Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management in the Peri-Urban


Case Studies

Spain: NBS for Barcelona Metropolitan Area


The Spanish case study is located in Barcelona Metropolitan Area, where the overlapping of blue and green infrastructure as an ecological skeleton is a current challenge for the configuration of its peripheral limits. It concerns Besòs River Park where the water was polluted from the industrial surroundings and NBS as an opportunity for its socio-ecological restoration. The study will apply the NATWIP assessment framework to analyse planning and governance processes and ecosystem services provided by current NBS and with a particular focus on cultural ecosystem services (landscape aesthetics and recreation).

Its final goal is to improve its environmental quality & water cycle management under Mediterranean climate conditions of scarcity and torrential storms, reducing flood risks and taking advantage of underused freshwater resources to promote innovation for urban resilience. Specifically, the aim of this case study will be to: i) identify the ecosystem services provided by the past NBS interventions (flood management, river restoration, biodiversity increase, recreational areas); ii) understand how the previous NBS experiences built capacity for present and future urban green/blue infrastructure interventions; iii) analyze how advancing on environmental quality becomes a key driver for promoting NBS river and sea connectivity, through technical innovation developments to move towards a more sustainable water management (rainwater harvesting, groundwater use and water quality improvement).

A view of the Besòs River in Barcelona Metropolitan Area



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