Stakeholders’ perceptions of appropriate nature-based solutions in the urban context

Ferreira, V., Barreira, A. P., Loures, L., Antunes, D., Panagopoulos, T. (2021)


The concept of nature-based solutions (NBSs) has become increasingly popular among urban policymakers and planners to help them tackle the urban challenges arising from urban expansion and climate change. Stakeholders’ involvement is a fundamental step, and stakeholders’ perceptions and preferences can affect the development of NBS projects. This study aims to identify stakeholders’ perceptions of the most critical urban challenges, the priority interventions, the preferred NBSs and the benefits of the NBSs, and to identify the determinants of these perceptions. A survey was administered to assess stakeholders’ perceptions and views on implementing NBSs in two Portuguese cities with distinct urban, geographical, and socio-economic contexts. A binary logistic regression model was used to understand the determinants of the likelihood of the stakeholders’ answers. According to the stakeholders, climate change is one of the main concerns in the urban context. It is usually associated with the incidence of heatwaves and water scarcity. Additionally, stakeholders are concerned about the low quantity and poor management of green spaces (GSs). They believe that it will be necessary to increase the GS, to recover some degraded areas, and to increase mobility. The preferred NBSs were planting more urban trees, making green shaded areas, and rehabilitating riverbanks. The main expected benefits were benefits for leisure and relaxation, reductions in air temperature, purer air, and improvements in public health. The results showed mostly coherent connections between the main concerns/priorities of the stakeholders and the perceived NBS benefits; however, some stakeholders did not present coherent connections, indicating low awareness of the current policy for implementing NBSs to overcome existing and future urban challenges.

Keywords: Nature-based solutions; Stakeholders’ perceptions; Stakeholders’ preferences; Sustainable city

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