Nature-based solutions for tackling climate change

NBS: the key to sustainable urban futures

Urban pressures and the need for solutions

Cities are facing diverse and increasingly severe sustainability challenges, from rapid urban expansion to poor environmental quality, growing social inequalities and threats surrounding climate change. Thus, the demand for climate adaptation and mitigation solutions is increasing worldwide. Measures are needed that tackle contemporary social, economic and environmental challenges.

NBS can do that.

What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) hold significant promise in this area by delivering a wide range of goods and services. NBS are interventions inspired by or supported by nature, designed to address current urban sustainability challenges. While representing natural ‘green’ solutions, NBS can help with issues such as flooding, environmental pollution, biodiversity decline, and compromised human well-being.

Due to these societal challenges, increased attention is paid to the role of nature in strengthening urban resilience, addressing socio-cultural problems, and contributing to economic development. NBS are thus co-created systems that utilize natural features and ecosystem-based processes. In other words, NBS are able to protect, manage or restore ecosystems and their services, bringing innovative solutions based on nature and natural processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, creating more sustainable and resilient societies.

NBS can take many forms from complex infrastructural projects such as large green corridors for nature connectivity, to small scale projects such as green roofs for climate change adaptation, and participatory-led community gardens focused on food production.

NBS types
NBS are cost-effective interventions, able simultaneously provide multiple environmental, social and economic benefits to local communities. NBS can be employed across a wide range of environments and at different scales, such as plots, neighbourhood, district or city scale. These solutions are locally adapted and provide a multitude of co-benefits to the local environment.
There is a wide diversity of NBS projects currently being implemented worldwide. Our Urban Nature Atlas has over 1100 project examples, and the catalogue of NBS projects is growing!