Nature Smart Cities: Innovative Financial Mechanisms To Support Local Authorities With Urban Greening

Around three quarters of Europeans live in cities. Many of these cities are dealing with the effects of climate change such as heat stress, air pollution and flooding. The high density of paved surfaces, roads and buildings further increase these effects.

Trees, rain-gardens, green roofs and walls, and other vegetation help to cool cities on hot summer days, capture heavy rainfall and improve air quality. Research shows that green infrastructure provides a range of other benefits such as increased biodiversity and improved human health. However, cities often find green infrastructure expensive or difficult to implement.

Nature Smart Cities, is an EU Interreg 2 Seas project which brings together 11 partners across the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and France, to develop a business model for smaller cities to enable more effective and more accurate appraisal of green infrastructure (GI) projects, particularly in comparison with more traditional, grey, approaches.

As an input to the Business Model, Z/Yen conducted a review of the various (innovative) financing options that Local Authorities could consider utilising in the future to fund their urban greening programmes. To date, Local Authorities have struggled to understand or make use of these innovative funding sources, but could unlocking them be the key to rolling out a programme of ambitious green infrastructure projects that helps the UK reach net zero by 2050.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

11:00 - 11:45


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  • Anna Oxenham
  • Simon Mills
    Simon Mills
    Z/Yen Group