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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

An action framework for the participatory assessment of nature-based solutions in cities

van der Jagt, Alexander P. N.; Buijs, Arjen; Dobbs, Cynnamon; van Lierop, Martina; Pauleit, Stephan; Randrup, Thomas B.; Wild, Tom


Impact assessment is a key step in mainstreaming urban nature-based solutions (NBS). Yet, it remains unclear if and how assessment frameworks influence urban planning, design and management. We contend that the potential of current NBS assessment frameworks is not fully exploited due to: (1) limited contextualisation of monitoring and assessment to place-specific contexts and (2) the depoliticisation of co-production. To address this, we present a practical five-step action framework to guide inclusive participation across different stages of monitoring and assessment of urban NBS, including indicator selection. Unlike previous approaches, applying selection criteria at the level of individual indicators, we also use criteria at the aggregate level of the indicator set. We conclude that participatory assessment contributes to mainstreaming urban NBS for sustainable and just cities, provided data is contextualised to local decision-making contexts and the process is designed to amplify marginalised voices.


Co-production; Ecosystem services; Environmental justice; Nature-based thinking; Participatory monitoring; Urban nature-based solutions

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2023, volume: 5, number: 2, pages: 54-67
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

van der Jagt, Alexander P. N.
Wageningen University and Research
Buijs, Arjen
Wageningen University and Research
Dobbs, Cynnamon
Universidad Mayor
van Lierop, Martina
Technical University of Munich
Pauleit, Stephan
Technical University of Munich
Wild, Tom
University of Sheffield

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


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