Nature-based solutions (NBS) can provide answers to the challenges that urban areas are currently facing, associated with urban densification and climate change. The benefits of NBS are recognized, and include improved quality of life, human health and air quality, amongst others. This study aims to assess how NBS can contribute to temperature attenuation and air quality improvement in the city of Eindhoven (The Netherlands), through the application of the state-of-the-art WRF-Chem online air quality modelling system. The city is thereby characterized in terms of air quality related data, such as climatology, atmospheric emissions and air pollutant concentrations. From this assessment, different NBS were selected according to city aspirations. The WRF-Chem model was applied for baseline and NBS scenarios over the study area with a spatial resolution of 1 km x 1 km and an hourly time resolution for August 2013. The baseline scenario (without NBS) was validated by comparing the model results with monitored data retrieved from the European air quality monitoring database, showing an adequate model performance. The scenario simulations (with NBS) were performed by changing the land use in the model setup, and results were compared with the baseline scenario. Reductions in hourly temperature values of approximately 1 °C and reductions in pollutant concentrations, namely nitrogen dioxide (NO2), of approximately 10% were estimated after the application of the NBS in the Eindhoven study area. These results are particularly important to support public planners and decision-makers in understanding the effects and importance of NBS in their planning for more sustainable and resilient cities.
Source: Ascenso, A., Augusto, B., Silveira, C., Rafael, S., Coelho, S., Monteiro, A., Ferreira, J., Menezes, I., Roebeling, P., & Miranda, A. I. (2021). Impacts of nature-based solutions on the urban atmospheric environment: a case study for Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 57, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126870