Nature-based solutions (NbS) hold great promise as techniques for addressing multiple crises related to aging infrastructure, biodiversity decline, and climate adaptation. Generally speaking, these solutions use natural processes to provide infrastructure outcomes while also including environmental and social co-benefits. The Fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme adopted a multilaterally agreed upon definition as (UNEP 2022): “actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic, and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits”. The term NbS is evolving and is often used as an umbrella term for natural infrastructure (NI) or green infrastructure, ecosystem-based adaptation, and ‘Natural and Nature Based Features’. Civil engineering has a rich history of nature-based project examples that predate the use of modern terminology. This webinar will review the historical context for natural infrastructure, familiarize participants with terminology and motivations, and demonstrate the utility of NbS through case studies.
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