ReNature Training Course

Nature-based Solutions in Urban Planning
5 February 2020
6 February 2020
7 February 2020
5-7 February 2020

Venue: Palazzo di Sociologia, via Verdi 26 (Trento)

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are actions inspired and supported by nature that have the potential to build resilience in cities, while also providing multiple co-benefits to urban communities and individuals. Examples include urban green and blue space, green roofs and walls, rain gardens, community gardens, sustainable urban drainage systems. The research into NbS is progressing rapidly, and there is a need to mainstream results into urban planning. This training course is aimed at PhD students, post-doc and research fellows, practitioners, and public officers interested in planning and designing NbS to address urban challenges.


The course, organized by the ReNature project, will upskill participants in: understanding the ecological foundations of NbS, assessing their impacts on ecosystem services and their socio-economic implications, identifying planning barriers and opportunities, applying key principles for NbS design.

The following topics will be covered: 

  • Current thinking and experiences in European cities
  • Urban ecosystems, their biodiversity and functions
  • Mapping and assessing urban ecosystem services
  • Analyzing demand for NbS and potential beneficiaries
  • NbS design to target specific urban needs and challenges
  • Windows of opportunities and constraints to mainstream NbS in urban plans. 

The teaching approach is based on input lectures, discussion and case study work, conducted in groups. Participants will be taken to a field visit in an urban area, and then assigned case studies for analysis and design of NbS, incorporating some of the lessons learned during the course. The results will be presented and discussed with experts from the private, public and policy sectors. 


  • Mario Balzan, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology 
  • Marcus Collier, Trinity College Dublin
  • Chiara Cortinovis, Lund University
  • Lynn Dicks, Cambridge University 
  • Enzo Falco, University of Trento
  • Davide Geneletti, University of Trento


Wednesday 5 February, 2020

15.30 - 17.30 Executive board meeting of the ReNature project ReNature EB members
18.00 - 19.00 Icebreaker reception                                               

 Thursday 6 February, 2020

8.30 - 9.00  Welcome and registration   
9.00 - 10.00

Nature-based solutions in urban planning

  • Presentation of the course
  • Concepts and definitions
  • Opportunities for mainstreaming
  • Presentation of case study and group work (+participants’ introduction)
  • Davide Geneletti, University of Trento
  • Marcus Collier, Trinity College Dublin
10.00 - 10.30 Coffee break   
10.30 - 12.00  The ecological foundations: biodiversity, urban ecosystems and their functions
  • Lynn Dicks, Cambridge University
  • Mario Balzan, MCAST
12.00 - 15.00  Lunch + field visit  
15.00 - 16.30 

Urban ecosystem services

  • Mapping and assessing ecosystem service supply and demand
  • Applications
  • Chiara Cortinovis, Lund University
16.30 - 17.30 Group work with working coffee break  
19.00 Networking dinner  

Friday 7 February, 2020

9.00 - 9.50

Designing NbS in cities: What do planners need to know? 

  • Davide Geneletti, University of Trento
9.50 - 10.30

Lightning talks:

  • Green roofs and the cumulative effects of NbS
  • Community gardens as NbS
  • Gray to green transitions for water regulation
  • NbS and environmental justice
  • Lorenzo Giovannini, Susana Orta Ortiz, Blal Adem Esmail, Jarumi Kato Huerta, University of Trento
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break   
11.00 - 12.30  Group work   
12.30 - 13.30  Lunch   
13.30 - 14.30 

Windows of opportunity for NbS in urban planning:

  • Transfer of development rights
  • Examples and case studies
  • ​Insights from international initiatives
  • Enzo Falco, University of Trento
  • Marcus Collier, Trinity College Dublin
14.30 - 15.30 Group work with coffee break  
15.30 - 17.00 Group presentations, feedback, discussion with guests and closing  

Registration and fees

The registration is closed because the course is full (maximum: 35 registrations).  
Payment notice (with all instructions) will be sent starting January 7, 2020.
Course fees: 120 € (free of “VAT tax” as per art. 10 DPR 633/72).
Fees cover lunches, coffee breaks, welcome reception and social dinner.
  • Deadline for registration: January 24, 2020 (11.50 am)
  • Deadline for payment: January 31, 2020


Course coordinator

  • davide.geneletti [at] (Davide Geneletti), Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento

edited by Communication and Events Office  - polo di Collina

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