7th July, 16:30 - 18:30 BST - Oxford Martin School Lecture Theatre
University of Durham & Naturvation

9B. Mainstreaming NbS for urban sustainability and climate change action

In this session we will introduce the role of urban NbS and give an overview of the latest global evidence of the potential of urban nature to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, while reversing biodiversity loss. We will provide example cases of how cities are working with NbS to address climate change on the ground and will discuss the importance of community engagement, finance and governance arrangements for successful implementation. Moreover, we will reflect on the challenges of mainstreaming NbS into urban development and identify priorities for research and practice.


  • Harriet Bulkeley's photo

    Harriet Bulkeley

    Professor of Geography, University of Durham and Coordinator at NATURVATION

    Harriet Bulkeley is a British geographer and academic. She is Professor of Geography at Durham University and her work is concerned with the politics and governance of environmental issues, particularly focusing on urban sustainability. Harriet has focused on questions of energy, smart grids, infrastructure, housing, mobility, waste and most recently nature and biodiversity. She is currently Project Co-ordinator for the H2020 Smart Cities and Communities programme NATURVATION project. Involving a team of 80 researchers from 14 institutions in six European countries, the project seeks to understand the role that nature-based solutions can play in responding to urban sustainability challenges.

  • Elana Badar's photo

    Elana Badar

    Delivering NbS for a resilient urban Scotland

    Elana joined NatureScot in 2017, where she supports the successful delivery of the £15 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Green Infrastructure Fund, which harnesses blue-green infrastructure in Nature-based Solutions projects in Scotland’s most deprived urban areas. She plays a key role in advancing the mainstreaming of NbS, contributing to inter-disciplinary reports and manuals on GI and NbS, and building collaboration. An Ecological Economist, Elana previously worked in the private and third sectors (including RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust), where she led and was part of a variety of infrastructure, education, community engagement, and conservation projects in the UK and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

  • Linjun Xie's photo

    Linjun Xie

    Assistant Professor in Sustainable Urbanism, University of Nottingham Ningbo China
    Nature-based solutions in urban China: practices, challenges and opportunities

    Dr. Linjun Xie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. She has a background in urban planning and her interdisciplinary research focuses on urban sustainability transitions and environmental governance. Her work has examined various sustainability innovations including low-carbon eco-city, smart-city, and nature-based solutions in promoting urban transformation and in addressing climate and biodiversity challenges.

  • Robert Carr's photo

    Robert Carr

    Environmental Manager, Partnerships and Funding, UK Environment Agency
    The Strength of Partnership in delivering NbS

    Rob is a Strategic Partnership Specialist for the Environment Agency helping to identify Nature Based Solution across the North East of England. Growing up in an urban area, and having always been interested in improving one’s connection with nature, Rob followed his passion for the environment and has worked for the Environment Agency for nearly 20 years, covering water and waste regulations, pollution incident response, river catchment planning and environmental funding which all rely on strong partnerships to help deliver NbS to make our great communities even better.

  • Jessica Kavonic's photo

    Jessica Kavonic

    Head of Implementation (Africa), C40 Cities, (South Africa)
    Let us tell stories: African cities leading NbS mainstreaming for resilience and sustained action

    Jess holds a MSc in Climate change and sustainable development from the University of Cape Town and has more than 10 years’ experience with specialized knowledge of climate change and its relationship with a sustainable approach to development. Jess has extensive experience working with and for local governments, working to improve urban human well-being, build climate resilience, strengthen local sustainability and protect the urban natural asset base in cities through influencing development policies and planning systems.

  • Harriet Fink's photo

    Harriet Fink

    Director of Curiovan: Explorium of Natural Wonderment
    Urban Nature and the Natural History Museum

    Harriet Fink is Learning and Volunteering Programme Manager for the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Project and co-founder of Curiovan: Explorium of Natural Wonderment. With a background in environmental education and play and producing immersive performances for children she has a strong interest in creative and inclusive ways to engage people with nature in cities.