Cities are transitionscapes, where transformative change can be scaled and amplified. Traditional public (spatial) planning processes cannot always harvest this potential of cities, and can even become counterproductive. They do not include mechanisms that can take up lessons from experimentation, nor do they usually address conditions for the scaling of transformative practices. CONNECTING aims to co-develop the policy and practices necessary to scale up urban resilience, innovation and governance via nature-based solutions.
Currently over 70% of Europe’s population live in cities, expected to increase to over 80% by the middle of the century. This translates to 36 million new urban citizens facing a broad range of challenges: unsustainable urbanization and related human health issues, degradation and loss of natural capital, climate change and an increase of natural disaster risks. Working with nature can provide an answer to these challenges and pave the way towards a more resource efficient, competitive and greener economy.
CONNECTING (COproductioN with NaturE for City Transitioning, INnovation and Governance) Nature is a HORIZON 2020 research and innovation project on accelerating the scaling of nature-based solutions in European cities. The overarching objective of CONNECTING is to position Europe as a global leader in the innovation and implementation of nature-based solutions for urban sustainability issues.
The project partners will form a community fostering peer-to-peer, transdisciplinary capacity building between frontrunner, fast-follower and multiplier cities. CONNECTING will co-develop the policy and practices necessary to scale up urban resilience, innovation and governance via nature-based solutions. An open innovation ecosystem approach bringing together city governments, small and medium enterprises, academia and civil society will be used to co-produce actionable knowledge in all cities.
In this project, DRIFT’s team will develop a new masterplanning cycle for city planners and policy makers that will connect experimentation and lessons to ongoing policy and market needs. It will include operational mechanisms to accelerate the scaling of nature based solutions, as well as guiding principles for turning socio-economic and institutional barriers into opportunities.
We aim to connect and build upon ongoing and finalized research projects of DRIFT on urban sustainability transitions and their governance, with the new innovation action research in 25 cities in Europe, Brazil, Armenia and China that CONNECTING brings together as cities of action.
Duration of the project
CONNECTING Nature runs from 2017 to 2021.
CONNECTING Nature is funded under the Horizon 2020 program (call SCC-02-2016-2017; Grant Agreement 730222) and includes 29 partners and 5 self-funded partners.
Niki Frantzeskaki, Marleen Lodder, Giorgia Silvestri, Sophie Buchel, Karlijn Schipper
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