Nature4Cities – Launch of the first European project about Nature Based Solutions for renaturing cities
Fig.: Nature4Cities: Innovating with Nature – Nature based solutions
Re-naturing cities has recently emerged as a new strategic priority within the EU framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In this context, Nature4Cities* (N4C) is one of the two projects that will be funded in order to build a common ground for NBS-related Research and Innovation in Europe.
Nature4Cities – Nature-Based Solutions
Most Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) can’t be thought just as replacements for conventional solutions, but require a new whole governance approach. Integrating NBS in urban planning requires both a change of mind in multiple stakeholders, new governance, business and financing models as well as new integrated assessment capabilities.
Nature4Cities concept is based on:
(1) the building of a NBS knowledge base and associated integrated analysis framework,
(2) the development of a holistic assessment methodology,
(3) the adaptation of existing technologies for urban data management and citizens’ participatory engagement, and
(4) the co-development and demonstration with partner cities (Città Metropolitana Di Milano (IT), Çankaya (TR), Szeged (HU), Alcala de Henares (ES)).
The N4C consortium is drawn from 9 countries taking a pro-active part in the EU dynamics of R&D&I, at the crossing of urban green infrastructure planning and construction sector, environmental assessment, social sciences, innovation management and Information and Communication Technology supporting tools.
About Nature-Based Solutions
Nature-based solutions (NBS) to urban and societal challenges are solutions that are inspired and supported by nature; green roofs and walls, urban forests, alternative stormwater management systems, urban agriculture, etc. They are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.
Innovating with Nature
A special interest group will be created to broaden the scope of the project and identify early adopters of N4C technologies: green areas managers, urban planners, landscape designers, architects, policy makers, environmental professionals…
This 4-years project is ambitious especially considering the various domains of expertise, the large consortium, and the field-test of the tools in real operation with partner cities. The total budget is 7.5 Million EUR. During the Kick-off meeting, consortium partners will foresee common work for the next year. A dedicated website will be launched in the 6 months.
Nature4Cities project will provide a knowledge diffusion and decision support web-platform for urban re-naturing through new collaborative models. It finally intends to support local authorities and urban planners in project developments and give them new tools to engage citizens in the process. By creating a reference framework in NBS it will contribute to create a global market and new business opportunities within green economy.
*This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N° 730468
- 5 leading Research and Technology Organizations: Nobatek (FR), Tecnalia (ES), Eurecat (ES), Cartif (ES), Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LU), Cerema (FR);
- 4 universities: University of Nantes (FR), Agrocampus Ouest (FR), University of Szeged (HU), Middle East Technical University (TR);
- 2 leading industrial organizations: Acciona Infraestructuras S.A. (ES), D’Appolonia spa (IT);
- 8 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): R2M Solution Ltd (UK), Ekodenge (TR), Innova Integra Ltd (UK), Duneworks (NL), Argedor (TR), Terranis (FR), Colouree (IT), Green4Cities (AT);
- 2 clusters of stakeholders: Plante & Cité (FR), Hungarian Urban Knowledge Centrer (HU);
- 4 cities providing pilot sites: Città Metropolitana Di Milano (IT), Çankaya( TR), Szeged (HU), Alcala de Henares (ES).
Author: Johannes Anschober, BSc