Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Implementation model

Citizen Initiative Greening Canals

A short description of the NBS project

Greening Canals is a citizen initiative aimed at greening the canals and their river banks in Utrecht (the Netherlands) to improve the ecological quality and the attractiveness of the river banks for local residents. Part of the project are floating islands of plants and nature friendly river banks. Greening the river banks contributes to climate adaptation, making the urban area more resilient to the effects of climate change (drought, flooding, and heat waves). Besides that, the greening is also beneficial to the health and well-being of local residents. It furthermore increases urban 1. The citizens have organized themselves as the Citizen Initiative Greening Canals. They receive (financial) support from the municipality and the local water authority. The initiative carries the responsibility for the implementation of the project and the maintenance of the area, including the vegetation. The project promotes the wishes of residents – recreational opportunities, sustainable water management, clean water and aims to take into account the interests and needs of nature. The citizen initiative was allowed to operate autonomously to a certain extent. The only requirement was that they had to take into account existing regulations from the municipality and the water authority.

NBS Implementation context
Location Netherlands, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
Status Project delivered (2013-2016)
Description of the NBS
NBS Scale object (building, etc.)
NBS Impacts scale • Object (canal and river banks) • Neighbourhood • City
Urban density/ Soil consumption High (dense city center)
Combined with other(s) environmental friendly solution(s)?
if other
NBS Typology
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NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
Stakeholder and Governance
Who Started this initiative? Community • Citizens
Contracting Authority
Project manager (leader and main partners): entities names, and know-how involved
Who (else) was involved in the project ? (Inhabitants, local association, etc.)
More detail on the process and the role of the different stakeholders (How did it happen?)
OPTIONAL Considering the actual impacts, who are the primary beneficiaries of the project.
Cluster Governance Model Description
cluster4_societal_resilienceComanagementThe project is financed by the municipality, the local water authority and by citizens.
Global Estimated cost of the project -
Cluster CLUSTER 1: Public financing CLUSTER 3: Citizen inclusion
FM • Volunteering
Description of the financing mechanism The project is financed by the municipality, the local water authority and by citizens.
Business Model
Class Type Description
Temporal Factor
Expected time for the NBS to be fully effective after its implementation
Expected life time of the intervention
Already feedbacks on the project? In case, the project has already been adapted to new requisites, please explain the modifications brought
Success and limiting factors
Process Enablers
Class Subclass Type Description
Knowledge_driversAwareness • Climate Change -
Governance_driversProcess efficiencies Self- governance Co-creation and participation • Collaboration; • Grassroots innovations and transition initiatives; • Involvement of urban government
Process Inhibitors
Class Subclass Type Description
Governance_drivers Institutional barriers • Lack of flexibility of decision making structures
What makes this project a pioneer?
Brief description of the innovativeness
Has the project received a prize, an award?
Has the project received a media coverage? (in reviews, in press, etc.)
IM Keywords