The ENABLE project brings together a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of partners from North, South, West and Central Europe and North America to investigate how to unlock the full potential of green and blue infrastructure (GBI).
Most cities around the world are interlaced with green and blue infrastructure (GBI) and benefit from the wide range of ecosystem services it provides. In an increasingly urbanized world, GBI has the potential to tackle multiple environmental and social challenges, such as human wellbeing, social inequality, biodiversity loss and climate change impacts such as flooding. However, the successful design and implementation of GBI requires careful consideration of a number of key aspects, including people’s perceptions of the benefits of GBI, barriers to the equitable distribution of benefits and strategies for making the flow of benefits resilient.
The ENABLE project adopts a transdisciplinary approach to investigate the role GBI can play in tackling the social-ecological challenges facing cities, taking into account how these key aspects interact and influence the performance of green or blue solutions.
ENABLE brings together a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of partners from North, South, West and Central Europe and North America to investigate how to unlock the full potential of GBI. It will test possible GBI solutions to urban challenges in the metropolitan regions of Halle, Barcelona, Łódź, Stockholm and Oslo, while also exchanging with the city of New York.
The ENABLE approach
ENABLE adopts a unique systems approach to addressing complex social-ecological challenges. It aims to develop and test new methods and tools to leverage the potential of GBI interventions in neighbourhoods and across metropolitan regions while adopting a social and environmental justice perspective and taking into account the perceptions of local stakeholders.
ENABLE has three core objectives:
- To advance knowledge of how to implement Green and Blue Infrastructure in order to unlock its full potential.
- To create an assessment framework and develop new analytical tools and approaches for evaluating performance and resilience of Green and Blue Infrastructure.
- To identify and mainstream Green and Blue Infrastructure solutions in European urban areas
ENABLE will test possible Green and Blue Infrastructure solutions to urban challenges in the metropolitan regions of Halle, Barcelona, Łódź, Stockholm and Oslo, while also exchanging with the city of New York.
Together with local actors in the case study cities (e.g. municipal political representatives, urban planning departments, citizens, civil society organisations, local businesses, parks and green space managers, land owners, urban developers) ENABLE will examine three key questions related to GBI:
- How and under what conditions are the benefits provided by GBI most appreciated by people?
- How accessible are GBI benefits, and how are they distributed among urban residents?
- How can the continuation of GBI benefit-flows be secured in the long-term?
Urbanisation is a process of change, and hence any solution to promote the flow of GBI benefits needs to be resilient over time. ENABLE will create continuous exchange across disciplines to develop knowledge on the systemic linkages and the contextual factors, such as local drivers of change and governance arrangements, that determine the impact of GBI solutions in the case study cities. The project will organize capacity building workshops, webinars and multi-stakeholder meetings to create opportunities for learning and to foster collaboration within and between the case study cities and other cities across Europe. This will support more effective urban planning and decision-making, design and implementation of GBI, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable urban future.
Find more information, publications and case studies at the ENABLE-website.
The project will run from January 2017 to December 2019.
This research was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the following national funders:
Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning; Swedish Environmental Protection Agency; German Aeronautics and Space Research Centre; National Science Centre Poland; The Research Council of Norway; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden), Humboldt University (Germany), Ecologic Institute (Germany), University of Lodz (Poland), European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (Poland), Institute for Nature Research (Norway), Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Spain), International Union for Conservation of Nature – European Regional Office, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Urban Systems Lab (USA), Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (Netherlands)