UrbanByNature China Webinar #4 Recap: Technical Implementation of Nature-based Solutions

City in China

Image from Unsplash by Iewek Gnos

Did you miss the fourth UrbanByNature China webinar? Let’s briefly recap what happened:

The fourth UrbanByNature (UbN) China webinar proceeded to STEP5/IMPLEMENT of the UbN programme. The webinar provided insights into the technical and financial aspects of NBS design and delivery as well as the importance of nature-based enterprises for NBS implementation. 

Sophio Konjaria-Christian, CLEVER Cities Project Coordinator at the District Council of Hamburg-Harburg, presented the diversity of NBS interventions that have been implemented in Hamburg, highlighting the selection and co-creation criteria. She detailed how these criteria rely on locally-specific dynamics and challenges such as geographic features, demographic characteristics and pre-existing physical and social infrastructure. Through a close consideration of such factors during the co-creation process, the selected NBS interventions could better address the envisioned urban regeneration goals. 

During the ensuing discussion, Sophio Konjaria-Christian elaborated on the different measures that the project team employed to mobilize and engage stakeholders and investors: These ranged from using various engagement methods to providing incentive structures such as giving out gift cards.

Wu Jie, Deputy Chief Engineer at the Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Research Institute presented the World Bank-initiated sustainable cooling pilot project in Guangzhou. As a densely populated and constructed megacity, Guangzhou is prone to urban heat island effects during the hot summer months. To counteract this, several NBS measures were implemented at different scales ranging from the construction of vertical gardens and pocket parks to wetland restoration efforts.

When asked about suggestions for other cities based on challenges faced in Guangzhou, Wu Jie elaborated on the need to understand the interests and financial capabilities of stakeholders and to try and motivate them to participate. She also discussed the challenge of long term management of NBS projects and suggested that governments should implement guidelines for supervision and maintenance of NBS infrastructures. 

Isobel Fletcher, Acting CEO of Horizon Nua, focused on the challenges and opportunities of identifying suitable financing and business models for NBS implementation. She presented the Nature-based Solutions Business Model Canvas and explained how it helped the City of Nicosia to determine the funding model for an element of their city’s urban green mobility network. 

Esmee Kooijman, Research Scientist at Trinity College Dublin, then addressed how the challenges of financing nature-based solutions and finding suppliers provide opportunities for Nature-based Enterprises (NBEs) in different market sectors. She provided examples of direct and indirect NBE activities that provide solutions for the planning, implementation and maintenance of nature-based solutions and concluded with some overall advice on how to support nature-based entrepreneurship.

Asked about specific recommendations for cities to foster nature-based entrepreneurship, Esmee Kooijman suggested the establishment of enterprise support programs. An example of one such measure was a training program aimed at reskilling landscape architects by teaching them about NBS concepts and requirements.

Wang Dong*, Vice President of the Eco-city Design Center at Turenscape Design Institute, highlighted some of the over 500 projects that the nature-based company has implemented in more than 200 cities over the past 20 years. He outlined the three levels of action of Turenscape. The first one focuses on planning green infrastructure across different scales, from the national to the local level. The second action is to design and create green infrastructure based on the traditional knowledge of learning from nature. The third level is to lobby for policy changes where Turenscape has succeeded in contributing to policy recommendations such as China’s sponge city strategy.


The fifth UrbanByNature China webinar on 12 January 2022 will focus on the monitoring and evaluation of nature-based solutions. Register here to attend.

For more information on upcoming events and to receive our monthly UrbanByNature Digest, fill out the UrbanByNature registration form.


* Due to technical difficulties this video contribution was recorded after the webinar took place. 

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The UrbanByNature programme is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreements No. 730222 and No. 776604. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies within UrbanByNature and in no way reflects the views of the European Union.