Cities must manage multiple, interacting challenges such as climate change, air and water pollution, flooding, heatwaves, affordable housing, public health, and socio-economic and environmental inequities. Nature-based solutions can help cities address many of these challenges. By reducing the risk of flooding, attenuating water, noise, and air pollution, mitigating the urban heat island effect, and providing attractive spaces that promote physical and mental health, nature-based solutions can provide diverse benefits to people in cities. But they are not a panacea - they can neither solve all problems on their own nor are they even appropriate or feasible in all locations. In this session, we will bring together academics and practitioners for a conversation about nature-based solutions in cities. We’ll first address challenges unique to urban environments and barriers that currently prevent uptake of these solutions to date. Then we will focus on opportunities to do things differently through discussion of bright spots, policy levers, and new avenues for research and practice.
Five expert panelists - from academia and practice - will be in conversation with Anne Guerry, Chief Strategy Officer & Lead Scientist at Stanford Natural Capital Project, and Eric Lonsdorf, Program Director & Lead Scientist at University of Minnesota Natural Capital Project.
- Erik Andersson, Associate professor & principal researcher at Stockholm Resilience Center
- Todd Gartner, Director, Cities4Forests and Natural Infrastructure at World Resources Institute
- Seema Kairam, Design Lead at Able City in San Antonio
- Joe Kane, Fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
- Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Urban Ecology & Director of the Urban Systems Lab at The New School
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