One of the goals of the Nature4Cities project is to deliver a scientific framework for environmental assessment. We developed a dynamic assessment methodology to allow evaluation of the impacts of Nature Based Solutions at different spatial scales across the life cycle of a project. The idea was to be able to identify what and how much benefits a project, such as a green square, park, rainwater garden, waterway or other Nature Based Solution implementation can have. We delivered an opportunity to interpret, plan and monitor Nature Based Solutions within an urban planning strategy context, facilitating decision-making, Nature based solutions project deployment, and transparency of what value is provided over time.
To achieve this, we used time-based Nature Based Solutions performance tracking and monitoring using different environmental key performance indicators.
Assessing the costs and benefits of a NBS project in connection with its influence on the livability in the city
The entry point of our methodology is at the scale of a single NBS project in an urban environment. For example, it can be a project of implementation of a green wall on a building, to understand how it affects the livability in the city.
The goals are to:
- provide an assessment of the current environmental situation at the site where a Nature Based Solutions project will be implemented
- understand the targets for environmental improvements
- assess over time once the project is implemented the environmental situation and whether the performance is met and what needs to be changed or improved.
We followed the five following steps:
The Dynamic Assessment Methodology is a novel approach to delivery performance evaluation of a Nature Based Solution projects like green roofs, green walls, rainwater gardens or other type of NBS, to make the value of such projects more clear and transparent, and to allow studying different Nature Based Solutions implementations and compare them.
A basis to assess NBS project in the environmental and economic aspects
The dynamic assessment methodology is one of the approaches that will be incorporated in the Nature4Cities platform. It will contribute to monitor and evaluate NBS projects costs and benefits in a dynamic manner, on both environmental and economic value.
The structure of the methodology serves to strengthen the assessment of different urban NBS scenarios that will be assessible in the Nature4Cities platform, linking to the context of providing solutions to several challenges: climate change, environment, resource efficiency, urban and citizen quality of life.
A step forward towards a better NBS assessment
The evaluation of the environmental benefits of NBS is one of the key solutions paving the way for resilient cities, and to strengthen urban planning strategies. A strong need of new governance, business, financing models and economic impact assessment tools for sustainable cities with NBS (urban re-naturing) was identified by the European Union. Our work answers to this goal in a dynamic and proactive manner. Since adaptation of NBS implementation strategies for different urban challenges can have both positive and negative effects, there is a need for continuous monitoring following a robust methodology.
Our key recommendation for future NBS research projects would be to link such assessment methodologies to open databases so that cities can learn from each other.
They could share knowledge about how different Nature Based Solutions projects have benefitted the city, overperformed, or underperformed and why. This would allow to collect critical insights that can steer future Nature Based Solution implementation.
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Discover more publications and results on our publications and results page.