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 as 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. 

We want to achieve…

    1. …collect and review available tools concerning NBS in urban areas used for planning and design climate adaptation.
    2. …assess the needs of cities when implementing NBS and match these with appropriate NBS tools.
    3. … foster the implementation of NBS and climate adaptation in EU cities by facilitating the uptake of NBS tools by local governments and different stakeholders.

How do we want to achieve this?

We will collect and assess available NBS tools. Likewise, we will interview selected stakeholders to know their needs during the implementation of NBS. This information will be used to identify local challenges and select the right tools for planning Nature-Based Solutions. The analysis of relevant NBS tools will address urban adaptation measures for climate-related hazards like floods, droughts, heatwaves, cold-waves, etc. Other elements like biodiversity, environmental protection and socioeconomic components are considered in the analysis. 

Together with the consortium, we will organize a Climathon event in 2020 to incentivize the co-development of innovative NBS tools. Also, a series of workshops will be organized to stimulate city to city learning. In collaboration with EU cities, we aim to use the workshops as means to empower municipalities on making suitable decisions to implement NBS tools to plan sustainable and resilient cities.

How could you participate?

  • Call for EU cities to apply for a NBS tools workshop: Each city has different urban planning processes, socioeconomic characteristics and natural endowments. Therefore, the challenges to adapt to climate change are different. If you are interested to know how you can help your city become more climate resilient through the implementation of NBS tools contact us now! 

All European municipalities can apply for a NBS tools workshop. For more information about the workshop, requirements and deadline please contact: Monserrat Budding-Polo, Project Coordinator (

We are looking for an EU city to collaborate with ACT on NBS and host a Climathon event in October 2020:  Climathon is a year-round programme, with a powerful solutions-hackathon at its core, creating climate action in the form of tangible projects. The Climathon supports climate positive businesses and start-ups, as well it focuses on local policy changes. If you want to join and connect your city to the global wave of climate action please contact: Monserrat Budding-Polo, Project Coordinator (

Meet the team