature project, the City of Glasgow’s ambition was to develop, and begin to deliver, an Open Space Strategy for the city to help address this changing context and the changing demands on open space. The aim was for the Strategy to be used to establish an approach for considering the different ways in...

How a Green Infrastructure Strategy can inform a Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Dublin City Region of Ireland.

‘Sunrise in Bailey lighthouse Dublin’ by Giuseppe Milo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The main settlement in Ireland is the capital city of Dublin (Figure 1), which has a population of 1.2 million persons, nearly 1 in 4 of Ireland’s population. Dublin is supported regionally by key strategic county towns and an extensive rural hinterland, the population of the Greater Dublin area is approximately 2 million persons.

The Dublin City Region has a wide range of important terrestrial, coastal and marine habitats, extensive green areas and parks (the Phoenix Park in Dublin city is one of the largest walled city parks in Europe at 707ha, the Wicklow Mountains National Park...More

Jaguaré creek restoration

The very green University City, next to Jaguaré Creek


Located in a central area of São Paulo city, the Jaguaré creek is canalised along its full 25 km length. Some parts are buried underground and others are contained in concrete canals between traffic lanes. The watershed has been deeply modified through the urbanisation process and receives a significant load of domestic and industrial sewage and diffuse pollution. The Jaguaré watershed has a diverse set of landscapes and urban contexts, from its springs to the heavily urbanised area where it flows to the Pinheiros river. The watershed corresponds to 1/10 of the total 270...

Danube-Auen National Park - Vienna, Austria

Danube-Auen National Park - Vienna, Austria

The Danube-Auen National Park in Vienna aims to multiple ecosystem services combine with trees with regulating services, such as water protection, retention, carbon sequestration, and micro, local, and regional climate regulation.

The National Park fosters an environment providing habitats and biodiversity for animal and plant species to enhance supporting ecosystem functions.

The National Park’s blue and green infrastructure further aims to provide cultural functions by offering open spaces for recreational value, allowing urban dwellers to find aesthetic pleasure, a sense...

BIOVEINS - connectivity of green and blue infrastructures in Almada: living veins for a biodiverse and healthy city

The main objective of our BIOVEINS proposal is to use functional diversity (FD) to highlight the mechanisms underpinning the link between GBI, taxonomic diversity (TD) and ecosystem services (ESs) provisioning, and to provide, together with local stakeholders, the ecological and interdisciplinary knowledge to identify the critical features of GBI, to guide the establishment, management and restoration of GBI, and to mitigate the effects of major urban global challenges, like habitat fragmentation, air pollution, and urban heat island.

This main objective will be accomplished by...

Heritage zone of Xochimilco: Tlahuac and Milpa alta, Mexico City. The importance of Nature-Based Solutions

Chinampa Atliacac harvest agrochemical-free products in Tláhuac. The chinampa is a cultivation method used by native indigenous groups to expand the territory in the lakes and lagoons of the Valley of Mexico, and they use them to grow flowers and vegetables.

Xochimilco is an important tourist attraction for Mexico City and because of thi,s public policies have been focused in conservation, tourism infrastructure and ecotourism. Therefore there is now a priority to address social and environmental challenges including: the dredging and cleaning of the canals, garbage collection and reforestation of channels, exotic species control, improving the hydraulic infrastructure, Axolotl conservation, Chinampas rehabilitation, and productive projects.

Natural systems or nature based solution have been suggested and implemented in order to reduce...

Creating a legal framework for forest management for ecosystem services in Bizkaia county

Forest in Bizkaia county

This case study from the SINCERE project had the goal to:

  • Create a new legal framework for forest and forestry that incorporates the concept of ecosystem services (ES) into regional forest legislation, to improve the provision, valuation and monitoring of ES and to provide the resources to pay for ES provision.
  • Focus on two Forest ES: water quality and quantity, and landscape as social and recreational service. Also research to establish correlation between
  • ...

The Imperial Island Concept

Imperial Island (Císařský ostrov), Prague
  • Designation of public areas: To define stable frameworks within the landscape with public spaces within the urban structure and to distinguish these from non-public or semi-public areas (gardens, grounds, urban blocks, etc.).

  • Preserving the original level of the terrain

  • Promoting synergies between enclosed grounds and public space: Opening up banks that are inaccessible or with limited access to pedestrians, cyclists and horseback riders. Freeing Troja of part of the traffic burden.

  • Connection of the Troja Basin: By public

  • ...

Understanding the potential for private sector investment in natural capital in the Spey catchment

The aim of this research was to understand how private sector natural capital investments could be increased and diversified in the Spey catchment. The focus of the study was on businesses that do not primarily manage land, but nevertheless rely on the Spey landscape, e.g. for their supply chain or to attract customers. Specifically, the study tried to answer four questions:
1. How do businesses currently invest in natural capital?
2. What motivates and hinders businesses to invest in natural capital?
3. Is there potential for coordinated business investment in natural...

Complex of Three Parks Foreseen as A Site of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2024 - Łódź, Poland


The development of three parks foreseen as a site of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2024 aims to serve as an urban green space allowing for urban revitalisation, shaping the urban landscape and using the potential of green spaces in cities especially with regards to the provision of cultural ecosystem services, such as aesthetics, entertainment, heritage and interpersonal integration

NAIAD Case study: Thames basin demonstration site

 The floodplains of the River Thames are characterised by high land prices and intense urbanisation, with few options for creating extra flood storage.  A number of tributaries of the fluvial Thames suffer localised flooding in urban reaches, affecting local inhabitants, businesses, property and infrastructure. 

Recently there has been UK government investment in natural flood management (NFM) and there is growing interest in how land management such as Conservation Agriculture can provide water management for storing flood water as well as biological benefits....

Environmental recovery of a quarry ATEg30 Pero

ATEg30 - quarry restoration

The project aims to transform an old quarry in a public park. The project foresees the renaturalization of the lakeshore, the realization of a peninsula, the filling of settling tanks created for the extraction activities and the realization weak slope in the nord sector that want connect the lake with the countryside.
Objectives are to create : 
• morphological arrangement of the slopes of embankments produced by the extractive area for the future public use
• laying turf
• vegetation reconstruction of marsh and riparian environment
• vegetation...

Promenade along river Danube

  • Develop a concept and implement numerous pilot projects on the riverbank

The main purpose of the project is to design a promande among the Danube quays in Budapest, planting plants, building installations, and awareness rising. The goal is the sharing of the sensation of the Danube in the city, recommending the daily utilization of the river side to citizens.

The project is a good example for the implementation of strategic NBSs, with putting great emphasis on the corporate development and implementation, by creating networks. 


BEGIN (Blue Green Infrastructure through Social Innovation)

Together we can build more resilient and liveable cities

The overall objective of BEGIN is to demonstrate at target sites how cities can improve climate resilience with Blue-Green Infrastructure involving stakeholders in a value-based decision- making process to overcome its current implementation barriers.

BEGIN’s driving ambition is to substitute traditional ‘grey infrastructure’ such as concrete for ‘blue-green infrastructure’ (BGI) such as parks, rivers, and lakes.

Canal and North Gateway

Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention: Canal and North Gateway

Extensive community engagement sessions were conducted from 2015-2016 by Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council, including a charrette at Port Dundas which recognised the role green and blue infrastructure could play in regenerating the area. As a result of this, plans to develop the area included extending the path network, re-designing entrances, installing boardwalks, creating picnic areas and building a bridge across the canal to improve access.

The second part of the project is the ‘Smart Canal’ and this forms part of the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System and...

NBSEduworld Case Study: Transitioning away from industrial peat extraction and moving towards Nature Based Solutions of rehabilitation

Local mini-workshop in Offaly_NBSEduworld

To raise awareness of NBS and the importance of NBS going forward to achieve a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy.  Explore synergies between educational professionals, NBS practitioners, communities and policymakers.

London - NBS for a leading sustainable city


The Greater London Authority (GLA) participants in the BRIDGE FP7  project identified the primary planning goals for the Central Activities Zone (CAZ)[1] as to: (a) increase green space; (b) improve air quality; (c) reduce the UHI effect (heat island) and (d) prevent flash floods, with climate change adaptation and mitigation seen as a cross cutting issue.

London has a number of plans aimed at addressing these challenges, including:

  • The Mayor’s London Plan in which two goals relate to urban green space and aim
  • ...

Forester City of Lorient, France

Reforestation of unused areas in the municipality of Lorient

The city of Lorient has developped an urban and local forestry partnership to supply the city in firewood chips and building timber. This project is based on local economy and on collaboration with local foresters to provide a sustainable management of this resource.

  • Local production of wood to supply (energy and building timber) the city of Lorient
  • Reduce the environmental impacts of importation
  • Foster the local economy
  • Enhance the city by using abandonned sites for logging

Wetland Baquedano Park, City of Llanquihue, Chile

Llanquihue city, Chile.

A Green Infrastructure Plan of Llanquihue, which includes the Baquedano Wetland Park, was developed through the joint working of the Landscape Architecture Master Program Universidad de Chile and the NGO Legado Chile Fundatio. It is a response to several socio-ecological pressures created by urban living that were affecting ecosystems within the city boundaries. In 2016 both institutions called on an open dialogue with 300 members of the community, including residences, local authorities, the school community, regional services, representative of productive industries, scientists and...

BIOVEINS – Connectivity of green and blue infrastructures in Lisbon: living veins for a biodiverse and healthy city

The main objective of our BIOVEINS proposal is to use functional diversity (FD) to highlight the mechanisms underpinning the link between GBI, taxonomic diversity (TD) and ecosystem services (ESs) provisioning, and to provide, together with local stakeholders, the ecological and interdisciplinary knowledge to identify the critical features of GBI, to guide the establishment, management and restoration of GBI, and to mitigate the effects of major urban global challenges, like habitat fragmentation, air pollution, and urban heat island.

This main objective will be accomplished by...

Farfalle in ToUr

The project promotes urban butterflies conservation, thanks to the involvement of fragile people as citizen scientists. It aims to create and connect Butterfly oasis, to allow butterflies to cross the city; and to involve people with mental or physical disabilities, to fight the social stigma

NAIAD Case Studies: Lower Danube Demonstration site (Romania)

The Lower Danube demo case has as main objective to create an efficient network of national, regional and local stakeholders in order to apply collaborative approach for water security measures and extreme meteorological events mitigation by using the ecosystem service and green infrastructure. In the NAIAD project the Lower Danube demo case study is focused on understanding the social risk perception and challenges for NBS implementation, to open business opportunities for insurance sector and to identify potential business model to foster Nature Based Solutions implementation and...

Operationalising ecosystem services in the Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina Natural Park, Portugal

Supporting the design of policies and planning instruments to ensure the sustainable management of natural capital stocks and the delivery of critical ecosystem services in the Natural Park. Engaging local stakeholders and decision makers throughout the process to promote awareness raising and social learning.

