Talking the same nature-based language

11 June 2020

A guest blog from Joana CastellarQuim Comas  and Vicenç Acuña at ICRA

What about joining efforts for a common terminology in nature-based solutions? Let's talk in the same nature-based language! 

Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) are nowadays much more than a research “hot topic”. They are an opportunity to rethink the way modern society evolves, providing a unique opportunity to reconcile anthropogenic activities with the preservation and reintegration of natural capital into cities. 

Even though there are multiple research and practitioner activities implementing and monitoring NbS, we do not have a clear and common NbS terminology. There are different classification of NbS, commonly overlapped, implying that the same NbS can be labelled as a “green façade with climbing plants”, as a “climber green wall”, or as a “ground-based greening”. This “elephant in the room effect” is constraining our communication capacity and hindering the consolidation of the knowledge generated. Therefore, in order to unify our efforts to foster NbS implementation and thus make the cities of the future green rather than grey, we must address this lack of common terminology and use the same language when dealing with nature-based solutions.

Therefore,  the EdiCitNet project (Edible Cities Network) (GA 776665)  , the COST ACTION Circular City (CA 17133) and the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) joined forces in an comprehensive review work and developed a preliminary list of 32 NbS which integrate 107 NbS coming from 4 European projects: UNALAB, URBANGREENUP, NATURE4CITIES and THINKNATURE.

Now we need your help to decide the most adequate terminologies for these NBSs. We have prepared a survey and it will only take you 5-10 minutes to answer it. Let's all be part of this nature-based movement towards a common terminology for NbS!

Respond to the survey