As cities expand to accommodate growing populations, this development intensifies the strain on natural resources, ecosystems, and the climate. But what if urban development did not have to be at odds with the health of natural ecosystems? Cities worldwide are beginning to embrace nature-based solutions (NbS) as a way to improve urban resilience as development progresses. From heat mitigation to biodiversity improvements to job creation, integrating NbS into urban development can bring about numerous benefits for cities and their residents.
This session at the Cities Summit of the Americas, co-hosted by WRI and UNEP in collaboration with the UrbanShift and Cities4Forests initiatives, shared the benefits of and best practices around implementing NbS. Highlighting the findings from the recent UNEP and Penn Institute for Urban Research report, State of Finance for Nature in Cities, the session outlined gaps and opportunities to increase the flow of finance for NbS in cities. Leaders from Latin American cities shared how their efforts to implement NbS have helped to build climate resilience and improve water supply, biodiversity, and the lives of their residents. These leaders also offered guidance to other cities aiming to support their natural ecosystems.
- Pablo Lazo, Acting Director, Urban Development, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
- Eugénie L. Birch, Co-Director, Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania
- Jaime Pumarejo, Mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia
- Axel Grael, Mayor of Niteroi, Brazil
- Santiago Bermudez Barrientos, Deputy Mayor of Desamparados, Metropolitan Area of San José, Costa Rica
- Robin King, Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
- Tatiana Gallego Lizon, Chief of the Housing and Urban Development Division, Inter-American Development Bank
- Carlos Eduardo Correa, Former Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia; Former Mayor of Montería, and IOA Non-resident Fellow
- Mauricio Rodas, Former Mayor of Quito, Ecuador, and Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania
- Todd Gartner, Director, Cities4Forests, WRI
- Mia Callenberg, Environmental Specialist, Sustainable Cities Impact Program, Global Environment Facility
State of Finance for Nature in Cities 2023
In this publication, UNEP and the Penn Institute for Urban Research outline gaps and opportunities for financing Nature-based Solutions in cities, best practices from around the world, and actions that can be taken to scale up investments in nature.
Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Urban Development
This brief provides case studies from China and Germany outlining best practices for nature-based solutions (NBS).
Nature-based solutions in cities are the future of the fight against climate change. Here's how to fund them.
Nature is the most resource-efficient solution to help build resilient, vibrant and future-proof cities, but implementing nature-based solutions needs funding. Here are five ways we can fund the green transition.
The Potential for Nature-Based Solutions Initiatives to Incorporate and Scale Climate Adaptation
This paper explores how existing NbS initiatives can better incorporate climate adaptation. It investigates the barriers these initiatives face, as well as new opportunities and lessons learned in implementation.