Clara Pietrek just started her summer internship and will be doing research on Innovative Financing of Nature Based Solutions in cities. She introduces herself and the work she will be doing:
Originally from Germany, I moved to the Netherlands for my studies five years ago. I have an interdisciplinary background in the social sciences with a focus on international relations. However, following a masters degree in Conflict Resolution and Governance over the past year, I worked on a number of projects at the intersection of sustainability and urban development and got increasingly interested in this field. Fortunately, I got the opportunitye to learn more about it by joining Nature^Squared as an intern for the summer, where I work on a research project on innovative financing of nature-based solutions in urban settings. Through my interdisciplinary background I have developed a holistic way of approaching complex issues. In the research I am currently doing this proves useful, as many different aspects need to be taken into consideration when it comes to the implementation of nature-based solutions in cities.
Re-greening cities by implementing nature-based solutions in urban areas is an important step for climate adaptation and the development of sustainable, healthy, and inclusive environments. While the financing of nature-based solutions can pose a barrier to their implementation, innovative financing mechanisms and the collaboration of public and private investors can facilitate the development of such projects. Identifying existing case studies of urban nature-based solutions that are financed through innovative mechanisms and highlighting their financial structures is a useful mechanism to inspire governmental and private entities to reproduce these measures.
To explore case studies of nature-based solutions in cities I am, on the one hand, conducting in-depth desk research, gathering information on the implementation of nature-based solutions worldwide. On the other hand, and to go beyond accessible data, I am reaching out to experts in the field to speak about innovative financing structures of nature-based solutions in urban settings and to gather which inspiring examples stand out to them. Diving into the topic of re-greening cities I find incredibly inspiring. There is clearly a lot of potential for future developments. However many ideas yet need to be implemented. Many cities around the world are taking the lead and are working towards becoming more climate-resilient and green by developing innovative ways to implement nature-based solutions.