Monitoring the success of Liberty Island, Hungary

Liberty Island in the Danube River, Hungary

The creation of a long-term, sustainable conservation model for white willow (Salicion albae) alluvial forests in Hungary and a more near-natural flow regime of the Danube. A core aim was to eliminate or mitigate the factors that threaten the habitats of community interest. 

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation. Within MERLIN, the project area of the Liberty Island restoration is revisited to learn from...

H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 5: Improving integrated management of Natura 2000 sites in the Ria de Aveiro Natura 2000 site, from catchment to coast, Portugal

Aveiro River (c) Ana Lillebo, University of Aveiro

Minimising the impacts of dredging and flood bank extension: In 2018/2019, in the Ria de Aveiro two management interventions will have negative unintended impacts on biodiversity: 1) a dredging programme to manage water flow and navigability in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon, and 2) the extension of a flood bank to stop surface saltwater intruding onto local farmland. The goal of this study is to apply adaptive management and minimise foreseen but unintended management challenges in a Natura 2000 protected area, which crosses fresh and marine waters, in the context of EU...

Water Haigh Woodland Park, Lower River Aire Valley – Leeds, UK

Water Haigh Woodland Park, Lower River Aire Valley – Leeds, UK

The case study site provides connected multi-functional green space that maximises ecosystem services for the sites and the local communities. Objectives include:

  • The provision of regionally important landscape scale natural habitats, encompassing mixed woodlands, hedgerows, grasslands and wetlands, encompassing the reclamation of UF-NBS (Urban Forests as Nature-Based Solutions) of previously mined industrial land.
  • The provision of unlimited public access via footpaths, cycle ways and bridle ways;
  • The health and well-
  • ...

Upscaling the Tzipori river restorations in Israel

Tzipori river, Israel

After a decade of restoration measures along the Tzipori stream in Israel, this case study will monitor their success and aims at upscaling measures to the watershed scale in order to create a model for management of stream basin rehabilitation.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation.

Prague Riverfront Concept

Prague Riverfront Concept

„The river is a citywide public space.“

„Riverfront throughout the city are a coherent space, and their development, even in sub-sections, must always be addressed in a citywide context.“

The river and its banks are an essential city-forming element, and this is how the city should approach them. Until now, Prague lacked a concept for developing the vast potential of the river and its environments. The Prague Riverfront Concept, approved in 2014, rectifies this situation. Many of the most attractive riverside localities have been neglected, poorly managed...

Parco Nord Milano – Italy

  • Provision of recreation and educational facilities for local residents and visitors;
  • Health and wellbeing benefits gained through the use of the recreation facilities;
  • Landscape benefit of creating a functional green boundary between built-up areas which acts as a wooded regional park

URBES Berlin - A thriving city embraces its green spaces

Figure 1: quantitative assessment of ecosystem services demand and supply in 4 European cities (after Baro et al, 2015)

The URBES project focusses on functional diversity, urban ecosystem services and NBS, institutions, economics and resilience science and worked to translate research insights into principles, landscape designs and applications. It explores the drivers behind loss/enhancement of urban ecosystem services delivered by nature based solutions such as urban green space, monetary and non-monetary valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the urban landscape and what are the most effective mechanisms for the governance of non-marketed ecosystem services.

In the Berlin case study,...



The VEG-GAP Information Platform is a web-based multi-purpose information platform exploiting the final results of the project. The platform uses Atmospheric Modelling Systems outputs. It is a collaborative framework among end-users (which can interact with data analytics), governance (facilitating the knowledge sharing on successful environmental air quality solutions), and citizens (by showing them the effects of the green interventions).

VEG-GAP is a valuable example of transnational collaboration, and of how cities, research centres, businesses and civil society can team up to...

The Finnish River Management Association Virho

The Finnish River Management Association Virho (Virtavesien hoitohidstys Virho ry), was nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2022 with the theme of nature-based solutions. The Finnish River Management Association has the goal to revive and secure the living conditions of the entire water ecosystem in Finland. This includes fostering biodiversity and fish stocks in areas of flowing water. Virho has operated for more than 30 years restoring hundreds of kilometers of streams through building fish roads, rehabilitating streams and rapids, and deconstructing dams. 

One such...


Location of the lagoon in Italy

The overall objective is the long-term conservation of Natura 2000 habitats and species of a delta coastal lagoon, by means of an integrated management that exploits, instead to contrast, the dynamism of the lagoon and its constant sedimentary deposit.

Szántóföldi agrárerdészet

Az Ökoház Farm 2015-ben fogott bele látványos eredményeket hozó agrárerdészeti projektjébe, amelynek keretében az ipari és energetikai célú császárfa ültetvényt fás sávos köztesműveléssel társították, és fokhagymát termesztettek a fák árnyékában. 

A gazdálkodók az interneten történő kutatással, majd az AGFOSY projektbe történő bekapcsolódásuk során szereztek információt az agrárerdészetben rejlő lehetőségekről. Később alapító tagjai voltak az Agroerdészeti Civil Társaságnak, amelyen keresztül kapcsolatba kerültek az Európai Agroerdészeti Szövetséggel (EURAF) és a H2020 AFINET...

Didactic box gardens in schools

Establishing vegetable gardens in all primary schools of Mirafiori, plus two kindergarten and one vocational school, and providing educational activities focusing on sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and the proGIreg NBS aims at improving the science curriculum of the schools, increase their attractiveness and raise awareness of environmental sustainability, NBS and how they can improve life quality in the cities.
The educational training also has goal of increasing the attractiveness of Mirafiori schools while teaching practical environmental behavior.

Using semi-natural meadow vegetation for restoration of river revetments: A case study in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River

This study aimed to use a semi-natural meadow as an ecological restoration tool for the optimisation of ecosystem services and landscape attractiveness of river revetments. River revetments combine bank reinforcement with greening and can resist flood washing and provide waterfront space for human activities; thus, it has become a key functional unit in riparian ecosystems used to foster ecosystem services such as the interception and filtration of polluted surface water, habitat for organisms and aesthetic beauty.

Herbaceous species that naturally occur in habitats with infrequent...

Basel, Switzerland: Green roofs : Combining mitigation and adaptation on measures

Green roof on Tram depot Wiesenplatz in Basel, project “Meadow carpet”. Author: Stephan Brenneisen

By 2100, under a high greenhouse emissions scenario, the temperature is projected to increase by about 4.5 ºC in comparison to the 1990s. This means that every second summer will be as hot or even hotter than the temperatures reached during the 2003 heat wave which caused severe loss of life across Europe. Extreme precipitation events are likely to increase in frequency and severity. Green roofs were found to offer opportunities to combine energy saving, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity objectives. In densely built-up areas where providing extensive parks and...

BIOVEINS - Connectivity of green and blue infrastructures in Poznan: living veins for a biodiverse and healthy city

The main objective of our BIOVEINS proposal is to use functional diversity (FD) to highlight the mechanisms underpinning the link between GBI, taxonomic diversity (TD) and ecosystem services (ESs) provisioning, and to provide, together with local stakeholders, the ecological and interdisciplinary knowledge to identify the critical features of GBI, to guide the establishment, management and restoration of GBI, and to mitigate the effects of major urban global challenges, like habitat fragmentation, air pollution, and urban heat island.

This main objective will be accomplished by...

Naturfelder association

Invitation for the first online information meeting for Naturfelder Dortmund e.V.

Founding an association that has the goal to procure suitable land and spaces and to convert them into flower meadows and insect habitats.  Focus of this association is the concrete action of procuring the spaces, surveying them with experts, making individual concepts, securing financing for the conversion and making sure it actually happens. The assiciation is taking Naturfelder Issum e.V. as a template.

Small scale peri-urban mosaic in Montemor-o-Novo

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

Nottingham: Sustainable housing in times of climate change and resource scarcity


Provision of innovative energy efficient homes within resilient communities.

Our vision for Nottingham is to provide high-quality affordable homes within communities that promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of their occupants and encourage the efficient use of resources as a means of stimulating long term social, physical and economic renewal of urban neighbourhoods in the city.

H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 6 – Understanding eutrophication processes and restoring good water quality in Lake Ringsjön – Rönne å Catchment in Kattegat, Sweden

The Rönne å catchment (c) Romina Martin

Rönne å catchment area is a river watershed located in Southern Sweden and includes lakes (e.g. Ringsjön), rivers (Rönne å) and marine coastal areas (Kattegatt). The AQUACROSS Case Study looks at the process of eutrophication and restoration of good water quality and their implications for the provision of ecosystem services along the Rönne å catchment.

Reverse auction pilot for forest ecosystem services in rural and peri-urban areas (habitat restoration)

Forest in Flanders

This case study from the SINCERE project had the goal to:

  • Test reverse auctions as a way to fund and stimulate the generation of much-needed forest ecosystem services (FES) - habitat restoration in forested hunted areas - and as alternative to subsidy schemes in a densely populated and urbanised region.
  • Test if approach leads to more cost-efficient use of limited financial resources and supports initiatives considered important to relevant stakeholders and society as a whole.
  • Implement
  • ...

NBSEduworld NBS Case Study: Vigie-Nature École – citizen science programme on biodiversity and associated actions

Vigie-Nature École is a biodiversity monitoring program focused on multiple groups of organisms. The primary goals of this data collection is to provide data to researchers in urban ecology and provide education to children in all the subjects related to biodiversity that we can cover. Our last development focuses on actions that pupils or children can take in order to improve both biodiversity and well-being within the schools.

To Ally Technology, Nature and Society for integrated urban water management: ATENAS

ATENAS project logo

AteNas is built around  3 demonstration sites, covering urban and periurban zones of Łódź, Lyon and Vantaa/Helsinki and sharing the challenge of enabling water to citizens and nature, both in terms of quality and quantity.

Utilize of cities water resources to secure regulating ecosystem services, enable Nature-Based Solutions, and enhance adaptive capacity to global changes.

Club GREY HORSE – Providing multiple ecosystems services by forest renters

Club Grey Horse

This case study from the SINCERE project had the goal to:

  • Develop mechanisms for multi-purpose forest management, introducing the concept of ecosystem services (ES) and multi-purpose forest use into the current forest renting system which currently only provides leases for a single ES.
  • Change management priorities from wood harvesting to multi-purpose forest management.
  • Increase the economic efficiency of forest use while maintaining a balance between all ES by introducing a
  • ...

How to tell your city’s story using the Connecting Nature Framework - Sarajevo

The development of a resilient city pleasant for the life of citizens of all ages and the satisfaction of their needs is one of the goals of the City, but also of other institutions. The City of Sarajevo faces challenges in achieving these goals (often insufficient financial resources, shared competencies, political factors, etc.). These challenges faced the Agency, as well, and they were taken into account in defining the exemplar.

The visit of Osmos in November 2018 identified the main challenges and problems in the city, but also identified and interviewed various stakeholders,...

