Innovative ways to make cities more adaptive to climate change

Cities and regions are looking for systemic solutions to cope with the immense challenge of the far-reaching impacts and consequences of climate change. Whether events can spell disaster for cities and the inhabitants in them. To help tackle this immense challenge EIT Climate-KIC has set up the innovation ecosystem ACTonNBS Initiative.

The challenges

The ACTonNBS Initiative is designed to increase Nature Based Solutions (NBS) uptake. We also have the challenge to establish a growing and sustainable innovation ecosystem. In this system we bring together cities, researchers and experts to support innovative scale up of NBS in cities, countries and internationally.
It is felt that the real and multiple benefits that can be derived from much greater uptake of NBS warrants the exploration of NBS becoming the focus of an EIT Climate-KIC programme.

What we offer

At this moment 16 cities are involved, but we would like to grow to 60 cities on a short term. These cities, together with a diverse range of experts and businesses, bring real enthusiasm and motivation to trial new approaches so that we can advance NBS uptake more quickly.

All the members of the network are committed to experimenting with new methods, applications and approaches, and to growing the network to include more motivated members to quickly expand impacts and to accelerate knowledge sharing.

Despite the opportunities presented by NBS, and the need for adaptation measures, the deployment of NBS within urban environments remains limited.
By bringing together key stakeholders from EIT Climate-KIC’s community, this Innovation Ecosystem will be developed to create a space for EIT Climate-KIC and its partners to build on existing initiatives to rapidly upscale the application of NBS within cities.

What are we currently working on? 

Our Projects

Urban planning and design NBS tools for climate adaptation and resilience

The challenge

Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) contribute to resilient and sustainable cities and societies. NBS uptake, mainstreaming and implementation still a challenge for many local governments. A wide variety of tools have been developed to guide the implementation of NBS strategies for climate change adaptation. However, the awareness and use of these tools is still very limited. 

Our objectives…

    1. …to collect and review available tools concerning NBS in urban areas used for planning and design climate adaptation.
    2. …to assess the needs, barriers and opportunities for cities when implementing NBS and match these with appropriate NBS tools.
    3. …to foster NBS uptake and climate adaptation in EU cities by facilitating and disseminating NBS tools available to local governments, urban practitioners and different end-users.

Our activities

During the last years, we developed a catalogue and assessed available NBS tools. As well, we organized a series of workshops to stimulate city to city learning and collaborated in the Climathon Basel 2020. We interviewed key European local government officials and decision-makers to understand the needs, barriers and opportunities that EU cities face during the implementation of NBS. The information collected during the workshops and interviews was used to identify local challenges and to analyze different tools that support the planning of climate resilient cities and a greater uptake of NBS. 

For more information about the NBS tools catalogue and academic research go to the Knowledge Centre section. 

If you are interested to know how you can apply for a NBS tools workshop, please contact Monserrat Budding-Polo, WP3 coordinator (monserrat.budding@wur.nl).

Meet the team