Unveiling the Power of Nature-based Solutions for Equitable, Green, and Healthy European Cities

18. October 14:15 - 15:45

This session focuses on advancing the role of NbS as a transformative approach for urban resilience. Participants will engage in robust and interactive discussions on how to develop focused NbS focused pathways, by integrating spatial assessment and decision-making tools into planning processes. Examples and methodologies for a holistic valuation of NbS will be presented, fostering holistic urban planning. The session also emphasizes community needs alignment through stakeholder engagement, co-creation, and educational efforts. Breakout groups will explore NBS tools and technologies in depth, fostering expertise in ecosystem restoration, urban planning, and integration. Concluding with policy recommendations and collaborative action plans, the session empowers stakeholders to implement NbS effectively for a resilient urban future.

This session is part of the Mainstreaming solutions for a just transformative pathway: an integrated approach to resilience stream.



Efrén Feliu

Climate Change Adaptation Manager, TECNALIA Research and Innovation

Efrén Feliu, Climate Change Adaptation Manager, TECNALIA Research and Innovation

Holds a Building Engineering Degree as well as different postgraduates including spatial planning and territorial development. Has a relevant professional background in consultancy and capacity building for public administrations and utilities. He is currently Climate Change Manager at the City Territory and Environment Area of Tecnalia, coordinating applied research projects for the development of Decision Support Systems in the fields of sustainable spatial development, nature-based solutions, regional-urban resilience and sectoral climate change adaptation. Worked in Central America for over 4 years and is involved in international and European initiatives for more than 20 years, including several Horizon Europe projects, ESPON and Copernicus contracts, as well as standardisation activities at ISO and CEN, or the Spanish Mirror Group for the EU Mission Adaptation to Climate Change.

Bianca Lüders

City of Hamburg

Bianca Lüders, City of Hamburg

Bianca Lüders holds a Master in Industrial Engineering and Management with a focus on systems engineering, data science and machine learning. After working in academia and different business intelligence departments, she joined the Urban Data Hub of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg as a research associate. Currently, being a part of the team for Urban Data Analytics, she is involved in the conceptualization, development and evaluation of natural language processing systems to support digital citizen participation. In CLEVER Cities, she connected nature-based solutions to open urban data to enhance and enrich every phase, from planning and co-creation supported by digital participation systems to co-implementation, co-monitoring and co-evaluation.

Maria Loroño

BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change

Maria Loroño, BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change
Marianne Zandersen

Senior researcher, Aarhus University

Marianne Zandersen,Senior researcher, Aarhus University

Marianne is an environmental economist and senior researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark, focusing on environmental and behavioral economics in the fields of urban and peri-urban systems, nature-based solutions, climate change and ecosystem management. She is currently the coordinator of the H2020 project ‘REGREEN’ (2019-2024) on fostering nature-based solutions for equitable, green and healthy urban transitions in Europe and China and a Work Package lead on the HEU project ‘Invest4Nature’ (2022-2026). She is also part of the European Topic Center on Climate Change Adaptation and LULUCF, having contributed to two EEA reports of interest for climate resilience: ‘Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe’ and ‘Nature-based solutions in Europe: Policy, knowledge and practice for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction’ A chapter on nature-based solutions for strengthening urban resilience has been recently published in the book ‘Die Resiliente Stadt’ (Springer).

Ellen Banzhaf

Helmholtz-Zentrum Für Umweltforschung - UFZ

Ellen Banzhaf, Helmholtz-Zentrum Für Umweltforschung - UFZ
Marc Barra

Institut Paris Region

Marc Barra, Institut Paris Region


Marc Barra, from the Agency for Biodiversity in Paris Region, is an urban ecologist specializing in nature-based solutions. He leads research and applied projects in relation with urban planning and architecture. He is currently involved in H2020 project REGREEN on urban nature-based solutions and in the French Capital of Biodiversity award.

Lene Vinther Larsen

Aarhus Kommune

Lene Vinther Larsen, Aarhus Kommune

Lene Vinther Larsen, (Female), MSc, Biology, in the Technical and Environmental Department of the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark. She is an expert in nature management, planning and legislation and has 23 years of working experience: 5 years as leader of management systems of quality, environment, work environment and energy, and more than 18 years as civil servant in public administration. She is a specialist in working with nature and ecosystem management, planning, habitat restoration, biodiversity, and climate adaptation. Lene is head of the Nature, Streams and Marine sections, Department of Water and Nature, Municipality of Aarhus and before then head of Urban Planning. She is also cooperative manager of the involvement of the Green Council (associations and organizations) that advise the City Council on use and protection of nature and marine environments in aspects of sustaining ecosystems and adding recreative values that benefit health and wellbeing in AK.

Åsa Ode Sang

Professor of Urban Vegetation Design, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Åsa Ode Sang, Professor of Urban Vegetation Design, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Professor of Urban Vegetation Design at the Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, SLU and leader of the subject group in Urban Vegetation. Åsas research focuses on perception, use and values of urban vegetation. She is currently involved in the two EU-funded NBS projects namely REGREEN and CONEXUS where she is working in close collaboration with cities in Europe and Latin America.

Laurence Jones

Group Leader, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)

Laurence Jones, Group Leader, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)

Professor Laurence Jones works at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and studies the interactions between people and the environment. His research focuses on better ways to estimate the benefits that nature provides to people, particularly taking into account the complexities that come with spatial context and how we can represent that in models. He is particularly interested in urban and peri-urban settings where probably most people have their day-to-day interactions with nature. To solve these challenges he collaborates widely with natural and social scientists, economists and policy makers (https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurence-jones-11749648/).

Sally Anderson

Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Sally Anderson, Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Sally Anderson is an American anthropologist, trained in the US and Denmark, who has been working in the field of educational anthropology in Denmark for the last 30 years. Her research focuses on worldmaking -  the worlds adults make for children and what children make of these worlds. She has carried out research in Scandinavia on public and private schooling, and on children's engagement with relligion, sports, civil society, nature, animals and landscapes.


Elena Petsani

Officer, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience, ICLEI Europe

Elena Petsani, Officer, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience, ICLEI Europe

Elena Petsani is an Urban Resilience & Sustainability Planner (MSc & MEng.). She has professional background with over five years of experience in inclusive and climate-resilient urban development, sustainability strategies, policy-making, and academic research at the national and local government level. She has supported strategic urban planning and territorial development, climate adaptation policies, and spatial tools for multi-stakeholder engagement in the decision-making process. Elena is involved in EU funded projects focused on adaptation to climate change and Nature Based Solutions such as REGREEN, proGIreg, REGILIENCE, and MULTISOURCE.