Nature-based solutions (NbS) can help cities address urgent and fundamental environmental challenges by bringing ecosystems services back into cities and rebalancing cities’ relationships with their surrounding areas. By accelerating the implementation of NbS, decision-makers can help cities adapt to the effects of climate change, reduce urban heat island effects and cooling needs in buildings, clean air, manage water, and more.
This working paper, produced by UNEP in close collaboration with the Italian Presidency of the G20, investigates the potential of NbS to help build smart, sustainable and resilient cities, drawing from more than a decade of research and experience from G20 countries and beyond. It offers an overview of the best practices of NbS implementation in cities around the world, and a set of guiding principles to improve territorial governance and establish multi-level governance frameworks to increase the impact and coherence of policies and private investments.
To further elaborate on and offer starting points to help overcome these barriers, three Annexes were developed: Annex 1: Principles for Multi-level Governance (included in the full report); Annex 2: Financing Nature-based Solutions for Smart, Sustainable, and Resilient Cities and Annex 3: Accounting for Nature in Urban Planning.
Adaptation Data Explorer
This interactive tool allows urban leaders to understand regional and city-specific climate risks and learn about actions being taken in response.
Engaging youth in climate action: Pragmatically moving forward
Young people must be involved in critical decisions concerning their future and given an active role in addressing the climate emergency. Join UrbanShift for a lively discussion on this topic on International Youth Day.
Beating the Heat
This handbook was launched at COP26 and provides case studies from cities around the world that demonstrate how to sustainably tackle the urban heat island effect.
Banking on a Just and Green Recovery
This report provides nine case studies of cities that are finding innovative ways to finance and implement projects with a focus on inclusion, equity, and a green and just recovery.