The Nature-Based Infrastructure Global Resource Centre defines or uses the term nature-based infrastructure (NBI) to describe areas or systems that harness nature to provide infrastructure services for people, the economy, and the environment.
- Naturally occurring ecosystems, such as forests, mangroves, wetlands, and grasslands.
- Hybrid infrastructure combining engineered or “grey” structures with nature-based solutions, such as rain gardens, green roofs, sustainable urban drainage systems, and porous pavements.
Examples of Nature-Based Infrastructure
Dale Hodges Park in the City of Calgary
Above: What was once an abandoned gravel pit is now a verdant site with a nautilus pond and stormwater wetlands designed to treat runoff from a large catchment area before the water returns to the Bow River. Completed in 2019, this new space is in its entirety a work of art, a treatment facility and a park with multi-use trails, offering educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities to citizens in addition to the enhanced habitat for wildlife and biodiversity on the site. Doty-view-1-1024x683.jpg (1024×683) (placerlandtrust.org)
Depoldering Noordwaard in the Netherlands
Above: One of the largest projects in the Netherlands aiming to create more room for the river. Noordwaard - ipv Delft creative engineers
Sanya in China' s Hainan Island
Above: As an action of mitigating urban flood risk caused by climate change, the restoration of mangrove along the waterways and coastlines are critical for the tropical city Sanya in China' s Hainan Island. One of the key challenges is to find an efficient and inexpensive method to restore the mangrove habitat that has been destroyed in the past decades due to rapid urban development. An area of lifeless landfill in the middle of the city within a concrete floodwall has been successfully restored into a lush mangrove park, where nature and people harmoniously share the meeting of ocean tides and freshwater. The project demonstrates the success of the design strategy based on the ecological processes of wind and water, which produces a designed ecotone made of interlocked fingers to speed up the natural process of mangrove rehabilitation. Such a mangrove rehabilitation method can be implemented at a large scale efficiently.