Well-being in Urban Areas


NbS for improving Well-being in Urban Areas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Subjective perception of noise exposure in relation to urban green space availability

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:00am

Noise pollution has been recognized as one of major threats to the health of urban residents. Increasing green space availability can create a natural buffer to the adverse effects of living in an urban environment. These positive effects of urban green space can be directly related to an objective reduction of noise levels and – indirectly – to the subjective perception of noise exposure.

The health benefits of nature-based solutions to urbanization challenges for children and the elderly – A systematic review

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:59am

Urban green and blue spaces promote health by offering areas for physical activity, stress relief, and social interaction, which may be considered as cultural ecosystem services. They also provide a number of regulating ecosystem services that can be regarded as nature-based solutions to mitigate impacts from urbanization-induced challenges. Urban trees and other vegetation provide cooling through shade and evapotranspiration, which reduce the impact of the urban heat island on hot summer days. Urban vegetation may improve air quality by removing air pollutants.

Nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas: Perspectives on indicators, knowledge gaps, barriers, and opportunities for action

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:58am

Nature-based solutions promoting green and blue urban areas have significant potential to decrease the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of cities in light of climatic change. They can thereby help to mitigate climate change-induced impacts and serve as proactive adaptation options for municipalities. We explore the various contexts in which nature-based solutions are relevant for climate mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, identify indicators for assessing the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and related knowledge gaps.

Hybrid system for the purification of street stormwater runoff supplying urban recreation reservoirs

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:57am

A high percentage of urban areas are covered by impermeable surfaces which reduce infiltration and landscape retention of stormwater. Moreover, the pollution flushed from these areas, particularly after intensive rainfall, is often drained directly to rivers and reservoirs which, in many cases, also serve a recreational function in cities. Stormwater runoff contributes to degradation of aquatic ecosystems and their intensified eutrophication which, in growing seasons, results in toxic cyanobacterial blooms.