The CLEVER Cities project's final conference "Nature in the City – Advancing social impact through nature-based solutions (NBS)" was held in hybrid format on 26 and 27 September 2023. McKenna Davis, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, moderated the session "Putting Theory into Practice: Mainstreaming Nature-based Solutions into Policy". The session explored the fundamental question: How can we integrate NBS into the fabric of urban policy and governance to bridge the gap between theory and action?
The interactive session highlighted opportunities and good practice examples of NBS mainstreaming from around the world, including an introduction to the INTERLACE Urban Governance Atlas by Natalia Burgos (Researcher at Ecologic Institute) and inputs from Santiago Sandoval (Secretary of Environment of Quito) and Agnieszka Arabas (Team Coordinator for Environment and Spatial Management, Kraków Metropolitan Area). The session concluded with an interactive discussion with the audience, touching on aspects such as co-creation and cross-departmental, cross-sectoral, and multilevel collaboration.
The conference invited Horizon Europe/2020 nature-based solutions (NBS) projects to Hamburg and online to discuss the social and environmental impact potential of NBS. Interactive workshops, presentations, and panels will highlight enablers and barriers to co-creating community driven NBS, leveraging real-life examples from around the world. The event marked the end of the CLEVER Cities project, an EU-funded project which uses nature-based solutions to address urban challenges and promote social inclusion in cities across Europe, South America and China.
During the course of the project, Ecologic Institute coordinated the development of the CLEVER Knowledge Framework, consisting of a series of targeted guidelines, factsheets, and checklists to guide project activities, and led the policy analysis in the case study sites and on the European level to identify policy gaps and formulate multilevel recommendations. The Institute further oversaw the development of the CLEVER Cities Guidance, a platform developed by Ecologic Institute to explore insights, tools, indicators and lessons learned about nature-based solutions for sustainable urban regeneration.