Article


Nature-Based Solutions for Europe's Sustainable Development

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:10am

Pursuing economic targets of job creation, growth, and innovation while tackling global environmental challenges, has long been seen as impossible. However, any long-term economic competitiveness and security depends on the extent to which natural resources are used sustainably. Therefore, the European Union is investing in nature-based solutions to achieve this double goal. The difference between the prevailing economic model and a sustainable resource use has long seemed insurmountable.

Green economy and related concepts: An overview

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:09am

For the last ten years, the notion of a green economy has become increasingly attractive to policy makers. However, green economy covers a lot of diverse concepts and its links with sustainability are not always clear. In this article, we focus on definitions of green economy and related concepts and an evaluation of these concepts against the criterion of strong and weak sustainability. The article serves three purposes: Firstly, we identify and describe diverse theories, concepts, approaches and tools related to a “green economy”.

Climate resilience strategies of Beijing and Copenhagen and their links to sustainability

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:08am

Like numerous other cities, Beijing and Copenhagen are experiencing more frequent urban flooding due to increased impervious cover and climate change. Consequently, huge investments are foreseen to maintain resilience. Analyses of planning documents and interviews with key stakeholders reveal that in their climate resilience strategies both cities do employ alternative approaches based on on-site retention-detention of stormwater runoff.

Integrated valuation of a nature-based solution for water pollution control. Highlighting hidden benefits

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:07am

In this study we assess multiple benefits (environmental, social and economic) provided by a multi-purpose green infrastructure (a series of constructed wetlands surrounded by a park) in a peri-urban area, and compare it with the alternative grey infrastructure and with the previous situation (a poplar plantation). We apply a multi-criteria analysis as a basis for integrated valuation. We address specific policy needs (strategic objectives) for the local territorial planning in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

Hydro-dam – A nature-based solution or an ecological problem: The fate of the Tonlé Sap Lake

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:06am

Recent proliferation of hydro-dams was one of the nature-based solutions to meet the increasing demand for energy and food in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMRB). While construction of these hydro-dams generated some hydropower and facilitated expansion of irrigated lands, it also significantly altered the basin-wide hydrology and subsequently impacted wetland ecosystems. Unintended adverse consequences of ecosystem services from lakes and wetlands offset the intended gains in hydroelectricity and irrigated agriculture.

Large-scale 3-D experiments of wave and current interaction with real vegetation. Part 1: Guidelines for physical modeling

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:05am

The growing interest in incorporating nature-based solutions and ecosystem services as part of coastal protection schemes has recently increased in the literature and focused on the understanding and modeling of wave and current interactions with natural coastal landforms, such as salt marshes. With this purpose, using flumes or basins has been one of the preferred options in experimental modeling under controlled conditions.

Stewardship of urban ecosystem services: understanding the value(s) of urban gardens in Barcelona

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:04am

The notion and assessment of ecosystem services (ES) values is becoming an established part of the discourse regarding urban green space performance. Yet, underlying factors enabling ES values are still poorly understood. We assume the production of ES value crucial for environmental stewardship in cities, and aimed in this study to uncover their key enabling factors.

Air contaminants and litter fall decomposition in urban forest areas: The case of S�o Paulo - SP, Brazil

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:03am

Background Urban forests are usually affected by several types of atmospheric contaminants and by abnormal variations in weather conditions, thus facilitating the biotic homogenization and modification of ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling. Peri-urban forests and even natural forests that surround metropolitan areas are also subject to anthropogenic effects generated by cities, which may compromise the dynamics of these ecosystems.

The provision of ecosystem services in response to global change: Evidences and applications

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:02am

As a consequence of the global increase in economic and societal prosperity, ecosystems and natural resources have been substantially exploited, degraded, or even destroyed in the last century. To prevent further deprivation of the quality of ecosystems, the ecosystem services concept has become a central issue in environmental studies. A growing number of environmental agencies and organizations worldwide are now embracing integrated approaches to plan and manage ecosystems, sharing a goal to maintain the long-term provision of ecosystem services for sustainability.

Key insights for the future of urban ecosystem services research

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:01am

Understanding the dynamics of urban ecosystem services is a necessary requirement for adequate planning, management, and governance of urban green infrastructure. Through the three-year Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES) research project, we conducted case study and comparative research on urban biodiversity and ecosystem services across seven cities in Europe and the United States.