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Integrating People and Policy

This focal area covers four main areas: equity, social context, risk perception and systems-scale adoption

This research examines how benefits and risks of natural infrastructure are not equally distributed between social groups (via racial and wealth inequality), and aims to create a set of guidelines for incorporating equity into the decision making process during natural infrastructure development. 

Social context

The success or failure of nature-based solutions (NBS) is often critically intertwined with the social context of a given project, elements of law and policy, and the attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of both designers and users. This focal area provides insight into social needs and challenges, to promote successful adoption of NI innovations that meet the pressing needs of communities.

Risk Perception

This research will investigate how risk perception, tolerance, and acceptance permeate every aspect of planning, designing, and operating nature-based solutions (NBS). What does society expect from public infrastructure? Will designers adopt unfamiliar techniques? Who bears the liability of novel methods? 

Systems scale adoption

This research delves into why some projects thrive at the systems-level, while others fail. It considers how communities can execute collective action to incorporate NI, and the enabling and restraining conditions that make collaboration easier or harder at the systems-scale.