At the 2019 European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference (EUGIC), Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis chaired a session looking at the role of Horizon 2020 funding for nature-based solutions (NBS) and co-organized a side session to present insights from the NATURVATION project. The conference took place from 10 to 11 April 2019 in London (England). Approximately 350 urban green infrastructure experts, practitioners, policy makers, designers and implementers came together to share and celebrate nature-based solutions for climate-adapted, resilient, healthy cities.
In relation to her work on nature-based solutions within Horizon 2020-funded projects, for example in NATURVATION and CLEVER Cities, McKenna Davis was invited to moderate the plenary session "H2020 Programme for Nature-based Solutions". The session began with an introduction to the funding scheme and its support for NBS research and implementation, and was followed with a panel discussion with representatives of five H2020 funded projects. Panelists shared their experiences and lessons learned on designing and implementing participatory NBS, communicating with diverse stakeholders and audiences, and monitoring impacts. The session highlighted opportunities and challenges to upscaling and mainstreaming NBS across different sectors and on achieving truly participatory and inclusive NBS.
McKenna Davis also ran a NATURVATION-focused session together with Laura Tozer (Durham University). The 4-year NATURVATION project is funded by the European Commission and seeks to develop understanding of what NBS can achieve in cities, examine how innovation can be fostered, and contribute to realizing the potential of NBS for responding to urban sustainability challenges. The session's two presentations highlighted insights on governance and policy approaches to enable urban NBS which have arisen out of the project, including from a publication on how NBS is addressed in EU and Member State policy frameworks. A lively discussion with the attendees followed, providing the opportunity to talk about NBS understandings as well as needs and opportunities for action and research.