Valuing the Invaluable(?)
A Framework to Facilitate Stakeholder Engagement in the Planning of Nature-Based Solutions
Nature-based solutions (NBS) have emerged as an important concept to build climate resilience in cities whilst providing a wide range of ecological, economic, and social co-benefits. With the ambition of increasing NBS uptake, diverse actors have been developing means to demonstrate and prove these benefits. However, the multifunctionality, the different types of benefits provided, and the context-specificity make it difficult to capture and communicate their overall value. In this paper, a value-based framework is presented that allows for structured navigation through these issues with the goal of identifying key values and engaging beneficiaries from the public, private, and civil society sector in the development of NBS. Applied methods such as focus groups, interviews, and surveys were used to assess different framework components and their interlinkages, as well as to test its applicability in urban planning. Results suggest that more specialized ""hard facts"" might be needed to actually attract larger investments of specific actors. However, the softer and more holistic approach could inspire and support the forming of alliances amongst a wider range of urban stakeholders and the prioritization of specific benefits for further assessment. Consequently, it is argued that both hard and soft approaches to nature valuation will be necessary to further promote and drive the uptake of NBS in cities.