Hanham Hall

Hanham Hall from above - credit to HTA Designs

To provide 187 new homes for private and affordable housing and refurbish a Grade II* listed Hall, whilst retaining the views of Hanham Hills and achieving the 'Zero' carbon standard.

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa: How to preserve BiodiverCities under the pressure of infill development

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Helsinki, 2018, by Leena Kopperoinen Helsinki 2018

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area consists of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen and it is located in the south coast of Finland. The Metropolitan Area covers 772 square kilometres and contains a total population of approximately 1.1 million. With about 19 per cent of the country’s population in just 0.2 per cent of its surface area, the housing density of the area is high by Finnish standards. Despite the intensity of land use, the area also has large recreational areas and green spaces.

Our EnRoute city lab covers the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. The tiny...More

Beaver re-introduction in Sweden

Beaver dam in Sweden

A truly nature-based solution is implemented by allowing beavers to spread into desired areas, letting them restore degraded wetlands and small streams and ditches as well as forest landscapes.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation

Beijing Plain Area Afforestation Programme (BPAP) - Beijing, China


With the aim to create huge forest patches, develop urban forest park clusters and optimise the large-scale forest patterns, BPAP has proposed green strategies with nine green wedges, multiple greenbelts, and green corridors around the old city centre in Beijing. 

Objectives further include:

  • Improving the forest coverage and urban greenspace connectivity in urbanised areas by planting more than 54 million trees, enhancing biodiversity;
  • Providing health and wellbeing benefits through the use of the recreation facilities
  • ...

Green Roof in refurbished industrial building (Office building 22@)

Green roof at Office building 22@ Source: picharchitects

Rehabilitation of an existing building by adding, among other rehabilitation measures, a semi-public green space on the roof with a positive influence on the health of users, positive effects on urban climate against the heat island effect and positive effect on water by it storages in the deck space. It also improves the energy efficiency of the building by the insulation provided by the layers of green cover.

Halfway Community Park

Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention: Halfway Community Park

The area is poorly connected to green space and in 2013 Glasgow City Council’s open space audit concluded that the site was of poor quality and limited functionality. The towers consist of mainly family flats and over 20% of the population are from an ethnic minority background. The project proposal was developed with community needs considered and 88% of locals indicated they very much wanted to see changes made to the space. There was an obvious need for a functional space which enhanced the quality of life for a community living in one of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in...

Managing urban Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure to increase city resilience in Ghent (UrbanGaia project)

UrbanGaia case-study sites in Ghent

The aim is to develop a realistic framework of indicators to evaluate, manage and develop performant Urban Green-Blue Infrastructure (U-GBI) in cities and intensively managed landscapes. UrbanGaia explicitly focusses on analysis of ecological and socio-economic features of the many existing GBIs. The evaluation of one the green axis of the ecological network in Ghent will serve as a case study for the framework of indicators. Furthermore, policy, governance and management practices of U-GBI are analyzed to identify innovative approaches to GBI implementation and usage.

Araucárias Square: rain garden and pocket forest

After the transformation with planting of native species.


The climate in São Paulo has changed from light rain and cool year-round, to mostly dry and hot. The city is vulnerable to urban heat-island effect and recurrent severe floods with the strong storms caused by land-cover change. The waters are contaminated by sewage discharge and diffuse pollution caused by storm-water run-off.


  • Recover ecological functions.
  • Introduce native biodiversity.
  • Manage storm water to avoid floods.
  • Provide urban public spaces.

Yanweizhou Wetland Park- A resilient landscape, Jinhua

Jinhua Wetland Park. Credit: Turenscape Architects
  • Preserve the remaining patch of riparian habitat while providing amenities to the residents of the dense urban center.
  • Identify best approach to flood control (prevention with a high, concrete retaining wall or cooperation by allowing the park to flood).
  • Integrate the existing building into the surrounding environment to create a cohesive landscape.
  • Connect the separated city to the natural riparian landscape to strengthen the community and cultural identity of the city

Municipality of Pavlos Melas

The municipality of Pavlos Melas is located in the Northern Greece, in the Region of Central Macedonia, in the northwestern part of Thessaloniki. The municipality faces challenges in addressing issues in environmental, economic and social cohesion section. Through nature-based solutions, Pavlos Melas municipality intends to achieve environmental, social and economic benefits.

The flagship nature-based solution of Pavlos Melas municipality is the creation of Pavlos Melas Metropolitan Park on a former military camp (about 33 hectares) located in the dense urban fabric. Due to its...

GIZ ValuES - Protecting mangroves for local benefits, Philippines

Protecting mangroves for local benefits, Philippines

Despite legal protection, mangroves were being cleared for shrimp farming by non-local investors. In a multi-day workshop, the ideas was to learn from local community stakeholders and participating scientists about the problems surrounding the conversion of mangrove ecosystems to shrimp aquaculture.

The aim was to develop potential solutions to the problems and communicate results to the authorities to take action. The main questions to be answered were: How to compare the value attached to shrimp farming with the value of maintaining mangroves? How can the economic, social and...

Barking & Dagenham: Housing need as a driver for the creation of an ecologically and socially rich and diverse neighbourhood

Barking Riverside: New Community for All.

Building a sustainable and cohesive community based on environmental principals.

In 20 year’s time, Barking Riverside is an ecologically sustainable neighbourhood that provides a range of tenures from social to owner-occupied housing. Community-managed assets are bound up with informal cultural activities and public spaces, the most prominent of which is the community tended network of unique and ecologically valuable green spaces that include the regenerated riverside.

Exercise Park in Huckarde

Exercise Park in Huckarde

Installation of sport and exercise devices in the Eastern part of an open public park (Gustav-Heinemann-Park) in Dortmund’s district Huckarde which will be mainly useable for Huckarde citizens and pupils from an adjacent school. Devices will be publicly accessible and shall invite every person who would like to use them. Target groups are teenagers and adults, difficulty levels will range will from easy to sportive. 

By installing the devices it is as well intended to increase attractiveness of the park and to create a location to spend more time; currently it is mainly a passing-by...

Co-Creation of an URBiNAT Healthy Corridor for Campaña, Porto

URBiNAT intervention areas. In Porto city, Campanhã parish was identified as one of the priority areas for urban regeneration aiming at a more sustainable improvement of local living conditions. This area faces severe socio-economic challenges territorial aggravated by isolation, due to lack of accessibility, safety, feeling of security and poor overall conditions of the urban space.

The outline of a study area was developed by the Local Taskforce of Porto, according to the previously established commitment by the municipality of Porto to develop the project URBiNAT in this area. The first criteria were to ensure the inclusion of Cerco, Falcão, Lagarteiro, and other social housing neighbourhoods nearby.

Given the intention of implementing new healthy corridors, the study area includes the most relevant strategic green spaces (Oriental Park, Corujeira Plaza, Quinta da Bonjóia, municipal nursery), services (schools, industry, health centres, local associations)...

Park Spoor Noord, Antwerp


The release of an open public space with such dimensions in a densely-built city district offered a unique opportunity to restore the connection among the surrounding areas with a solid green lung.  The site was previously a brownfield land that needed remediation. (During the entire remediation operation, approximately 100,000 m³ of land was excavated) However, even the residents of the neighboring areas faced with initial skepticism the usefulness of a park in the specific location.

The idea was to have an economically viable park that would function as social space, a space that...

Floodplain restoration in the Lima catchment, Portugal

Invasive species control in the Lima floodplains (photo: Patricia M. Rogríguez-Gonzáles)

After around 21ha of floodplain area were passively and actively restored under the LIFE FLUVIAL project, an enlarging of the intervention area is now being implemented. The floodplain forest restoration intends to develop/demonstrate an ecological restoration approach for fluvial floodplains transferable to lowlands at the biogeographic region (NW of Iberian Peninsula). The case study also aims at taking local stakeholders on board and reconcile the protection of priority habitats with traditional cattle production. The case study will also integrate an educational dimension and aims at...

Ecological Continuities Restoration - Ecological Corridor on Existing Bridge

Grand-breuil Bridge, St Etienne Community
  • Ecological corridor

The aim of this project is to connect two areas separated by a highway by creating a
wildlife passage on an existing bridge in order to reinforce an ecological corridor. This
structure is thought to allow cohabitation between fauna and motorists.

This project is also combined with another environmetal friendly solution:

  • Bio-sourced materials

A Strategy for urban biodiversity , Lisbon’s case study

The Municipality of Lisbon covers an area of 8 km2 and has a population of 506,892 residents (and about 300,000 commuters). The metropolitan area is larger and has a total population of 2,821,697 inhabitants (data from 2011).

As strategy for sustainable land use the main policy issue in the Lisbon Municipality is to establish a coherent and interlinked urban green infrastructure (UGI) not only within the municipality but with the UGIs of the surrounding municipalities

The strong urban character of Lisbon a large forest park of Monsanto with 1000 ha and numerous others parks,...More

Incorporation of ecosystem services in maintenance of the traditional cultural landscape of Donana in South Western Spain

Analysing the effects of the landscape planning scheme in ecosystem service performance, and exploring the ways in which ecosystem services can be explicitly incorporated in the management of the protected areas of Donana and the surrounding landscape.

Las Llamas Park, Santander: Wetlands and permeable car parks

Panoramic view of the Las Llamas Park. In the right, the east side with the Palacio de Deportes, at the left, the west side with the Arenas bridge.

The D4RUNOFF project’s goal is to create a novel framework for preventing and managing diffuse pollution from urban water runoff. This will be achieved by designing hybrid nature-based solutions (NBS) and a data-driven AI-platform to support policy and decision making.

The case studies have been identified for the implementation and validation of this approach in varying environments. The replicability of these results will then be assessed at five replication sites. The Las Llamas Park in Santander has been chosen as one of three case study sites as part of the D4RUNOFF project.

Oslo BiodiverCity - Maintaining ecosystem services in a rapidly developing but biodiversity rich city

Oslo has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Europe (Stange et al. 2018). However the area that is available for development is limited by the protected Marka forest surrounding the city to the north and east, and the fjord to the south. The growing population is being accommodated at the rate of around 3000 new buildings every year and the need for 100 000 new buildings is predicted by 2030 (Oslo Municipal Plan 2015-2030). Oslo has the highest species diversity of any municipality in Norway, with a large number of species found in-between buildings in the built zone....More

Fernbrae Meadows Urban Park

Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention: Fernbrae Meadows

The land was in a vacant and derelict state and safety concerns were raised due to vandalisation, fly tipping, vehicle abandonment and fires. The conversion of the site into a new urban park presented an opportunity to address the anti-social behaviour and make the site a desirable area for positive activities and community development. South Lanarkshire Council provided the match funding for the project and applied for funding from the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI), which was granted in 2017. A ‘friends of’...

