Nature-Based Solutions for Cities


Nature-Based Solutions for Cities

9781800376755 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Timon McPhearson, Professor of Urban Ecology, Director of the Urban Systems Lab, The New School, New York, US, Nadja Kabisch, Professor in Digital Landscape Ecology, Institute of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany and Niki Frantzeskaki, Professor, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80037 675 5 Extent: 408 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted to address climate change, health, and urban sustainability, yet ensuring they are effective and inclusive remains a challenge. Addressing these challenges through chapters by leading experts in both global south and north contexts, this forward-looking book advances the science of NBS in cities and discusses the frontiers for next-generation urban NBS.

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Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted to address climate change, health, and urban sustainability. Addressing these challenges through chapters by leading experts in both global south and north contexts, this book advances the science of NBS in cities and discusses the frontiers for next-generation urban NBS.

NBS are fundamentally inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that require systems thinking and multilevel governance. With a focus on the multiple challenges that cities face, from heat and air pollution to storm water and threats to human health, this book puts forward a diversity of ideas for embracing complexity in mainstreaming NBS and inspiring new approaches to create the ecological urban futures we need.

Speaking to the need for cities around the world to employ ecological, nature-based design, this book will be essential reading for early career professionals, practitioners, scholars, and students across multiple disciplines engaging with nature-based solutions including urban ecology, design, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, urban planning, policy, and management.

Critical Acclaim
‘I find this book very inspiring and a good foundation for a new, inclusive, more sustainable and resilient urban development both in the Global North and in the Global South. I recommend this book to a very wide audience of readers. It has created a very solid foundation for a journey into a future where research may fruitfully merge with practice, art and design for the benefit for all.’
– Thomas Elmqvist, Nature Cities Journal

‘In this urban century, the period of the fastest urban growth in human history, humans still need nature to survive and thrive. In this crucial book, some of the best urban scientists in the world give us a guide for how nature can be a solution to the pressing needs of our time, including climate resilience and equity. For anyone planning, implementing, or monitoring nature-based solutions in cities, this is an essential book.’
– Robert McDonald, Lead Scientist for Nature-based Solutions at The Nature Conservancy

‘A lot has been written about nature-based solutions for cities, but this book by some of the leading experts in this field is a must read. It provides a systematic and highly accessible overview of what nature-based solutions are and (can) do for cities, while also offering great examples of making these solutions work, from governance approaches to mobilising art.’
– Cecil Konijnendijk, University of British Columbia, Canada

‘This comprehensive book describes in accessible fashion nature based solutions for cities. It brings together the latest knowledge and experiences and is essential reading for researchers, policy makers and practitioners.’
– Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, ISGlobal - Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain

‘This book captures a wonderful diversity of knowledge on the multitude of solutions that nature presents to the growing challenges of our urban world. It offers inspiring ideas and practical insights for making the transition to more liveable, peaceful and resilient cities for all living creatures, in every part of the world. The book presents great examples of nature-friendly and inclusive design and cost-effective nature-based solutions that improve quality of life, climate resilience and equitable and regenerative business opportunities.’
– Chantal van Ham, Arcadis, Belgium

‘For too long, cities were thought of as the opposite of nature. Now scientists and planners understand that nature is in fact present in cities. This excellent new book shows how cities can enhance the work of nature within their boundaries to improve people''s lives and the biodiversity of our urban world.’
– Steward T.A. Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

‘Cities are facing unprecedented challenges with an urgent need to adapt to a rapidly changing climate and to address accelerating levels of social and economic inequality. This thought provoking and stimulating book gives us exciting pathways forward for regions and residents to transform toward cities that are liveable, just and equitable, but in an inclusive way and inspired by nature. It''s an inspiration for us all.’
– Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm University, Sweden

‘Cities around the world are employing ecological, nature-based designs to provide a variety of urban services for urban residents. How can we ensure that they are effective, equitable, and will last? This book is essential reading for graduate students and practitioners alike on the state of the art in how to harness the power of nature for transformational change.’
– Gretchen Daily, Stanford University, US

