How NBS can help to address local challenges

Tree canopy

About NBS

The concept of NBS dates to 2008 when they were introduced as a means to mitigate and adapt to impacts of climate change (including extreme events) whilst protecting biodiversity and improving sustainability of livelihoods.

Nature-based solutions are inspired and supported by nature, and they simultaneously provide social, environmental and economic benefits and aid in building urban resilience. They follow a comprehensive co-design, co-implementation and co-management process aiding in providing social, economic and decision-making transformation towards a more sustainable urban living while promoting behavioural change. NBS intrinsically provide biodiversity benefits and support delivery of ecosystem services by bringing natural features and processes into urban areas.

Types of NBS

Multiple classifications of NBS exist: they can be grouped by their function, objectives, or ecosystem services provided. A widely accepted NBS typology proposed by Eggermont et al. (2015) includes three types of NBS based on the relation of the level of ecosystem engineering to the expansion of ecosystem services and the targeted number of stakeholders. It should be noted that the boundaries between the three types are not defined allowing for hybrid solutions, whose typology may migrate from one type to another.

Learn more about NBS types in the NBS Technical Handbook, which presents an overview of environmental and societal challenges in UNaLab cities and the envisioned impacts of specific NBS. Rather than offer an exhaustive catalogue and summarise of all existing NBS, it aims to provide inspiration and easily-digestible information directed towards practitioners.

NBS types

Future of NBS

Nature-based solutions are a rapidly developing concept, which is central to EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the European Green Deal. What future awaits it, and how can we contribute? We asked eight Thought Leaders on what drivers for change may shape the cities of tomorrow.

NBS in the UNaLab front-runner cities

What are nature-based solutions?

What are nature-based solutions and how can they address the climate- and water-related challenges that cities across the world are facing?

Watch this video to find out!