Principles for Delivering Urban Nature-based Solutions
The aim of the report is to enable more ambitious targets related to nature-based solutions (NBS), climate resilience and environmental net gain (ENG), and ultimately an increase in the application of NBS, both wild and cultivated, in urban areas. To achieve this, the report sets out six principles to assist organisations and individuals in the design, delivery, and operation of urban NBS, along with the methods that can be used to achieve them, and case studies of real-world application. Ranging from strategic inception to considerations for short-term funding, long-term management and future research and innovation, these principles aim to provide an overview of methods that can be utilised to further drive the consideration of NBS both conceptually and practically within a range of urban development contexts.
Principles for Delivering Urban Nature-based Solutions
The principles and supporting information are primarily intended to be used by developers, owners, operators, and occupiers of buildings and infrastructure within an urban context. Specifically, those organisations’ decision makers, finance departments, marketing departments, design teams and sustainability professionals. The content will also be of value to engineers, architects, landscape architects, contractors, landscape contractors, planners, private house owners, professional bodies, national and local policy makers and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The guidance outlines a range of steps that these organisations can take to adapt built assets to the physical risks from climate change whilst enhancing nature and creating social value. The report, its principles and their methods have been designed to assist industry to realise UKGBC’s 2030 sector ambition for all buildings and infrastructures to be climate resilient and maximise environmental net gains throughout their lifetime, via the prioritisation of NBS.
For information on UKGBC’s Resilience and NBS programme and previous related publications see here.
This report is primarily intended to be used by developers, owners, operators, and occupiers of buildings and infrastructure within an urban context. It is also designed to be of value to broader built environment professionals, including engineers, architects, landscape architects, contractors, landscape contractors, planners, private house owners, professional bodies, national and local policy-makers and environmental non-governmental organisations.
Nature has a central role to play in our response to climate risks and the ecological crisis. It provides services which protect our urban environments from the physical and financial risks of climate change, whilst making space for the plants and animals that enrich our lives. Furthermore, over the last 12 months, it has become acutely apparent that nature and greenspaces can improve human health and generate social value.”
“Property and construction professionals have a critical role in ensuring a positive symbiotic relationship between our natural and built environments. Through the application of the six principles outlined in this report, UKGBC is encouraging the industry to enhance the incorporation of NBS within their operations, and accelerate action to deliver greener, healthier and more resilient places.”
Alastair Mant, Director of Business Transformation at UKGBC
“With UK climate projections highlighting extremes of temperature and rainfall, these are impacts which are likely to be felt most acutely in the built environment, as these areas concentrate the effects of climate change through urban heat islands and heavily modified drainage systems and water courses. These factors place increasingly severe stresses on local communities and infrastructure.”
“This report shows the value of working with nature as a key ally, helping to address both parts of the climate challenge by: reducing emissions from the built environment; increasing the resilience of infrastructure; and improving the quality of life and environment for local communities.”
Tom Butcher, Met Office
“We welcome this report; it sets out an ambitious scope of principles to help embed nature-based solutions in the design and management of new buildings and regeneration in our towns and cities.
“The growing urgency of needing to address the intertwined emergencies of the climate and nature crises, and the expectations for the forthcoming COP15 and COP26 summits, places the UK construction and building sector into a pole position of delivering innovative solutions that are good for people, help us adapt to a changing climate and secure sustained gains for nature.”
Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation, London Wildlife Trust
“At Tritax Big Box REIT we have put nature-based solutions at the heart of our ambitions to tackle the impacts of climate change, create biodiversity net gain, and generate social value. The principles, methods, and case studies in this new UKGBC report will help us inform internal and external stakeholders of the importance and possibilities for integrating NBS into our new and existing assets. I encourage all professionals to access the report as it provides actionable information on several emerging areas of importance for NBS, including measurement, innovative financing, and how to maximise functionality.”
Helen Drury, Sustainability Lead, Tritax Management LLP