EU-funded project aiming at improving climatic resilience through nature-based solutions.
LightHouse supports five European cities in co-creating visions & roadmaps for climatic resilience, investigating the co-benefits of nature-based solutions to address multiple challenges.
In the UNaLab project three 'front-runner' cities (Eindhoven, Tampere and Genova) implement nature-based solutions for climate and water resilience in their urban living labs. LightHouse supports five European 'follower' cities (Stavanger, Prague, Castellon, Cannes and Basaksehir) in co-creating visions and roadmaps for climate resilience in their specific local context. Together with Fraunhofer IAO, an in-depth analysis of the context of the city, the desired future scenario and roadmap for implementation of nature-based solution is made.

For a complete overview of the UNaLab project, please visit the official website of the project:
Introduction to UNaLab
UNaLab is a project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The UNaLab consortium is comprised of 28 partners from 10 cities across Europe and beyond, including municipalities, research, business and industry. The UNaLab partner cities commit to addressing the challenges that cities around the world are facing today, by focusing on climate and water related issues, within an innovative and citizen-driven paradigm. With three demonstration cities, five follower cities and two observers, the UNaLab project aims to develop smarter, more inclusive, more resilient and increasingly sustainable societies through innovative nature-based solutions (NBS).

In the UnaLab project LightHouse facilitates a stakeholder driven approach. From an early stage, local stakeholders are involved in a clear process to identify a vision and create a roadmap with clear project proposals for implementing Nature Based Solutions (NBS).

The approach is characterised by three main elements:
  • Backwards planning
    Development of a shared vision as a starting point
  • An Inclusive step-by-step process in the cities
    A cooperative process to engage a growing group of key stakeholders within the region
  • Roadmaps for climate and resilient cities
    A well-developed path to achieve the desired future
Backwards planning
Cities are subject to rapid transformation – often with external causes. We provide them with instruments to drive developments in their desired direction. In the UNaLab project, we apply the method of ‘backwards planning'. First of all, we help the city to imagine a desired future scenario with people at the core, and defining their quality of life in 2050. From that desired future via 'back casting' a coherent, well-developed path is created to reach that future, including the relevant technological developments and implementation projects.
Experts and thought leaders are involved to create rich and high quality inspirational material.

The Future Telling research method is used to develop possible, context-related future scenarios by interviewing thought leaders on climate and water resilience and capture their expertise and imagination. The analysis of the interviews resulted in 5 Drivers for Change for cities in 2050:
1. cities as living organisms
2. Leveraging natural value at micro and macro level
3. Reinventing nature in the city
4. Synergy in nature and augmented reality
5. Tailored use of natural resources

The drivers for change are used to co-create a rich, contextual desired future scenario for each partner city in a series of workshops, which include sessions with policy-makers and local stakeholders (companies, citizens, public and private organisations and knowledge institutes). With the help of a visualizer the ideas of the participants are captured. This results in a visualisation of the desired future and description of the key elements in the vision.

The research design and results of the future telling research:

An Inclusive step-by-step process in the cities
In UNaLab a step-by-step approach with clearly defined decision points and interim reporting of results is applied. This process distinguishes itself by the strong engagement of a growing group of key stakeholders (companies, citizens, public and private organisations and knowledge institutes) within the region that play a significant role in co-creating a clear and well-designed implementation plan. Early engagement with stakeholders not only ensures all perspectives are integrated in the vision and selected solutions, but also ensures a stronger commitment to the joint effort in the realisation phase.
The UNaLab follows a 5-step approach to co-create replication roadmaps in the follower cities:
Step 1: System analysis
Fraunhofer conducts a system assessment, building on the Morgenstadt Systems Assessment Tool to gain insight in the the status quo as a point of departure toward achieving the desired future vision. The approach includes three layers of assessment: (I) social, economic and environmental pressures on a city (II) technical and organisational responses to the perceived challenges and (III) the local context-specific enablers, barriers and opportunities. The analysis also serves to map potential stakeholders to help support the road-mapping development process, as well as identify potential sites for NBS implementation.
Step 2: Ambition Setting
LightHouse facilitates Ambition workshops in each EU follower city, which include several sessions with policy makers, strategy department and internal and external stakeholders. These aim to obtain a thorough understanding of the ambitions and specific context of each city. The Joint Ambition Workshop with all the UNaLab cities is used to present the follower cities’ strategic ambitions, providing an opportunity for the cities to learn from each other and to identify shared and specific ambitions.
Step 3: Vision development
The desired future scenarios of the cities are created in a series of workshops facilitated by LightHouse in each of the partner cities, and include sessions with policy-makers and stakeholders to develop a rich, contextual scenario for each city. The result of the vision workshops are the desired future scenarios as presented above.
Step 4: Replication framework
Together with Fraunhofer and the other project partners, all relevant material of the various workpackages in the extended UNaLab project are developed into a set of inspiration materials that can be used in the workshop, which is also presented below.
Step 5: Roadmap
The city roadmaps for NBS towards climate and water resilience in 2050 are developed in a 2-day roadmap workshop facilitated by LightHouse and Fraunhofer with all relevant stakeholders in the follower cities. In the workshop the materials from the replication framework are applied to inspire the participants, and trigger them to enrich the value of projects for stakeholders in the area. The results of the vision development and system analysis in the cities are used to identify specific project opportunities for the short, mid and long term. In this way the city-specific roadmaps bridge the gap between the starting position of each follower city (identified in the system analysis) and the desired future scenario (created in the vision development).
Roadmaps for climate and resilient cities
The aim of the Roadmap Workshops is to develop city roadmaps with a coherent project portfolio for implementation of NBS towards climate and water resilience. To come to relevant projects for each city, we work on specific challenges in each city. Based on the desired future scenario for 2050 and the results of the system analysis. NBS interventions and Governance interventions are defined as a starting point the workshops.

In the project, an inventory is made on existing NBS, which are presented as inspiration cards. The workshop participants chose relevant NBS and identify projects to address the challenges and place them on a timeline, together with a set of clear milestones towards the desired future scenario.
We are currently reviewing and completing the replication roadmaps report that will contain the replication framework and the city roadmaps. The final deliverable will be available in June 2020.
Public report
A public report with the results of the system analysis, ambition setting and vision development steps.
A public report with the replication framework and roadmaps for climate and water resilience.
Scientific report
In this paper we identify barriers for the uptake and implementation of Nature-Based Solutions and what cities can do to more effectively prioritise and manage their actions.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 730052 Topic: SCC-2-2016-2017: Smart Cities and Communities Nature based solutions
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  TUe LightHouse - Vision & Roadmapping

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