CO-producing Nature-based solutions and restored Ecosystems: transdisciplinary neXus for Urban Sustainability
: Creation of Life-Labs at the city level where green infrastructure strategies, biodiversity and renaturing plans are tested as well as NBT methods and their potential for biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning. The project combines NBT for sustainable urbanisation, using place-making, place-keeping and place-prescribing approaches. Actions will demonstrate how a place-based approach can incorporate NbS into the cultural imaginary and social life of cities. CONEXUS will promote visions of urban futures with nature-based cities and urbanisation contributing positively to reconnecting people with nature.
Increased provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Food, water, etc)
Yes, the project aims to increase potential for biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning.
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, the evidence shows that NbS can be used to reduce the effects of urban heating (Augusto et al; 2020) and urban heat island mitigation is associated wth the presence of green areas (Bonafoni et al; 2017). The project aims to support cities and communities to create nature-based solutions and restore urban ecosystems (Wageningen University, 2021).
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
Yes, increasing green areas enhances the potential for biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning (Threlfall et al; 2017).
Yes, the project experiments with novel co-production methods to deliver NbS innovations for ecosystem restoration in ‘Life-Lab’ pilots (Wageningen University, 2021).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, through the implementation of NbS in highly urbanized cities.
Yes, the project aims to co-create context-appropriate NbS for sustainable urbanisation using place-making, place-keeping and place-prescribing approaches (CREAF, 2016).
Improved aesthetic value
Increased access to green infrastructure
Increased social interaction and inclusion
Yes, specific pilots will also involve working directly with local schools and schoolchildren in various Life-labs. (CREAF, 2016).
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
Yes, the project brings together community, private, public and research partners towards nature-based thinking (NBT) with full integration into policy and practice (CREAF, 2016).
Provision of health benefits
Yes, the project will promote visions of urban futures with nature-based cities and urbanisation contributing positively to planetary health: reconnecting people with nature and reconnecting more biodiverse restored ecosystems with people (CREAF, 2016).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, by working collaboratively with over 30 communities, private, public and research partners in Europe and Latin America (The University of Sheffield, 2021).
Low provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Water, food)
Yes, through solutions focussed on improving biodiversity and environmental performance in urban gardens and also their potential for biodiversity and ecosystem services provisioning such as food production.
Drought and heat risk
Yes, the Mediterranean Basin is undergoing a warming trend with longer and warmer summers, an increase in the frequency and the severity of heat waves, changes in precipitation patterns and a reduction in rainfall amounts (Linares et al; 2020).
Loss of biodiversity
Low availability of green infrastructure
Low aesthetic value
Lack of local sense of ownership, participation
Negative environmental impacts on human health
Yes, the project aims to eliminate human problems relating to nature disconnection.
Limited knowledge about biodiversity
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, the project aims to increase the sustainability of urban centres through the implementation of NbS (CREAF, 2016).
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
: Augusto, B., P. Roebeling, S. Rafael, J. Ferreira, A. Ascenso, and C. Bodilis. 2020. Short and medium- to long-term impacts of nature-based solutions on urban heat. Sustainable Cities and Society, 57: 102122. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2020.102122
Linares, C., Díaz, J., Negev, M., Martínez, G.S., Debono, R. and Paz, S. 2020. Impacts of climate change on the public health of the Mediterranean Basin population - current situation, projections, preparedness and adaptation. Environmental Research, 182:109107 Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.109107.
Threlfall, C., Mata, L., Mackie, J., Hahs, A., Stork, N., Williams, N. and Livesley, S. 2017. Increasing biodiversity in urban green spaces through simple vegetation interventions. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54:6, pp.1874-1883.
The University of Sheffield. 2021. CONEXUS: Co-producing nature-based solutions and restored ecosystems. Information obtained: 2021-02-21. Available at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/landscape/research/conexus.