Brazil Water Programme

In 2010, WWF-Brazil, Banco do Brasil, the National Water Agency, and Fundação Banco do Brasil joined forces for the Água Brasil Programme. The aim of the project was to increase forest restoration around the watersheds, foster the development and dissemination of sustainable rural production practices and techniques, encourage responsible consumption and solid waste recycling in cities, and enhance the Banco do Brasil’s portfolio of financial products and practices with a socio-environmental focus.

The Programme was present between 2010-2019 in five regions of the country, with...

St. Eunan's Community Greenspace

Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention: St. Eunan's Community Greenspace

The Council’s Open Space Strategy of 2011 identified the Drumry and Linnvale area of Clydebank as lacking access to natural or semi-natural green space. 80% of people in the area live within 500 metres of vacant and derelict land, 31% of children are living in poverty and the area has a higher than average percentage of single parent households. This compares with 62% in West Dunbartonshire as a whole and only 20% in Scotland. The Council’s Open Space Strategy of 2011 identified the area as lacking access to green space. This project provides an opportunity to extend open space and...

Amplification of the self-purification capacity of a small urban river using a natural solution to reduce the effect of urban stormwater degradation on its ecological status (France)

Porous ramp operating at medium flow with  sand accumulation upstream

Ecohydrological engineering is used here to enhance the self-purification capacity of a small stream polluted by urban rainfall discharges. The demonstration site, realized in collaboration with the stakeholders, shows the positive effect on the chemical quality of the stream

LEAFSKIN® Green Shady Structure

Green roof LEAFSKIN. Source: https://www.singulargreen.com/el-proyecto-urban-greenup-cumple-un-ano/

LEAFSKIN® is an ultralight green roof set up over pedestrian streets or squares, in order to create shadow areas in urban spaces.  

The tecnhology can also provide interesting implimentation like carring lighting system or  advertising on the bottum. 

Description of the NBS

The NBS is composed by three main elements:

  1. The facilities room. It is an unused newspaper kiosk, where there will be installed the irrigation system machines. An irrigation pipe is coming from this kiosk to the structures and a duct with the excess water returns back
  2. ...

Magas természeti értékű gyepterületek megőrzése a Szenes-legelőn és más dunántúli területeken


A projekt céljai a következők voltak: a lehető legjobb gyepgazdálkodási módszerek feltárása és tesztelése; a gyepgazdálkodás ökológiai és gazdasági fenntarthatóságának biztosítása; és a gazdálkodási információk hozzáférhetőségének biztosítása a szakemberek számára.

Parkforest Ghent – Belgium

Starting with a single focus on afforestation, the project aimed at integrating Nature-Based Solutions for limiting flooding, enhancing biodiversity and reducing traffic noise pollution.

Following an integrated approach, further objectives included:

  • Safeguarding agriculture in the long term, by setting aside dedicated areas for agriculture for local farmers;
  • Increasing road safety for pedestrians and cyclists (restructuring crossings, developing links for recreational traffic);
  • Providing opportunities for recreation and play;
  • Safeguarding
  • ...

BIOVEINS - Connectivity of green and blue infrastructures in Tartu: living veins for a biodiverse and healthy city

The main objective of our BIOVEINS proposal is to use functional diversity (FD) to highlight the mechanisms underpinning the link between GBI, taxonomic diversity (TD) and ecosystem services (ESs) provisioning, and to provide, together with local stakeholders, the ecological and interdisciplinary knowledge to identify the critical features of GBI, to guide the establishment, management and restoration of GBI, and to mitigate the effects of major urban global challenges, like habitat fragmentation, air pollution, and urban heat island.

This main objective will be accomplished by...

Co-Creation of an URBiNAT Healthy Corridor for Nantes Nord, Nantes

URBiNAT intervention area. Nantes Nord perimeter is the study area. This corresponds both to the diagnostic and evaluation scale. The intervention area focuses on a reduced area in the North of Nantes Nord, where are the priority districts (QPV), the social housing districts with concentration of difficulties. Located in the north-western part of the city, the “Nantes Nord” district is one of the 11 districts of Nantes municipality. It is itself subdivided in 9 micro-districts.

The municipality saw an opportunity in URBiNAT as a preliminary to the Global Project. The two projects indeed share the same general objectives of improving the health and the well-being of the inhabitants. URBiNAT also meets the municipality concerns of the co-creation process: the so-called Citizen Dialogue, that the municipality has enforced as a way of doing since 2014. The integration in URBiNAT also allows going further in the co-creation process already existing in Nantes, with especially the co-evaluation phase. The municipality has therefore chosen to integrate Nantes Nord as a...

Nature-based solutions in mountain catchments reduce impact of anthropogenic climate change on drought streamflow

Quantifying how well Nature-based Solutions can offset anthropogenic climate change impacts is important for adaptation planning but has rarely been done. This report aims to show that a widely-applied Nature-based Solution in South Africa – invasive alien tree clearing – reduces the impact of anthropogenic climate change on drought streamflow. Using a multi-model joint-attribution of climate and landscape-vegetation states during the 2015–2017 Cape Town “Day Zero” drought.

Reducing disaster risks and preventing floods through the implementation of Nature-based Solutions in Gledić (Kraljevo), Serbia

Degraded forest ecosystem in Gledić mountains, Kraljevo, Serbia

The Forest Landscape Restauration (FLR) measures will be implemented on the selected site in Gledić, due to the high risks of flood and soil erosion, decrease or complete loss of biodiversity, weak forest resilience, and negative effects on the community livelihood, especially for women and vulnerable groups.

Scotland: Inner Forth Coastal Realignment

This exemplar aims to: Map and describe existing and potential use and non-use community-held values of the estuary; Elicit community-held preferences and willingness to pay for coastal land use and management on landscape-scale; Test impacts of deliberation on preferences for estuarine land in a workshop setting; Contextualise study findings through institutional analysis; Identify ecosystem values held by land-owners and their attitudes towards coastal realignment; Understand future visions for the estuaries from diverse stakeholders; Test operational potential and impact of valuation...

Sofia Region: Resilience and attractiveness by introducing innovative approaches for the governance of better regulated urbanisation

Sofia City

Resilient growth of peripheral settlements.

 SUPPORT FOR CONCENTRATED DECONCENTRATION. Sofia General Master plan with timescale 2030 has as one of its major goals to alleviate the investors’ development pressure to the capital City. It creates spatial preconditions for transition to a polycentric municipal urban structure by allocating considerable terrains for extension of the settlements around Novi Iskar.

Edinburgh - NBS enhancing health, wealth and sustainability


Key documents for green space and NBS at local level are the Local Development Plan and the Open Space Strategy. The Local Development Plan seeks to protect and enhance the environment and address the challenge of climate change. This will be partly achieved by using new development projects to enhance the green network. The Plan also identifies areas for conservation, and the different functions and benefits of urban green space are considered in terms of their contribution to the environment as well as their social and economic value.

The CEC’s Open Space Strategy seeks to address...

Urban Green Network of Nicosia

Nicosia is the capital city of the Republic of Cyprus. It lies roughly in the centre of the island in the Mesaoria Plain, flanked by the northern range of Kyrenia Mountains with its distinctive ‘Pentadaktylos’ – the five-finger mountain. 

The capital has two distinct faces: the old, original part of the city, surrounded by sturdy Venetian walls over 400 years old, and a busy modern metropolis, which has a population of 200,452 inhabitants (≈16.6% of the country’s total population) together with the suburbs.

As the country's capital, Nicosia is the financial and business...

The Green Corridors Network as the background of a NBS approach in Lisbon, Portugal

UAG parks were installed since 2011 as part of a process of social inclusion, where quality of the public space was the decisive point for citizen engagement and approval.

For several reasons, protecting important ecological areas in Lisbon from urbanisation has become difficult. Remnant areas of natural habitat have gained particular importance in consolidating the green corridors network, benefiting from the fact that much of this land is still within the municipality’s property holdings. The “Lisbon Green Plan” published in 1996 set out the approach used in 2008 to implement safeguarding measures to protect the ecological structure under development threat at that point. It triggered an update to the Lisbon Master Plan at a time when climate issues were...

Aquaponics test system

The overall goal is to test aquaponics systems in an urban context in the post-industrial district Mirafiori Sud. In synergy with diverse stakeholders including professional farmers, social and nonprofit organization and citizens in participatory, scalable, technologically advanced and sustainable processes.
Grow up test aquaponic horticultural cultivation through the planning, building and management of three demonstration plants:
(1) a micro plant,
(2) a mini plant installing together with residents of the Comunità Giulia;
(3) a semi-commercial plant. Carried out...

Improving the Antwerp green and blue infrastructure based on multi-functional ambition levels.

Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium. It has 517 000 inhabitants and a surface of 204.5 km². The city is a mix of a highly urbanized central area, with a clear shortage of available green space, some larger important conservation areas at the borders of the city, and an industrial harbour area. Important challenges the city is faced with are flood risks both from tidal and pluvial floods, air quality and heat stress.

The city has the ambition to become greener. To achieve this purpose, a masterplan on green and blue infrastructure was developed, focusing on five “park-...More

Ecosystem Services Community Scotland (ESCom)

This exemplar aims to: Map and describe existing and potential use and non-use community-held values of the estuary; Elicit community-held preferences and willingness to pay for coastal land use and management on landscape-scale; Test impacts of deliberation on preferences for estuarine land in a workshop setting; Contextualise study findings through institutional analysis; Identify ecosystem values held by land-owners and their attitudes towards coastal realignment; Understand future visions for the estuaries from diverse stakeholders; Test operational potential and impact of valuation...

Recommendations for an NbS pilot intervention in Elbasan Municipality, Albania, defined through the NbS Baseline Assessment of the Shkumbini River basin

Degraded landscape in Elbasan municipality, Albania

The Project provided recommendations for an NbS pilot intervention in Elbasan Municipality through the NbS Baseline Assignment - the process that included consultation, identification of potential sites for implementing pilot NbS measures and a multidisciplinary assessment. 

Ljubljana Region: Dealing with flood risk and mobility challenges


Green engine of development, metropolitan region of knowledge.

The vision was developed by key stakeholders in the process of preparation of the Regional Development Programme for the period 2014 – 2020.The Ljubljana urban region will respect the natural and cultural environment and its carrying capacity and will build its future on knowledge, innovation, creativity and the synergy between all important players and sectors. The region will be a healthy, attractive and safe place for high-quality living. The overhauled transport infrastructure will be in line with...

Quay Garden Project - Habitats for Local Species on a City Center River

Quay Gardens - Habitats for local species
  • Implementation of vegetated rafts as habitats for local species on a city center river
  • Using Bio-sourced materials

It aims to implement artificial shelters for fauna (nesting box, insect hotels, artificial spawning areas…) and vegetation supports were installed. Wooden terraces were also installed to allow citizens to enjoy and observe biodiversity. This project is both thought for biodiversity and for citizens and finaly allow cohabitation between them.

