Adaptive Cities Through integrated Nature Based Solutions (ACT on NBS)

The project Adaptive Cities Through integrated Nature Based Solutions (ACT on NBS) from EIT-Climate KIC, aims to scale nature-based solutions (NBS) in cities. In collaboration with Dutch and European cities, researchers and other stakeholders, a growing and sustainable innovation ecosystem is being developed to improve health and wellbeing for citizens, higher urban biodiversity and lower impacts from climate change in cities.

Global agreements place unprecedented importance on actions to help society adapt, and that all countries and cities do their part to promote greater climate resilience. Climate adaptation involves a range of interventions, such as nature-based solutions (NBS), that can be taken to reduce the vulnerability of society and to improve urban resilience. NBS are natural or nature-inspired solutions that provide multiple benefits simultaneously.

Despite the opportunities presented by NBS, and the need for adaptation measures, the deployment of NBS within urban environments remains limited. By bringing together key stakeholders from EIT-Climate KIC's community, an Innovation Ecosystem is being developed to create a space for partners to build on existing initiatives to rapidly upscale the application of NBS within cities.

The ACT on NBS project has 5 key interlocking activities. These are designed as learning networked experiments to together increase NBS uptake and grow a successful innovation ecosystem:

  1. The establishment of a knowledge sharing platform to stimulate and facilitate new initiatives;
  2. Building Capacities and technical assistance to create the conditions for greater uptake of NBS within municipalities including through cross-department understanding, procurement and communication with the public;
  3. Review and assessment of tools that support greater uptake of NBS and climate resilience. The research will be disseminated through workshops, international events and a Climathon;
  4. Connecting, accelerating and scaling NBS start-up businesses by matching their innovations with climate challenges faced by municipalities;
  5. Promoting collective intelligence and co-creation for NBS through new channels of awareness and multi-actor engagement.

Consortium: TU Delft (Project leader), The Ecological Sequestration Trust (Project leader), Climate KIC, Wageningen Environmental Research (WP3 leader), Stichting Deltares, Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna, Stiftung Global Infrastructure Basel, Infrastrutture Recupero Energia Agenzia Regionale Ligure, Technical University of Madrid, Icatalist.

Cities involved: Amsterdam, Bologna, Bratislava, La Spezia, London, Madrid, Milan, Nicosia, Orleans Metropole, Prague, Savona, Torino, Union of cities in Slovakia, Utrecht, Valladolid, Vejle, Warsaw and others.

Sponsors: This work received financial support from EIT-Climate KIC. WENR received co-financing from Amsterdam Institute for Advance Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) and from the Wageningen University Knowledge Base programme: KB36 Biodiversity in a Nature Inclusive Society (project number KB36-005-005) - that is supported by finance from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

NBS Tools Catalogue

The Adaptive Cities Through Integrated Nature-Based Solutions (ACT on NBS), EIT Climate KIC project made an inventory and assessment of NBS tools for climate resilient cities. The objectives of the catalogue are: 1) to increase organizational accessibility to data on NBS and climate resilience tools that have been developed and used in Europe and worldwide; 2) that different end-users become aware of  several tools that already exist to plan, design, and implement NBS and make use of them to address specific environmental challenges and adaptation measures in their cities, neighborhoods or even regions.

The NBS tools catalogue contains 70 tools collected. For this research, a “tool” is understood to be either a methodology, software, catalogue, repository, e-platform, guideline or handbook. The tools were identified through interviews with EU municipalities and workshops organized by ACT on NBS, and by additional desk research until August 2020. This implies that tools that were developed and published before that date were collected.

For the assessment, tools were labeled on their descriptive characteristics and potential fields of application. The use of pre-defined indicators was chosen to support the characterization of the tools and to allow for their comparison. The categories and indicators were formulated based on the current literature and refined through expert judgements. The indicators were also, in some cases, further adapted through an iterative process of tools’ analysis.

For more information and to access to the NBS tools catalogue, please go to the ACTonNBS website.