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Nature-based solutions (NBS) generate different impacts at the urban scale, such as the ability to regulate water or store carbon, comparable to traditional, gray…
Nature-based solutions (NBS) generate different impacts at the urban scale, such as the ability to regulate water or store carbon, comparable to traditional, gray infrastructures in a more cost-efficient way. On the other hand, by their intrinsic nature, NBS do deliver a series of other services that are commonly defined as social, economic, and environmental cobenefits. These benefits are not always valued in a consistent and complete way, so there is the need to compile a more comprehensive evidence base on the social, economic, and environmental effectiveness of NBS. The chapter attempts to identify a categorization of the existing NBS and define the ecosystem services (ES) provided by them. Furthermore, starting from the results achieved through the definition of the existing NBS frameworks assessment, the chapter will identify a set of key performance indicators KPIs, based on the ES produced by NBS, to measure the economic, social, and environmental benefits generated in by NBS at the urban level taking into account their multifunctional character. In total, 66 key performance indicators have been individuated: 3 for provisioning services, 38 for regulating services, 17 for cultural services, and 8 for supporting services. Each indicator has been associated to a category of ES in order to measure and evaluate the performances of NBS implemented in cities.
The economic valuation of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by nature-based solutions in cities is not an easy task. In fact, various environmental goods and services…
The economic valuation of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by nature-based solutions in cities is not an easy task. In fact, various environmental goods and services do not have a market price that allows to quantify their value. This leads to an underestimation of the value of nature in cities. As a result, their critical contributions are not considered in public, corporate, and individual decision-making. The logic behind ecosystem valuation is to unveil the complexities of socioecological relationships, to make explicit how human decisions would affect ES values, and to express these value changes in units. This will allow considering the benefits provided by ES in public decision-making processes. The contribution aims to identify and analyze the most used methodologies adopted at the urban level for the valuation of ES. In total, six methodologies have been analyzed for the valuation of the provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. Finally, an interpretation framework has been defined to summarize the main findings.
This chapter is in line with the strand of literature on urban environmental stewardship and examines how cities around the world have been teaming up with each other in…
This chapter is in line with the strand of literature on urban environmental stewardship and examines how cities around the world have been teaming up with each other in order to foster cocreation and codeployment of nature-based solutions (NBS) to tackle global environmental challenges and promote climate-resilient communities. This chapter describes such an effort that cities made to build international alliances and networks as a new wave of “city diplomacy.” Indeed, recent environmental negotiations at the global level on sustainable development and climate change have proven how cities of different size, with diverse socioeconomic and environmental conditions, were able to put NBS on the agenda and show their transformative power for the common good. Throughout the chapter, the European policy context is always placed at the meso level, between the macro (international arena) and the micro (city) dimensions, in order to demonstrate how the European Union has been instrumental in connecting the global, regional, and local agendas on NBS for renaturing cities.
New York City, the most dense and populous city in the United States, is one of the world's most altered landscapes. Yet, New York City boasts an urban ecology which…
New York City, the most dense and populous city in the United States, is one of the world's most altered landscapes. Yet, New York City boasts an urban ecology which produces invaluable environmental benefits. The extent and vitality of its green and blue spaces would not be where it is without the unrelenting organization, stewardship, and advocacy of the New York citizenry.
Born from these grassroots environmental justice movements, citizens have built the nature-based solutions (NBS) they seek out of oft-neglected landscapes and vacant lots. Today, over 800 civic environmental stewardship groups are active across all of New York City's 205,000 acres. These groups directly manage, restore, and conserve greenspaces, as well as advocate for their investment and expand ecological awareness through educational programming and campaigns, and their work is more important as ever, with the growing impacts of climate change. This chapter will review three cases of community environmental stewardship, including a distributed community garden movement, restoration of a polluted waterway, and an emerging framework for adaptive coastal protection. Through these cases, we may understand the origins and frontiers of some of today's civic networks stewarding New York City's natural areas. These cases emphasize a socioecological view of the city's ecology. They show that we must consider green infrastructure and natural resources as places which have social and cultural meaning, not merely spaces with ecological functions. They highlight the labor and investments committed by community groups which require compensation and nurturing. Lastly, they demonstrate the importance of supporting social networks and local capacities in stewarding nature-based strategies and building resilient, adaptive, and equitable socioecological systems.
