IAHR_1_S1.3/WLR_Special: Nature-based solutions for Cities and urban watersheds

Convenors: Jochen Hack (Leibniz University Hannover), Leon Kapetas (Resilient Cities Network)

Urban areas are facing multiple challenges: weather extremes caused by climate change, biodiversity loss, high resource and infrastructure demands. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can play a vital role in addressing these challenges, but they are required to fit into the realities of cities. Although nowadays “greening the city” is an agreed objective, mainstreaming multi-benefit urban greening is not straightforward as there is a high competition for space and uses of space. This significantly limits the application potential of purely Nature-based Solutions and suggest cities need to look for hybrid blue-green-gray solutions. Due to the high competition for space, NbS need to be multi-functional to become a feasible option. To effectively address the present challenges, the embedding in and the retrofitting of existing infrastructure is often necessary. Yet, this is not just a technical challenge. It is a challenge which often requires transformative socio-technical change, i.e. the multifunctional design requires structured approaches on how to co-design in a participatory manner and how to introduce solutions aligned to multiple stakeholder interests.

Session topics

This session will cover real-life case studies and innovative approaches of NbS in cities and urban watershed around the world in the form of oral presentations. These presentations will link scientific understanding with practical experience, implementation challenges and impact delivery and measurability. They will cover various aspects around understanding how NbS can be used to increase resilience in cities and urban watersheds. It focusses on: i) ‘on the ground’ and ‘hands on’ practical experience of NbS techniques and challenges to implementation (e.g. retrofitting and multifunctional design, co-creation of solutions); ii) the key evidence that is needed to unlock financing; iii) aspects of NbS infrastructure operation and maintenance; iv) legal/governance dimensions, and v) policy alignment, particularly linked to the adaptation and decarbonisation agendas and commitments of cities.


Donald Carpenter
Retrofitting Urban Infrastructure Through Community Nature-Based Solutions Stormwater Planning

Francisco Miguel Cortés Sánchez
Renaturalization alternatives for the Vinalopó River in Elda´s urban area

Jose Ricardo Bonilla Brenes
Integrated development of nature-based solutions for tropical urban watershed restoration

Juan Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez
Feasibility methodology for selecting and locating urban nature-based solutions

Jochen Hack
SEE-URBAN-WATER project summary – Nature-based Solutions in urban watersheds

Ting Fong May Chui
Analyzing the spatial distribution patterns of green stormwater infrastructures

Virginia Rosa Coletta
Participatory approach to increase urban flood resilience through Blue-Green infrastructure

Reinder Brolsma
Contribution Nature Based Solutions to flood mitigation in urban areas

Conrad Schiffmann
Definition of political ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructure

Apoorva Bamal
Inclusion of Nature-Based Solutions in Urban River Management Plan

Event Timeslots (1)




IAHR World Congress