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Connecting Nature

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Connecting Nature is a five year project  with  €12 million funding from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Innovation Action Programme.

Three cities from across Europe have been selected to take part in the Connecting Nature project as 'Front Runner Cities'.  The purpose of a front runner city is to lead on large scale nature based solution projects and share the learning with other cities which have been designated as 'fast follower cities'.

Glasgow's project has a policy focus and therefore was chosen for its uniqueness.  Through the Connecting Nature project the Glasgow team is required to assist in the development and delivery of the Open Space Strategy (OSS). 

The Connecting Nature team will be working collaboratively with the City Development Plan Team over the course of the project to begin to implement the 15 actions that the OSS has identified.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the project is to position Europe as a global leader in the innovation and implementation of nature-based solutions.

Some of the objectives are listed below:

  • Develop an urban planning process that will 'burst open' silos, enrich and nurture social, business and governance innovations and focus on the scaling-up of nature-based solutions in cities;
  • Develop a new master planning process that accelerates the scaling of nature-based solutions in cities by connecting policy and market needs and turning barriers into opportunities for innovations;
  • Implement resourced masterplans in the fast-follower cities, that is collaborative, employing sharing of good practice, working examples and quantifiable evidence, interdisciplinary work and stakeholder engagement;
  • Develop sustainable support for innovation, exploitation and enterprise development building on selected and promising new nature-based solution exemplars from the front runner cities and other solutions co-created to better suit the specific environmental, organisational and funding scenarios of the fast follower cities;

For a more extensive list of the objectives please click here.

What are Nature Based Solutions?

The European Commission defines nature-based solutions as solutions that are "inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience."

Nature-based solutions protect, sustainably manager and restore natural or modified ecosystems, which address challenges facing humanity (e.g. climate change, food and water security or natural disasters).  At the same time nature-based solutions bestow wider benefits to human well-being and biodiversity.

For more information on nature based solutions please click here.

Connecting Nature Partners

Some of the cities and partners involved are listed below: 


  • Glasgow - Front Runner City
  • Genk - Front Runner City
  • Poznan - Front Runner City
  • A Coruna
  • Burgas
  • Ioannina
  • Malaga



  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dutch Institute for Transitions
  • University of East London
  • University of A Coruna



  • Greenspace Scotland
  • Horizon NUA
  • Climate Alliance

For a more comprehensive list of all partners please visit the official Connecting Nature website.


Virtual Innovation Summit 23-25 March 2021

Over the three days in March the Innovation Summit will bring together an international audience to explore how we shift to sustainable, greener cities that deliver for their citizens using nature-based solutions. It will share the learning from the community of cities involved in Connecting Nature and introduce the innovative tools and methods being developed through the project.

The Summit will showcase exemplar projects from across Europe with a focus on Glasgow and Scotland. It will demonstrate methods being developed collaboratively by Connecting Nature partners to realise the co-benefits of nature in cities.

Join us on-line as we explore the challenges and opportunities and hear more about innovations emerging to support the design, implementation and stewardship of nature-based solutions in cities.

Hosted on a virtual platform with panel discussions, presentations, workshops and opportunities to connect with other delegates. The Programme Outline lets you see what is on offer. Further details and speakers will be added throughout February and March.

If you are interested in taking part please Pre Register here.

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Last modified on 17 January 2023

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