Nature-Based Solutions for Cities

Edited by Timon McPhearson, Nadja Kabisch and Niki Frantzeskaki  | 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted to address climate change, health, and urban sustainability, yet ensuring they are effective and inclusive remains challenging. Addressing these challenges through chapters by leading experts in both the global south and north contexts, this book advances the science of NBS in cities. It discusses the frontiers for next-generation urban NBS.

NBS are fundamentally inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that require systems thinking and multilevel governance. With a focus on the multiple challenges that cities face, from heat and air pollution to stormwater and threats to human health, this book puts forward diverse ideas for embracing complexity in mainstreaming NBS and inspiring new approaches to create the ecological urban futures we need.

Speaking to the need for cities around the world to employ ecological, nature-based design, this book will be essential reading for early career professionals, practitioners, scholars, and students across multiple disciplines engaging with nature-based solutions, including urban ecology, design, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, urban planning, policy, and management.

This open-access title is available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

From Chapter 1. Nature-based solutions for sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities by the editing authors, a quote:

“We are living in the urban century, one where urbanization is driving multiple global environmental changes that in turn place stress and cause major disturbances to urban life and ecosystems. Cities across the world can be vastly different, but they also have in common the concentration of people, infrastructure, and economies that create and amplify risks from climate change, pandemics, and economic crises.

The dominant mode of urban development paves over urban nature, traps heat, increases risk from flooding, and displaces human and ecological communities all while also creating efficiencies and opportunities to support the still expanding global population. Urban growth is expected to be the major source of population growth throughout the middle and end of the twenty-first century. Soberingly, the amount of urban growth needed to support future urban populations may exceed all previous urban development of the last centuries.”


McPhearson, T., Kabisch, N. and Frantzeskaki, N. (2023) Nature-Based Solutions for Cities. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.