Master thesis topic: Investigating vertical nature-based solutions in European cities (fulfilled)

10 March, 2018

How do vertical nature-based solutions contribute to greening of cities agendas and strategies? What are the drivers and barriers for their design, development and implementation and what are the implications for urban planning practice from their scaling up? Write your master thesis about these questions under DRIFT’s supervision!

Update: we found ourselves a new colleague. Thanks for your interest!

DRIFT leads the work package of the Connecting Nature project on innovative city-making with nature-based solutions for urban sustainability and resilience in three frontrunner cities (Genk, Belgium, Glasgow, United Kingdom and Poznan, Polland) and eleven fast-follower cities (including Burgas, Bulgaria, Pavlos Melas, Greece, Ioannina, Greece, Bologna, Italy, A Coruna, Spain, Tsibilsi, Armenia). From a close collaboration and co-creation research with the frontrunner cities, we will make a new urban planning cycle. This cycle centers on how to capitalize and scale existing and impactful innovations of all kinds to a new accelerated city-making process, for fostering urban resilience and achieving urban sustainability on the long term. The new city-making cycle adheres to co-creation and co-production design criteria and aligns, connects, capitalizes and scales social, technological, knowledge and governance innovations.

The project is a large scale innovation action project on embedding and mainstreaming nature-based solutions in cities. The project builds collaborations with cities and city networks across the globe with ties in Brazil, Seoul, and China. In Connecting Nature, we put research and academic knowledge in a new role, to bridge the gap between planning and implementation with new co-produced knowledge, new tools and planning instruments and with a repositioning of the roles of cities as facilitators of innovations and as innovators themselves. In the CONNECTING Nature Project, we also have the task to translate the knowledge co-produced into material for post-graduates and practitioners by establishing an Academy of the Cities of the Future, valorizing all the knowledge and experience gained.

The Thesis
The thesis topic is about investigating the way vertical nature-based solutions are placed, planned and maintained in cities in Europe. The main question is how they contribute to greening of cities agendas and strategies, what are the drivers and barriers for their design, development and implementation and what are the implications for urban planning practice from their scaling up.

If we look at the vertical forest building of Boeri in Milan, the green walls demonstrator in Paris, and other similar cases into consideration as pilots for greening cities, what are the opportunities they showcase (in terms of socio-ecological and technological innovations and advancements) and what are the limitations (in terms of environmental performance for climate adaptation and social benefits in terms of accessibility, usability, etc)? The thesis topic connects with the Connecting Nature project and a network of cities that aim to design, plan and implement nature-based solutions at large scale for climate resilience.

Do you want to know more about this opportunity? Please contact Dr. Niki Frantzeskaki or Marleen Lodder.

About DRIFT’s Thesis Supervision
DRIFT offers Master students from various disciplines and universities the opportunity to write their theses on transition and/or sustainability related themes under supervision of one of our researchers. The following terms will apply for master thesis supervision

  • We provide thesis supervision on condition that the DRIFT supervisor is formally acknowledged as a (second) supervisor.
  • Knowledge sharing. We ask the graduating student t0 (1) write a blog on their thesis to publish on the DRIFT/TAC websites; and (2) present their research during one of DRIFTs weekly knowledge sessions and/or to people involved with a potential casestudy
  • when applicable: involvement of DRIFT supervisor as a co-author in the event of a scientific publication based on the thesis.

Read more about writing your master thesis under DRIFT supervision.