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Key Enablers of and Barriers to the Uptake and Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Settings: A Review
Open AccessArticle

The Institutionalization of Nature-Based Solutions—A Discourse Analysis of Emergent Literature

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GOVCOPP: Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Department of Environment and Planning, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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CESAM: Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Department of Environment and Planning, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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WEcR: Wageningen Economic Research, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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GOVCOPP: Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences, Campus Universitario de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2020, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010006
Received: 25 October 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 12 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-based Solutions for Urban Global Change Adaptation)
The European Union quickly incorporated the concept of nature based-solutions (NBS), becoming a key promotor. This was achieved through financial support for both academic research and city implementations. Still, the processes of institutionalization are yet to be fully explored. This study aims at assessing how the scientific literature regarding NBS is addressing institutional aspects and how it is constructing the NBS narrative. This research is divided into two stages. First, it undertakes a quantitative analysis of the discourse, considering a set of preselected search terms organized into five categories: Actor, institutional, planning, policy, and regulation. Second, it adopts a qualitative analysis considering both a group of the most cited articles and of articles highlighted in the previous stage. The results indicate that the NBS concept is still shadowed by other environmental concepts such as ecosystem services. Despite being an issue promoted at the European level, the results of this exercise express the lack of concrete planning and policy recommendations, reflected by the absence of terms such as “planning objectives”. This pattern occurs in all other major categories, being the institutional category the least mentioned of all five categories. The results highlight the need to address both policies and planning recommendations more concretely, studying the institutional arrangements able to promote NBS. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based solutions; institutionalization; spatial planning; discourse; public policies; global change; institutional setting; adaptation nature-based solutions; institutionalization; spatial planning; discourse; public policies; global change; institutional setting; adaptation
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Mendes, R.; Fidélis, T.; Roebeling, P.; Teles, F. The Institutionalization of Nature-Based Solutions—A Discourse Analysis of Emergent Literature. Resources 2020, 9, 6.

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