Saint Trinity Park, Burgas

The development and maintenance of the green system on the territory of the municipality of Burgas is a main task and priority of the local administration. Over the years, most of the main green areas in the city have been renovated, incl. the sea garden, parks in the residential complexes, under construction is a new recreation area connecting the sea garden with Sarafovo residential area.

Along with the reconstruction and improvement of the park spaces, Burgas Municipality is actively working on the maintenance of the urban green system. Periodic inventory of plant species is...

ORTO WOW - Pollinator friendly garden

This NBS aims at improving the usability of the area:

  • to recover an abandoned and underutilized former industrial lot and to return it for public use;
  • to favor the transition of pollinating insects, following the directions of the ecological corridors identified by proGIreg;
  • to activate local inhabitants in taking care of the new green installations, by stimulating them through citizens-science activities;
  • to favor a collaborative setting of different stakeholders, in order to guarantee the sustainability of the intervention in the future

Multifunctional Land Distribution in Denmark


The pilot project's goals are, among other things, to develop a strategic comprehensive plan for Holmehave in Assens municipality in Denmark and use multifunctional land distribution for the establishment of afforestation, nature and wetlands. The Nordic Council of Ministers Nature-based Solutions programme has allocated DKK 890,000 for the project.

Assens municipality, VandCenter Syd and Hedeselskabet in Denmark have begun to create a comprehensive plan for the Holmehaven area in Assens municipality. In the project, the aim is to take out approx. 300 hectares for...

Genk - NBS bridging green and industrial heritage


Genk’s multi-annual strategic plan for 2014-19 is a response to the closure of the Ford car manufacturing company. The main objective of the plan has been to use Genk’s natural and human capital for sustainable value creation. Nature-based solutions are an integral part of the plan, used to create blue-green connections (top-down approach) and promote social inclusion (bottom-up approach).

Volvic Water Catchment Protection

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

Meishan Dongpo Urban Wetland Park - Sichuan Province, China


Dongpo Wetland Park aims to allow for the provision of connected multifunctional green spaces and to ensure the sustainable development of the city while retaining the original wetland environment.

It further aims to provide a new green and open leisure space for urban residents. The original wetland has been preserved with the aim to maintain regional biodiversity and to improve the water quality of the area.

Linderud Community Garden

 Linderud Community Garden

Developing the communal area as a social meeting place for the local neighborhood, strengthening the community feeling and building a sense of ownership of the area. By providing growing space to different local entrepreneurs, the garden supports the local green economy and helps building a network of initiatives with different social impact.

All eyes on the future; Matching regional supply of and demand for mountain ecosystem services in the Swiss Alps

Exploring which policy strategies can balance the supply of and demand for mountain ecosystem services in the future? Mountains provide many ecosystem services to both, people living in and outside the mountains. In the Swiss Alps study area, the number of farms abandoned is increasing and traditional farming systems are in decline. Therefore, as in many European mountain regions, the provision of essential services is at risk. At the same time, touristic activities and settlement development enhance local demand for ecosystem services. New and integrated strategies in agricultural,...

Ecological Restoration & Local Sustainable Fishing by Immersing artificial reefs - PRADO Reefs Project

Artificial reefs - Prado bay (3)

Ecological restoration by immersing diverse artificial reefs to provide shelters and habitats to marine species. The aim of the project is to diversify and regenerate marine natural resources in order to both make local fishing durable and ecological restoration.

  • Protect and provide long term benefits related to biodiversity and then to all the economical activities (fishery, tourism) linked in.

Oh Boy – multifunctional urban greening in Malmö, Sweden

Oh Boy terrace view

The main purpose of the roof is to offer an unique green environment to the residents in the house. In the project every surface, also on the ground below, is maximized with greenery. The greenery offers a range of ecosystem services which also benefits the neighbors and the city. The main purpose of the roof is to offer an unique green environment to the residents in the house. In the project every surface, also on the ground below, is maximized with greenery. The greenery offers a range of ecosystem services which also benefits the neighbors and the city.    


Izmir is a Turkish city with roughly 4 000 000 inhabitants. Located in the west coast of Anatolia, it is the country’s third most populous city. The local climate is Mediterranean, with long and hot summers and relatively mild winters.

Izmir is one of the oldest cities on the Mediterranean sea, with 8500 years of history. It is deeply cultured and offers a variety of historical sites. Izmir is also a modern and dynamic economical centre of its region. The local economy benefits from flourishing service industry followed by manufacturing and agriculture.

With its large...

Lisbon: NBS Enhancing Resilience through Urban Regeneration


To tackle these challenges, the city has taken a series of measures in the context of the Master Development Plan. The plan sets out guidelines and objectives for specific planning and local development. In particular, the municipal ecological structure takes into account ecological principles and the importance of preserving natural, forest, agricultural and cultural heritage. Together with the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, the...

Curitiba: Barigui watershed restoration

Multifunctional park along the Barigui river with retention basin that prevents floods in urbanised areas.


Curitiba is the largest city in the southern region. It is an important regional economic and cultural centre. The meaning of Curitiba in the indigenous language of Tupi-Guarani is ‘land of Araucárias’ (the native pine tree), though these are no longer present in the urban landscape.

Curitiba is a point of reference in biodiversity conservation and enhancement. Since 1972 the city has implemented parks to improve the urban environment. In 1992, after the Rio ECO92, the city started mapping the Barigui watershed with aero-photogrammetry. Curitiba hosted the 8th...

Skurdalsåa flood retention

The existing old dam at Lake Svintjønna. The measures will increase the dam height by ca. 0.5 m and establish a new gate and threshold, with automatic monitoring of the lake level.

The Skurdalsåa River is one of many steep tributary rivers to the main river Gudbrandsdalslågen. The river has its outlet from an old dam (1870) in Lake Svintjønna. Due to the relatively small catchment, Skurdalsåa responds rapidly to precipitation and snow melt. Roads, houses, a school, a kindergarten, and a sports facility are situated adjacent to the lower part of the river. The infrastructure has experienced repeated flood damage in recent years.

Through the H2020 project PHUSICOS an old dam has been modified in order to reduce the peak flood.

Socio-ecological urban river restoration to mitigate flood risk, improve recreational potential and provide suitable habitats for fauna and flora: The Isar in Munich, Germany

Isar river that flows through southern Germany and cross the city of Munich.

In the second part of the 20th century, three major challenges led towards a new thinking and the implementation of river restoration as a nature-based solution at the Isar.

First, after decades of river regulation, water diversion and hydro-morphological modifications, the resulting degraded morphological status and related losses of ecological and social quality triggered serious concerns from civil society and citizens.

Second, the Isar River was very popular for swimming and other water-related outdoor recreational activities as one of the key elements of the local...

Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services for Urban Plan in Ferrara city

Green Infrastructure in urban area

Identification of the Green Infrastructure at high resolution, i.e. not using land use cover, with GIS and assessment of the Ecosystem Services through the MAES (Mapping Ecosystem Services) methodology in urban area.

The study analysed also human-environment interactions, according to the resident population and with particular attention to the weaker groups, infants (0-5 years) and elderly (> 65 years). Ecosystem Services (ES) were selected in consideration of the population accordingly the CICES (Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services) classification. Among...

City of Utrecht: growing with green ambitions

Utrecht is a fast growing and compact city with green ambitions. We have to respond to the challenges that lay ahead of us. We focus on Healthy Urban Living for Everyone, for all citizens because they have to live, work and play in it every day.

Due to densification, pressure on Utrecht’s public green space is increasing. With respect to climate change and quality of life — and within its vision of healthy urban living — Utrecht aspires to optimise and utilise ‘green’ and ‘blue’ (land and water) infrastructure as much as possible both to face the consequences of climate change and...More

Restoring the Zwalm catchment in Belgium

Zwalm river in Belgium (photo: Marie Anne Forio, Ghent University)

After degradation of the river due to straightening, bank enforcements, navigational use and intensive agricultural land use along its banks, the Zwalm river basin is now to be restored at several sites. The case study aims at restoring the river to a healthy and functioning ecosystem while still allowing navigational use. A focus is on habitat restoration (spawning beds, buffer strips) and passability for fish.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape...

Green Roof of Aimé Césaire School Complex

Aimé Césaire Primary School: A Garden Home (Source: urbannext.net/aime-cesaire-primary-school)

In 2013, an experimental and educational project, conceived as a garden home for a school, was built at the heart of the green district known as ‘Duke’s Meadow’ on the Île de Nantes. The building’s roof was covered by 2,700 square meters of natural dunes.

The objective is to create a green roof, relying heavily on a phytosociological approach to plant colonization and high biodiversity, but also a site that is easy to manage.

The originality of its green roof results from a co-construction between architects and landscape designer. Its qualities are undeniable, and this...

Co-Creation of an URBiNAT Healthy Corridor for Nova Gorica, Slovenia

The city of Nova Gorica has been shaping its municipal strategy around the 3 main axes of the Regional Development Strategy of Northern Primorska, namely:

  • Development priority 1: Increasing competitiveness, innovation and employment opportunities in the region;
  • Development priority 2: Improving the quality of life
  • Development priority 3: Sustainable environmental, spatial and infrastructural development of the region

Priority 3 in particular, given the centrality of Nova Gorica and its surrounding settlements in the region, states “a. rational and...

Komppasuo peat extraction area: healing and new usage strategies

Komppasuo peat extraction site (photo: Jani Antila, Tapio Oy)

After peat extraction in the Komppasuo bog, Finnland, was initiated in 1987, it was stopped in 2021 and restoration projects are aiming at bringing the landscape back to a functioning and sustainable ecosystem. The objective is to establish wetland conservation areas from previously drained peatlands, to set up constructed wetlands for water purification, increasing water quality, increasing the amount of suitable habitats for migratory fish and the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) as well as increasing the areas suitable for recreation.

This case...

Altitude adapted and microbe assisted seed mixture: Concept case site

Example of one of the 20 test fields in which the erosion reduction was tested. Each installation  had three 2x3m plots and was composed of a control plot with no intervention, a plot treated with plant  seeds only and a third plot with a mixture of seeds and microorganisms.

The Kaunertal concept case is an innovative research project with the aim of revegetating barren slopes in high alpine areas, such as those left by road construction or ski slope development, devoted to reducing erosion from these slopes.

Through the H2020 project PHUSICOS the stabilizing effect of vegetation and the growth-promoting effects of bacteria to enhance plant traits that most strongly contribute to slope stability, exclusively applying autochthonous species without introducing external species and microbes into the area, are demonstrated.

Habitat enhancement of stone clad sea walls.

Seawalls are usually seen only as flood alleviation structures rather than as having other possible functions to benefit the wide environment. Where new walls are being installed there is opportunity to include more sympathetic “nature friendly” textured finishes to improve or maintain biodiversity. Where seawalls are already installed, retrofit enhancement measures provide significant opportunities. Small alterations were made to the mortar pointing between decorative stone cladding of a section of vertical concrete wall during construction of the Shaldon and Ringmore Tidal Defence Scheme...

