Enabling Green and Blue Infrastructure Potential in Complex Social-Ecological Regions: A System Approach for Assessing Local Solutions

12-2016 to 12-2019

Total Grant

€ 2,540,309

More information

Prof. Erik Andersson

Partners of the project

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm, SWEDEN (Coordinator)

International Union for Conservation of Nature, Brussels, BELGIUM

Humboldt University, Berlin, GERMANY

Ecologic Institute, Berlin, GERMANY

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Freiburg, GERMANY

University of Lodz, Lodz, POLAND

European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology, Lodz, POLAND

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Oslo, NORWAY

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, SPAIN

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, THE NETHERLANDS

The New School, New York, USA


Green and blue infrastructure (GBI) has the potential to tackle numerous environmental and social challenges. However, the successful design and implementation of GBI requires careful consideration of a number of critical enabling factors beyond the biophysical infrastructure itself (e.g. user rights, accessibility, and ecological linkages). What exactly these factors are, how they interact with one another and when/how they influence the performance of a green or blue ‘solution’ are questions that require thorough investigation, in particular in complex socio- ecological systems such as cities.

Main objectives

ENABLE aims to advance knowledge of how to design and implement GBI in a way that maximises its potential to deliver numerous social and environmental benefits, such as social inclusion, health and human wellbeing, stormwater retention and habitat functions. This ambition will be pursued by developing and testing multi-method assessment frameworks, analytical tools and approaches for evaluating GBI performance.

Main activities

ENABLE will, together with local actors in five case study sites (Stockholm, Halle, Oslo, Barcelona and Lodz), use a systems perspective to examine three key is- sues related to GBI solutions:
1. How and under what conditions are the benefits provided by GBI most appre- ciated by people?
2.How are GBI benefits distributed among urban residents, and how accessible are they?
3.How can the continuation of GBI benefit-flows be secured in the long-term?
The project will use a multi-method approach to probe different takes on the three questions and use the five case studies for both comparison and contrast. Each case will be explored and described with the help of a wide range of information including census data and surveys as well as modelling and participatory research.
The project will ensure continuous interaction between the research team and the local stakeholders (policy makers, local business, civil society initiatives and citizens) in the case study cities to promote shared learning and benefit from local knowledge and different perspectives. Multi-stakeholder meetings, factsheets, webinars, social media and a conference will provide opportunities for interactive dialogue and learning throughout the project and will facilitate the uptake of scientific findings in policy and practice for mainstreaming across Europe.