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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Early online date6 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology


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