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Nature-Based Solutions and Their Applications on a Residential Scale

The term Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) has been around for a couple of decades. It was introduced by the World Bank (MacKinnon et al. 2008) and The International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN (2009). NBS highlights the importance of biodiversity conservation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Due to the vast development of social, economic, and environmental factors, NBS plays a more crucial role now than ever.

Nature-Based Solutions are the actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems, benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being. They are underpinned by benefits that flow from healthy ecosystems, targeting major challenges like climate change, disaster risk reduction, food and water security, biodiversity loss, and human health. Nature-Based Solutions are critical to sustainable economic development.

Nature-Based Solutions focus on several topics, such as:

  • Agriculture and Soil Biodiversity

  • Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Ecosystem Restoration

  • Nature-Based Solutions for Climate

  • Nature-Based Solutions for Cities

In this article, we will delve deeper into the last topic: Nature-Based Solutions for Cities, especially how this system works on a residential scale. With the rapid growth of the population, cities are home to most of humanity. According to World Bank calculations, approximately fifty-six percent of the global population was living in urban areas. This brings more challenges to urbanization, such as the demand for housing, viable infrastructure, transportation systems, and public spaces.

There are various ways to integrate NBS into the design process, starting with implementation at the residential scale. This approach can promote sustainability and the integration of natural elements into everyday living.

Implementation of native plants in Lines on Castle Creek

Here are some ways to integrate NBS at a residential scale:

  • Rainwater Harvesting: Collect rainwater for irrigation, reducing treated water consumption.

  • Native Landscaping: Use native plants in landscaping to reduce water consumption, promote biodiversity, and support local ecosystems.

  • Green Roofs and Walls: Incorporate green roofs or walls with vegetation to improve insulation, reduce energy consumption, and enhance biodiversity in urban areas.

  • Composting: Set up a composting system to recycle domestic organic waste, which can later be used to enrich the soil in the garden.

  • Energy-Efficient Technologies: Install outdoor energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and renewable energy systems such as solar panels or small wind turbines to reduce energy consumption.

  • Permeable Pavements: Choose and apply permeable materials for driveways, pathways, and patios to allow rainwater to infiltrate the ground.

  • Wildlife Habitats: Create habitats for wildlife, such as birdhouses, pollinator gardens, or bat boxes, to support local biodiversity and ecosystem health.

  • Sustainable Materials: Use sustainable materials for construction, such as recycled or reclaimed materials and low VOC (volatile organic compound) products.

  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: Practice the principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling to minimize waste and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

Implementation of NBS in one of our projects: double bar x3

By incorporating these Nature-Based Solutions into our residential living, individuals can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle while promoting biodiversity and reducing their ecological footprint.


Here are some links if you want to know more about NBS:

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