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  • CONNECTING NATURE: Bringing nature to cities

CONNECTING NATURE: Bringing nature to cities


Solutions inspired and supported by nature

Innovation with nature to build climate resilience in cities

Assistance to urban communities in the transition to sustainability

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are living solutions inspired and supported by nature that simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help to build resilience. These solutions bring more nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions. The idea of NBS has emerged as both a challenge and an opportunity to assist urban communities in the transition to sustainability.

But NBS are still a complex problem for many city-makers, and there are still many obstacles (physical, cultural, ecological, legal, etc.) to embedding these kinds of solutions into urban planning, policy frameworks, and innovative city design.

Connecting Nature has established the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for NBS by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow (UK) and Poznan (Poland). The CONNECTING front-runner cities were selected due to their quality of NBS exemplars and of cross-silo thinking, and participatory co-creation processes.

These cities have committed to scaling up and out these solutions at a city-wide systemic level and have worked together with eight fast-follower cities in a capacity-building role: A Coruña (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Burgas (Bulgaria), Ioannina (Greece), Malaga (Spain), Nicosia (Cyprus), Pavlos Melas (Greece) and Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina).

A number of ‘multiplier’ cities in the Caucasus, China, Brazil and South Korea also expressed an interest in CONNECTING, bringing the above-mentioned NBS to a global market.

This way, CONNECTING has expanded upon existing urban sustainability and innovation initiatives, has created a reference framework of clear and useful indicators for the implementation and evaluation of NBS, has built expertise and competency in all cities for innovative urban planning, policy and solution implementation, has generated economic opportunities for a diversity of urban actors in Europe, and nurtured urban community support, idea creation, active stakeholder participation and idea implementation at local levels and expansion and replication at a global level, through the global reach of ICLEI.

In addition, all open-sourced data have been linked to the Oppla platform so as to ensure perpetuation beyond the end of the project.



Intensive efforts have been invested in the dissemination of project outcomes:

  • Organisation of the Connecting Nature Summit Series with the cities of Glasgow, Poznan and Genk attracting global audiences of over 2000 participants.
  • Extensive online social media coverage – Connecting Nature Twitter feed has over 5000 followers.


Finally through effective knowledge management processes, Connecting Nature has supported 92 new project innovations (see Connecting Nature Resource Centre on Oppla) and led to the creation of 3 spin-off enterprises who will ensure the sustainability of project innovations beyond the end of the project.


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Status: Finished

Funding programme:H2020

Contract nº: 730222

Duration: 01/06/2017 – 31/05/2022 (60 months)

Budget: 12.002.568,37€ (EC contribution: 11.394.282,49€)

Contact person: Gerardo González (ggonzalez@bioazul.com)