Guidelines for Citizen Engagement and the Co-Creation of Nature-Based Solutions: Living Knowledge in the URBiNAT Project

Nunes, N., et al. | Sustainability | 2021 | Peer Reviewed | Original research |


Participation and citizen engagement are fundamental elements in urban regeneration and in the deployment of nature-based solutions (NBS) to advance sustainable urban development. Various limitations inherent to participatory processes concerning NBS for inclusive urban regeneration have been addressed, and lessons have been learnt. This paper investigates participation and urban regeneration and focuses on the development of guidelines for citizen engagement and the co-creation of NBS in the H2020 URBiNAT project. The methodology first involves the collection of scientific and practical input on citizen engagement from a variety of stakeholders, such as researchers and practitioners, to constitute a corpus of qualitative data. This input is then systematized into guideline categories and serves as the basis for a deeper analysis with researchers, experts, and practitioners, both inside and outside URBiNAT, and in dialogue with other cases of participatory NBS implementation. The results highlight an ‘ecology of knowledges’ based on a ‘living’ framework, which aims to address the specific needs of various segments of citizens and to match citizen engagement to the participatory cultures of cities. Implications and further research are also discussed, with a special focus on the implementation of NBS. The conclusions broaden the research context to include the refinement of the NBS approach, with participation being seen as both a means and an end.