The NbS Hub Family is Growing!

Forest in Autumn
28 June 2023

Nature-based Solutions Hubs that launched as part of the UrbanByNature Programme and the NetworkNature project are joining forces to grow a network of hubs. What is a network of hubs? A network of networks oriented to support NbS implementation and work across policy scales. By nature, hubs are flexible and respond to local contexts and needs. They help create a nuanced understanding of NbS by looking into local specificities of NbS both in terms of the context (i.e. political, socio-economic, climatic) and finding ways to better address local challenges.

Supporting local partners, the UrbanByNature programme (affiliated with CLEVER Cities) established 9 Hubs (2 within the EU and 7 global) and NetworkNature launched 6 European hubs (one regional and five on the member state level). Representatives have met in Brussels twice, most recently in June 2023 as part of the NetworkNature Annual Event in order to strategise for the future and build new relationships and partnerships. Workshop discussions included sharing updates and exchanging on challenges and best practices, how to connect to other hubs working on topics such as circular economy, climate change, and the just transition, and strategically looking to the future to reach new stakeholders.  As part of the NetworkNature event, project coordinators announced an ambition to support the growth of the hub network into all European Member states.

Where are these existing 15 NbS hubs?

  • Flanders Hub coordinated by the City of Genk, Belgium
  • Scottish Hub coordinated from Glasgow, Scotland
  • Caucasus Hub coordinated from Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Spanish Hub coordinated from A Coruna, Spain
  • Brasil Hub
  • Korea Hub
  • China Hub
  • Latin America Hub
  • Nordic Hub coordinated by the Nordic Council of Ministers
  • TeAM Hub Hungary coordinated by BURST – Bright Urban Solutions Team
  • Portugal Hub coordinated by GUDA and a member of the UrbiNat Project
  • Ukraine Hub coordinated by WWF Ukraine
  • Polish Hub in Wroclaw coordinated by the City of Wroclaw
  • Italy Hub coordinated by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystem
  • South Eastern Europe 

This growing network of NbS Hubs are supported by the UrbanByNature Programme and NetworkNature project in order to:

  • Create long-lasting structures for NbS uptake and mainstreaming, as well as policy implementation;
  • Foster capacity building and knowledge exchange, based on specific opportunities and challenges in hub regions
  • Build relationships between national/regional/local partners; and new partnerships for action
  • Create nuanced understanding of benefits and risks of NbS across climatic, geographic, ecological, political and economic contexts.

Hubs can be physical or virtual spaces where people come together to share and exchange information and ideas. A hub is where ‘action on the ground’ and across scales (local, regional, national, EU, global) takes place. Hub members, or even a hub itself, may be members of other regions, networks, and communities where they make commitments to related  priorities and goals and exchange with other signatories/members of the sponsoring organisations.

A hub might start from a national or regional support structure, a city initiative or an activity that crosses countries borders (multi-country or continental scale). The existing NbS hubs make up a diverse landscape of hubs with entry points into the landscape from many different starting points. Cities, research organisations, private businesses, policy makers and anyone interested in implementing more nature-based solutions are welcome to contact your closest hub coordinator. 

Learn more about NbS Hubs by visiting: UrbanByNature and NetworkNature

Anna Bruen, ICLEI Europe