How natural processes contribute to flood protection - A sustainable adaptation scheme for a wide green dike
Marijnissen, Richard ; Esselink, Peter ; Kok, Matthijs ; Kroeze, Carolien ; Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M. van - \ 2020
Science of the Total Environment 739 (2020). - ISSN 0048-9697
Clay mining - Climate adaptation - Flood risk - Nature-based solutions - Salt marsh - Sea-level rise
Effective adaptation to sea-level rise is critical for future flood protection. Nature-based solutions including salt marshes have been proposed to naturally enhance coastal infrastructure. A gently sloping grass-covered dike (i.e. Wide Green Dike) can be strengthened with clay accumulating locally in the salt marsh. This study explores the feasibility of extracting salt-marsh sediment for dike reinforcement as a climate adaptation strategy in several sea-level rise scenarios, using the Wide Green Dike in the Dutch part of the Ems-Dollard estuary as a case study. A 0-D sedimentation model was combined with a wave propagation model, and probabilistic models for wave impact and wave overtopping. This model system was used to determine the area of borrow pits required to supply clay for adequate dikes under different sea-level rise scenarios. For medium to high sea-level rise scenarios (>102 cm by 2100) thickening of the clay layer on the dike is required to compensate for the larger waves resulting from insufficient marsh accretion. The model results indicate that for our case study roughly 9.4 ha of borrow pit is sufficient to supply clay for 1 km of dike reinforcement until 2100. The simulated borrow pits are refilled within 22 simulation years on average, and infilling is projected to accelerate with sea-level rise and pit depth. This study highlights the potential of salt marshes as an asset for adapting flood defences in the future.
Mapping the life cycle co-creation process of nature-based solutions for urban climate change adaptation
DeLosRíos-White, Marta Irene ; Roebeling, Peter ; Valente, Sandra ; Vaittinen, Ines - \ 2020
Resources 9 (2020)4. - ISSN 2079-9276
Actors - Co-creation - Co-creation stages - Life cycle co-creation - Methods - Nature-based solutions - Stakeholder engagement - Stakeholders - Tools
Developing urban and peri-urban ecosystem services with nature-based solutions (NBS) and participatory approaches can help achieve more resilient and sustainable environments for cities and urban areas in the face of climate change. The co-creation process is increasingly recognised as the way forward to deal with environmental issues in cities, allowing the development of associated methods and tools that have been described and published for specific stages. It is argued that the co-creation process comprises various interlinked stages, corresponding stakeholders, and subsequent methods and tools that need to be mapped and integrated across all stages. In this study, a Life Cycle Co-Creation Process (LCCCP) for NBS is developed, building on continuous improvement cycles and Design Thinking methodologies, and for which the stages and substages, involved stakeholders and engagement methods and tools are mapped and defined. For stakeholders, the actors of an Urban Living Lab (ULL) are adapted to the LCCCP; for the engagement methods and tools, the goals of stakeholder engagement are used as a guide to select examples of co-creation methods and tools. The developed LCCCP comprises five stages, i.e., CoExplore, CoDesign, CoExperiment, CoImplement and CoManagement, creating a unique path that can be followed by practitioners for NBS co-creation.
Short and medium- to long-term impacts of nature-based solutions on urban heat
Augusto, Bruno ; Roebeling, Peter ; Rafael, Sandra ; Ferreira, Joana ; Ascenso, Ana ; Bodilis, Carole - \ 2020
Sustainable Cities and Society 57 (2020). - ISSN 2210-6707
Heat fluxes - Integrated modelling - Nature-based solutions - Urban areas - Urban sprawl
Many cities are growing and becoming more densely populated, resulting in land use changes, which promotes an increase in urban heating. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are considered sustainable, cost-effective and multi-purpose solutions for these problems. While various studies assess the effects of NBS on urban heat or urban sprawl/compaction, no studies assess their cumulative effect. The main objective of this study is to assess the short-term and medium- to long-term impacts of NBS on urban heat fluxes, taking as a case study the city of Eindhoven in The Netherlands. An integrated modelling approach, composed of a coupled meteorological and urban energy balance model (WRF-SUEWS) and an hedonic pricing simulation model (SULD), is used to assess urban heat fluxes and urban compaction effects, respectively. Results show that, in the short-term, NBS have a local cooling effect due to an increase in green/blue spaces and, in the medium to long-term, an urban compaction effect due to attraction of residents from peripheral areas to areas surrounding attractive NBS. This study provides evidence that NBS can be used to reduce the effects of urban heating and urban sprawl and that an integrated modelling approach allows to better understand its overalleffects.
