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Designing resilient cities: Innovative co-production and impact assessment approaches for evidence-based and inclusive nature-based solutions.

6 speakers

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Cities all over the world are confronted with intertwined environmental, social and economic challenges, while also being at the forefront of global responses to combat climate change (Dumitru et al., 2020). Nature-based solutions (NBS) have been proposed as effective ways to address these challenges. NBS are also innovation sites for co-production and co-creation, impact assessment, and breaking governance silos (Mahmoud & Morello, 2021). The European Handbook on the Evaluation of Impact of NBS highlights that NBS are a core element of the European Green Deal and recent major European policy initiatives, such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change. NBS also contribute to objectives established as part of international agreements, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (Dumitru & Wendling, 2021) and the Paris Agreement. In the Edmonton conference, we proposed ways to advance the knowledge agenda for NBS by looking at gaps in knowledge co-production and impact assessment (Frantzeskaki et al., 2019). Three years and a pandemic later, we build on the experiences of large scale European projects involving 21 cities in Europe, and selected cities in other world regions, to showcase innovations in NBS implementation for climate change. We focus on co-production, co-creation, and governance as well as on the co-design of integrated impact assessment frameworks, selection of robust indicators, and integrating diverse sources of data to support evidence-based policy design. By using examples of cities like A Coruña, Poznan, Madrid, Dublin, Milan or Melbourne, we showcase best-case examples of co-producing a theory of change through innovative arts-based citizen engagement processes, and reflecting with communities of interest on local needs and expected outcomes. The aim is to address the challenges of obtaining and integrating relevant data; and using conclusions about impacts to design cost-effective, contextually adapted NBS that build climate and social resilience, while improving health, quality of life and social justice simultaneously. The session will demonstrate how innovative co-production and impact assessment approaches can be integrated to support cities in engaging citizens, while also building the evidence base to advance climate mitigation & adaptation, urban regeneration and social health and justice policy agendas and objectives, building vibrant cities and communities.