What are Nature-based Solutions?

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are solutions that are inspired by or supported by nature. They represent natural 'green' solutions to societal challenges such as flooding, environmental pollution, biodiversity decline, and compromised human well-being. NBS are co-created systems that utilise natural features and ecosystem-based processes. In other words, NBS are able to protect, manage or restore ecosystems and their services, thereby addressing a multitude of urban challenges posed by the world’s changing climate and rapid urbanisation. These innovative solutions bring more diverse nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, thereby creating more sustainable and resilient societies.  

Nature-based solutions are cost-effective and simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the local community. NBS can be employed across a wide range of environments and at different scales, such as plot, neighbourhood, district or city scale. These solutions are locally adapted and provide a multitude of co-benefits to the local environment. 

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Nature-based Solutions in UNaLab


The UNaLab front-runner cities Tampere, Eindhoven and Genova are all facing a number of climate- and water-related challenges linked to the impacts of climate change and rapid urbanisation. Identified challenges range from flooding and heat stress to pollution, lack of accessible green spaces and biodiversity loss. The cities have established urban living lab demonstration areas for experimentation, demonstration and evaluation of a variety of different nature-based solutions that address local urban challenges, and providing evidence for their environmental, social and economic benefits. 

The UNaLab nature-based solutions have been divided into seven categories - each comprising a range of different solutions. 


Nature-based Solutions
Nature-based Solutions
Coastal areas
Coastal areas
Constructed wetlands & built systems for water management
Constructed wetlands & built systems for water management
Green roofs & walls
Green roofs & walls
Natural & semi-natural water bodies
Natural & semi-natural water bodies
Parks & gardens
Parks & gardens
System for erosion control
System for erosion control
Urban network structures
Urban network structures

NBS in the 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!