Although people have always been aware of the role and importance of green space, trees, and other nature in cities, wider recognition and policy support is of a much more…
Although people have always been aware of the role and importance of green space, trees, and other nature in cities, wider recognition and policy support is of a much more recent date, for example in the context of current climate and public health challenges. The nature-based solutions concept has emerged as a strong, recent attempt for “mainstreaming” of nature in political, planning, and economic areas. Starting from a description of the role of nature in cities, this chapter introduces the nature-based solutions concept and its current spread and implementation in an urban context. It also raises some questions about the next steps in implementing the concept, perhaps moving away from too much focus on a utilitarian view of nature and ecosystem and toward considering nature as a framework for all planning and decision-making.
Urban green space can be viewed as a preventative public health measure. Nature contributes to health through disease prevention, disease management, and well-being…
Urban green space can be viewed as a preventative public health measure. Nature contributes to health through disease prevention, disease management, and well-being (physical, mental, and social) promotion. Those contributions are based on improvement in health determinants. Nature and green spaces have been related to more physical activity, restoration and less stress, more social capital, and ecosystem services such as better air quality, less traffic noise, less heat island effects, more biodiversity, among others. Nature, vegetation, and green spaces have also been associated with better mental health, immune system, metabolic system, pregnancy outcomes, reduced cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality. This chapter presents the connections between nature and health, describing how nature impacts key health determinants, how those health determinants are associated with health outcomes (i.e. diseases, injuries, deaths), and provides examples of urban nature interventions that have been related to public health.
This chapter highlights how cocreation processes have been applied for the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) in different organizational systems, governance…
This chapter highlights how cocreation processes have been applied for the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) in different organizational systems, governance, and cultural settings around the world. The cases are from Peru, the United States, and Korea. The cases show how collaborative governance arrangements for NBS have played out in different contexts. Finally, reflections on the cases are carried out considering the perspectives and limitations of cocreation for NBS delivery.
Public spaces within our cities are being redefined through a wide range of nature-based solutions (NBS) including green spaces. In this chapter, we will focus on public…
Public spaces within our cities are being redefined through a wide range of nature-based solutions (NBS) including green spaces. In this chapter, we will focus on public green spaces in the wider sense. If well planned and managed, green spaces can promote social inclusiveness by enhancing the livebility of neighborhoods and promoting the development of social interactions. The creation of new green space does not automatically lead to socially just and inclusive development; co-benefits should be available and accessible to the entire community. Prejudices, marginalization, and discrimination on socioeconomic condition, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, or disability still prevent the equitable distribution of these benefits and need to be fully understood before any planning process is undertaken. The governance of public green spaces is still viewed primarily as a matter for the state or as a purely private activity. It is important, therefore, to identify ways to ensure the integrated and transdisciplinary participation of diverse actors, as is shown in some examples from different countries. The planning and design of green interventions should start with the evaluation of existing or potential trade-offs between environmental and social development. Urban green spaces must be designed as places for multiple and diverse social groups. If all these issues are duly considered and addressed, NBS can serve as climate mitigation and adaptation tools that produce co-benefits for societal well-being, thereby serving as strong investment options for sustainable urban development and making our cities green, healthier, and happier places to live.
The nature-based solutions (NBS) integrated in urban open spaces are a precious tool that provide better and wider ecosystem services in cities. An ecosystemic approach in…
The nature-based solutions (NBS) integrated in urban open spaces are a precious tool that provide better and wider ecosystem services in cities. An ecosystemic approach in planning, designing, and also managing green areas furthermore helps to improve the whole quality of life and perceived well-being of the citizens, increasing too their sense of belonging and fostering the neighboring communities. Under this point of view, greenery should not be considered as a cost but as an investment of public money finalized to improve the quality of life in the cities especially in facing climate change.
A comparison between costs and benefits produced by the green features in the cities allows to evaluate the advantages to include those solutions in planning and designing urban green areas. In the following chapter a step-by-step procedure is proposed to assess the ecosystem services provided by green areas in cities, compared to design, building, and maintenance costs. Some national and international examples are provided too.