Wetland restoration to mitigate diffuse water pollution entering Rostherne Mere, Cheshire, UK

This project aimed to utilise nature-based solutions to restore wetland habitat at Rostherne Mere, delivering water quality improvements via reduced nutrient loads entering the mere, alongside wider environmental benefits through a habitat that can support a range of species and ecosystem services

L. Braille Public Garden – Bari, Italy

Through providing a publicly accessible green space that allows for aesthetic appreciation, recreational activities and social cohesion, the Municipality of Bari aims to improve mental and physical wellbeing among the area’s citizens.

With the aim to renovate derelict land, L. Braille public garden was planned and designed to increase biodiversity, mitigate the urban heat island effect, and reduce noise, air and light pollution in the area.

The park’s green infrastructure aims to helps to achieve an e...

"OrtoMobile" - micro gardens in boxes

The objectives and goals of the educational activities can be summarized as follows:

  • promote the active role of the local educational system during the proGIreg project by consolidating active co-planning processes of school communities to provide continuity of the learning experience
  • schools serving as a point of reference on environmental, cultural and socio-economic issues related to the concept of Green Cities.
  • support the development of co-design processes
  • define management models of NBS foreseen in the project by evaluating the possible
  • ...

Skylark: intensive arable farmers moving towards sustainability

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

Eső- és szürkevíz hasznosítás a Zuglói Hétszínvirág Óvodában

Víztartály az udvaron


Projekt név: Városi Vízkör /CityWaterCircles/ - Városi Együttműködési Modellek a vízfelhasználás és -újrahasznosítás hatékonyságának növelésére a körkörös gazdaság elvei alapján

Az éghajlati válság következtében súlyos probléma a csapadékmennyiség egyenetlen eloszlása: aszályok és villámárvizek sújtják a településeket. Cél hatékonyabban, gazdaságosabban használnunk a vízkészleteinket: ezt szolgálja a Zuglóban megvalósuló esővíz- és szürkevíz hasznosítási mintaberuházás.

Crop Wild Relatives

A Crop Wild Relative (CWR) is a wild species that is closely related to a cultivated crop. It can for example include wild relatives of food crops such as of cereals, vegetables and fruits, or relatives of fodder and forage crops. NordGen has been working with CWRs in two different projects. A possible continuation of the works is currently being investigated. At this project site you can read more about CWRs, why they’re important and how NordGen is addressing the issue.

CWRs are one of the tools that can be used to address future challenges on food security, adaptation to climate...

Elderberry Walk

Elderberry Walk Street Design - Credit to HAB Housing

To create a development on a brownfield site where Green Infrastructure (GI) is integral to the layout of dwellings and create a sense of place whilst delivering a rich mix of housing tenures with a focus on affordability for local people.

Environmental recovery of a quarry ATEg15 Paderno Dugnano

Quarry restoration ATEg15 Paderno Dugnano

The area is characterized by by the presence of two separate lakes connected by a tree-lined pathway. The first lake is used for the fishing while the second one is characterized by a more spontaneous development of wild flora and is the home of different bird species.
It aims to include : 
• morphological arrangement of the slopes of embankments produced by the extractive area for the future public use
• putting containment elements of the soil in particularly steep points;
• realization of green ramparts and rows of trees to masking/hiding noise and dust deriving...

Erosion Protection with Nature-based Solutions in Norway

The Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy will prevent erosion by strengthening slopes and edges with nature-based solutions (NbS). The aim is to improve local environmental conditions and increase water quality and biodiversity in streams and rivers.

In many creeks and streams, both large and small, erosion is a major problem. The problem arises as a result of various types of interventions in nature and is typically solved with stone and concrete - so-called grey solutions. But the grey solutions often have negative consequences on the local environmental conditions, water quality...

Dublin: Strengthening connectivity among different urban communities & community capital

Ideas for Dublin

Connected we're a living city.

To strengthen connectivity between resources in terms of people, space, knowledge, and expertise. To make clear the "What" that exists, to represent the "Who" and reveal the "How" of connecting to resources -creating a more resilient city in which resources flow to communities that require them most.


The urban dominant model in Spain, which is characterized by the diversification of activities and population increase, has aggravated the urban risks and environmental problems that already existed, such as the high consumption of soil, energy, water, and air pollution. It is also important to highlight the significant difficulties caused by the increase in distances, and the permanent requirement of the use of the car. The strategic line of Valladolid is situated within the frame of the urban city model. Its objectives are to develop an innovative and entrepreneurial culture, and to...

Organic farming label in the mountain Murau region

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

GREEN DEAL Green roof

Sources: http://www.hoogendoornbv.nl/pg-27798-7-103916/pagina/arbeidsvoorwaarden.html

The GREEN DEAL Groene Daken (Green Deal Green Roofs) is a cross-sectoral initiative whose ulimate objective is to upscale the implementation of green roofs, whilst at the same time remove barriers that inhibit their implementation . This initiave aims to develop new revenue models and apply them around roof greening. Through the GREEN DEAL initiative, citizens or companies that want to invest in green roofs, receive information about the opportunities invest in a green roof and lead their project when it starts.

Phase 2 has started since 2016. The focus of the initiative is ...

H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 7 - Biodiversity management for rivers in the Swiss Plateau

Revitalisation in Chriesbach © Eawag, Peter Penicka

Freshwater ecosystems in the Swiss plateau are threatened by multiple stressors that deteriorate water quality and hydromorphology. This is the result of channelization, dams, wastewater, and agriculture, among other causes. To restore these ecosystems and stop the biodiversity decline, multiple management measures will be implemented over the next decades. We propose methods for prioritising the location and timing of restoration measures to maximise their effectiveness, considering many sectors and multiple societal objectives.

Enhancement of Cultural Ecosystem Services in the Park Forest Grmoščica - Zagreb, Croatia


With the aim to enhance the management and utilisation of Urban Forests as Natural Heritage in Danube Cities, the URBforDAN Interreg Danube project fosters innovative and participatory approaches to build recreational infrastructure that also serves an educational value.

The management of the Urban Forest area also aims at providing regulating ecosystem services.

Antonio Maria Square: restoration of an urban river

Artist view of the future renaturalised river


Recife is known as the Brazilian Venice, because of its location on the estuary of the two large rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe. The city is a famous tourist destination, with beaches, peninsulas, islands and mangrove remnants. It is a contemporary city, with an important historical and cultural centre. There are many problems with the sewage that runs directly into the rivers. Recife has a plan named Rec500  to prepare for  its 500-year anniversary in 2037. The plan incorporates a project for a 15 km-long park system along both sides of the Capibaribe river. The aim is to...

Park 500 Natural Treatment System

Tobacco farming, Virginia

The Park 500 Natural Treatment System (NTS) was constructed as a voluntary effort to provide a low-energy, low-maintenance alternative to reducing nitrogen and phosphorus in the process’s wastewater, which is high in nitrate-nitrogen, organic nitrogen and total phosphorus.

The project was initiated to reduce the environmental footprint of the tobacco production facility and help Philip Morris USA meet its environmental sustainability goals. The NTS reduces mass loading to the James River and creates a performance buffer for the existing plant discharge to ensure long-term...

Urban Farm Supplied School Canteens, Managed by the Municipality of Mouans-Sartoux

Canteens of Mouans-Sartoux supplied by a sustainable urban farm
  • [Organic] food production
  • Supply school canteen with organic food products
  • Local food network
  • Environmental education
  • 2sd rank objectives: Research/experiment, social dynamic

The project has two complementary components:

  1. An urban farm:
    Vegetable production (surface of 4+2 ha) and food process supply for the school canteens of the city (around 1200 meals) => 85% of the fruit and vegetables consumed
  2. A territorial project:
  3. ...

Budapest - NBS for climate resilience and pollution control


To address these challenges, Budapest has drafted several strategic documents, in which NBS are promoted as a way to improve the environment, sustainability, and quality of life. These documents include:

  • The Budapest 2030 Long-Term Urban Development Concept. This strategic document aims to protect and increase green areas, so as to ensure ecological connectivity and develop walking and cycling corridors. It also promotes greater investment in brownfield sites, the prevention of urban sprawl, and 'smart' city development.
  • The Integrated Urban Development Strategy 2020.
  • ...

Quito: Urban Agriculture as Nature Based Solution for facing Climate Change and Food Sovereignty

Women orchards located in their home’s backyards. Source: CONQUITO, 2018

The project aims to tackle climate change, poverty and food provision, by supporting urban gardens on public or private land with community participation. The aims being food security and sovereignty, environmental management, employment and income improvement, social inclusion, sustainability and resilience.

More Nature - Less Waste

One of the eight pilot projects that have received funding from Nordic Council of Ministers programme on nature-based solutions is the Danish project “More Nature - Less Waste” lead by Renosyd. They have set out to build 21 fences in Denmark in collaboration with local schools in two municipalities.

A brush fence is a fence where you knock poles into the ground in two rows and in between fill up with branches from the garden. It creates living conditions for insects and small animals, and it reduces the amount of garden waste that would otherwise have to be transported and processed...

Removing dams in the Deba River, Spain

Dam removal in the Deba River

The hydro-geomorphology of the Deba River basin in the Basque country will be restored, mainly through dam demolition, restoring river morphology, connectivity and faunal permeability. Stakeholder interaction is being promoted, connecting local communities, institutions and governments. A main objective is to promote environmental education and the conceptualisation of nature-based solutions oriented restoration policies.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a...

Let's Crop the Diversity (LCD)

  • Regenerate abandoned, unused and/or under-used spaces in densely urbanized areas
  • Promote innovative agricultural practices
  • Involvement of citizens and marginalized social classes (Social benefits)

“Let’s Crop the Diversity” (LCD) aims to redevelop urban spaces through the coproduction of solutions based on nature (NBS) to promote resilience and environmental quality of the geographical areas of intervention.

The goal of this project is developing an Urban Agricultural System that, thanks to the...


Operation Stone Break (Dutch wordplay) - Source : Operatie SteenBreek Fondation

Operatie Steenbreek  is a foundation that organizes awareness raising campaigns and offers assistance with regards to greening private gardens. Many gardens and streets in the Netherlands are covered with tiles that cannot absorp the rainwater from heavy rainfall.

The idea behind the initiative is to encourage citizens to remove the tiles and stones from their gardens/backyards and replace it with grass, plants and trees for better drainage and to increase the biodiversity.

Thanks to an app., citizens can be adviced and exchange plants with neighbours. Citizens can...

