With the process comes the progress: A systematic review to support governance assessment of urban nature-based solutions

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


The last decade has seen a profound increase in the development of assessment frameworks for ecosystem services, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions (NBS). This has improved understanding of NBS impact assessment, including processual aspects related to participatory planning and governance. We argue that, although representing a move in the right direction, NBS assessment frameworks would benefit from a broader framing of governance, including the role of government-led laws, policies and regulations along with community-led and collaborative multi-stakeholder initiatives. The consideration of marginalised communities and environmental justice should also be strengthened. To ensure a feasible and comprehensive approach to NBS governance assessment, we carried out a systematic literature review on the topic of urban NBS governance. Using thematic analysis, we developed a framework of five themes encompassing nine governance dimensions, of which some are further broken down into sub-dimensions. To assess the different NBS governance dimensions, we developed a tool in the format of a survey for urban decision-makers and other stakeholders, encompassing nine urban NBS governance indicators corresponding with the identified dimensions. Further to complementing NBS governance assessment approaches in important ways, we were able to highlight knowledge gaps around integrating features of the planning process and community-based or traditional knowledge. Our tool for monitoring urban NBS governance is simple to use and provides cities with a low-cost and comprehensive approach for monitoring and evaluating their readiness for mainstreaming NBS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128067
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Early online date23 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Community-based knowledge
  • Environmental assessment
  • Environmental governance
  • Environmental justice
  • Governance indicators
  • Participatory monitoring
  • Urban nature-based solutions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'With the process comes the progress: A systematic review to support governance assessment of urban nature-based solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this