How can Nature-based Solutions (NbS) contribute to URBAN REGENERATION

Published in 2017

Excerpts from: EKLIPSE report: An impact evaluation framework to support planning and evaluation of nature-based solutions projects

(p.27-29 of the report)

Urban regeneration aims at improvements in the economic, physical, social and environmental conditions of an area that has been subject to negative change and is considered vulnerable (non‐resilient) (Tallon, 2013). It can include aspects of (local) business development, housing growth and improvement, community building and environmental improvement (Tyler et al., 2013). Attention also needs to be paid to ecological restoration across scales (Andersson et al., 2014) and aspects of social justice. Urban regeneration brings new opportunities for cities to reconsider their planning strategies in the context of limited available space, deprived areas, social inequities or global environmental changes (Couch et al., 2008). NBS projects need to consider the interlinkages between urban regeneration, aesthetic appeal, urban development/building culture, urban structure, design and aesthetics, urban ecology and its relation to energy and water use (Hemphill et al., 2004; Laprise et al., 2015; Sepe, 2013). For example, landscapes that look well‐cared for discourage crime, and social capital may be nurtured by physical evidence of care (Nassauer and Raskin, 2014).



Potential urban regeneration actions and expected impacts

Potential actions

Expected impacts

  • Enforce micro-scale and cross-scale interactions, consider urban hinterland and "distant landscapes" sensu (Anderson et al., 2014)
  • Increase ecological connectivity across NBS sites. 
  • Enhance biodiversity and community engagement
    (e.g. creating community gardens or pocket parks). 
  • Design rain gardens or facade greening systems. 
  • Greater ecological connectivity across urban regeneration sites, and across scales. 
  • Increased extent of greenery on urban facades. 
  • Support energy efficiency in building design and layout, building form, infiltration and ventilation, insulation, heating and lighting (Hemphill et al., 2004).
  • Encourage re-use of building materials in new construction and promote efficient use of resources, materials, and construction techniques that maximise the effective life-cycle of the building (Hemphill et al., 2004).


  • More energy efficient building design and long-term use. 
  • Reduction in the amount of building material going to land-fill. 
  • Reduced use of energy in the production of building materials and the construction of new buildings. 



  • Convert brownfield to green areas in urban regeneration projects (Mathey et al., 2015).
  • Design for:
    -Richness in urban environments, such as the promotion of street life, natural surveillance, visual richness, public art, and street furniture (Biddulph, 2011).
    -Diversity in use, such as mix of people, mix of uses, appropriate densities and visual diversity (Biddulph, 2011).
    -Ease of movement, including through movement, priority given to public transport, priority given to innovative parking, meeting needs of people with sensory impairments (Biddulph, 2011).
  • Local citizens have a say in the design and management of homes and office buildings, contributing to social justice outcomes. Increased amount of green open space for residents.
  • Increased cultural richness and diversity in urban areas, as well as improved ease of movement.


  • Provide the urban brand with a narrative and a value aimed at changing the perception of potential users or visitors, whether they are citizens, international tourists or investors.
  • Changing images of the urban environment, attracting new residents, visitors, tourists and investors.

Examples of indicators for assessing the impact of the above mentioned actions are listed on p.28 of the report


Access the full report online at: http://www.eklipse-mechanism.eu/apps/Eklipse_data/website/EKLIPSE_Report1-NBS_FINAL_Complete-08022017_LowRes_4Web.pdf

(Raymond, C.M., Berry, P., Breil, M., Nita, M.R., Kabisch, N., de Bel, M., Enzi, V., Frantzeskaki, N., Geneletti, D., Cardinaletti, M., Lovinger, L., Basnou, C., Monteiro, A., Robrecht, H., Sgrigna, G., Munari, L. and Calfapietra, C. (2017) An Impact Evaluation Framework to Support Planning and Evaluation of Nature-based Solutions Projects. Report prepared by the EKLIPSE Expert Working Group on Nature-based Solutions to Promote Climate Resilience in Urban Areas. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, United Kingdom)