On the management of nature-based solutions in open-air laboratories: new insights and future perspectives

Glauco Gallotti*, Marco Antonio Santo, Ilektra Apostolidou, Jacopo Alessandri, Alberto Armigliato, Bidroha Basu, Sisay Debele, Alessio Domeneghetti, Alejandro Gonzalez Ollauri, Prashant Kumar, Angeliki Mentzafou, Francesco Pilla, Beatrice Pulvirenti, Paolo Ruggieri, Jeetendra Sahani, Aura Salmivaara, Arunima Sarkar Basu, Cristos Spyrou, Nadia Pinardi, Elena TothSilvia Unguendoli, Umesh Pranavam Ayyappan Pillai, Andrea Valentini, Goerge Varlas, Filippo Zaniboni, Silvana Di Sabatino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
209 Downloads (Pure)


The adoption of Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs) represents a novel means to mitigate natural hazards. In the framework of the OPERANDUM project, this study introduces a methodology to assess the efficiency of the NBSs and a series of Open-Air Laboratories (OALs) regarded as a proof-of-concept for the wider uptake of NBSs. The OALs are located in Finland, Greece, UK, Italy, and Ireland. The methodology is based on a wide modeling activity, incorporated in the context of future climate scenarios. Herein, we present a series of models’ chains able to estimate the efficiency of the NBSs. While the presented models are mainly well-established, their coupling represents a first fundamental step in the study of the long-term efficacy and impact of the NBSs. In the selected sites, NBSs are utilized to cope with distinct natural hazards: floods, droughts, landslides, salt intrusion, and nutrient and sediment loading. The study of the efficacy of NBSs to mitigate these hazards belongs to a series of works devoted to the implementation of NBSs for environmental purposes. Our findings prove that land management plays a crucial role in the process. Specifically, the selected NBSs include intensive forestry; the conversion of urban areas to grassland; dunes; marine seagrass; water retention ponds; live cribwalls; and high-density plantations of woody vegetation and deep-rooted herbaceous vegetation. The management of natural resources should eventually consider the effect of NBSs on urban and rural areas, as their employment is becoming widespread.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • nature-based solutions
  • open-air laboratories (OALs)
  • natural hazards
  • climate change
  • mitigation policies
  • numerical models
  • land use
  • nature-based solutions efficiency
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Natural hazard
  • Land use
  • Nature-based solutions efficiency
  • Climate change
  • Numerical models
  • Mitigation policies
  • Open-air laboratories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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