Urban Forestry as a Nature-based solution for Urban ecosystem rehabilitation (UrbForNaBs)

Call Reference: 
Short description of project idea : 
The project will focus on urban forestry as a cost-effective nature-based solution (NBS) for rehabilitating urban ecosystems and (re)connecting them with the peri-urban and rural surroundings. Based on a participatory review of academic literature, existing experiences and practices in Europe and China; the project will develop tools, decision support systems, guidelines and strategies for planning, designing, deploying, managing and monitoring urban trees and (peri-)urban woodlands and forests. The aim of the tools, decision support systems, strategies and guidlies is to support the adaptive capacity, both of the urban ecosystem, as of the society. This way, the capacity to deliver ecosystem services by urban tree-based ecosystems will increase. The project will operate within a social-ecological resilience framework and will built on about 10 case studies in Europe and China.
Main areas of expertise: 
Forestry, bio-economy, resilience, wood, biomass, governance Science-policy-practice interface Interdisciplinarity Policy-support & evidence-based decision-making
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Objective 1. To review - in a participatory and transdisciplinary way - existing knowledge from academia, decision-makers, planners and practitioners on restoring, (re)connecting and rehabilitating tree-based ecosystems in the urban-rural interface. Particular focus will be on peer-based learning between the different case studies and between Europe and China. Objective 2. To develop - in a transdisciplinary way - tools, decision support systems, strategies and guidelines for cost-effectively reconnecting, restoring and rehabilitating tree-based urban ecosystems. These tools focus on planning, designing, deploying, monitoring and managing urban green spaces and urban trees for urban resilience. This includes maximising the combined impacts of the ecosystem services provided by the reconnected, restored and rehabilitated urban ecosystems. Objective 3. To develop indicators and scenarios/schemes for assessing the cost-effectiveness of restoration, rehabilitation and (re)connecting tree-based ecosystems in the urban-rural interface. This cost-effectiveness includes economic (monetary) and social costs and benefits (including reducing socio-environmental inequalities), as well as economic and social disbenefits (including gentrification). Objective 4. To increase awareness on the benefits of tree-based ecosystems as nature-based solutions for urban resilience against biodiversity loss, climate change, and decrease in urban liveability (including negative impacts of urbanisation on health and well-being). Target groups are decision-makers, urban planners, civil society, authorities (including signatories to the Convenant of Mayors), private sector, business, investors, etc. Objective 5. To disseminate the results to the scientific community
Challenges that may determine the impact of the project: 
Challenge 1. Finding good case studies
Interesting case studies and knowledgable partners are crucial for the success of the project.
Challenge 2. Chino-European cooperation
The call requires the participation of at least 3 Chinese partners. Findin these, and cooperating with them can be an issue.
Partners that have already expressed interest in the project and expected role: 
European Forest Institute (EFI)
EFI will be the project coordinator
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
Partners: local authorities/city governments
This project is not a pilot or demonstration project, but will nevertheless be built on existing practices and running greening efforts in case study cities. We are interested in cities, urban regions and towns with an interest in the topic and who are willing to share their experiences with scientists and fellow local authorities in an open minded setting. Local authorities will also be invited to test the tools to be developed. We prefer that the case study cities are signatories to the Convenant of Mayors.
Partners: universities, research centres, SMEs
We suggest that each case study is elaborated by a research partner and the local authority or managing agency of the urban ecosystems. Therefore, we are looking for research institutes, universities, consultancies, or SMEs to work in tandem with the local authorities within the case studies.
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
Project Experience EFI
EFI has been running tens of European projects within Horizon2020 and it precessors
Specific countries/regions/cities you are keen to collaborate with: 
all European and Chinese regions and cities are welcome to join the project
First Name: 
Last Name: 
De Vreese
Name of the organisation: 
European Forest Instititute
Short description of organisation: 
The European Forest Institiute (EFI) is an international research and science-policy interfacing organisation, established by 28 European States and counting ca. 115 Associate and Affiliate Member organisations in 37 countries in Europe, China, Canada, and the US. The EFI Strategy is based around three interconnected and interdisciplinary themes: Bioeconomy, Resilience and Governance, and three strategic goals: • An ambitious European forest research and innovation area • Science-informed policies to address societal challenges and opportunities • Awareness in society of the importance of forests EFI conducts research and provides policy support on forest-related issues, focussing on the role of forests in the bio-economy, forests for resilient societes and forest governance. We facilitate and stimulate networking and promote the dissemination of unbiased and policy-relevant knowledge and information on forests and forestry. We advocate for forest research and for the use of scientifically sound information as a basis for forest policies. EFI builds capacity among scientists, policy makers and practitioners to enable them to tackle future societal, scientific and communication needs. Furtermore, EFI supports European countries’ efforts for strategic, science-based cooperation with neighbouring regions and key countries in other continents. Our work in the field of policy support includes enhanced support for decision takers and policy makers. website: www.efi.int

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