The institutionalization of nature-based solutions-a discourse analysis of emergent literature
Mendes, Rúben ; Fidélis, Teresa ; Roebeling, Peter ; Teles, Filipe - \ 2020
Resources 9 (2020)1. - ISSN 2079-9276
Adaptation - Discourse - Global change - Institutional setting - Institutionalization - Nature-based solutions - Public policies - Spatial planning
The European Union quickly incorporated the concept of nature based-solutions (NBS), becoming a key promotor. This was achieved through financial support for both academic research and city implementations. Still, the processes of institutionalization are yet to be fully explored. This study aims at assessing how the scientific literature regarding NBS is addressing institutional aspects and how it is constructing the NBS narrative. This research is divided into two stages. First, it undertakes a quantitative analysis of the discourse, considering a set of preselected search terms organized into five categories: Actor, institutional, planning, policy, and regulation. Second, it adopts a qualitative analysis considering both a group of the most cited articles and of articles highlighted in the previous stage. The results indicate that the NBS concept is still shadowed by other environmental concepts such as ecosystem services. Despite being an issue promoted at the European level, the results of this exercise express the lack of concrete planning and policy recommendations, reflected by the absence of terms such as "planning objectives". This pattern occurs in all other major categories, being the institutional category the least mentioned of all five categories. The results highlight the need to address both policies and planning recommendations more concretely, studying the institutional arrangements able to promote NBS.
Nature-based innovation systems
Jagt, Alexander P.N. van der; Raven, Rob ; Dorst, Hade ; Runhaar, Hens - \ 2020
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 35 (2020). - ISSN 2210-4224 - p. 202 - 216.
Environmental governance - Geography of transitions - Nature-based solutions - Sustainability transitions - Technological innovation systems - Urban development
Transitions literature regards technologies as critical components in shifting systems towards sustainability, which has informed the development of the technology-oriented Technological Innovation System (TIS) framework. The emerging discourse on nature-based solutions (NBS) – multifunctional nature-integrated spatial planning and design innovations – raises the question to what extent TIS can account for the development and diffusion of NBS. Following a literature review, we present the Nature-Based Innovation System (NBIS) framework delineating critical factors for urban nature-based innovation. We find both commonalities and differences between TIS and NBIS, suggesting that the roles of place-based dynamics, agency and governance structure are more central to nature-based innovation, and market formation is more central to technological innovation. This has implications for the study of sustainability transitions, which has likely underplayed the potential of innovations at the nexus of socio-technical and socio-ecological systems. Future research is needed to refine the NBIS framework, for example by studying evolutionary developmental trajectories.
Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’
Baptist, Martin J. ; Gerkema, T. ; Prooijen, B.C. van; Maren, D.S. van; Regteren, M. van; Schulz, K. ; Colosimo, I. ; Vroom, J. ; Kessel, T. van; Grasmeijer, B. ; Willemsen, P. ; Elschot, K. ; Groot, A.V. de; Cleveringa, J. ; Eekelen, E.M.M. van; Schuurman, F. ; Lange, H.J. de; Puijenbroek, M.E.B. van - \ 2019
Ecological Engineering 127 (2019). - ISSN 0925-8574 - p. 312 - 323.
Building with Nature - Nature-based solutions - Cohesive sediment - Dredging - Salt marshes - intertidal flats
We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. A Mud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidal channel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describe the various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model to explore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring and research programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflats and salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidal channel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the salt marsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m 3
of fine grained sediment (D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week of operation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted compared to a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Field measurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successful increased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretion measurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers of
watery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably higher sediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant vertical accretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress than foreseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment of additional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in a port, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel and on the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sediment
management in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach
Research challenges for cultural ecosystem services and public health in (peri-)urban environments
Chen, Xianwen ; Vries, Sjerp de; Assmuth, Timo ; Dick, Jan ; Hermans, Tia ; Hertel, Ole ; Jensen, Anne ; Jones, Laurence ; Kabisch, Sigrun ; Lanki, Timo ; Lehmann, Irina ; Maskell, Lindsay ; Norton, Lisa ; Reis, Stefan - \ 2019
Science of the Total Environment 651 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 2118 - 2129.