Modular urban farm

The modular urban farm is a platform for presenting modern food production technologies to the interested public and the local community. It provides direct access to and close encounter with applications and practical features of green technologies. Key goals include:

  • Increasing local food production throughout the year independent of climate and whether conditions.
  • Presenting modern food production technologies to interested citizens.
  • Experimenting with keeping a constant temperature in the container and its power supply given the green wall and roof acting
  • ...

Climate-proof cities: City of Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and with a population of 451209 people as of 1 September 2018 (Tallinn citizens’ census, 2018 -  Tallinn citizens’census, https://www.tallinn.ee/est/Tallinna-elanike-arv). Tallinn is the largest city in Estonia, inhabiting 34.2% of the total population[1]. Tallinn is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea and covers a territory of 159.37 km2


ReDuna - Restoration of S. João da Caparica Sand Dunes

ReDuna aerial view

One of the consequences of global warming is the sea level rise. In urban settings along coastlines, rising seas threaten not only houses, but also several types of infrastructures such as industries,  roads, power plants, freshwater aquifers, etc. Rising sea-level also pushes destructive storm surges further inland, posing very high risks for coastal populations, as storm surges can push water kilometers inland, causing extreme flooding far from the coast. 

The Portuguese ReDuna project aims to restore the natural capacity of the Almada sand dune-beach ecosystem to healthily...

Quantifying the consequences of the EU Water Policy for ecosystem service delivery at Loch Leven, Scotland

Loch Leven

Quantifying the links between the ecological status and the provision of ecosystem services for a freshwater lake. Focus is on understanding environmental quality needed to deliver recreation and fishing services provided by the lake, and the value of these two services.

Restoring Danube floodplains in Austria

Danube estuary Tiergartenarm (Austria) (photo viadonau)

Riverbank restorations are implemented on a stretch of approximately 800m shoreline of the Danube to increase lateral river-floodplain connectivity and the functioning of the floodplain as an ecosystem. The aim is to reach a good ecological status of the river as well as good navigation status. The case study works with an adaptive management process and adresses multiple pressures (ecological deficits, security of navigation, riverbed deepening, flood protection).

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration...

Tiszatarján: Fenntartható gazdálkodás és vízvisszatartás az ártéren a klímaalkalmazkodás érdekében


Tiszatarján a víznek nagymértékben kitett település. Tavasszal jellemzően a belvíz vagy árvíz, nyáron az aszály okoz mezőgazdasági károkat, segítve az inváziós növények terjedését. A projekt célkitűzése az ártér árvízbefogadó-képességének növelése, a vízvisszatartás mértékének emelése volt.

Kampinos National Park

Kampinos National Park (c M.Szajowski & A.Andrzejewska)

The wetlands in Kampinos National Park, Poland, are restored in order to slow water runoff and protect Natura2000 habitats as well as species.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation.

Berlin - NBS for urban green connectivity and biodiversity


Berlin has approximately 40 % of green (parks, forests etc.) and blue (rivers, channels, lakes, ponds, etc.) areas within its borders. It aims to create connectivity across the city and a ‘green belt’ as a border boundary for urban growth and a protection against urban sprawl.

Berlin has a specific multi-level administrative structure which determines how different layers of government interact and how competences are distributed. The city of Berlin (Stadt Berlin) fulfils both functions of the municipal and the state level (Land) in the German federal system. It is...

Land use legacies: Land use and ecosystem service scenarios in the Grenoble Urban Area

Analysing future land use trajectories and their effects on networks of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the Grenoble urban area. It will offer a better knowledge of mechanisms underpinning ecosystem services as well as analysing trade-offs and synergies between biodiversity, critical ecosystem services and territorial management. Further it will facilitate appropriation of tools and concepts by stakeholders and support the integration of the complexity of ecological functioning into debates on territorial planning and management.

Stiemer Vallei, Genk

Artist impression of the completed Stiemervallei route

The Stiemervallei provides great potential to re-imagine the natural quality of a stream valley in an urban context and to balance the ecological, environmental, social and economic benefits of such an approach. The City of Genk has been working to integrate the hidden, fragmented, and constricted water and greenery and transform it into a tangible and perceptible valley on the scale of the entire city. A blue-green lifeline that enhances the quality of life of Genk and the resilience of the city. The development of this valley adapts the city for climate change by utilising the natural...

ECO-Park development (Balaton lake) of Balatonfűzfő city

Eco-Park of Balatonfűzfő
  • Development of an ecological park at the lake Balaton

The plans of the municipality and the local civic organzation were to develop a pleasant, ecological park filled with different kind of leisure activities from the neglected gulf.

The objective is a comprehensive reconstruction of the area in Balatonfűzfő, from Fövenyfürdő Beach to Tobruki Beach is enabling the semi-natural utilization of the area near the city and near the lake. This project has two phases:

  1. The first phase a semi-natural promenade with special playground was created
  2. ...

Green Noise Barrier Sachsenheim, Germany

Noise Barrier Sachsenheim © Ralf Groemminger

The noise barrier wall-system being used in Sachsenheim guarantees an instant green noise barrier wall, from the very first day on: The green noise barrier consists of a scaffold with galvanised steel lattice mats on both sides, filled with a core of plant substrates and then planted with pre-cultivated plant mats. Already at the time of assembly, the walls are at least fifty percent covered and they are completely green after six months.

Supporting sustainable land use and water management practices in the Kiskunsag National Park, Hungary

Supporting sustainable land use and water management practices. By identifying the main problems and involving local stakeholders the basis will be laid for the later resolution of the water-management conflicts in the area and the introduction of an ecosystem services perspective.

UNaLab - City Hall area, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

UNaLab City Hall

Eindhoven is facing rapid population growth. Critical issues for the city, which are exacerbated by climate change, include flooding, urban heat stress, air pollution, and lower quality of life. The rapid urbanisation in recent years has also led to the disappearance of significant blue zones, which has had detrimental consequences to the urban environment and quality of life. The renewed City Hall area features a green roof and a green terrace.

Reverse auction for biodiversity protection measures

Danish forest

This case study from the SINCERE project had the goal to: 

  • Inspire changes to existing public grant schemes for biodiversity protection on privately owned land by demonstrating in practice how a competitive bidding process can improve the coordination of nature conservation efforts, cost-effectiveness, and ownership among landowners.
  • Implement a reverse auction where forest owners respond to a fairly open call by offering biodiversity conservation measures that they decide themselves. In the
  • ...

ProGIreg info Center

ProGIreg info Center

The objective of the Info center, implemented within the proGIreg project, was to create a new community center for Sesvete, the largest neighborhood in the City of Zagreb, where the inghabitants of Sesvete would be able to openly discuss topics that trouble them on a daily basis, but also providing a venue for sharing and acquiring knowledge. NGO ZIPS (Green and Blue Sesvete) is one of the local partners in the proGIreg project with strong ties to the local community, and it has been eager to help develop a habit of involvement and participation among the citizens of Sesvete through...

Bátya: A belterületi csapadékesemények kezelése többmedencés csapadékvíz táplálta vizes élőhelyen történő vízvisszatartással

Bátya tó madártávlatból


Bátya vízhiányos területen fekszik, a talajvízszint alakulását a Duna vízállása és a beszivárgás/párolgás határozza meg. A települést hőhullámok, aszályos időszakok, ezenkívül extrém csapadékesemények veszélyeztetik. A cél a fentiekhez való alkalmazkodás a csapadékgazdálkodás átalakításával.

Mutirão Reflorestamento: reforestation collective action

Praia Vermelha seen from the Sugar Loaf Mountain


Rio de Janeiro is a coastal city that ranges from 2 m above sea level to forested massifs that divide the city into zones: central, north, south and west. The highest peak is Pedra Branca (White Rock), at 1 024 m high. The city has significant forested areas that cover most of the massifs. The population living in slums in 2010 was 19 % of the inhabitants  (last census). The informal occupation of steep slopes and flood-prone areas occur mainly because of the lack of social housing planning, and the laws that protect vulnerable areas where formal occupation cannot occur....

Co-Creation of an URBiNAT Healthy Corridor for Høje Taastrup, Copenhagen

Høje-Taastrup Municipality is a follower city in the URBiNAT project. The municipality is  sharing its urban regeneration experiences with other cities as well as learning best practices that will reinforce the implementation of the ongoing plans. Within URBiNAT Høje-Taastrup wish to explore the likely facilities to be developed and sustained on the ground where a new Community House is to be built, a passage between the Gregersens Quarter and the station and the linkages to a park which will be developed in the coming years during the refurbishments of the area (see photo). The...

The Santiago Green Infrastructure Plan: towards a green infrastructure system

Inequity in distribution and quality of urban green infrastructure in Santiago

Developing a green infrastructure plan in Santiago as a shared territorial strategy and a means of unifying different stakeholders relevant for decision making and implementation at different spatial scales. This was achieved through a participatory approach including multiple stakeholders, workshops, and collective mapping sessions. This approach identified the principal issues, the justification of the plan, the goals, and the key spatial components.

Co-Creation of an URBiNAT Healthy Corridor for Siena

View of ancient city of Siena from Ravacciano

The main objective of URBiNAT in the Municipality of Siena is to identify a Healthy Corridor for the Ravacciano neighbourhood, as a way to develop the neighbourhood as well, and to make the green spaces present more viable and accessible. 

The local diagnostic has allowed the identification of the population's greatest needs, both in terms of mobility and connection with the city's historic centre, and of access to green areas, considered as places of sociality and wellbeing.

To this aim, within the actions foreseen by URBiNAT, the Municipality of Siena has planned to develop...

BIOVEINS - Connectivity of green and blue infrastructures in Paris: living veins for a biodiverse and healthy city

The main objective of our BIOVEINS proposal is to use functional diversity (FD) to highlight the mechanisms underpinning the link between GBI, taxonomic diversity (TD) and ecosystem services (ESs) provisioning, and to provide, together with local stakeholders, the ecological and interdisciplinary knowledge to identify the critical features of GBI, to guide the establishment, management and restoration of GBI, and to mitigate the effects of major urban global challenges, like habitat fragmentation, air pollution, and urban heat island.

This main objective will be accomplished by...

GIZ ValuES - Taï National Park sustains regional agriculture, Ivory Coast


Several training and scoping workshops with stakeholders guided an assessment of the Taï Park’s multiple ecosystem services, and helped align it to the purpose of drumming-up support for conservation. This case illustrates the importance of intensive initial scoping prior to examining ecosystem services in more depth. Study results are now being used by park authorities to motivate increased government budget allocations, and to interest the international cocoa industry in co-financing the Taï Park – in their own best interest.

Erill-la-Val, Spain: Debris flow from till deposits

Left: The terraces constructed as part of PHUSICOS. These are constructed both of timber and of large local stones. Right: Close-up of one of the terraces, with grass taken directly from one of the local pastures. All terraces will be planted with grass and other local bushes and trees.

The village of Erill-la-Vall in the Spanish Pyrenees is heavily affected by erosion and debris flow problems.

