In the framework of the G20 under the Italian presidency, on April 16, 2021, Italy and UNEP organized a virtual event on Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in cities, with the aim of exploring how to increase its implementation’s pace and scale . The national coordinator of CityAdapt – Mexico participated in the session, called “Resilient, Smart and Sustainable Cities: The Power of Nature-Based Solutions.”

Facing the climate crisis, cities must be at the forefront of the identification and understanding of the challenges they face and the solutions they can implement to adapt. Resilient cities allow the development of economies of scale, provide services to a greater number of people, strengthen economic growth and generate innovations to face environmental challenges and reduce the factors that can limit their climate ambition.

In this sense, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) harness the power of nature for sustainable development and contributes to resilience, favoring safe and sustainable urban development. Business opportunities are generated in parallel, such as the creation of green jobs and the conservation of biodiversity, among others.

From this perspective, during the session, CityAdapt presented some of the NBS that it is implementing in the city of Xalapa, with a focus on the importance of having a vulnerability to climate change assessment to use these results as a demonstration of the power of NbS in water resource management. The selected NbS integrate green infrastructure such as infiltrating gardens, the construction of wetlands for water treatment and the installation of rainwater harvesting systems in schools, public buildings and at the domestic level. This process has resulted in the participation from local government, civil society organizations and citizens to achieve changes in public policy and in promoting business opportunities for private initiative.

The panel included representation from cities in China, South Africa, and Mexico, as well as leading architects and academics who shared their experience and knowledge about the power of NBS in cities. The article referring to the session is available on the G20 website at this link.