Nature-based solutions (NBS) are gaining ground as cities across the world face increased urban sustainability challenges, including natural disasters, the disruption of ecosystem services, and associated health and well-being issues. Despite the numerous co-benefits of NBS, many cities find the adoption of NBS and linked processes challenging.
Last week, the UNaLab project successfully hosted a three-day webinar series to present our resources, tools and experiences which support the different NBS implementation phases. The UNaLab webinar series sessions were organised around the adaptive management cycle to highlight the applicability of the available tools to the various phases of NBS implementation.
The webinar series was kicked-off with an introduction to the UNaLab Urban Living Lab Framework and an interactive workshop where the participants could familiarise themselves with the key components of an Urban Living Lab. This was followed by a presentation of the real and perceived barriers to Urban Living Lab implementation. The session was concluded with a panel discussion between city representatives from Genova, Tampere and Eindhoven, who have implemented the Urban Living Lab methodology in their cities.
The focus of the second session was on different ways cities can support and drive NBS development. The UNaLab Municipal Governance Guidelines were presented together with a practical insight from Tampere on the importance of NBS data in decision-making. This was followed by an introduction to the five broad groups of financing strategies for NBS identified by the project and a best practice on innovation in procurement from Eindhoven. The session was concluded with a presentation of the UNaLab NBS roadmapping process and the cities of Prague and Castellon presenting their experiences.
In the third session, participants could explore the UNaLab Open Nature Innovation Arena (ONIA) and learn how to address local challenges and adopt possible nature-based solutions using this ICT tool. As part of this co-creation experience, the co-creation toolkit was also presented, which can help users find suitable tools for co-creation sessions.
Prior to large-scale implementation of NBS, proposed solutions can be refined using the UNaLab NBS Scenario Visualisation Tool (NBS-SVT) to model potential solutions and outcomes. This ICT tool was introduced in the fourth webinar session and the participants were able to use this multi-model scenario visualisation tool to develop an NBS strategy based upon the identified issues and proposed solutions from the previous session.
After identifying local challenges, and co-creating and co-implementing NBS with stakeholders, the last webinar session focused on the monitoring and impact assessment of NBS. The participants were able to explore and test the City Performance Monitor tool, and engage in a dialogue on measuring NBS performance.
Please find the presentations from the different webinar sessions linked in the highlighted sections of the text.