Kiran  Apsunde

Kiran Apsunde

Ph.D. Student

Design implications of Nature-based Solutions NBS) systems on Urban Environmental Quality

Keywords: pollution, air, noise, urban heat island, climate change, nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, urban green spaces, GoGreen Routes, EU, Horizon 2020, ecosystem services, environment, quality.

Urbanisation coupled with changing lifestyle has rendered human life in cities with chronic stress, inadequate physical activity, and enhanced exposure to anthropogenic environmental hazards. Urban green spaces have been observed to promote mental and physical health while attenuating rates of morbidity and mortality in urban residents through psychological relaxation, stress reduction, social cohesion, enhanced physical activity, etc.

Our experience of the built environment is significantly influenced by outdoor environmental quality, and thus in optimally deriving health benefits from nature, the corresponding state of the environment is key. Emerging concepts of urban greenery such as green infrastructure and nature-based solutions (NBS) have been observed to play a significant role in altering environmental quality and exposure to air pollutants, noise, and excessive heat.

The EU Horizon 2020 GoGreen Routes Project (GGR) focuses on the design, implementation and assessment of NBS which offer the co-benefits of environmental quality and multidimensional health (termed 360-Health). Under the ambit of GGR, this research aims at understanding the implications of NBS system design on urban environmental quality. The research entails developing novel EQ indicators and establishing a baseline for six “Cultivating Cities” across the EU (Burgas, Lahti, Limerick, Tallinn, Umea & Versailles). Through a detailed assessment of the NBS systems, either implement or envisaged in the cultivating cities, the design approach will be investigated with regards to an array of socio-environmental and physical design factors. The varying influence of different design factor on Environmental Quality will then be explored by undertaking pre and post implementation assessments for identified sites.

Under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, GoGreen Routes is funded by Horizon 2020, a financial instrument under the Europe 2020 flagship aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Project Supervisor(s): Asst Prof. John Gallagher & Prof Brian Broderick