Connecting Nature - developing nature-based solutions

Glasgow City Council and greenspace scotland  are partners in the international Connecting Nature project, which is implemented and funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Through Connecting Nature, 10 European cities will invest in large scale implementation of nature-based solutions, measure the impact and share their experience on a global scale.

What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based solutions are the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling societies challenges such as climate change, water security, food security, human health, and disaster risk management. In urban areas, appropriately designed greenspace can provide multifunctional benefits. Nature-based solutions are considered to have the potential to solve urban problems effectively, simultaneously providing environmental, social and economic benefits in the locality that they are implemented.

What does an urban nature-based solution look like?

Street trees, parks and urban green areas are good examples - they provide a range of natural benefits absorbing toxins and noise, sheltering and cooling people and property, sinking carbon and buffering flooding. They also provide spaces for recreation, well-being, and provide enterprise opportunities. Nature-based solutions can also include green roofs and walls, active travel routes, community growing, renewable energy production and sustainable urban drainage.

What is the Connecting Nature project?

Connecting Nature is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union. It is a five-year project ending in May 2022. With 31 project partners from industry, local authorities, local communities, NGO’s and research in 16 countries the aim by project end is to position Europe as a global leader in the innovation and implementation of nature-based solutions.

To achieve this the cities should invest in large scale implementation of nature-based solutions, researchers from 8 institutions will measure the impact of this approach and share their experiences. Glasgow is a Front-Runner City along with the cities of Genk and Poznan, meaning that they have a responsibility to share their expertise with the other cities in the consortium. One of the outputs from the project will be to develop a nature-based solution exemplar for Glasgow. The focus in Glasgow is the development and delivery of their Open Space Strategy.

Connecting Nature also aims to engage widely with citizens and stakeholders in the co-creation, co-production and co-management of large-scale nature-based solutions.

Connecting Nature Innovation Summit - 23-25 March 2021 

Over three days in March the Innovation Summit brought together an international audience to explore how we shift to sustainable, greener cities that deliver for their citizens using nature-based solutions. It shared the learning from the community of cities involved in Connecting Nature and introduce the innovative tools and methods being developed through the project.

If you missed the Summit hosted by greenspace scotland and Glasgow City council or just want to watch again then films of the sessions, the presentations and a Summit review are all available on the Connecting Nature website.

Read the review

Connecting Nature is co-ordinated by Trinity College Dublin. You can read more and follow developments on the Connecting Nature website and follow @ConnectingNBS on twitter. For more information contact Emma Halliday email

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