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The European Research and Development (R&D) Programme promotes a large number of projects related to NBS. These aim to increase knowledge and to create technical, political, and other conditions for cities renaturalization. These R&D projects will analyse several objectives and perspectives, such as the improvement of regulatory instruments, the increase of natural capital through NBS, or the capacity to obtain a more sustainable and resilient urban ecosystem. One of these projects is the ThinkNature platform that includes a set of projects focused on NBS (EKLIPSE, Inspiration, NAIAD, Nature4Cities, Naturvation, among others). This platform aims to promote NBS in research, policy, non-governmental organizations, and business areas. This will be accomplished by improving regulatory instruments, sharing business practices, and demonstrating the long-term value of these solutions. Table 4 presents a summary of some undergoing European NBS projects in the framework of the EC policy agenda for R&D on NBS and Re-Naturing Cities.

Table 4

Examples of projects, focused on urban areas, in the EC policy agenda for R&D on NBS and Re-Naturing Cities

Project (Reference)Main objectivesMain concerns
ThinkNature (Somarakis et al. 2019) 
  • This platform is an umbrella for all projects on NBS funded by the EC H2020 program.

  • The objective is to support the understanding and promotion of NBS.

 
  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments and share best commercial practices.

  • Fostering collaboration at local, regional, national, and EU levels.

  • Development of synergy between NBS projects.

 
EKLIPSE (Raymond et al. 2017b) 
  • Aims to create a way of knowing, networking, and learning about biodiversity and ES.

  • Aims to devise an impact evaluation framework that can guides the design, development, implementation, and assessment of NBS projects in urban contexts.

 
  • Benefits for ES and biodiversity.

  • Assessment of NBS projects at the level of the infrastructure.

  • Infrastructure design and implementation.

  • Monitoring and maintenance processes.

 
TURAS (Collier 2011) 
  • Aims to bring urban communities and businesses together with local authorities and researchers.

  • Aims to co-create working links with communities at the centre.

 
  • New technical solutions for a more sustainable and resilient urban area.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Infrastructure management, implementation, and design.

  • Communities sharing.

 
OpenNESS (Braat et al. 2015) 
  • Aims to translate the concepts of Natural Capital and ES into operational frameworks.

  • Provide solutions for integrating ES into land, water, and urban management and decision-making.

 
  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Existing relation between NBS, ES, and Natural Capital.

  • Infrastructure's implementation and design.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 
Connecting Nature (Dushkova & Haase 2020) 
  • Aims to measure the impact NBS projects on climate change adaptation, health and well-being, social cohesion, and sustainable economic development in participating cities.

  • Create a community of cities.

 
  • Climate change, health and well-being, social cohesion, and economic development.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • NBS monitoring and maintenance processes.

  • Knowledge sharing, capacity building, and communication.

 
UNALAB (Eisenberg & Polcher 2019) 
  • Aims to use the experience of partner cities

  • Create easy-to-use manuals, models, and tools

  • Guide cities in the development and implementation of NBS.

 
  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 
URBAN GreenUp (O'Sullivan et al. 2020) 
  • Replicate the development of Re-Naturing Urban Plans in several partner cities

  • Disseminate the use of innovative NBS.

 
  • Climate change, air quality, and water management.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Service and infrastructure management.

  • Performance under normal conditions

 
Nature4Cities (Nature4Cities 2019) 
  • Create a comprehensive reference platform for NBS.

  • Offer technical solutions, methods, and tools for urban planning decision-making.

 
  • Technical solutions, methods, and tools.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

 
GREEN SURGE (Hansen et al. 2008) 
  • Aims to identify, develop and test ways of linking green spaces, biodiversity, people, and the green economy.

 
  • Spatial and urban decision planning.

  • Benefits for biodiversity, people, and green economy.

  • Climate and demographic changes.

 
NATURVATION (Davis et al. 2018) 
  • Realize the potential of NBS to respond to urban sustainability challenges.

  • Examine how innovation can be fostered.

  • Working with communities and stakeholders.

 
  • Benefit for biodiversity, Natural Capital and ES.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 
Project (Reference)Main objectivesMain concerns
ThinkNature (Somarakis et al. 2019) 
  • This platform is an umbrella for all projects on NBS funded by the EC H2020 program.

  • The objective is to support the understanding and promotion of NBS.

 
  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments and share best commercial practices.

  • Fostering collaboration at local, regional, national, and EU levels.

  • Development of synergy between NBS projects.

 
EKLIPSE (Raymond et al. 2017b) 
  • Aims to create a way of knowing, networking, and learning about biodiversity and ES.

  • Aims to devise an impact evaluation framework that can guides the design, development, implementation, and assessment of NBS projects in urban contexts.

 
  • Benefits for ES and biodiversity.

  • Assessment of NBS projects at the level of the infrastructure.

  • Infrastructure design and implementation.

  • Monitoring and maintenance processes.

 
TURAS (Collier 2011) 
  • Aims to bring urban communities and businesses together with local authorities and researchers.

  • Aims to co-create working links with communities at the centre.

 
  • New technical solutions for a more sustainable and resilient urban area.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Infrastructure management, implementation, and design.

  • Communities sharing.

 
OpenNESS (Braat et al. 2015) 
  • Aims to translate the concepts of Natural Capital and ES into operational frameworks.

  • Provide solutions for integrating ES into land, water, and urban management and decision-making.

 
  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Existing relation between NBS, ES, and Natural Capital.

  • Infrastructure's implementation and design.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 
Connecting Nature (Dushkova & Haase 2020) 
  • Aims to measure the impact NBS projects on climate change adaptation, health and well-being, social cohesion, and sustainable economic development in participating cities.

  • Create a community of cities.

 
  • Climate change, health and well-being, social cohesion, and economic development.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • NBS monitoring and maintenance processes.

  • Knowledge sharing, capacity building, and communication.

 
UNALAB (Eisenberg & Polcher 2019) 
  • Aims to use the experience of partner cities

  • Create easy-to-use manuals, models, and tools

  • Guide cities in the development and implementation of NBS.

 
  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 
URBAN GreenUp (O'Sullivan et al. 2020) 
  • Replicate the development of Re-Naturing Urban Plans in several partner cities

  • Disseminate the use of innovative NBS.

 
  • Climate change, air quality, and water management.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Service and infrastructure management.

  • Performance under normal conditions

 
Nature4Cities (Nature4Cities 2019) 
  • Create a comprehensive reference platform for NBS.

  • Offer technical solutions, methods, and tools for urban planning decision-making.

 
  • Technical solutions, methods, and tools.

  • Spatial and land use planning.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

 
GREEN SURGE (Hansen et al. 2008) 
  • Aims to identify, develop and test ways of linking green spaces, biodiversity, people, and the green economy.

 
  • Spatial and urban decision planning.

  • Benefits for biodiversity, people, and green economy.

  • Climate and demographic changes.

 
NATURVATION (Davis et al. 2018) 
  • Realize the potential of NBS to respond to urban sustainability challenges.

  • Examine how innovation can be fostered.

  • Working with communities and stakeholders.

 
  • Benefit for biodiversity, Natural Capital and ES.

  • Knowledge sharing and communication.

  • Improvement of regulatory instruments.

 

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