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Presentació de tesi Doctoral: The impacts of urban nature-based solutions: An integrated spatial vulnerability perspective

26 June 2024

És un gran plaer convidar-vos a la presentació de Tesi Doctoral d’en David Alejandro Camacho el proper 28 de Juny a les 11:00 a l’ICTA-UAB sala Z/022- Z/023. També és possible connectar-se online seguint aquest enllaç.


Títol de la tesi: The impacts of urban nature-based solutions: An integrated spatial vulnerability perspective

Supervisors: Dr. Gara Villalba (UAB), Dr. Johannes Langemeyer (UAB), Dr. David N. Barton (NINA-Oslo)



Urban and peri-urban Natural-based solutions (NBS) have been promoted as a core instrument for addressing societal challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, food security and social development. Such inherent qualities promise great potential when pursuing urban transformations that contribute to planetary well-being.

Nonetheless, NBS exhibit a context-sensitive and site-specific character. This, coupled with the complexity of urban environments, results in the generation of synergies or tradeoffs among various NBS impacts. For instance, urban agriculture offers a means to enhance food security during crises by reducing the dependence on global food sources, fostering resilient cities. Nevertheless, its potential drawbacks, such as inefficiencies in material and labor resource utilization, raise sustainability concerns.

In this regard, there is still a need to further understand the extent of urban NBS impacts and their possible synergies and tradeoffs when trying to address urban and planetary challenges. Existing evaluation tools fail to provide an integrated view of the possible outcomes of NBS since these are often focused on the assessment of net overall impacts without anticipating the desired and undesired effects arising from urban NBS.

For tackling this, employing a vulnerability-focused approach can provide a way to further expand the evaluation of NBS. Vulnerabilities, understood as susceptibility to harm of both social and ecological systems, can be exacerbated or mitigated by NBS impacts, depending on the location and design of the NBS. Consequently, vulnerability assessments offer useful common ground for interpreting NBS impacts.

This thesis seeks to examine how various impacts linked to the implementation of NBS in urban environments can be calculated and integrated by employing a vulnerability assessment approach. The novelty of this research lies in bridging existing gaps between NBS assessment methods, such as the Ecosystem Service and Urban Metabolism approaches, through the incorporation of a vulnerability perspective. Additionally, in the simultaneous evaluation of NBS impacts on vulnerabilities at different spatial scales (i.e., vulnerabilities within and beyond urban limits). Finally, this thesis develops a stepwise, multi-criteria, and integrated assessment framework that allows the comprehensive assessment of urban NBS impacts across different spatial scales, tested in two different case studies: (peri)urban agriculture in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and green roofs in the municipality of Oslo.

The structure of this thesis is designed to achieve the outlined research objectives presented in the following diagram: