Creating Green Cities

Creating Green Cities

Valuing nature: can money really grow on trees?

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Hans Pijls, founder of the “Food for Good” urban farm in Utrecht, believes his project generates different types of value for the city, such as improving the economic value of surrounding buildings, boosting employment, and generating positive effects for health, well-being and urban biodiversity. But the initiative is only able to receive one type of public funding. To ensure its survival, Food for Good cooperates with local enterpreneurs and tries to generate some of its own income by selling the vegetables grown on the farm.

In the 4th episode of the Creating Green Cities podcast, we discuss the topics of business models and financing. Nature-based solutions are diverse and can be applied in diverse contexts and areas to achieve different aims. But who should pay for these solutions? And why? The business models behind nature-based solution initiatives can range from simple single-source funding to being a complex combination of public and private funding. Apart from Hans, we are joined by Logan Strenchock, Environmental and Sustainability Officer at the Central European University in Budapest. Together with our guests, we discuss different models for financing and capturing the value generated by nature-based solutions.

Learn more:

NATURVATION Business Model Catalogue: Urban Nature online course: Urban Nature Atlas: Ecologic Institute:

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.


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About this podcast

We all want our cities to be greener, but how does this look in practice and what do we need to get there? The Creating Green Cities podcast takes you on a journey into the world of nature-based solutions and shows how they can be used to bring nature into cities for the benefit of society and the environment alike. We talk to guests from Barcelona, Budapest, Malmö and Utrecht to learn more about the implementation of these urban innovations across Europe.

The podcast has been created by the Ecologic Institute ( as part of NATURVATION (, an EU-funded research project focusing on urban nature-based innovation. If you want to learn even more about nature-based solutions than we touch on in the podcast, subscribe to “Urban Nature”, a free online course on nature-based solutions from NATURVATION:

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

by Ewa Iwaszuk, Karl Lehmann; Ecologic Institute


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