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Monitoring and Evaluating NBS Implementation in Urban Areas by Means of Earth Observation

Climate change influences the vulnerability of urban populations worldwide. To improve their adaptive capacity, the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) in urban areas has been identified as an appropriate action, giving urban planning and development an important role towards climate change adaptation/mitigation and risk management and resilience. However, the importance of extensively applying NBS is still underestimated, especially regarding its potential to induce significantly positive environmental and socioeconomic impacts across cities. Concerning environmental impacts, monitoring and evaluation is an important step of NBS management, where earth observation (EO) can contribute. EO is known for providing valuable disaggregated data to assess the modifications caused by NBS implementation in terms of land cover, whereas the potential of EO to uncover the role of NBS in urban metabolism modifications (e.g., energy, water, and carbon fluxes and balances) still remains underexplored.

This study reviews the EO potential in the monitoring and evaluation of NBS implementation in cities, indicating that satellite observations combined with data from complementary sources may provide an evidence-based approach in terms of NBS adaptive management. EO-based tools can be applied to assess NBS’ impacts on urban energy, water, and carbon balances, further improving our understanding of urban systems dynamics and supporting sustainable urbanization.

The full paper is accessible online at

Source: Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas