Currently, hydro-meteorological risk is one of the most significant natural hazards globally, and it may become more severe in the future. Hydro-meteorological risks include the risks affecting water management under climate change (flood, drought, storm surge, land slide).
Grey infrastructures have been a traditional means risk reduction. With the increasing investments required to repair and maintain the aging stock of grey infrastructure systems; the increasing environmental pressures from expanding urbanization; the value of ecosystem services entering more prominently into town, city, and regional planning and management equations; cities are increasingly assigning higher priority to green infrastructure (Courtney et al., 2013). However, it does not adequately deal with the future uncertainties related to climate change, land use change, urbanization, price volatility of resources and technological progress (Huang et al., 2010; Spiller et al., 2015).
Therefore, implementation of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) has become a central solutions to address climate change. The reason for that is NBS is a holistic process that may help to work interpretively with nature to adapt and reduce the impact of climate change as well as to improve well-being and health of humans. Implementation of NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction offers the possibility to break away from traditional practices and reconnect our land management practices and developments with nature in order to achieve multiple benefits to services and functions of ecosystems. According to (Olsen and Bishop, 2009) and van der Nat et al. (2016), such measures are potentially more cost-effective and adaptable than traditional hard engineering measures.
The proposed PhD research work will be implemented within the RECONECT project and it will pursue innovation in relation to evaluation, monitoring, and modelling of NBS and also in relation to their co-creation through social innovation and active stakeholder participation. The objectives of PhD research work are:
1) Develop a framework for evaluation of NBS at different scales, locations (municipal or rural) and retrofitting or new systems in relation to hydro-meteorological risk, environmental impacts and social impacts.
2) A assess the effectiveness of implemented Nature Based Solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction
3) Optimize the NBS systems for the types of systems, sizes of systems, economic function, ecological function, hydro-meteorological risk reduction, climate change adaptation, hydraulic functions, etc. by explore the possibility of applying evolutionary algorithms to produce an approximation of pareto optimal solution.
4) Evaluate the performance of co-benefit and adaptability in implementing large scale NBS