Nature‐Based Solutions (NBS) are solutions to societal challenges that are inspired and supported by nature. The European Commission requested the EKLIPSE project to help building up an evidence and knowledge base on the benefits and challenges of applying NBS. In response to the request, the EKLIPSE Expert Working Group on Nature‐based Solutions to Promote Climate Resilience in Urban Areas (EWG) devised the following objectives:
- To develop an impact evaluation framework with a list of criteria for assessing the performance of NBS in dealing with challenges related to climate resilience in urban areas;
- To prepare an application guide for measuring how NBS projects fare against the identified indicators in delivering multiple environmental, economic and societal benefits;
- To make recommendations to improve the assessment of the effectiveness of NBS projects, including the identification of knowledge gaps according to the criteria presented in the impact evaluation framework.
This document reports on these three objectives. It is intended to be used as a reference document by members of current and future European projects with an interest in NBS in urban areas, and by practitioners seeking to compare the effectiveness of NBS design, implementation and evaluation. Addressing urban pressures through the maintenance and restoration of green and blue infrastructure (GBI) is key to building a healthy and resilient society. Accordingly, ENABLE employs a range of methods to identify, assess and facilitate a cost-effective implementation of GBI for an optimized distribution of benefits and wider uptake. Although infrastructure implies interaction and connection among many components of GBI, we argue that connections to the wider social-ecological system must also be included to enable the success of GBI.
As such, the project framework will enable the identification of (1) the environmental, social and economic benefits provided by GBI, (2) the societal demands, preferences and values attached to GBI and biodiversity, and (3) pathways for cities to align these considerations via the targeted provisioning of GBI.
Significant stakeholder involvement underlies this approach, with the participation of local communities, practitioners and policy-makers playing a central role via the selected city case studies. ENABLE will create linkages and build on existing initiatives, networks and projects that partners are involved in and ICLEI and IUCN as multi-stakeholder networks will also ensure strong linkages with their members, EU organizations, national governments and government agencies, NGOs and cities, municipalities and subnational governments around the world.
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This publication was produced by ICLEI Europe.