Nature Based Solutions are Cost Effective

G20 finance ministers have recognized nature based solutions are the most cost-effective investment to protect and repair the planet. Mitigating climate change through grey infrastructure costs over $300 billion a year while nature based solutions pose a cheaper, more effective, and sustainable option. Despite the advantages of natural solutions, they receive only 2.5% of public climate mitigation funding. The G20 advisory board has proposals to encourage governments to create sustainable green infrastructure instead of creating grey infrastructure sustainably.

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Circular Designing is the Future of Sustainability

To create a sustainable and regenerative planet, waste must not only be managed and recycled, but cut out in the product design phase. Circular products are built from renewable resources and recycled materials. Circular design is the process of rethinking a product for easier recycling, more reusability, and less environmental impact. Many circularly designed items find inspiration from nature to solve sustainability issues. Another solution to the current linear design process is creating products to either be compostable or used infinitely.

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The World Bank Reports Nature Based Solutions as Cost-Effective

Shifting from engineered infrastructures made from steel and concrete to nature based solutions is more cost-effective and sustainable. Water based natural disasters have significant negative effects on the world population. To mitigate these issues, the World Bank has implemented over 100 projects using nature based solutions, helping countries around the globe.

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Amsterdam´s Delta Programme

The Delta Progamme has identified goals and strategies to address flooding and fresh-water shortage problems. The Netherlands government will then make decisions based on this report.  Amsterdam is a growing city situated between river deltas and various wet-land ecosystems and is susceptible to many water-related hazards. In developing these risk-management plans, the Delta Programme suggests ‘building with nature’ to spatially adapt the areas where water discharge levels must be modified.  These Delta Decisions are the main documents and data informing government officials before voting.

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EU Policy Agenda for Research on Nature Based Solutions

In this paper, the EU documents the Horizon 2020 areas of research and innovation related to nature based solutions. Four principle goals that nature based solutions address are: to create more sustainable practices in urban areas, improve the positive environmental impact in degraded ecosystems, find new ways to prevent and reduce current carbon emissions, and develop more efficient risk-prevention practices. There are seven specific action initiatives are proposed to address these goals. Some are: transforming current public areas into green spaces, using bio-materials as clean energy sources, and using natural organisms as biosequestration sources to store carbon emissions.

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Green Roofs Installed on Public Busses in Singapore

Ten public busses in Singapore had green roofs installed in the “Garden on the Move” campaign. This is part of a study measuring the cooling and energy saving effects of moving green spaces. Singapore has a history of green initiatives aiming to turn the city into a “Garden City” and fight the rising temperatures.

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Mushrooms Have Many Practical Applications in Cleaning the Environment

Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, believes that fungi are the solutions to many problems facing the modern world. Though Stamets may seem eccentric in his love of mushrooms, his passion is real and his research finds important results. He tested different mushrooms to find the best strain for absorbing spilled oil, reducing harmful bacteria in water sources, exterminating invasive insects, and many more environmentally beneficial areas. Mushrooms are also able to filter heavy metal toxins from the earth and have been implemented in contaminated areas.

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Clean Polluted Soil by Growing Plants

In the process of developing the modern world, many toxic substances such as harmful metals and petrochemicals have contaminated the places where we live. Across the world, soil where food grows and children play may contain harmful amounts of toxins. Luckily, there are free and self-sustaining tools that provide additional benefits to the environment: plants and fungi. Some plants absorb certain toxins from the soil in a process called phytoremediation. To reduce the toxins in a specific area of land, a specialized plant treatment can be designed for those toxins and climate.

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Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry by Maibritt Pedersen Zari

With climate change as an ongoing issue, we must not only construct buildings while limiting waste, but plan for the buildings to give back to the Earth once constructed. This idea is termed regenerative design and needs encouragement, measurable standards, and further research into biomimicry in order to change the future of architecture. Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry is a book which explores biomimicry as a solution to climate change, analyzes multiple city case studies, and calls for overarching changes in how we view urban development.

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