TEEB stands for Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) and is an international study, initiated by the United Nations, of the economic meaning of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In response to this study, follow-up studies have been conducted in approximately 22 countries. In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has conducted six different TEEB studies, namely: Nature and Health, TEEB physical, Dutch supply chains, the Dutch private sector, TEEB Bonaire and TEEB for cities.
TEEB for cities started in 2011 as a joint initiative of the national government and 11 municipalities. A methodology has been developed to reason, calculate and capture the benefits of green (nature) and blue (open water). Based on this methodology, societal cost-benefit analyses have been made for a variety of projects of the municipalities involved. These analyses informed us that there are considerable positive societal effects to be expected when focusing on green and blue in the city: the profits would be 1,5 to 2 times higher than the construction would cost.
However, it was difficult for the participating municipalities to independently work with the methodology. Both the calculation of the benefits as well as the use of the results in urban processes proved to be challenging. Therefore, the Ministry of Economic Affairs asked Platform31 in 2013 to start a follow-up project. One of the goals was to transform the approach of the project-specific societal cost-benefit analysis into a freely accessible online tool, enabling the user to work with it independently and to see and understand what happens when there is more or less green and blue in the city.
Nature^Squared has provided specific support on the content of the tool. In addition, we have organized several workshops for students and employees of Dutch municipalities.