Innovative and Enhanced Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Urban Water Cycle

2021 - 2025

Horizon2020 funded NICE aims to increase the availability and improve nature-based solutions (NbS) for circular urban water solutions.

The project will generate knowledge for the design and implementation of NbS with the goal of closing urban water loops. The solutions will capture water and repurpose it for different purposes, and mitigate pollution and runoff.

NICE will analyse existing NbS and test these and new approaches in labs, and 'Urban Real Labs' (URLs) developed in the project. The NbS will address all facets of the urban water cycle; wastewater, greywater, river basins, stormwater and combined sewer overflow. NbS that will studied will include green walls, green roofs, rain gardens and hybrid subsurface wetlands, these will then be enhanced with tailored bioaugmentation strategies. NICE will entail the development of an open-source modelling technology to enable the utilisation of the NbS explored in the project. The tool will enable potential sites test the efficacy of different NbS for creating sustainable urban water loops.

The URL sites are Vigo, Talavera, Algeciras, Benalmadena, Madrid (all in Spain), Lyon (France), Turin (Italy), Aarhus (Denmark), Gdansk (Poland), Cairo (Egypt) and Pereira (Columbia). Further there are four fellow sites where the NbS pilots will be tested further, these will be selected among the NICE fellow cities that are learning from the main URLs throughout the project; Ostrava (Czech Republic), Vienna (Austria), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tirana (Albania), Belgrade (Serbia), Quito (Ecuador) and Kunming (China).

To achieve sustainable circular urban water loops, the project will work across research, private sector and policy and involve citizens to:

  • Scale-up NbSby developing standards, guidelines and methodologies and reviewing existing ones, through research and implementation on URL sites.
  • Create new business and investment models for cost-effective solutions benefitting the environment, economy and society.
  • Identify obstacles, barriers and opportunities in current regulatory frameworks to support the integration of NbS.
  • Raise awareness among the general public, by involving local stakeholders in co-creation in the URLs

Coordinated by CETIM (Fundacion Centro Tecnologico de Investigacion Multisectorial) and 13 other partners at the forefront of NbS research and implementation, NICE will help transform the European urban water landscape to a more sustainable source.

  • Gdansk
  • Vigo, Talavera, Algeciras, Benalmadena, Lyon, Madrid, Turin, Aarhus, Cairo, Pereira, Ostrava, Vienna, Copenhagen, Belgrade, Quito, Kunming

The project is funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020, contract no.101003765