NBS Game
Tue, 02/10/2018

The Game of Nature-based Solutions in Eindhoven

At the ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) Open Living Lab Days, which took place in Geneva in August, the municipality of Eindhoven hosted a co-creation workshop on the application of nature-based solutions (NBS), using the inner city of Eindhoven as their testing ground.

The objective of the workshop was to share our knowledge on the implementation of NBS and to let participants experiment with NBS. Furthermore, it was a way for Eindhoven to share and find new innovative ideas and measures to optimise our ‘Inspiration Book’ of NBS measures. All this adds perfectly to our participation in the UNaLab consortium.

The workshop organised in Geneva represents a part of the series of co-creation workshops that took place in Eindhoven in spring 2018. With this springtime-series of workshops the city was aiming to form a Community of Practice for Nature-based Solutions. For the workshop we chose the ‘Design Thinking’ method, which is familiar to us in Eindhoven. After the workshops we could conclude that our goal can be reached, a Community of Practice is starting to form. Together we will share NBS practices – good and bad.

So why call it ‘The Game of Nature-based Solutions’? In the short workshop in Geneva we let people ‘play’ with actual cases from Eindhoven and let them think about possible solutions. This way, they could discover where, what, how, why, and when to implement NBS in an actual context. They not only experienced how NBS work in a real case, but also what the process of implementation looks like.

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For this ‘game’ we used sets of playing cards with a description of nature-based solutions and three ‘boards’. One group focused on heat stress and the other on flood management. The only ‘theoretical’ introduction of NBS we provided was a short explanatory movie of the UNaLab project. In the first round, the participants got to know each other and their knowledge of NBS. We asked them to rate their knowledge of NBS from 1-5 and to give an example. This was an easy and comfortable way to start the conversation. The next step was using the playing cards to level their playing field of NBS knowledge, so to speak. Together they formed a mind map of NBS.

In the second round, maps of the city were provided with some specific questions to help the players to get to know the specific background for measures. They combined the things they had discovered in the third and final round, by putting the NBS cards on the map of the city centre of Eindhoven.

At the end of the workshop, the groups presented their work and shared what they thought of this short experimental game. The feedback we got was very positive. The workshop gave people a solid idea of what NBS are about and provided an easy way to discuss and share information. For us as facilitators, the game did not provide us with very surprising results in the form of brand-new solutions. But we did get some new suggestions for NBS, some ideas to make new combinations of solutions, and suggestions on how to take them further in scale or space. We also got a confirmation that we are going in the right direction. Furthermore, we got feedback on the used method and discovered that the information we provided in the maps was enough to make choices in application of NBS. Beforehand, we did not know what kind of audience we would have, but it turned out that everyone was very happy to participate in the game.