Nature-based solutions (NBS) are solutions which are inspired by, supported by or copied from nature, potentially energy and resource-efficient and resilient to change. NBS have been identified as critical for the regeneration and improvement of well-being in urban areas, coastal resilience, multi-functional watershed management and ecosystem restoration, increasing the sustainability of matter and energy use, enhancing the insurance value of ecosystems, and increasing carbon sequestration. NBS have especially been applied to address urban challenges, such as climate change mitigation, water management, land-use and urban development and they have been promoted by practitioners (in particular the International Union for Nature Conservation, IUCN) and through policy (European Commission), as a way to addressing societal challenges.

About the Summer School

The ThinkNature project is organising a week-long, hand-on summer school focused on Nature-based Solutions. The training program will consist of two days of inspirational talks and discussions covering the following topics:

  • Introduction to NBS
  • Classification of NBS and multiple and multiscale benefits
  • Technology and practice – Knowledge base and emerging innovative NBS
  • Technology and practice – Transferability and upscaling of NBS
  • Technology and practice – Impact evaluation framework
  • Financing and business models
  • Policy and decision-making mechanisms
  • Future perspectives – Discussion

Participants will be introduced to two case studies on urban regeneration and ecosystem restoration through a long field trip in the city of Chania and at the Koiliaris Critical Zone Observatory and two days of hand-on training in designing NBS for those two case studies. The training will be hands-on, co-design workshops that will include:

  • training on tools for the design of the NBS,
  • identifying their benefits and co-benefits,
  • include stakeholders for co-design of alternatives, and
  • evaluation of the impacts and overcoming the barriers.

The summer school will provide the opportunity of enhancing the interactions and exchanges between science, policy, business and society to mainstream the available knowledge into policy and practice.


The School will be at the AKALI Hotel, in Chania, Greece. The venue is conveniently located within walking distance from the centre of Chania and the old Venetian harbour.


The School encourages applications from all stakeholders interested on NBS, including scientists, government regulators, various industry sectors, spatial planners, engineers, architects, technical experts, market actors, as well as graduate students. The deadline for application is May 30th, 2019. Applications are online only. Remember to attach your curriculum vitae to the application form. Interested candidates may access the online form here.

Admission & Attendance

Admissions will be communicated two weeks after the application deadline by e-mail only. The School will certify the attendance. Reading material (the ThinkNature Handbook & the Case studies’ Portfolio) will be distributed in advance. Applicants will be selected from multiple target groups in order to reinforce knowledge transfer and facilitate co-design between different expertise.

Fees & Services

There are no registration fees for the participation in the summer school. However, all participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements and cover their dinners. The School will provide accommodation (hotel), coffee breaks, lunches and 1 dinner to 40 participants for free. It is noted that an overnight stay tax of 3 €/day for the hotel will be paid by the participants.

Please find more information here.

02/09/2019 to 06/09/2019
Event Location: 
  • AKALI Hotel, Kissamou Street 55, 
  • Chania, 
  • Greece 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 730052 Topic: SCC-2-2016-2017: Smart Cities and Communities Nature based solutions