CONEXUS on co-producing nature-based solutions

This project is funded under the Horizon 2020 programme aimed at improving cooperation between EU and CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean) cities on sustainable urbanization.

The aim of CONEXUS is to co-create nature-based solutions based on strengthening the governance and panning systems in the cities of São Paulo (Brazil), Bogotá (Colombia), Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lisbon (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain) and Turin (Italy).

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are sustainability innovations such as green roofs or sustainable drainage systems that seek to improve the integration of nature in cities. There is a need for an increased uptake of NBS in cities given their contribution to multiple sustainability goals, including climate change adaptation, biodiversity, health and well-being, social cohesion and cultural diversity. However, imperfect coordination in sustainability action across sectors and disciplines, limited private investment and a lack of transdisciplinary working is limiting the uptake of NBS in urban development. Instead, the urban development sector prefers to invest in more monofunctional sustainability innovations (e.g. PV’s) with less diffuse and distributed benefits.

The role of Wageningen University is to work with the CONEXUS cities to improve understanding of the different values provided by nature in cities through the development of a participatory assessment framework. In addition, we will also support these cities with an analysis of how current planning and governance systems are influencing the creation and protection of multifunctional nature in cities. To this end, CONEXUS will undertake case studies and organize workshops with relevant urban stakeholders in Life-Labs. We will validate the assessment of multifunctional benefits provided by NBS along with the governance process through undertaking pilot projects that are regularly monitored.