Through the H2020 project PHUSICOS a combination of revegetation to limit erosion and of terraces constructed by dry stone walls and timber to minimize energy in the creeks and to avoid further lowering of the erosional level, all to reduce the feeding of sediments to the main debris flow channel, and thereby reduce the hazard posed to the village have been implemented.

Bari - NBS for greening the urban space


The overall objectives of the Bari city authorities are to improve urban quality, reduce the urban heat island effect and manage storm water.

Improving green areas and their functions is a crucial part of achieving this goal and is addressed by several plans within Bari’s multi-level planning system. This multi-level planning consists of:

  • the city itself, which is responsible for statutory land-use planning;
  • the metropolitan area of Bari, which has powers only for strategic planning;
  • the Apulia Region, which is responsible for overarching plans in areas
  • ...

"Séqué" Eco-District Building (Bayone City)

"Séqué" Eco-District - Architect view
  • Construction of an eco-district with ecological networks and biodiversity as starting point

Design and construction of an eco-district with the ecological networks and biodiversity as starting point. The implementation of this project is based on environmental approach to urban planning. The district is an environmentally-friendly project and favors collective housing to preserve green areas.

This NBS is also combined with other environmental friendly solutions: Bio-sourced materials - Renewable energy system (solar panels, etc.).

Petrópolis: biological waste-water treatment

Nature-based solution to treat waste water: biodigestor and built wetland in Vila Ipanema, Petrópolis.


Petrópolis is located about 70 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is an important destination in the mountain region known as the Imperial City, named after Emperor Dom Pedro II who used to spend summer in the hills because of the more pleasant climate. It is an important historic site, with many tourist attractions, and is well known as a gourmet and nature-oriented destination because of its surrounding conservation units with impressive and vulnerable landscapes. The city has 82.1 % of its waste water treated, which is higher than the national average of sanitation...

La Reunion Biocorridor

The Anchor Project of Reunion Island region is the Biological corridor of Mare Longue Nature Reserve of the municipality of Saint-Philippe located in the southern area of the island. The MAES process has been undertaken to map Ecosystem Services, especially cultural benefits and services supplied by the ecosystems in the area, not only the Biological corridor of Mare Longue Nature Reserve at municipal scale but also at the scale of Reunion island itself, to inform regional economic development.

Campinas: ecological strategic plans for biodiversity and water protection

Reconecta metropolitan region ecological connectivity plan


Campinas metropolitan region represents the second largest GDP (8.92 %) of the São Paulo State, which concentrates the largest population (45.5 million inhabitants, about 21% of the total Brazilian population), and economic activity in the country (32.3 %). Campinas has important industrial, agricultural, and educational areas, and is also a centre of innovation in scientific and technological research. The second cargo airport in Brazil, Viracopos, is located in the city. It is part of the Macrometropolis of the São Paulo State.


The existing...

Improving and monitoring pollinator biodiversity in Huckarde

Naturfelder Dortmund e.V. was founded in order to convert urban spaces into pollinator friendly habitats. The structure of the association allows long-term existence beyond proGIreg. Main goals of the NBS implementations include:

  • Activating interested citizens from the Huckarde and Deusen district for pollinating insects and biodiversity topics
  • Sowing flower meadows or planting insect friendly plants that increase biodiversity on public or private land in cooperation with owners 
  • Participating in events to inform about pollinator friendly measures
  • ...

LEAFSKIN® Green Shady Structure

Green roof LEAFSKIN. Source: https://www.singulargreen.com/el-proyecto-urban-greenup-cumple-un-ano/

LEAFSKIN® is an ultralight green roof set up over pedestrian streets or squares, in order to create shadow areas in urban spaces.  

The tecnhology can also provide interesting implimentation like carring lighting system or  advertising on the bottum. 

Description of the NBS

The NBS is composed by three main elements:

  1. The facilities room. It is an unused newspaper kiosk, where there will be installed the irrigation system machines. An irrigation pipe is coming from this kiosk to the structures and a duct with the excess water returns back
  2. ...

Traditional orchard meadows in Hessen/Baden-Wurttemberg

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

A green wave of reforestation

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan)

The aim of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project is to restore a previously deforested area and contribute to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Green Growth Initiative. Two approaches of protected natural regeneration and planned afforestation were set in motion. Moreover, the project aims to support livelihoods, encourage eco-tourism, community engagement and generate jobs through conservation.

Green indoor and outdoor walls

  • The experimental features of this NBS are intended as replicable examples in enhancing urban environments and improving living conditions of inhabitants.
  • Working with schools to spread the knowledge about NBS to users of the buildings and raising awareness about the importance of plants in everyday life.
  • Promoting the collaboration with school teachers and staff of the homeless shelter to schedule activities that supported learning “science” disciplines, as well as Italian language skills, civic education and social studies.
  • Consulting a nursery to achieve
  • ...

Piratininga waterfront park

Plan of the parks with wetlands to filter run-off before it reaches the lagoon and location of various uses and equipment.


Niterói is a city located in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region, about 20 km from the state capital. The city is divided by the forested and protected Tiririca Massif. The landscape goes from sea level to the highest peak of Elephant Rock at 412 m. The centre faces Guanabara Bay. A new tunnel has been built to enable rapid connection to the ocean region. This connection accelerates the urban expansion to the area where two ocean lagoons are located. The region has been developed as a resort for weekend houses and slums that occupied vulnerable areas. There are several...

BIOTOPE CITY - the dense city as nature

Biotope City - the dense city as nature

Biotope City is an integral concept of the Biotope City Foundation Amsterdam based on the integrative combination of Flora + Fauna + Humans to realise the dense city as nature.

World's first official climate-resilient district and world's first constructed Biotope City in Vienna with 2/3 affordable social housing and climate adaptation by the support of GREENPASS - the world's first Software-as-a-Service for climate...

Poznan - NBS for a friendly, mobile city


The primary goal of the city strategy (Development Strategy for the City of Poznań 2030) is to improve quality of life for all inhabitants, in such a way that everyone feels that they have a stake in co-creating the city. One of the five strategic objectives of the city strategy –  'A green, mobile city' – sets out NBS objectives, while the other strategic objectives, including 'Friendly housing estates' and 'The spirit of community and social dialogue' contain elements of NBS. NBS objectives are also incorporated in the documents on strategy and additional spatial planning (Development...

Firth of Forth: restoring a stream and its floodplain

Introducing woody debris into the Forth river

This case study aims at a comprehensive restoration of a river and its adajcents land, including developing sustainable businesses, tourism and transport whilst not increasing carbon emissions or negatively impacting on biodiversity of the area.  River connectivity and water quality are to be improved for migratory fish (eel and Atlantic salmon) and to reduce flood risk in downstream urban areas  Additionally, upland raised bog habitats (peatlands) shall be restored.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU Horizon2020 project MERLIN - Mainstreaming Ecological...

Emscher: NbS for dykes along Europe's most expensive river

flowering Emscher dykes (photo: Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband)

For almost 30 years, until 2022, the Emscher river, flowing through Germany's larges metropolitan region, the Ruhrgebiet, has been restored from a heavily sewage loaded system to a vital river. As the river is located in a densely populated area, dykes and other flood protection structure are necessary at least in some part. This case study aims at transitioning the land use on these dykes and near river areas towards extensive meadows. It is a step towards creating synergies between river maintenance and nature protection.

This case study is one of 17 that are part of the EU...

Fu Forest Trail - Fuzhou, China

  • Protection of forest coverage and urban greenspace, maintaining the status of urban forests and providing better conditions for forest naturalisation;
  • Fostering health and wellbeing benefits gained through the use of the recreation facilities;
  • Providing educational facilities for local residents and visitors.

Aarhus – A City Perspective (REGREEN Urban Living Lab) - Denmark

Aarhus – A City Perspective (REGREEN Urban Living Lab) - Denmark

In the scope of the REGREEN project, the Aarhus Municipality aims to promote urban liveability, by systematically enhancing and restoring ecosystem services and biodiversity as the basis for Nature-based solutions (NBS):

In this regard, Aarhus aims to improve water quality, water flow management and carbon sequestration

Further objectives include heat mitigation as well as reforestation and renaturing activities of agricultural land to create urban forests, increase biodiversity sites and allow for open...

Ljubljana: NBS for Urban Regeneration and Wellbeing


In the framework of "Vision Ljubljana 2025", the city has adopted several sustainability-oriented strategic documents, especially the:

Urban Master Plan (83% of all city development is directed towards renewing existing developed areas and brownfields). This is the most important planning instrument for green spaces in the city.

Environment Protection Programme 2014-20, aiming to protect and enhance the natural environment in the city.

NAIAD Case studies: Lez river basin (France)

The Lez river (29 km long) is a small coastal Mediterranean river with a watershed of 746km2. Its spring is the outlet of a large karst aquifer. It then crosses natural and agricultural areas before reaching the plain of Montpellier (with 290 000 inhabitants) and the Mediterranean Sea. The Montpellier plain is characterized by a rapid urbanization with massive land artificialisation and soil-sealing (2920ha decrease of agricultural and natural areas from 1990 to 2012).

The watershed is exposed to a typical Mediterranean weather marked by repeated...

Soil quality assessment for spatial planning in urban and peri-urban areas - Provence Coal Field Case Study UQUALISOL-ZU

Methodology for taking soil into account in urban planning documents: implementation in two municipalities of the Provence mining basin

The project aims at investigating whether and how a scientific knowledge on soil quality can be integrated into urban planning so as to allow soil quality to be taken into account in all its dimensions, which has not been the case so far in France.

Its objectives are:

  1. The assessment of a legal concept of soil that would lead to integrate soils in preliminary studies and preserve economic and ecosystemic functions of soils, by choosing the best adapted uses in land use planning;
  2. The production of a scientifically-sound SQI (soil quality index)
  3. ...

Assessing and mapping ecosystem services in the mosaic landscapes of the Maltese Islands


The present ecosystem services assessment and mapping has been mainly scientifically-driven, with the objective of this study being that of carrying out a first assessment of the capacity and flow of ES in the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean). ES capacity is defined as the potential of ecosystems to provide services appreciated by humans, while ES flow refers to the actual use of the ES and occurs at the location where an ES enters within a utility or production function.

Given the insular and urbanised environment, and the dependence on local ecosystems for

Biodiversity in Urban and Coastal Areas in Iceland

Hjörtur Þorbjörnsson in the field with caraway growing in the foreground

The Nature-based solutions in the Nordic region programme has allocated 650,000 DKK to a pilot project in Iceland that aims to increase biodiversity in Reykjavík.
Grasagarður Reykjavíkur is the name of the outdoor collection of living plants located in the capital of Iceland. The park conserves some 3000 plant species in eight plant collections. The collections give an idea of the enormous diversity of vegetation in the northern temperate zone.

Among the staff are Hjörtur Þorbjörnsson and...