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RWTHx: Nature-based Urban Regeneration

How can we use nature to improve life in our cities? This course shares knowledge generated in urban Living Labs in Europe and China and will introduce you to co-designing, co-implementing and evaluating nature-based solutions for urban renewal with local communities. Learn how to set up your own nature-based regeneration strategy.

6 weeks
5–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Feb 21
Ends Dec 13

About this course

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Cities around the world are seeking new, greener ways to transform their former industrial districts. These urban regeneration areas suffer from social and economic inequalities, lack quality green spaces and are significantly more vulnerable to climate change effects and natural hazards. Nature-based solutions (NBS) can contribute to improving environmental quality, social life and local economies in urban areas.

This course will show you how co-creating NBS can create liveable and productive green urban environments for empowered local communities and boost entrepreneurial value chains.

You will learn the basics of NBS in urban regeneration and how to co-design them with diverse stakeholders. A set of specific NBS in the fields of circular economy, urban food production and climate change adaption will be presented in detail. You will learn about NBS benefits for environmental quality, human health and wellbeing, socio-cultural inclusiveness and local economy and labour market, and how to apply scientific methods for monitoring and assessing them. Business models for NBS implementation and management will help you to set up your own nature-based renewal projects.

The course draws on research results of EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Action proGIreg. Living Labs in three European cities are developing, testing and assessing innovative NBS and will transfer their knowledge to you. Contributions come from leading universities and research institutions, practitioners from municipalities, NGOs and industry in this field.

As a major outcome, the course will guide you in setting up a nature-based regeneration project adapted to your local context from co-design to NBS implementation and benefit assessment.

Join us as you start on your journey to inclusive urban regeneration by using nature for renewal.

Course created with support from

Politecnico Di TorinoCity of ZagrebNational Research Council of Italydie urbanistenEnvironment ParkEuropean Federation of Green RoofFondazione della Comunità di Mirafiori OnlusICLEIBarcelona Institute for Global HealthNingbo Bureau of National Resources and PlanningNingbo Forestry BureauOrtiAltiCity of DortmundStarlab Living ScienceFachhochschule SüdwestfalenCity of TurinUniversità degli Studi di Bari Aldo MoroUniversità degli Studi di TorinoZelene i Plave SesveteproGIregGoGreenRoutesRWTH Aachen University LandschaftsarchitekturUniversità di TorinoIS Global Barcelona Institute for Global HealthCohab InitiativeICLEI Local Governments for SustainabilityMaynooth University National University of Ireland Maynooth

At a glance

  • Institution: RWTHx
  • Subject: Environmental Studies
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    Basic understanding of scientific methods (graduate level)

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Management, Innovation, Research, Business Modeling, Urban Renewal, Scientific Methods, Labor Economics, Environmental Quality

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Defining the potential of nature-based solutions for urban regeneration
  • Leading co-creation processes for developing context-specific productive green infrastructure with citizens
  • Applying methods to monitor and assess NBS benefits
  • Identifying technical and non-techical barriers to NBS implementation and learning how to overcome them
  • Developing sustainable business models for nature-based solutions in urban regeneration
  • Building your own nature-based urban regeneration project

Week 1: The challenges of urban regeneration and the potential of NBS

The first module introduces you to the challenges of urban regeneration and the potential of NBS when transforming post-industrial cities, including the integration of NBS into wider regeneration approaches

Week 2: The City as a Living Lab for co-creating NBS

Module 2 introduces you to methods of context-specific analysis and locally adaptable trans-disciplinary innovation formats to engage local communities in developing liveable urban environments

Week 3: Productive solutions using nature for renewal

This module presents different types of productive nature-based solutions in detail incl. NBS such as urban agriculture, aquaponics and green roofs and walls and learn how to apply them

Week 4: NBS benefits and how to assess them

The fourth module introduces you to methods of monitoring and assessing a range of NBS benefits to society, economy and the environment

Week 5: Sustaining NBS: overcoming barriers, creating business models and Upscaling NBS

This module shows how to overcome barriers in NBS implementation and to create business models for productive green infrastructure to allow NBS upscaling to city level.

Week 6: Health and well-being impact of NBS

Module 6 shows in-depth how NBS impact urban health by using different assessment. Risk and modelling methods and approaches to strengthen human-nature relationships.

Learner testimonials

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"I decided to take the course during this time when many of us are telecommuting, and we managed to reconcile our professional and personal lives. The course is quite complete and very interesting. It takes some work and research, but it was the best course I’ve taken online so far!"

"It is a complete and good course and very interesting that is worth taking."

"I watched all videos. Very enlightening with many practical examples of NBS applications, well done!"

"Thank you very much. Super introduction to the issues. Clearly arranged. It will definitely spread further."

"I loved the course contents and wide approaches from ecological angles to social and business models, the applications in the real world: the examples provided were inspiring and clear. Additionally, the assignments made me think about the processes to make a NBS plan from design to sustainability. I can see the effort put in this course, congratulations!!"

"great course, thank you, it would be great to get involved in one of the NBS projects"

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