Knowledge update: More research exists on urban solutions than on forest NbS

There is more research on nature-based solutions and green infrastructure than other ecosystem types. Photo by Anastasiya Dalenka on Unsplash.

New research on nature-based solutions by S-itutation partners in Sweden gives us useful insights in the existing knowledge on NbS.

In January, the report Nature-based solutions – what is the new concept about? was published.

The aim of the report was to inform policy and decision makers about what the nature-based solution (NBS) concept is, how it is used and interpreted in science and practice, as well as its relation to other ecosystem-based green concepts.

The report was commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Trade and Industry and is written by researchers who are part of the S-ITUATION project group Helena Hanson, Lisa Lorentzi Wall, and Johanna Alkan Olsson at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, Lund University.

Majority of publications on urban solutions

The results show that scientific publications on NBS have increased a lot in recent years, with a main uptake among researchers focusing on the European context. Among the Nordic countries, most NBS research covers the Swedish context, followed by Denmark and Norway.

A majority of the included publications focus on the urban land use context, with less focus on the arable and forestry contexts. The NBS concept links to several different research areas, ecosystems and solutions.

The studied solutions vary from large-scale ecosystem related approaches (e.g., re-foresting riparian areas for disaster risk reduction) to small-scale NBS (e.g., biological infiltration beds for runoff water purification).

The land-use context covered by the
publications analysed in the report. Source: Hanson et al. 2022.

Getting more knowledge on implementation

Another part of the report was a stakeholder analysis of Swedish actors at a national, regional, and local scale working with NBS.

The result clearly shows that there is an ongoing uptake and implementation of the concept in Sweden, with a focus on the urban land-use context. This kind of stakeholder analysis will now be performed for the other Nordic countries, to give an idea of how the NBS concept is used and implemented on different levels in the Nordic countries.

The report provides a valuable basis for our further work on gathering and analysing knowledge about Nature-based Solutions in the Nordic countries.

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