Building the Case for Nature-Based Solutions: Enablers and Barriers in Data-Driven Solutions for Climate Adaptive Developments

Anterola, Jeremy and Hermansdorfer, Mariusz and Borg, Kane and Brückmann, Stefan (2020) Building the Case for Nature-Based Solutions: Enablers and Barriers in Data-Driven Solutions for Climate Adaptive Developments. SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1045-1054. ISSN 2521-3938

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Global climate change, urbanisation and increasing demand for limited resources are primary challengesfacing the sustainable, long-term development of cities. Traditional mitigation of flooding and stormwater management focused largely on technical and infrastructural solutions (e.g. larger pipes, underground storage, ‘out-of-sight / out-of-mind’ mentality). Yet these ‘trusted’ conventional infrastructure systems are proving to be neither safe nor cost-efficient solutions for managing the effects of climate change (e.g. flash floods, extreme heat, extended drought) and mitigating the resultant impact on liveability as well as ecology. In response to the need for more effective, ‘climate adapted’ tools, blue-green infrastructure (BGI), otherwise widely recognised as nature-based solutions (NBS) – or tools which echo or mimic natural systems and ecosystem services while providing the functional requirements of grey infrastructure such as pipes – have emerged in recent years as suitable measures to for complementing or replacing conventional solutions.Current available methods for integrating climate adaptive solutions such as NBS and BGI within the urban planning practice are insufficient and lacking when compared to the complexity of city planning today.Calculating the impact of design concepts today is still a highly manual process. The lack of resources both in terms of personnel and finances limits the capability to efficiently test and validate optimal solutions. Often, methods utilized in practice for simulating the effect of climate adapted solutions take too long to get to meaningful results or largely stems from guesswork and assumptions. Viewed in parallel with observations that 1) the loss of green areas to urban development has further challenged the capacity of conventional engineering solutions to the point of failure; 2) global temperatures, heat waves and urban heat island effects will intensify in coming years, leading to issues with water scarcity and drought; and 3) planning cities of the future requires coordinating a diverse group of stakeholder interests, our conclusion that a new method for planning and design is deemed necessary. We set out to answer the following questions: can the plethora of digital data available be used to create meanginful solutions that can manage, mitgate and adapt to the effects of climate change in the built environment? What barriers must one consider when utilising data-driven, software-based technology as decision-support tools in the field of urban planning? More specifically, what enables the acceptance and applicability of such methodologies compaerd to traditional planning and design processes? These observations and research queries, combined with the experience of testing tools in the field; retesting and validating the results; and lastly reapplying the results again within professional practice led to the establishment of ‘GreenScenario’, a rapid iteration and software-based decision-support tool for simplifying climate adaptation planning. The following paper details this path by firstly describing the concept of nature-based solutions in relationship to climate adaptation. Secondly, the results of the 9-year+ R&D process that eventually led to the establishment of GreenScenario are detailed in relationship to the basis for the decision-support tool. Lastly, observations from practice regarding potential enablers and barriers to implementation of data-driven decision-support tools are summarised and compared to the initial results of implementing GreenScenario as a decision-support software, tool and process for urban planning and design.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The compilation of this paper has been made possible based on the research and work provided by a diverse collection of stakeholders, partners, institutions and participants. In particular the coalition of partners involved in the ‘KURAS’ project as well as the ‘netWORKS4’ research project as well as the support of the Ramboll team, particularly those based in Germany and the Nordics. Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl (part of the Ramboll Group) was involved in the two BMBF projects in Germany and are primarily developing GreenScenario together with globally located partners, stakeholders and institutions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Process-Driven Software Collaboration, Data-Driven Decision Making, Nature-Based Solutions, Blue-Green Infrastructure, Climate Adaptation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 16:50
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 16:50

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