Article


Human-nature for climate action: Nature-based solutions for urban sustainability

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:47am
The global climate change agenda proceeds at an incremental pace while the Earth is approaching critical tipping points in its development trajectory. Climate action at this pinnacle juncture needs to be greatly accelerated and rooted in the fundamentals of the problem-human beings' disconnection from nature. This paper underscores the valuable role nature and nature-based solutions can play in addressing climate change at the city scale and its implications for broader sustainability.

Nature based solutions to mitigate soil sealing in urban areas: Results from a 4-year study comparing permeable, porous, and impermeable pavements

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:46am
Soil sealing is one of the most pervasive forms of soil degradation that follows urbanization and, despite innovative pavements (i.e. pervious) are being installed in urban areas to mitigate it, there is little research on the effects of pervious pavements on soil water and carbon cycle and on the physiology of urban trees. The aim of this 4-year experiment was to assess the effects of three pavements, differing in permeability to water and gases, on some soil physical parameters, and on growth and physiology of newly planted Celtis australis and Fraxinus ornus.

Nature-based solutions for urban landscapes under post-industrialization and globalization: Barcelona versus Shanghai

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:44am
Using Barcelona and Shanghai as case studies, we examined the nature-based solutions (NBS) in urban settings—specifically within cities experiencing post-industrialization and globalization. Our specific research questions are: (1) What are the spatiotemporal changes in urban built-up land and green space in Barcelona and Shanghai? (2) What are the relationships between economic development, exemplified by post-industrialization, globalization, and urban green space?

Nature-Based Solutions in the EU: Innovating with nature to address social, economic and environmental challenges

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:44am
Contemporary societies are facing a broad range of challenges, from pressures on human health and well-being to natural capital depletion, and the security of food, water and energy. These challenges are deeply intertwined with global processes, such as climate change and with local events such as natural disasters. The EU's research & innovation (R&I) policy is now seeking to address these challenges from a new perspective, with Nature-Based Solutions, and turn them into innovation opportunities that optimise the synergies between nature, society and the economy.

Green infrastructure for urban climate adaptation: How do residents’ views on climate impacts and green infrastructure shape adaptation preferences?

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:42am
Cities are particularly prone to the effects of climate change. One way for cities to adapt is by enhancing their green infrastructure (GI) to mitigate the impacts of heat waves and flooding. While alternative GI design options exist, there are many unknowns regarding public support for the various options.

Natural Assurance Scheme: A level playing field framework for Green-Grey infrastructure development

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:41am
This paper proposes a conceptual framework to systematize the use of Nature-based solutions (NBS) by integrating their resilience potential into Natural Assurance Scheme (NAS), focusing on insurance value as corner stone for both awareness-raising and valuation. As such one of its core goal is to align research and pilot projects with infrastructure development constraints and priorities. Under NAS, the integrated contribution of natural infrastructure to Disaster Risk Reduction is valued in the context of an identified growing need for climate robust infrastructure.

Challenges for tree officers to enhance the provision of regulating ecosystem services from urban forests

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:40am
Urbanisation and a changing climate are leading to more frequent and severe flood, heat and air pollution episodes in Britain's cities. Interest in nature-based solutions to these urban problems is growing, with urban forests potentially able to provide a range of regulating ecosystem services such as stormwater attenuation, heat amelioration and air purification.

Green, circular, bio economy: A comparative analysis of sustainability avenues

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:39am
Despite their evidently different assumptions and operationalization strategies, the concepts of Circular Economy, Green Economy and Bioeconomy are joined by the common ideal to reconcile economic, environmental and social goals. The three concepts are currently mainstreamed in academia and policy making as key sustainability avenues, but a comparative analysis of such concepts is missing. The aim of this article is thus to comprehensively analyse the diversity within and between such concepts.

Production of moss-dominated biocrusts to enhance the stability and function of the margins of artificial water bodies

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:37am
Margins of water reservoirs associated with dams can have high-frequency tides, promoting soil erosion and nutrient leaching. We propose the use of biocrusts for restoration and ecological engineering purposes, due to their poikilohydric character, to stabilize reservoir margins. We promoted biocrust growth under controlled conditions, testing two types of substrate: native sand and organic substrate. After 2 months, biocrusts grew on organic substrate covering almost all the area, but not on native sand.

Renaturing cities using a regionally-focused biodiversity-led multifunctional benefits approach to urban green infrastructure

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:36am
If a ‘Renaturing of Cities’ strategy is to maximise the ecosystem service provision of urban green infrastructure (UGI), then detailed consideration of a habitat services, biodiversity-led approach and multifunctionality are necessary rather than relying on the assumed benefits of UGI per se. The paper presents preliminary data from three case studies, two in England and one in Germany, that explore how multifunctionality can be achieved, the stakeholders required, the usefulness of an experimental approach for demonstrating transformation, and how this can be fed back into policy.