The objective of the PlanSmart research group is to explore innovative approaches to planning and implementing nature-based solutions for resilient development of river basins and the interactions between rural and urban areas within them. The approaches to be explored are ‘smart’ in that they consider social, ecological and economic targets, exploit synergies wherever appropriate, apply GeoDesign-technology for supporting decisions with the best available knowledge, and use SolutionLabs as platforms for transdisciplinary cooperation. This enhances the relevance of the planning outcomes for various actors and the likelihood of actual implementation in practice.
More specifically, PlanSmart investigates the following questions:
Examples of nature-based solutions include developing wetlands upstream, giving more room to rivers through widening floodplains, converting arable lands into grasslands, and implementing buffer strips. . Such actions can ameliorate flooding and enhance water quality through delayed water flow downstream, better infiltration of rainfall into the soil, reduced water erosion and enhanced water storage capacities. At the same time, the areas often provide additional benefits for nature and humans, including the preservation of valuable species and habitats, the enchancement of recreation and tourism opportunities, and increased investments as a consequence of enhanced human well-being.