Given the scale of impacts and vulnerabilities, it is evident that cities need transformative action across adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development strategies. This is especially challenging in cities because of the inertia built into infrastructures, technologies, institutions, cultural and behavioural norms. Re-design of urban infrastructure and the built environment especially in informal settlements, disruptive technologies, and faster mainstreaming of innovations, must be coupled with political leadership, more integrated approaches to governance, and behavioral change. The Theme 3 Plenary will hear from policy-makers, scientists and practitioners from around the world to stimulate a dialogue on these challenges.
Promise of Green Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change in Cities in Salon 8
13:30 - 15:00
The recent push to incorporate green infrastructure and now nature-based solutions into city-making has resulted in a plethora of research and demonstration projects in cities globally. The responses are proving to be a useful catalyst of research-practice partnerships as knowledge and expertise is rapidly evolving, and there is demand for innovation and experimentation that off-the-shelf or best-practice approaches cannot satisfy. However, there are many challenges for these partnerships – green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are inherently transdisciplinary with social, political, ecological and technical dimensions, while both research and municipalities/agencies are heavily siloed organisations. The reward systems for research and practice are often poorly aligned, meaning the success of partnerships is often based on individual relationships rather than institutionalised processes. The timeframes that research and practice operate are often very different – research often takes years while practice demand responses within months. Nature-based solutions are co-created and co-produced solutions. The nature-based solution approach is a new concept and the phrase is not widely used, but this will change in the coming years, as society seeks to effectively tackle environmental issues through and for innovation. Nature-based solutions and green infrastructure can provide an entry point to addressing all urban challenges. This session will bring a range of researchers and city practitioners to share their experiences and learnings of fostering research-practice partnerships from successful (and perhaps unsuccessful) nature-based climate adaptation projects together to present a framework for measuring the impacts of nature-based solutions. It will be of interest to practitioners, scientists and early career researchers who can contribute to the discussion, meet the key actors in nature-based solution research and innovation. It will also be of interest to practitioners, designers and planers who will get an opportunity to meet the early adopters of the concept. There will be a robust participatory discussion, inviting audience participation, to identify key challenges and opportunities for researchers and cities using green infrastructure and nature-based solutions for climate adaptation.