Cultural ecosystem services - Nature-based solutions - Public health - Urban green/blue infrastructure
Urbanization is a global trend, and consequently the quality of urban environments is increasingly important for human health and wellbeing. Urban life-style is typically associated with low physical activity and sometimes with high mental stress, both contributing to an increasing burden of diseases. Nature-based solutions that make effective use of ecosystem services, particularly of cultural ecosystem services (CES), can provide vital building blocks to address these challenges. This paper argues that, the salutogenic, i.e. health-promoting effects of CES have so far not been adequately recognised and deserve more explicit attention in order to enhance decision making around health and wellbeing in urban areas. However, a number of research challenges will need to be addressed to reveal the mechanisms, which underpin delivery of urban CES. These include: causal chains of supply and demand, equity, and equality of public health benefits promoted. Methodological challenges in quantifying these are discussed. The paper is highly relevant for policy makers within and beyond Europe, and also serves as a review for current researchers and as a roadmap to future short- and long-term research opportunities.
Soil-related sustainable development goals : Four concepts to make land degradation neutrality and restoration work
Keesstra, Saskia ; Mol, Gerben ; Leeuw, Jan de; Okx, Joop ; Molenaar, Co ; Cleen, Margot de; Visser, Saskia - \ 2018
Land 7 (2018)4. - ISSN 2073-445X
Connectivity - Land degradation neutrality - Land use planning - Nature-based solutions - Regenerative economy - Soil-water system
In the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to food, health, water, and climate, an increase in pressure on land is highly likely. To avoid further land degradation and promote land restoration, multifunctional use of land is needed within the boundaries of the soil-water system. In addition, awareness-raising, a change in stakeholders' attitudes, and a change in economics are essential. The attainment of a balance between the economy, society, and the biosphere calls for a holistic approach. In this paper, we introduce four concepts that we consider to be conducive to realizing LDN in a more integrated way: systems thinking, connectivity, nature-based solutions, and regenerative economics. We illustrate the application of these concepts through three examples in agricultural settings. Systems thinking lies at the base of the three others, stressing feedback loops but also delayed responses. Their simultaneous use will result in more robust solutions, which are sustainable from an environmental, societal, and economic point of view. Solutions also need to take into account the level of scale (global, national, regional, local), stakeholders' interests and culture, and the availability and boundaries of financial and natural capital. Furthermore, sustainable solutions need to embed short-term management in long-term landscape planning. In conclusion, paradigm shifts are needed. First, it is necessary to move from excessive exploitation in combination with environmental protection, to sustainable use and management of the soil-water system. To accomplish this, new business models in robust economic systems are needed based on environmental systems thinking; an approach that integrates environmental, social, and economic interests. Second, it is necessary to shift from a "system follows function" approach towards a "function follows system" one. Only by making the transition towards integrated solutions based on a socio-economical-ecological systems analysis, using concepts such as nature-based solutions, do we stand a chance to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030. To make these paradigm shifts, awareness-raising in relation to a different type of governance, economy and landscape and land-use planning and management is needed.
Overcoming water challenges through nature-based solutions
Boelee, Eline ; Janse, Jan ; Gal, Antoine Le; Kok, Marcel ; Alkemade, Rob ; Ligtvoet, Willem - \ 2017
Water Policy 19 (2017)5. - ISSN 1366-7017 - p. 820 - 836.
Aquatic biodiversity - Ecosystems approach - Global model - IWRM - Mainstreaming biodiversity - Nature-based solutions - Pollution - Water challenges - Water management - Water shortage
Freshwater is a key resource and medium for various economic sectors and domestic purposes but its use is often at the expense of natural ecosystems. Water management must change to deal with urgent issues and protect aquatic ecosystems and their services, while addressing the demand for water from the competing claims for cities, agriculture, industry, energy and transport. In this paper key water challenges (shortage, pollution, aquatic ecosystems threatened) have been identified via global modelling. By the IMAGE-GLOBIO model chain a Trend scenario up to 2050 was modelled, as well as the potential of three 'pathways' aimed at halving average global biodiversity loss while also meeting the sustainable development goals. Biodiversity is then used as a guiding principle to address these challenges because water services depend on healthy and biodiverse ecosystems. Subsequently the potential of nature-based solutions is reviewed for four sub-sectors: cities, food production, hydropower, and flood protection, grouped under the three alternative pathways to meet key water challenges. Mainstreaming biodiversity into water policy requires integrated planning. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) could provide an opportune starting point as a well recognised integrating framework for planning, to guide the actual implementation of nature-based solutions in sub-sectors.