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Nature Smart Cities across the 2 Seas (Nature Smart Cities)


A clear knowledge gap exists for local authorities (LAs) that prevents them from deploying green infrastructure (GI) on a scale that enables urban landscapes to adapt to the future impacts of climate change and build more sustainable communities. Cities and towns are not investing in GI, and the valuation tools for justifying GI on economic, social, cultural and environmental grounds are simply not being used by LAs, who instead rely on EU and national subsidies or deliver GI projects on a ‘one off’ basis. The exceptions are capital/larger cities (populations > 550,000 approx.) that have access to more finance and resources than smaller urban areas. Valuation tools for GI are not being used and LAs lack the ability to properly account for the direct cash benefits of GI. LAs need to be enabled to overcome market barriers to using their own city-finance to fund GI climate investments and step away from subsidy dependence.

The objective of the project is to enable LAs in the 2 Seas to use their own ‘city’ finance to fund GI climate investment programmes, reducing and removing the reliance on subsidies to fund GI projects in cities and towns. It aims to mainstream a self-financing method for LAs to fund GI projects, by demonstrating that they can contribute a positive net gain to a LA’s bottom line. The project enables more investment for adaptation to climate change measures by showing how LAs can acquire direct and ‘cash’ benefits as a result of their GI climate investment, whilst also benefitting from indirect and non-cash benefits – the added value of GI (social, community, environmental).

The main output is a Business Model that enables LAs in the 2 Seas to understand how they can self-finance GI climate investments and reduce dependency on subsidies to build climate resilience in their towns and cities. 

Project information


Southend on Sea Borough Council, UK


Province of Antwerp, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Cambridge, UK

Lille, France

Kapelle, Netherlands

Streekvereniging Zuidrand, Belgium

The Hague, Netherlands

Ghent University, Belgium

Imperial College London, UK

University of Antwerp, Belgium

Source of funding

2 Seas

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jul 01 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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