Peer Exchange

Peer to Peer Exchange on Urban Nature-Based Solutions

Representatives from Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia convened in Barranquilla, Colombia, to learn from the city’s experience of implementing successful urban nature-based solutions projects.

date & time
25 Jul 2023, 12:00PM COT
Barranquilla, Colombia

UrbanShift, in collaboration with Cities4Forests, is hosting an in-person Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange on the topic of urban NBS, with Barranquilla (Colombia) as the host city. This P2P Exchange will convene more than 20 city and national government representatives from 8 cities and 4 counties in the Latin America and the Caribbean region who are working on NBS and seek to learn from Barranquilla’s experience in implementing many successful NBS projects over the recent years.  

The P2P Exchange will focus on sharing lessons learned and best practices from Barranquilla on how to design, plan and implement NBS with equity in mind to ensure the long-term flow of benefits to local residents, especially the poor and marginalized. The P2P Exchange will also explore how cities can finance NBS projects as green infrastructure, learning from Barranquilla’s world class efforts to restore the Mallorquin Wetland, which protects the city from coastal erosion, flooding and provides livelihoods and incomes for many local residents.   

Through presentations, facilitated discussions, city consultation sessions, interactive exercises, and three site visits, representatives from the visiting cities will gain deep insights into Barranquilla’s transformation over the last 15 years, and its prioritization of NBS to build resilience to climate change.   

Background on Barranquilla’s work on NBS 

Barranquilla efforts to leverage NBS to transform the city through its “Todos al Parque” project recently won the 2021-2022 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities. The program has expanded greenspace access in the city to 93% of households (within an 8 minute walk) and has helped revitalize communities, improve public safety, and generate more economic opportunities for residents.  

In addition to “Todos al Parque”, Barranquilla is home to many other inspiring NBS projects including the Bosque Urbano Miramar, the Gran Malecon, and the Ciénaga de Mallorquín (Ecoparque Mallorquin), which provide resilience and infrastructure benefits to the city and its residents and support local biodiversity. Barranquilla’s leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to leveraging NBS to tackle the dual climate and biodiversity crises and have put this leadership on display at both the regional and global levels, for other cities and governments to learn from.  


  • Alejandro González, Director, ICLEI Colombia (TBC)

  • Bruno H. Incau, Regional Coordinator for Urban Development and UrbanShift, WRI Brasil Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

  • Fernando Paez, Deputy Director, Colombia & Urban Mobility Director, WRI México and WRI Colombia 

  • Jaime Pumarejo, Mayor of Barranquilla

  • John-Rob Pool, Manager, Knowledge and Partnerships for UrbanShift, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

  • Juan David Pertuz, Consultant, Urban Development and Cities4Forests, WRI Colombia 

  • Manuel Trujillo, Head of International Relations, City of Barranquilla  

  • Mariana Orloff, Senior Manager for UrbanShift, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

  • Mauricio Rodas, Former Mayor of Quito, & Non-resident Senior Fellow, Adrienne Arsht – Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Atlantic Council & Visiting Scholar, Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania  

  • Representatives from the City of Barranquilla 

  • Representatives from Siembra Barranquilla 

  • Representatives from Agencia Distrital de Infraestructura, Barranquilla 

  • Representatives from Puerta de Oro