Europe

ENABLE – improving green and blue infrastructure in cities

Urban park Photo: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay
Enabling Green and Blue Infrastructure Potential in Complex Social-Ecological Regions (ENABLE) is a project funded by BiodivERsA that 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 green and blue infrastructure interventions in neighbourhoods and across metropolitan regions while adopting a social and environmental justice perspective and taking into account the perceptions of local stakeholders.

In an increasingly urbanised world, green and blue infrastructure (GBI) has the potential to tackle multiple environmental and social challenges, such as human well-being, 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.

ENABLE has three core objectives:

  1. To advance knowledge of how to implement GBI in order to unlock its full potential;
  2. To create an assessment framework and develop new analytical tools and approaches for evaluating performance and resilience of GBI;
  3. To identify and mainstream GBI solutions in European urban areas.

Collaboration with case study cities

By working with six case study cities: Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Barcelona, Spain; Halle, Germany, Łódź, Poland and New York, USA, ENABLE will address a range of issues across different urban settings. It will develop guidance tailored to specific local conditions, as well as recommendations for the enhancement of multifunctional GBI across regions. A particular focus within the case studies will be to explore citizen perceptions and the need for social equity and co-creation processes for designing and developing locally attuned and resilient GBI.

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.

IUCN will lead on the communications, stakeholder engagement and outreach of the project and will together with ICLEI, organise capacity building workshops, webinars and multi-stakeholder meetings to create opportunities for learning and to foster collaboration within and between 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.

This research was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the following national funders: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning; Swedish Environmental Protection Agency; German aeronautics and space research centre, Germany; National Science Centre, Poland; The Research Council of Norway; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The project will run from January 2017 to December 2019.

For more information, please visit the ENABLE website or contact Chantal van Ham, EU Programme Manager Nature Based Solutions, IUCN European Regional Office [Email] or the project coordinator: Erik Andersson, Associate Professor, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Tel: +46 701 917 185, [Email]

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