Landscape Planning and Nature-based Solutions

Christian Albert, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Environmental Planning, Research Group PlanSmart,

Christine Fürst, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Dept. Sustainable Landscape Development,

Davide Geneletti, Planning for Ecosystem Services, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento,

Werner Rolf, Technical University of Munich, Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management,


Nature-based Solutions (NbS) harness natural processes to address societal challenges in sustainable ways. Implementing NbS arguably requires transdisciplinary landscape planning and design, but knowledge is limited of how this can be implemented.

The objective of this symposium is to explore innovative approaches to planning and implementing nature-based solutions. In particular, we are interested in contributions focusing on the provision of relevant information, on approaches for integrating various actors, on the design of the planning process, and on the impacts it has had in practice.


Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can be understood as actions which are inspired by, supported by, or copied from nature to address societal challenges in sustainable ways (cf. European Commission, 2015). By harnessing ecosystem processes, NbS not only alleviate challenges, but also induce several co-benefits to human well-being in terms of sustained and enhanced provision of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In addition, NbS are claimed to often be more cost-effective than technical alternatives.

A successful development and implementation of nature-based solutions arguably requires processes of transdisciplinary landscape planning and design, integrating information from various disciplines and involving diverse actors. However, little research so far has addressed the questions of how planning and design processes could be designed to best fulfil these requirements, and which impacts such processes yield in plan creation and actual implementation. Furthermore, little empirical data is available so far that underpins the claims of the multiple benefits of nature-based solutions in comparison with technical alternatives. Last but not least, the concept of nature-based solutions itself has rarely been scrutinized as to how it can be scientifically defined, which similarities and differences it has with regard to related concepts such as green infrastructure and ecosystem services, and which impacts its use has in participatory planning and design processes.

The objective of this symposium is to explore concepts, case studies, and outcomes of approaches to planning and implementing nature-based solutions. In particular, we are interested in empirical studies focusing on the provision of spatial information relevant for planning, on approaches for identifying and integrating relevant actors in the planning process, on the creation, assessment and valuation of nature-based and technical solution options, and on the impacts the planning processes have had in practice.

What can participants expect to learn?

Participants can expect to gain an up-to-date and interdisciplinary overview of the state of the art approaches to assessing, planning and implementing nature-based solutions in Europe and beyond.  More specifically, participants will share experiences concerning concepts, methods, tools, and outcomes of planning procedures for nature-based solutions. The insights gained will provide participants with an enhanced understanding of possible approaches for planning nature-based solutions, and assist them in deciding if they want to apply the concept themselves and if so, how this could be done.


The outcomes of the symposium will be disseminated in the form of an edited special issue in a leading journal and/or in a joint paper, depending on the interests of participants. To enhance the immediate impact of the symposium outcomes, key insights from the presentations and discussions will be tweeted during the symposium itself.

The symposium is organized as a joint knowledge exchange and networking activity of the IALE Working Group ‘Landscape Planning’ as well as the Ecosystem Services Partnership Working Group ‘Application of Ecosystem Services in Planning and Management’


Oral presentations
An impact assessment framework to support the planning and implementation of nature-based solutions projects
Christopher M. Raymond1, Pam Berry2, Margaretha...
A collaborative adaptive spatial planning framework under a landscape ecology perspective: toward a pattern:process:design paradigm.
Javier BABí ALMENAR (1), Benedetto RUGANI (1),...
Spanning the knowledge-action gap to advance transdisciplinary understanding about changing landscapes and new natures in postindustrial cities and metropolitan regions of the United States
Laura R. Musacchio, Department of Landscape...
Nature-based Solutions in River Landscapes: Exploring the Roles of Landscape Planning and Governance
Christian Albert Leibniz Universität Hannover,...
Green and blue infrastructure planning in cities - A reflective and evidence-based contribution to a topical debate framed by the introduction of nature-based solutions in urban landscapes
Dagmar Haase (HU Berlin, UFZ Leipzig, Germany,...
Nature-based solutions in designing sustainable urban development strategies – how to generate appropriate information?
Christine Fürst, Janis Arnold; MLU Halle...
Creation of high diversity biotope based urban green solutions in Malmö
Ann-Mari Fransson, Landscape architecture,...
Butterflies and bumblebees in green structures in Malmö – An evaluation of new established green roofs, green walls, courtyards and park plantings within the BiodiverCity project
Christine Haaland & Ann-Mari Fransson Swedish...
Nature-based solutions for enhancing urban regulating services
Davide Geneletti, Chiara Cortinovis, Linda Zardo...
Poster presentations
“Nature-based Solutions for River Landscapes: categories, spatial characteristics, and effects on ecosystem services”
Paulina Guerrero- Leibniz Universität Hannover...
Land cover change impacts on ecosystem services and ecological infrastructure of the Southern Cape Catchments, South Africa.
Z. Jonas. South African National Biodiversity...