About this Research Topic
Challenges such as sustainability and quality of life are becoming increasingly urgent for urban areas worldwide. Towns and cities are growing rapidly. By 2025, more than half of the developing world's population will be urban. Urbanization in Europe and North America took centuries, spurred on by industrialization and steady increases in per capita income. In the developing world, this transition is occurring in a comparatively short timeframe of about one to two generations, often with a hampering increase of income per capita. Hence, sustainable development challenges are strongly related to the urbanizing parts of the world of the Global South. Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, 10 show an interrelated set of aspirations to develop more sustainable metropoles worldwide. Besides the United Nations, other networks, such as ICLEI (http://www.iclei.org) and Green Capital networks (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/) stress the importance of developing sustainable, urban areas.
Urbanization has an increasing impact on the wellbeing of the populations of urbanizing areas through negative effects on environmental quality, climate change sensitivity, resource and food security and human health. Part of the solution for these issues can be offered by the natural parts of the urban environment, the urban green infrastructure. But due to the heavy competition with other interests, these parts of urban space are under heavy pressure. Nature -Based Solutions and Nature Inclusive design and planning, therefore, investigate and demonstrate the role of urban green infrastructure as an often cheap way to simultaneously contribute to the mitigation and solving of e.g. heat island effects, flooding risks and air quality problems while at the same time contributing to better-appreciated surroundings and thus improving health and well-being.
This Research Topic will specifically focus on nature-based and nature inclusive solutions for urban sustainability problems. It will contain a range of papers presenting recent tools and frameworks, which together present an overview of the state of the art. Papers can, for instance, provide knowledge on:
• The necessary theoretical and practical knowledge and tools to sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified urban ecosystems, with its elements, such as soil and water, plants and animal species. In this way, we want to gain an understanding of how Nature-Based Solutions work in practice
• Guidance and help in and on the decision-making process itself by offering frameworks, methods, and tools e.g. knowledge transfer, awareness-raising, and participative planning. The value of these types of instruments to empower urban communities to find sustainable solutions is increasingly acknowledged.
• Articles that analyze the effectiveness of solutions, governance, planning, design, geo-information, and big data aspects of present projects, methodologies, and case studies.
Overall, this Research Topic aims to present an overview of recent tools and frameworks aimed at helping developing cities and metropolitan areas that - in close relationship with the surrounding rural areas - strive to be liveable, healthy and climate adaptive and have circular economies and food security. The editors encourage submissions that explore these solutions and preferably include examples of the use and usability of the presented methods and instruments in urban areas.
This Research Topic was realized in conjunction with Rob Bugter, Wageningen Environmental Research, The Netherlands
Keywords: Metropolitan solutions, tools, Nature Based Solutions (NBS), urban, sustainability
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.