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Johanna Alkan Olsson outdoors. Photo.

Johanna Alkan Olsson

Social environmental scientist

Johanna Alkan Olsson outdoors. Photo.

Advancing the implementation of nature-based solutions in cities: A review of frameworks


  • Björn Wickenberg
  • Kes Mccormick
  • Johanna Alkan Olsson

Summary, in English

Nature-based solutions (NBS) can help tackle climate change and advance urban sustainability by using nature to deliver social, ecological and economic benefits. However, their success largely depend on implementation for which several barriers exist. For NBS to be meaningful in terms of delivering positive impacts in cities, we need better understanding of how implementation is embedded in NBS frameworks. The aim of this paper is to i) understand how frameworks address implementation, and ii) extract and synthesize key elements and conditions required for enabling the implementation process. Taking a hermeneutic approach, the paper makes use of pre-understanding to interpret and analyse 'the whole' and 'the parts' of the implementation process and discuss how the discourse on NBS implementation could advance towards more operational understanding. This paper suggests that multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation of knowledge are important prerequisites for shared understanding of problems, developing actionable knowledge and adapting NBS to site-specific societal challenges. Advancing knowledge about the NBS implementation process is relevant for capacity building and governance of NBS at the local level and bridging policy areas, stakeholders and the knowledge needed to make NBS become relevant to broader society. However, more research is needed to i) move beyond conceptual propositions and towards operational understanding of NBS principles and ii) improve the understanding of how local collaboration and co-creation of knowledge can enhance capacity building and support implementation of NBS.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year







Environmental Science and Policy



Document type

Journal article review




  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Nature-based solutions
  • Implementation
  • Framework
  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge co-creation
  • Urban planning




  • Nature-based Solutions for Urban Challenges
  • Nature-based Urban Innovation
  • Implementation of Nature-based Solutions


  • ISSN: 1462-9011