Selecting the right nature-based solution in the right place

On the 2nd of December GrowGreen hosted a webinar to introduce a number of resources developed by the GrowGreen and Ignition projects which can be used to support decision-makers, planners, businesses, and others in comparing green and grey options to use the right solutions in the right place for the right problem.

Foivos Petsinaris, from Trinomics, a partner in GrowGreen, began the webinar by introducing the GrowGreen compendium of nature-based and ‘grey’ solutions to address climate and water-related problems in European cities.  The compendium provides a series of clear summary tables of the solutions that both NBS and grey infrastructure can offer, and emphasises that nature-based solutions often provide more than one benefit from implementation compared to grey solutions alone. The compendium can be used by local authorities to help identify NBS that fit local needs and specifications from water scarcity to improving air quality; and acts as a useful tool for NBS researchers and consultants who require a clear overview of all existing NBS.

Justus Alexander Quanz, from the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, spoke about the Hamburg’s green roof strategy, which aims to transform 70km2 of Hamburg’s existing rooftops, as well as establishing legally binding green roof criteria for any new development plans. The strategy was designed to reduce flood risk and the urban heat island by taking advantage of the city’s unused flat roofs. The Hamburg government is providing subsidies to incentivise residents to take part in the green roof initiative. ‘Our online funding calculator can be used to estimate how much funding residents are entitled to for their green roof installation’, Mr. Quanz said.

Sam Hartley, Campaign Officer at Business in the Community, presented the Ignition project’s evidence bases for nature-based solutions. Ignition aims to develop innovative financing solutions for investment in Greater Manchester’s natural environment and provides a number of resources to help implement NBS, identify gaps in evidence, calculate benefits, provide methodology, and more. Ms. Hartley explained that ‘We performed a rapid evidence assessment over 6 months, reviewing over 1000 evidence items, across five urban NBS databases, and looking at 12 different benefits’.  The databases were created to support the Ignition project’s research, and have been made public to help support similar initiatives.

The webinar finished with a question and answer session that discussed some technical details as well as some issues around the implementation of nature-based solutions, such as co-designing the solutions with residents, financing the work, and planning maintenance.

A full recording of the webinar including the Q&A session can be found here:

The training session presentations are available:

Foivos Petsinaris- GrowGreen Compendium Presentation

Hamburg Green Roof Strategy_J Quanz

Sam Hartley- IGNITION