A pressing challenge for the metropolitan area is the transformation of protected areas within the urban region as well as green spaces within the urban core into nature-based solutions that contribute to the recreational demands from the urban core without jeopardizing multi-functionality and biodiversity conservation and while addressing climate adaptation needs (i.e. adaptation to more intensive droughts and fires, heat island effect, coastal erosion, evapotranspiration of green areas, and more frequent and more extreme heavy rainfall). To date, the Municipality of Barcelona has dedicated much investment to the regeneration and clean-up of the two main rivers surrounding the city - the Llobregat and the Besòs - and to combining social revitalization with biodiversity protection and food management in vulnerable areas of the city. It has also been working on the development of interventions for water, coastal, and bathers protection, fire protection interventions, and conservation of species vulnerable to climate change.
The BARCELONA Urban-Regional Innovation Partnership (URIP) is convened by Serveis de Suport a la Gestio SL and Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA). Together, they have been bringing together stakeholders from public and private organizations to mainstream the use of nature-based solutions in Barcelona. In 2017, the partnership mapped NBS interventions and opportunities, finding that NBS uptake and implementation has momentum due to current and forthcoming related greening policies and urban development plans, and receptiveness on behalf of public authorities. In 2018, the URIP has developed an innovative vision for NBS in relation to environmental justice, human health and well-being, to be addressed through the promotion and uptake of the NBS concept among key stakeholders.