Augmented Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for Cities: Embedding technologies for improving NBS performance and fostering social inclusion in urban greening strategies

Track 3 – Special session

Photo credits: Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Organisers: Israa Mahmoud (Politecnico di Milano), Eugenio Morello (Politecnico di Milano), Adriano Bisello (Eurac Research), Denia Kolokotsa (Technical University of Crete)

Keywords: Nature-based Solutions, Green Technologies, Co-creation, Citizen Science, Citizen participation , Internet of Nature

Potential journal publication: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

Description:

The experience of NBS in place is now mature with numerous applications. However, the question of the added value in terms of innovation in the so far applied solutions arises. This session aims to collect best practices on how technologies, in different ways, can enhance the performance and impact of NBS. Specifically, can technologies augment NBS, towards a more radical symbiosis of green and digital? Can we benefit from measuring NBS for developing successful and innovative management and business models of urban green, and support sound decision- and policy making, which is often problematic to local government? What are the multiple impacts delivered by hybrid green and digital solutions, how to measure them and eventually how to monetize them?

In particular, the following explorations around technology in and for NBS are relevant for this session:

  1. Technology in Green: Embedding technologies inside NBS could increase its environmental performance and social impact; for instance, environmental sensors measuring the health of nature and biodiversity; green as urban displays and communication interfaces to people for communicating relevant messages; sensors for co-monitoring campaigns, as part of citizen science activities around urban greening.
  2. Technology for Green: outside and beyond NBS per se, technologies can be applied to enhance the impact of NBS in cities; ICT can be used to engage citizens in co-producing and taking care of green (co-maintenance, co-monitoring), thus generating stronger sense of belonging and social bonds within communities, with emphasis on the inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups; moreover, mapping technologies such as remote sensing, LiDAR applied to urban green, can support monitoring the overall progress towards greener cities, contributing to assessing the global targets of the 2030 Agenda at the local scale (e.g. localizing SDGs in cities) and reporting on ESG criteria.

Starting from the ongoing applications of two European Projects, CLEVER Cities and VARCITIES, we look for papers presenting scientific methods and innovative products and services enhancing the potential of NBS in the urban context.

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