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Article

Development and Assessment of a Web-Based National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Nature-Based Solutions and Their Social, Hydrological, Ecological, and Environmental Co-Benefits

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4003, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Brian G. Jones, Ali K. M. Al-Nasrawi and Ignacio Fuentes
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 11018; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911018
Received: 6 September 2021 / Revised: 29 September 2021 / Accepted: 1 October 2021 / Published: 4 October 2021
Comprehensive datasets for nature-based solutions (NBS), and their diverse relationships have not yet been accumulated into a deployable format. This research describes the development of a novel National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) system for NBS co-benefits throughout the contiguous United States. Here, we gather and integrate robust geospatial datasets from the social, ecological, environmental, and hydrologic domains using seamless, cloud-based data services to facilitate the trans-disciplinary assessment of NBSs as a function of society and Earth. This research enhances practical decision making and research by assimilating web-based datasets and describing the missing links between national policy and robust adoption of NBSs as a sustainability solution. This NSDI serves to foster participatory planning capabilities and integrate local sustainability goals into decision–support frameworks. Such a platform strengthens the knowledge base necessary for addressing multiple, co-evolving issues of societal relevance, an essential component of fully espousing NBSs within the realm of socio-technological systems and improving policies and implementation regarding sustainable solutions. The efficacy of the proposed platform to serve as a holistic data information system is assessed by exploring important characteristics associated with geospatial NSDI tools, namely, openness, spatial functionality, scalability, and standardization. By placing GIS strengths and weaknesses in the context of transdisciplinary NBSs, we reveal strategic directions toward further co-production of such NSDIs. We conclude with recommendations for facilitating a shared vision of transdisciplinary technologies to strengthen the amalgamation of broad co-benefits and multi-disciplinary influences in sustainability planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based solutions; sustainability; green infrastructure; geographical information systems; web applications; spatial data information systems; society; multi-functionality; geomatics nature-based solutions; sustainability; green infrastructure; geographical information systems; web applications; spatial data information systems; society; multi-functionality; geomatics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Castro, C.V.; Rifai, H.S. Development and Assessment of a Web-Based National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Nature-Based Solutions and Their Social, Hydrological, Ecological, and Environmental Co-Benefits. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11018. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911018

AMA Style

Castro CV, Rifai HS. Development and Assessment of a Web-Based National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Nature-Based Solutions and Their Social, Hydrological, Ecological, and Environmental Co-Benefits. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):11018. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Castro, Cyndi V., and Hanadi S. Rifai. 2021. "Development and Assessment of a Web-Based National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Nature-Based Solutions and Their Social, Hydrological, Ecological, and Environmental Co-Benefits" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 11018. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911018

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