Financing Greener Cities

2019 - 2019

"Financing Greener Cities" was a capacity-building event, which focused on "Strengthening the capacity of local authorities and practitioners for making informed decisions on financing nature-based solutions."

The event was an interactive workshop to increase community development and participant capacity for financing arrangements targeting local biodiversity, ecosystem services (ESS) and nature-based solution (NBS) interventions in response to local urban challenges. "Financing Options for Greener Cities" was developed in close cooperation with ICLEI, Europe Direct City of Athens, EKLIPSE Mechanism and the NATURVATION project.

The objective of the event was to improve the expertise and understanding of local stakeholders regarding (1) the financing landscape, (2) financing options, (3) possible ‘investment’ cases and (4) financial arrangements (such as blended financing) for NBS. The event built capacity by actively involving participants in a preparatory webinar, an interactive workshop, and a follow-up survey.

The Financing Greener Cities preparatory webinar was held on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 and provided participants with an opportunity to get to know each other, to explore specific participants’ needs and prepare them for the workshop (see Report below). On this occasion, the organisers presented the focus of the workshop, key preparatory materials, and started to tailor the most common and urgent challenges in financing biodiversity, ESS and NBS projects. These helped to shape the workshop programme.

The 2-day workshop took place from October 8th to 9th, 2019 in Athens (Greece). Approximately, 40 participants from across Europe, including local authorities respresentatives, researchers, practitioners and civil society/NGO representatives working on the topic were in attendance.

During the first day of the workshop, participants identified the most urgent challenges encountered with regards to financing and funding NBS as well as biodiversity projects; they had the opportunity to exchange knowledge and receive expert advice on solutions. In a guided exercise, participants mapped the financing /funding landscape. Next, experts from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) and the municipality of Athens provided first-hand insights on how to access specific funding instruments and how to create bankable NBS and biodiversity projects that attract private sector investment. On the second day, participants learned how to make the case for investing in biodiversity and NBS projects by applying the NBS Business Model Canvas (developed by Connecting Nature) and the NBS Business Model Puzzle (developed by Naturvation) on six real cases in two consecutive workshops. Please find below the outline of the programme for participants.

A short survey after the workshop will collected the reflections of the participants and the lessons learned. This information, along with a summary of the workshop is available online and upon request.





The event is funded by multiple sources including ICLEI European Secretariat, EKLIPSE Mechanism and NATURVATION project and Municipality of Athens.

EKLIPSE Mechanism has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 690474.

The NATURVATION project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243)