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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Moving beyond the nature-based solutions discourse: introducing nature-based thinking

Randrup, Thomas B.; Buijs, Arjen; Konijnendijk, Cecil C.; Wild, Tom


Suites of concepts and approaches have been launched during recent years to promote urban nature and greener cities. However, it is doubtable whether tinkering within the current economic and political system can provide adequate solutions. Nature-based Solutions can be seen as a new conceptual approach to the human-ecological connection, and as an outcome of an evolutionary development of socio-ecological concepts. In this Communication, we argue for drawing up inspiration by nature as an outset for the development of more sustainable and inclusive cities, balancing anthropocentric and ecocentric values and acknowledging the importance of the social and governance dimensions in a more balanced socio-ecological perspective. We call this approach Nature-based Thinking.


Nature-based solutions; Nature-based thinking; Governance; Management; urban open spaces

Published in

Urban Ecosystems
2020, volume: 23, number: 4, pages: 919-926
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Buijs, Arjen
Wageningen Univ and Res
Konijnendijk, Cecil C.
Univ British Columbia
Wild, Tom
Univ Sheffield

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Human Geography

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)