Advances and opportunities to catalyse partnerships in the use of NBS in European and Latin American cities
Chair: Tom Wild
: Juan David Amaya-Espinel
The rapid, messy and poorly planned transformation of natural habitats into urbanised areas in Europe and Latin America represents a serious challenge for its environmental sustainability. Currently, urbanisation in both regions is a major anthropogenic driver of environmental change, and loss of native biodiversity as well of severe ecosystem services degradation. As a consequence, around 60% of the population settled in cities in these world regions are facing adverse situations related to a worsening in the living conditions in terms of its air quality, food, and water security or the spaces for recreation availability. The conceptualisation, design, and implementation of actions to mitigate the negative impacts of urbanisation under the framework of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) indicates how cities can progressively reverse some deleterious effects on human well-being via the restoration and effective functioning of urban and peri-urban ecosystems and the services they provide. However, there persists a lack of knowledge about what NBS means, the economic and social benefits they can generate in relation to solutions based exclusively on grey infrastructure and how to ensure their sustainability in the long term. The purpose of this Workshop is to facilitate a space to recognise advances, as well as opportunities in the use of NBS to address several challenges in European and Latin American cities associated with improving public health, urban livability, climate change resilience, social inclusion, and environmental justice. It is expected that this workshop would catalyse NBS partnerships between European and Latin American cities, and beyond, in order to promote access to the shared and contextualised knowledge needed to help drive the required step-change in urban policy and practice to co-create NBS and restore urban ecosystems. Contact has been made with the Urban Forestry & Urban Greening Journal Editorial Team to pursue a special issue on this theme.