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According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), for the first time in history, more than 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas with a forecasted increase up to 68–84% in Europe—by 2050. Urbanisation and increasing urban population lead to several environmental, social and economic challenges, which might negatively impact the well-being of citizens and the environment as a whole.

Among current and future challenges faced by cities, climate change-related ones play a major role. These include flood hazards, the urban heat island (UHI) effect, which – as consequence – leads to increased energy consumption. Therefore, adequate planning and management measures, effective in the short and long term, are needed for climate change adaptation and mitigation of the associated risks.

Against this background, Nature-based Solutions (NBSs) can provide an extremely effective tool. Inspired by nature itself, NBSs are increasingly recognized as possible solutions to mitigate climate change-related risks due to their potential to provide multiple ecosystem services and promote more resilient, liveable, and sustainable cities. However, while there is a growing body of literature about NBSs, their implementation on the ground still faces many technical and financial barriers.

This paper aims to test the potential of selected NBS in mitigating the effects related to climate change risks, i.e., the UHI effect and urban floods, in the Turin urban area (north-western Italy). Four different intervention NBS-based scenarios are developed. The supply of ecosystem services by NBS in each scenario is assessed using InVEST models and the effectiveness of NBS investments is analysed by calculating and comparing the associated costs and benefits. Different results in terms of effectiveness and economic viability are observed for each scenario and each NBS. According to the results, flood risk mitigation using NBS seem to have the most impact, in particular forested green areas and retention ponds. The results are relevant to suggest policy mix strategies to embed NBS in city planning.


Nature-Based Solutions Modeling and Cost-Benefit Analysis to Face Climate Change Risks in an Urban Area: The Case of Turin (Italy)

Anna Biasin (University of Padova, Etifor), Mauro Masiero (University of Padova, Etifor), Giulia Amato (Etifor), Davide Pettenella (University of Padova)


Land 202312(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020280