Researcher / urban planner Institute for Design Strategies, OWL University of Applied Science and Arts
Marcel Cardinali is an urban planner, researcher and has been teaching at OWL University since 2016. He holds a master degree in urban planning and is a doctoral student at TU Delft on the topic of “health effects of green spaces on district level”.
Main Research Focus / Area of Expertise
Built Environment – Behavior – Health Relations
Evaluating the impact of Nature-Based Solutions: A handbook for practitioners
The Handbook aims to provide decision-makers with a comprehensive NBS impact assessment framework, and a robust set of indicators and methodologies to assess impacts of nature-based solutions across 12 societal challenge areas: Climate Resilience; Water Management; Natural and Climate Hazards; Green Space Management; Biodiversity; Air Quality; Place Regeneration; Knowledge and Social Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Transformation; Participatory Planning and Governance; Social Justice and Social Cohesion; Health and Well-being; New Economic Opportunities and Green Jobs. Indicators have been developed collaboratively by representatives of 17 individual EU-funded NBS projects and collaborating institutions such as the EEA and JRC, as part of the European Taskforce for NBS Impact Assessment, with the four-fold objective of: serving as a reference for relevant EU policies and activities; orient urban practitioners in developing robust impact evaluation frameworks for nature-based solutions at different scales; expand upon the pioneering work of the EKLIPSE framework by providing a comprehensive set of indicators and methodologies; and build the European evidence base regarding NBS impacts. They reflect the state of the art in current scientific research on impacts of nature-based solutions and valid and standardized methods of assessment, as well as the state of play in urban implementation of evaluation frameworks.
Evaluating the impact of Nature-Based Solutions: A summary for policy makers
The present publication provides a high-level summary of the detailed information available in Evaluating the Impact of Nature-Based Solutions: A Handbook for Practitioners. The handbook aims to provide practitioners with a comprehensive impact assessment framework for nature-based solutions and a robust set of indi-cators to assess the impacts of nature-based solutions across 12 societal challenge areas: Climate Resilience; Water Management; Natural and Climate Hazards; Green Space Management; Biodiversity; Air Quality; Place Regeneration; Knowledge and Social Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Transformation; Par-ticipatory Planning and Governance; Social Justice and Social Cohesion; Health and Well-being; and, New Economic Opportunities and Green Jobs. The accompanying volume, Evaluating the Impact of Nature-Based Solutions: Appendix of Methods, provides a brief description of each cited indicator of nature-based solution impact and recommends appropriate methods to measure specific impacts, along with guidance for end-users about the appropriateness, advantages and drawbacks of each method in different local contexts.
URBiNAT NBS Expertise
[PDF Download] Cycling and Pedestrian Path
Luminescent paths NBS is a mesh of designed ways for cycling and pedestrian walking.
For its character, given by the luminophore coated stones, it can be implemented as an enlightened promenade, made of walls, pavements and other luminescent elements.
Built as a resin/cement fixed aggregated stone pavement or a concrete support wall, these luminescent elements include also luminophore coated quartz pebbles, which absorbs the sunlight during the day, and emanate light during the evening.
[NBS Card] Adaptive Reuse of Urban Network
Urban network space can be defined as the urban public domain, generally facilitated as transport infrastructure and/or pedestrian space and its ambiguous residual spaces (e.g. streets, pavements, bridges, tunnels, underground car parks). The NBS ‘adaptive reuse of urban network space’ implies alternative - nature inspired - uses and/or spatial adaptations of urban network space (e.g. unsealing surfaces, creating linear parks, redesigning for active mobility, [re]programming under bridge vaults or underground parking lots) or a time management of various temporary uses in these spaces (e.g. Ciclovia Bogota, temporary marketplaces, street festivals). The main goals of this NBS contain revitalisation of neighbourhoods, eliminating existing physical/social/cultural barriers, reducing emissions, increasing active mobility and solidarity economy.
[PDF Download] Watercourse Restoration
Watercourse restoration concerns rivers/streams that have been degraded by the urbanization process or by heavily engineered water management solutions: contained underground watercourses, channelled rivers, concrete banks, embankments, dams, among others. Despite being necessary solutions, excessive containment of waterflow means that a man-imposed limit on volume and flow might not be sufficient, offering lower flexibility to behaviour changes over time. Mixed solutions that combine man-driven watercourse control while respecting the riverbank ecosystem offers greater success at short and long term, while promoting biodiversity, ecological connectivity and a major increase in water purification.
[PDF Download] Wildlife Park
Green space designed according to sustainability principles where natural dynamics and ecological succession are a central concept and part of the design. The ecology of the site, its plants and habitats are expected to change over time, a process that can be integrated into the site’s planning and design. Special care is given towards the promotion of urban biodiversity, natural regeneration, habitat development and ecological succession, through specific planting design and management. It can be a cost-efficient solution able to provide a deeper connection between recreational uses and nature.
[PDF Download] Green Roofs
Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, increasing benevolence and decreasing stress of the people around the roof by providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the urban heat island effect.
The roof of a building, a parking lot or some other build structure can be covered by vegetation that grows over an impermeabilization membrane and a soil substrate. Intensive green roofs are suitable for human use and flow of people. Extensive green roofs are not suitable for human use but require low maintenance and can have major ecological and economic benefits.
[PDF Download] Design Thinking
Design Thinking is founded on the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in generating ideas, insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and match solutions to the context. Design Thinking processes are at the same time analytical and empathic, rational and emotional, methodical and intuitive, often tackle ill-defined problems where the use of creative thinking abilities is fundamental to first a correct problem finding.
Design Thinking is human centered and is based on understanding the needs and motivations of people. And it is optimistic; it believes that there is always a solution to be found. From problem finding to problem solving.
By using Gamification, Serious Games, Senses and Dreams, the Design thinking tools allows people to give first- hand deeper information that it is crucial to complement and simultaneously cross-validate other sources of co- diagnostic gathered through other methods and tools.
[Download PDF] Behavioural Mapping
Behavioural mapping is structured observation combining different techniques for documentation, mapping and counting of activities performed by people passing and occupying a defined space in chosen moments of time. It helps to explore the quantity and the quality of various activities performed at the place observed, the non- motorized moving, staying, recreating or playing. The process of gathering of data through observations and data analysis and visualization can reveal the ways of presence of different targeted groups in the study area and their behaviour. This information can present overall pictures of health, wellbeing, socialization, time budget and physical activity. The results can provide in-depth knowledge of the users’ dynamics at specified locations as input for urban regeneration decisions, planning and design of healthy corridors and implementation of place oriented NBSs.