Dr. Cristina CalheirosInterdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), University of Porto, Portugal
Institute of Science and Environment, University of Saint Joseph, SAR Macao, China
Speech Title: Nature-based solutions towards water management
Abstract: Some of the current challenges that urban territory face relates to the increase of population concentration, the need for construction space and soil sealing, and resources demand. This leads to fragmentation and loss of green areas and biodiversity, increase of the heat island effect, water, air and soil pollution, and consequently the deterioration of human well-being and the degradation of ecosystems. The intensification of these problems is amplified by the extreme events associated with climate change, such as droughts and floods, with impacts on social, economic and environmental levels. In order to counteract these effects, it is essential that cities became more resilient, multifunctional and circular in terms of resources. The inclusion of Nature-based solutions supports this approach, providing several ecosystem services, being the enhancement of water availability, improvement of water quality and reduction of water-related risks, some of their benefits. According to the European Commission Nature-based solutions “are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.” This presentation will discuss the main ecosystem services of nature-based solutions in cities and examples of implementation.
Keywords: nature-based solutions; circular cities; water management; circular economy; green roofs; constructed wetlands
Biography: Cristina Calheiros is Environmental Engineer and holds a PhD in Biotechnology. Currently works as Researcher at CIIMAR - Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research of the University of Porto, Portugal. She is Invited Professor at Institute of Science and Environment, University of Saint Joseph, SAR Macao, China and at Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Portugal. She is Board Member at Ordem dos Engenheiros and at The Portuguese National Association of Green Roof (ANCV) (https://www.greenroofs.pt/en). Recently has integrated the international network of COST Action - Implementing nature-based solutions for creating a resourceful circular city (https://circular-city.eu).
Her work focuses on water management and treatment solutions, phytoremediation, climate change adaptation and mitigation through nature-based solutions (green roofs, constructed and floating wetlands) and education for sustainability.