Coordinated by Trinity College Dublin, Connecting Nature is a collaborative partnership of 31 organisations including local authorities, communities, industry partners, NGOs and academics. Our partnership is working across 16 European countries, Brazil, China, Korea & The Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia) who are investing in multi-million euro large-scale implementation of nature-based projects in urban settings. We are measuring the impact of these initiatives on climate change adaptation, health and well-being, social cohesion and sustainable economic development in these cities. Innovative actions to foster the start-up and growth of commercial and social enterprises active in producing nature-based solutions and products is an integral part of our work.
The European Commission defines nature-based solutions as solutions that are "inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously providing environmental, social and economic benefits and helping to build resilience." Nature-based solutions protect, sustainability manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems, which address challenges facing humanity (e.g. climate change, food and water security or natural disasters). At the same time, nature-based solutions bestow wider benefits to human well-being and biodiversity.
Nature-based solutions remain a relatively new concept in urban planning and the phrase is still not widely used. Part of the project involves driving change in the understanding, use and implementation of this concept as societies seek to effectively tackle environmental issues through innovation.
SRI is the leader for WORK PACKAGE 3 in Connecting Nature - SCALING UP AND FINANCING WITHIN FRONT RUNNER CITIES.
The role in the project of SRI researchers Dr Stuart Connop, Dr Caroline Nash, and Sam Jelliman is to work directly with the local authority partners of three cities that already have established expertise in relation to different aspects of delivering nature-based solutions. These cities are Genk in Belgium, Glasgow in Scotland, and Poznań in Poland.