Building resilience with nature: A practitioner’s guide to action
Nature and natural infrastructure are critical assets in strengthening the resilience of cities to a broad range of challenges. What makes nature-based solutions so appealing is that with one intervention, such as an urban forest, a city can address multiple shocks and stresses at once – from flooding and heat waves to air pollution and public health – which is something that grey infrastructure is rarely able to do.
Interest in and support for nature-based solutions are increasing, but uptake is slow. Often cities lack the required data, technical expertise, business cases, or know-how to implement green alternatives to traditional interventions. As a result, massive and often expensive grey infrastructure projects are built as the preferred solutions to most of our urban needs, even when equally or more effective natural infrastructure solutions exist. Without investment, cities are losing all the benefits that nature provides.
With 90% of the Resilience Strategies published to date leveraging nature-based solutions to tackle a variety risks, 100RC member cities are taking the lead in changing this trend. From advancing Australia’s first metropolitan urban forest strategy in Melbourne, to valuating the ecosystem services of mangroves and other nature-based solutions in Panama City, our cities are committing to defend the global commons as a way to build resilience.
Recognizing early on that the value and role of nature was missing from mainstream planning and decision-making processes, Earth Economics and Resilient Melbourne took up the challenge of creating a practitioner resource for all those who are determined to take concrete steps to bridging the gap between the need to value nature, and political and financial will in policy and capital investments.
“Building Resilience with Nature: A Practitioner’s Guide to Action” was released the occasion of the Network Exchange: Nature-Based Solutions for Resilient and Biodiverse Cities, which is taking place in Milan from November 28 – 29, 2018. Hosted by the Municipality of Milan and Feltrinelli Foundation, this two-day convening will feature Chief Resilience Officers from Milan, Melbourne, Paris, Greater Manchester, Toronto, Athens, Quito, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, and Lisbon, to build on the work done to date. City delegates will present their findings at the Mantua World Forum on Urban Forests immediately following the event.