Nature Smart Cities across the 2 Seas | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Nature Smart Cities across the 2 Seas

Priority Axis

Adaptation to Climate Change

Specific objective

Adaptation to Climate Change

Lead partner

Southend on Sea Borough Council


Date de début


Date de fin


Project budget

6 380 472

ERDF amount

3 828 283

ERDF rate


    À propos

    Common challenge

    A clear knowledge gap exists for local authorities (LAs) that prevents them from deploying green infrastructure (GI) on a scale that enables urban landscapes to adapt to the future impacts of climate change and build more sustainable communities. Cities and towns are not investing in GI and the valuation tools for justifying GI on economic, social, cultural and environmental grounds are simply not being used by LAs, who instead rely on EU and national subsidies or deliver GI projects on a ‘one off’ basis. The exceptions are capital/larger cities (populations > 550,000 approx.) that have access to more finance and resources than smaller urban areas. Urban areas < 550,000 people are not investing in GI. Valuation tools for GI are simply not being used and LAs lack the ability to properly account for the direct cash benefits of GI. LAs need to be enabled to overcome market barriers to using their own city-finance to fund GI climate investments and step away from subsidy dependence.

    Main Achievements

    The project has made good progress during 2020 & is on course to complete all project Outputs by the new project end date of August 2022.
    The main focus of the project is the Development of a Business Model (BM) that local authorities (LAs) can use to justify the use of green infrastructure solutions, over more traditional, grey approaches.

    To ensure the BM is grounded in the needs of LAs, 53 semi-structured interviews were completed in 2020 with 15 LAs from the 2 Seas region. The results of these interviews have been published in a report & further summarised in a complimentary brochure (available from the NSCiti2S website).

    Significant progress has been made in testing the BM in the Municipality of Kapelle & the City of Bruges. The latter, supporting the decision making for a high profile ‘quick win investment’ which will act as the catalyst for a bigger 10-12m Euro project to open up the Kerkebeek Stream.

    A concept note detailing how the BM will work has been developed & approved by Partners. The finalisation of this note brought together the experience to date in testing the BM with investment pilots, the results of a GI Valuation Tool review & the semi-structured interviews. This note is has been a crucial step in reaching consensus amongst Partners on the development of a BM that meets the needs of LAs with populations <550,000. The project is on course to produce the first draft of the BM by June 2021.

    Good progress has been made for a number of the pilots. The realisation of the iconic & innovative Urban Waterbuffer in the Cromvliet Park has been completed in The Hague ensuring the neighbourhood is more resilient to flooding, heat & drought in the future. In the Province of Antwerp, 5 of the 7 ‘sub’ pilots have been completed (many implementing more GI than originally foreseen) to improve connectivity of these areas for local residents whilst building climate resilience. However, Covid 19 has had an impact on the pilot delivery & progress has been delayed in the Kapelle, Southend-on-Sea & Lille. Careful management will ensure these pilots are delivered in time to ensure adequate testing of the BM.

    The project has been involved in a number of external events to publicise the project, communicate work on the BM & build cross-border collaboration. In November, an Annual Exchange Event organised with the Cool Towns project was attended by 200 attendees from the 2 Seas region, Germany, Italy, the United States, Thailand & South Africa.



    City of Bruges

    Municipality Kapelle

    Imperial College London

    Provincie Antwerpen

    Den Haag

    Cambridge City Council

    Universiteit Gent

    Universiteit Antwerpen


    De Zuidrand Streekvereniging


    Output name
    URL / Download


    Thème: Climate changeInnovation in cities
    Type: Infrastructure/building
    Target: Citizens