One of the main challenges in implementing (and financing) NBS is a bias toward existing and well-known solutions. The status quo is often supported by a bias in favour of well-understood solutions, patterns, routines as well as established interests. As NBS are not yet a standard solution, a certain direction needs to be mobilised in order to overcome this inertia and the bias in favour of familiar solutions. Such a motivation can be mobilized in various ways, for example, by providing an innovative solution that has visibility, by the involved actor’s strong belief in the innovative solution or by a legal requirement. Another way of incentivising relevant stakeholders to test and roll-out a non-standard solution can be achieved through financial incentives. Such a financial incentive can be offered to a municipality (or to the citizens) in a variety of forms and compensate the municipality for additional efforts and resources invested. There is also an issue of perceived higher initial investment costs for NBS. Sometimes the initial investment required for NBS versus a grey solution may indeed be higher. However, the initial investment costs will often be recovered over the lifetime of the project. To mitigate the burden of a higher initial investment certain financial structures for the financing of the project can be deployed. Such financial structures (longer loan tenor, extended grace period and other forms of concessional financing) will be covered and explained in the financing guide suggested under action “Prepare an NBS Funding Guide to assist cities in accessing funding for NBS projects”.
Financial incentives should be integrated at the EU, MS and sub-national authority level to support the uptake of innovative NBS and hybrid grey-green infrastructure. At the EU and MS level, in the Cohesion Policy post-2020, NBS should be promoted so as to ensure that the ESIF programmes contribute better to the transition towards liveable compact cities. As a part of this action a detailed set of recommendations is proposed to be elaborated and submitted, which could be useful to the European Parliament when considering the European Cohesion Policy post 2020 regulatory proposal already prepared by the Commission’s Services, as well as set of recommendations directed towards MS and cities regarding NBS mainstreaming in operational programmes and sustainable urban development strategies. It is proposed to communicate the results and recommendations of this action to all the European institutions (European Parliament, Council, EESC, CoR). Finally, it is recommended to participate/organise coordinated events for the dissemination of the results/proposals and the awareness raising amongst a wider group of stakeholders (e.g. metropolitan cities, cities networks, etc.).
The eligibility of NBS actions post-2020 could be ensured in the following ways:
- Introducing NBS and related actions to instruments and strategies for economic, social and territorial development funded by the ESIF, such as the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation, Sustainable Urban Development Strategies etc.
- Recommendations are proposed to be elaborated and submitted under this action that could be useful to the European Parliament when considering EC post-2020 regulatory proposal on Cohesion Policy. Recommendations will be aimed at the visibility of NBS in post-2020 Cohesion Policy.
- Recommendations are proposed to be elaborated and submitted that would be directed towards the member states and cities gave their role in designing sustainable urban development strategies.
- Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-Based Solutions Partnership full Draft Action Plan
- Draft Action 1: INCLUDING LAND TAKE IN IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES
- Draft Action 2: FINANCING MODELS FOR BROWNFIELD DEVELOPMENT
- Draft Action 3: IDENTIFYING AND MANAGING UNDER-USED LAND
- Draft Action 4: INDICATORS OF LAND TAKE
- Draft Action 5: PROMOTING FUA COOPERATION AS A TOOL TO MITIGATE URBAN SPRAWL
- Draft Action 6: BETTER REGULATION TO BOOST NBS AT EUROPEAN, NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
- Draft Action 7.1: PREPARE AN NBS FUNDING GUIDE TO ASSIST CITIES IN ACCESSING FUNDING FOR NBS PROJECTS
- Draft Action 8: AWARENESS RAISING IN THE AREAS OF NBS AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF LAND (URBAN SPRAWL)
- Draft Action 9: AGREEING ON COMMON TARGETS AND INDICATORS FOR NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS, URBAN GREEN STRUCTURE, BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN CITIES