More nexus thinking needed in urban sustainability planning, argues new paper

Published Sep 28, 2018

CLEWs impact of nature-based - and other - urban solutions

As part of a Special Issue on nature-based solutions, KTH-dESA PhD candidate Rebecka Engström  recently published a paper in Land Degradation and Development. The paper explores the multifunctionality of urban sustainability solutions (both nature-based and not). In an illustrative study employing data for New York City, direct and indirect impacts on water, energy and emissions are assessed for three potential green roofs. These results are then compared with three potential non-nature based solutions: permeable pavements (primarily an urban water management measure), window retrofits (primarily an energy efficiency measure) and rooftop solar panels (primarily a low-carbon measure). The paper finds that, although uncertainties are high, all tested solutions show impacts on all analysed CLEW dimensions. This highlights the need to look beyond direct impacts when planning and incentivizing urban solutions for climate mitigation, water management and energy efficiency. The paper can be found here .