Evaluating Reflexive Governance Potential for Urban Nature-Based Solutions: Building Climate Resilience in Clausplein Square

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Alternative methods for urban climate resilience are on the rise in contemporary city planning and development. One such innovation, nature-based solutions (NBS), demonstrates promise in building cities’ resilience to the changing climate by increasing green- and blue- amenities, in turn benefiting a wide range of stakeholders. Concerns about common governance barriers of urban NBS continue to be echoed in the literature, leading to the suggestion by various researchers for NBS to adopt a reflexive governance (RG) approach. However, no such methodology yet exists. In this thesis, RG strategies are systematically conceived and then evaluated against a real-world case, Clausplein Square, in order to understand the potential of RG in helping urban NBS to adapt to ongoing governance challenges. The case study provided ample instances of RG uptake – Overall analysis of the data indicate that RG can be useful for urban NBS looking to reduce common governance setbacks. Additional takeaways reveal that strategies can be useful prior to and during NBS projects in addressing governance challenges, whilst diversity of RG uptake coincides with fewer governance barriers as the urban NBS development process matures. A benchmark is developed herein which offers recommendations to practitioners looking to adopt RG within urban NBS initiatives.
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