‘As the international community is urgently called to put the lofty goals of the UN’s Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework into practice in an increasingly urban planet, this book offers valuable insights based on tested approaches to make urban sustainable consumption and production a transformative force for human well-being and ecosystem health in challenging times. Recognized by the UN’s Environmental Assembly, NBS has become an essential tool for resilience to climate change, and for mainstreaming nature and human rights into urban planning, development, and governance.’
– Oliver Hillel, urban development specialist and officer in the UN’s Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity from 1996 to 2023
Contributors: Clare Adams, Pippin Anderson, Erik Andersson, Sukanya Basu, Lilah M. Besser, Gregory N. Bratman, Judy Bush, Nithirath Chaemchuen, Stephen R. Elser, Niki Frantzeskaki, Emanuel Giannotti, Rob Griffin, Filipa Grilo, Nancy B. Grimm, Anne D. Guerry, Perrine Hamel, Zoe Hamstead, Baolong Han, Rieke Hansen, Ellie Irons, Benjamin D. Janke, Nadja Kabisch, Jessica Kavonic, Christopher Kennedy, Yeowon Kim, Sonja Knapp, Robin Lasser, Eric V. Lonsdorf, Bianca Lopez, Gina S. Lovasi, Patrick M. Lydon, J. Scott MacIvor, David Maddox, Shirin Malekpour, Oskar Masztalerz, Brian McGrath, Timon McPhearson, Lauren McPhillips, Megan Meacham, Harini Nagendra, Chris Nootenboom, Didit Okta Pribadi, Melissa Pineda Pinto, Stephen Polasky, Roy P. Remme, Carolina Rojas Quezada, Bernice Rosenzweig, Jason R. Sauer, Danai Thaitakoo, Laura M. Tozer, Matilda van den Bosch, Paula Vandergert, Carla Vitantonio, Xueman Wang, Hillary Waters, Patricia Lea Watts, Katinka Wijsman, Brandon Winfrey, Hong Wu, Tong Wu, Tommy Yang, Nour Zein

Foreword I xiv
Dagmar Haase
Foreword II xv
Karen C. Seto

Sonja Knapp and J. Scott MacIvor

1 Nature-based solutions for sustainable, resilient, and
equitable cities 1
Timon McPhearson, Nadja Kabisch, and Niki Frantzeskaki

2 Nature-based solutions and climate change resilience 14
Nancy B. Grimm, Yeowon Kim, Jason R. Sauer, and Stephen R. Elser
3 Towards just nature-based solutions for cities 30
Laura Tozer, Harini Nagendra, Pippin Anderson, and Jessica Kavonic

4 Urban ecological resilience: ensuring urban ecosystems
can provide nature-based solutions 50
Timon McPhearson, Erik Andersson, Filipa Grilo, Bianca
Lopez, and Nour Zein
5 Nature-based solutions and biodiversity: synergies,
trade-offs, and ways forward 83
Sonja Knapp and J. Scott MacIvor

6 Just, nature-based solutions as critical urban infrastructure
for cooling and cleaning airsheds 106
Paul Coseo and Zoe Hamstead
7 Nature-based solutions as critical urban infrastructure for
water resilience 147
Lauren McPhillips, Hong Wu, Carolina Rojas Quezada,
Bernice Rosenzweig, Jason R. Sauer, and Brandon Winfrey
8 Human physical health outcomes influenced by contact
with nature 168
Lilah M. Besser and Gina S. Lovasi
9 Nature-based solutions and mental health 193
Nadja Kabisch, Sukanya Basu, Matilda van den Bosch,
Gregory N. Bratman, and Oskar Masztalerz

10 Planning and maintaining nature-based solutions: lessons
for foresight and sustainable care from Berlin, Jakarta,
Melbourne, and Santiago de Chile 215
Rieke Hansen, Judy Bush, Didit Okta Pribadi, and Emanuel
11 Governance of and with nature-based solutions in cities 241
Niki Frantzeskaki, Katinka Wijsman, Clare Adams, Nadja
Kabisch, Shirin Malekpour, Melissa Pineda Pinto, and
Paula Vandergert
12 Mapping, measuring, and valuing the benefits of
nature-based solutions in cities 260
Anne D. Guerry, Eric V. Lonsdorf, Chris Nootenboom,
Roy P. Remme, Rob Griffin, Hillary Waters, Stephen
Polasky, Baolong Han, Tong Wu, Benjamin D. Janke,
Megan Meacham, Perrine Hamel, and Xueman Wang

13 Urban designs as social-natural resolutions 296
Brian McGrath, Danai Thaitakoo, Nithirath Chaemchuen,
and Tommy Yang
14 Ecological art in cities: exploring the potential for art to
promote and advance nature-based solutions 317
Christopher Kennedy, Ellie Irons, and Patricia Lea Watts
15 1 + 1 = 3: stories of imagination and the art of
nature-based solutions 341
Patrick M. Lydon, David Maddox, Robin Lasser, Baixo
Ribeiro, and Carla Vitantonio
16 Towards mainstreaming nature-based solutions for
achieving biodiverse, resilient, and inclusive cities 364
Timon McPhearson, Nadja Kabisch, and Niki Frantzeskaki

Index 376
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