Valuation tools for strong narratives around Blue Green Infrastructure: a possible solution for bridging the finance gap in climate adaptation?

14:00 Wednesday 29 May

SS023 • OC136

Room S2


Max Berkelmans (Spain) 1; Sebastiaan Van Herk (Spain) 1; Paul Shaffer (Spain) 2; Berry Gersonius (Spain) 3

1 - Bax & Company; 2 - Construction Industry Research Information Association; 3 - IHE Delft

Cities are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of flooding, urban heat islands, poor air quality, and other risks associated with more extreme weather conditions. In addition to conventional grey infrastructure, blue-green infrastructure (BGI) is needed, e.g. green corridors, permeable paving, rainwater harvesting.

The purpose of the transnational BEGIN project is to demonstrate at target sites how cities like Ghent, Hamburg, Kent and Bergen, can improve climate resilience with BGI involving stakeholders in a value-based decision making process to overcome its current implementation barriers.

One of these barriers concerns the adaptation finance gap: the current and future imbalance between available funding and required funding from adaptation costs. Research shows that BGI benefits outweigh costs by a factor of 2 to 10. However, BGI projects often have higher upfront costs than traditional grey infrastructure and requires increased maintenance costs and a long-term buy in. An additional challenge is the monetisation of the multiple benefits BGI provides like mental health benefits, increased biodiversity and recreational space.

To convince internal and external stakeholders of the added value of BGI projects, creating a strong narrative and business case is essential, using tools like TEEB and BEST, and devising specific communication messages for different audiences. The paper will discuss these valuation tools using concrete examples and methods used in the BEGIN project.