Jump to content

Nature-based solutions, health and wellbeing

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are living solutions, inspired and supported by nature. They provide multiple benefits that build resilience, and bring nature to cities, landscapes and waterscapes through local, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.

NBS are a critical part of the sustainable urbanization process. They support biodiversity conservation, generate additional environmental, economic, and societal benefits, and provide a basis for climate change mitigation and adaptation. NBS simultaneously address multiple concerns by promoting the creation, maintenance, enhancement, and restoration of ecosystems.

Typical examples of services

  • Tools to support urban tree planning through informed decision-making and policy implementation, taking into account health and social benefits
  • A living NBS portfolio fed with options and ideas to implement NBS for the municipalities and products and services promoting the sustainable use of urban ecosystems
  • Policy/governance framework with legal requirements and standardization processes that enable cities to adopt NBS
  • Visionary and integrated solutions in public spaces that promote health and wellbeing, improving the air and environmental quality
  • Ecosystem-based management and conservation of natural resources, maximizing and preserving ecosystem services in urban context
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation measures through nature-based visionary solutions

Current and past activities

  • Contribute to planning and design of several eco-cities development in China
  • Develop eco-label based SO2 trading system in Shanxi Province, China
  • Review and development of methodologies for a meta-analysis of the drivers of urban sustainability transitions
  • Perform meta-analysis case studies by looking into enabling factors towards sustainable developments in European Green Capital cities and European Green Leaf cities.
  • Coordinate applications of NBS in public spaces for improving well-being and health


Did you know?
  • Currently over 55% of world population live in cities, and this is expected to increase to over 68% by the middle of the century. This translates to 2.5 billion new urban citizens, who will need cities that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  • One of the future main challenges is to design sustainable cities that can adapt to the changing needs of their inhabitants and to the evolution of environmental conditions, including climate change.
  • One promising way to achieve urban sustainability is to adopt NBS in the management and design of new and existing urban areas.
  • As an umbrella concept, NBS are conceptualized as closely connected to related concepts such as sustainable science, ecosystem services, coupled human and environment (?), and blue and green infrastructure.
  • NBS result in multiple co-benefits for health, the economy, society and the environment, such as mitigation of heat island effects, recreation, reduction of noise and air pollution, flood prevention/protection, enhancement of biodiversity and natural capital, human well-being and health, improvement of water quality, etc.