Sustainable Urbanisation in cities

This domain will initiate and sustain dialogue among the various stakeholders (private and public sector, architects, practitioners, policy maker), on nature-based solutions in the context of sustainable urbanization in cities and human well-being. The dialogue will address the available opportunities for existing and new NBS associated with materials, buildings and infrastructure in cities. The incorporation of NBS in building and at district level will also be explored. The generation of co-benefits through greening cities in relation with climate change adaptation and mitigation will be examined as well as the role of cultural heritage in renaturing cities and how to incorporate existing knowledge from historic buildings and districts in restoration with nature. The role and effectiveness of NBS in advancing sustainable and resilient infrastructure development and upgrade will be explored together with replication strategies for renovating cities with nature. Methods for robust monitoring of the performance and assessment of the impact of deployed NBS will be examined.

Characterisation of nature-based solutions for the built environment

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:54pm
Nature has provided humankind with food, fuel, and shelter throughout evolutionary history. However, in contemporary cities, many natural landscapes have become degraded and replaced with impermeable hard surfaces (e.g., roads, paving, car parks and buildings). The reversal of this trend is dynamic, complex and still in its infancy. There are many facets of urban greening initiatives involving multiple benefits, sensitivities and limitations.

Edible green infrastructure: An approach and review of provisioning ecosystem services and disservices in urban environments

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:48pm
Recently published green infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and ecosystem disservices (ED) literature have focused primarily on the supply of urban regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Other literature on urban and peri-urban agriculture has mostly studied the role of localized, intensive agricultural practices in providing food to inhabitants.

Cascades of green: A review of ecosystem-based adaptation in urban areas

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:41pm
Climate change impacts increase pressure on challenges to sustainability and the developmental needs of cities. Conventional, "hard" adaptation measures are often associated with high costs, inflexibility and conflicting interests related to the dense urban fabric, and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has emerged as a potentially cost-efficient, comprehensive, and multifunctional approach. This paper reviews and systematises research on urban EbA. We propose an analytical framework that draws on theory from ecosystem services, climate change adaptation and sustainability science.

Betting against Human Ingenuity: The Perils of the Economic Valuation of Nature's Services

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:33pm
At the turn of the twentieth century, economic ornithologists focused on the monetary value of services provided by birds in order to fit nature conservation into the dominant economic paradigm. Pest control was of key interest because of its political importance and because it was relatively easy to quantify and monetize. However, this particular service became obsolete when a human-made solution was introduced that performed the same service - seemingly more cost effectively and reliably - undermining the political standing of economic ornithology.

Urban forest research in the Mediterranean: A systematic review

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:29pm
The Mediterranean region is facing many challenges, some of which can be addressed by nature-based solutions such as urban forests and green space. However, at best, urban forest research from Mediterranean countries has been only briefly addressed in review papers up to date. This Scopus-based review paper provides first insights into the development of urban forest research in the Mediterranean in the 20-year period from 1996 to 2015.

Nature-based solutions: New influence for environmental management and research in Europe

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:19pm
Greening roofs or walls to cool down city areas during summer, to capture storm water, to abate pollution, and to increase human well-being while enhancing biodiversity: nature-based solutions (NBS) refer to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling societal challenges. Building on and complementing traditional biodiversity conservation and management strategies, NBS integrate science, policy, and practice and create biodiversity benefits in terms of diverse, well-managed ecosystems.

Healthy people with nature in mind

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 6:12pm
Background: The global disease burden resulting from climate change is likely to be substantial and will put further strain on public health systems that are already struggling to cope with demand. An up- stream solution, that of preventing climate change and associated adverse health effects, is a promising approach, which would create win-win-situations where both the environment and human health benefit. One such solution would be to apply methods of behaviour change to prompt pro-environmentalism, which in turn benefits health and wellbeing.

A spatial framework for targeting urban planning for pollinators and people with local stakeholders: A route to healthy, blossoming communities?

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 19, 2018 - 5:56pm
Pollinators such as bees and hoverflies are essential components of an urban ecosystem, supporting and contributing to the biodiversity, functioning, resilience and visual amenity of green infrastructure. Their urban habitats also deliver health and well-being benefits to society, by providing important opportunities for accessing nature nearby to the homes of a growing majority of people living in towns and cities. However, many pollinator species are in decline, and the loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats are some of the key drivers of this change.

URBANFLUXES: Heat produced in our cities is affecting human mortality

Cities are much warmer than their surroundings. Urban structures absorb and trap more solar and thermal radiation than soils or vegetation and that causes an increase in the urban temperature. Moreover, many human activities add heat to the urban climate. The heating and the cooling of buildings, the traffic, various industrial activities and our own human metabolism release energy in the form of heat, called anthropogenic heat.