Sustainability assessment of urban infrastructures

Adam Barker, Efren Felliu, Gemma Garcia-Blanco, Kornelia Kwiacinska, Blanca Pedrola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The “renaturing” of cities through an increased emphasis on the use of nature-based solutions (NBS) potentially offers urban areas the opportunity to deliver multiple environmental and socioeconomic benefits. In particular, approaches linked to NBS can limit the degree of climate exposure and vulnerability impacting upon urban infrastructures. The success of NBS in addressing climate change pressures will require an improved understanding of the characteristics of environmental risk and the ability to evaluate alternate adaptive pathways. In response, this chapter explores those com- ponents which are central to effective urban infrastructure assessment and considers how they may assist in the formulation of infrastructure strategies.
We stress the need for an approach which is both scenario-focused and fully integrated within existing spatial planning frameworks. Here, we draw specific attention to the utility of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in both embedding environmental evaluation within mainstream spatial planning and providing the basis for the comparative evaluation of alter- natives. We also argue for an approach which recognizes areas of complementary interaction between “gray infrastructure” (whether existing or proposed) and approaches linked to NBS. In order to highlight examples of potential development responses, we draw on best-practice case study examples from the European Union (EU)–funded GROWGREEN project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNature Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities
Subtitle of host publicationA Framework Approach for Planning and Evaluation
EditorsEdoardo Crocci, Benedetta Lucchitta
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80043-636-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-80043-637-4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021


  • Nature Based Solutions
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Assessment


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