GrowGreen is a project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme for Research and Innovation to create climate and water resilient, healthy, and liveable cities by investing in nature-based solutions. It aims to achieve long-lasting change in cities by integrating nature-based solutions into their long-term planning, development, operation and management.

Cities across Europe are facing issues such as flooding, drought and heat stress that will become increasingly challenging with climate change. High quality green spaces and waterbodies are innovative solutions that enhance cities’ resilience to these challenges, and help biodiversity to flourish. Making nature part of the urban living environment also improves quality of life for all citizens and enables business to prosper. However, there are still many barriers to the development and implementation of city strategies for nature-based solutions. The GrowGreen partnership, led by Manchester City Council, will join forces with cities and experts in Europe and around the world to overcome these barriers and implement nature-based solutions, to create harmony between people, the economy and the environment.

GrowGreen has five core objectives:

  1. Demonstrate that nature-based solutions deliver quantifiable climate resilience and other benefits
  2. Demonstrate a replicable process for the co-design, co-delivery and co-management of nature-based solutions
  3. Embed nature-based solutions into long-term city planning, investment, development and management
  4. Contribute to a European Union (EU) community of practice on nature-based solutions and capacity building in other cities
  5. Establish EU leadership and support the global market for nature-based solutions

Partnerships with European and global cities

GrowGreen works with the cities of Manchester, UK; Valencia, Spain; Wroclaw, Poland; Wuhan, China; Brest, France; Modena, Italy; and Zadar, Croatia to develop case studies of nature-based solutions for climate and water resilience. By establishing demonstration projects in some cities and strategies for nature-based solutions in others, as well as fostering continuous exchange between the cities, GrowGreen will produce an easy to follow approach for replicating their successes.

IUCN leads on the communication, capacity building and dissemination of the project. A major component of this is engagement with stakeholders and citizens in the case study cities to enable people to contribute to their local nature-based solutions. Leaflets and newsletters about the project will also be produced, and will be available from the project website.

The GrowGreen project is co-funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, with the following partners: Manchester City Council, Brest Metropole, City of Wroclaw, Comune di Modena, City of Zadar, Las Naves, Ajuntament de Valencia, City of Wuhan, Manchester Climate Change Agency, ARAW, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, University of Manchester, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Cambridge, Leitat, Tecnalia, IUCN, Bipolaire Arquitectos, Ouishare, Trinomics and the Guinness Partnership. The project runs from June 2017 to May 2022.

For more information, please visit the GrowGreen website, download the project leaflet or contact Chantal Van Ham, EU Programme Manager Nature-based Solutions, IUCN European Regional Office (