Urban NBS Day 2024: Embracing Urban Nature for Health

Transforming Cities

Picture by Nerea Martí Sesarino

While urban nature-based solutions (NBS) deliver physical and mental health benefits, the biophysical/ecological and human health ‘spheres’ in cities are remain detached. On this urban NBS day, we bring together scholars, practitioners, and students in the heart of Utrecht to understand the potential of integrating health and nature in cities from a scientific, policy, and business perspective while also showcasing and thinking up promising ideas that might undo the health-nature silo’s.

The urban NBS day will take place at the Social Impact Factory and will host keynote speakers, an expert panel, and poster dialogues to learn from each other and connect. Are you interested in presenting your project or thesis? Please let us know by filling in the registration form (link below).

For whom?

Practitioners (municipalities, NGOs, financial sector), students, and researchers working on urban NBS from a social science perspective.




by Helen Toxopeus (Utrecht School of Economics)



by Timon McPhearson (Urban Systems Lab, The New School)


Panel discussion

with Berry Gersonius (Gemeente Dordrecht), Wendy Chen (Univ. of Hong Kong) and Hanneke Kruize (RIVM & Hogeschool Utrecht)


Lunch break


NBS & One Health knowledge exchange

where different projects are presented


Wrap up

Drinks and networking

Keynote speaker

  • Professor
  • Dr. Timon McPhearson is Professor of Urban Ecology at The New School, and Founder and Director of the Urban Systems Lab. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has published over 200 scientific articles, books and book chapters. His books include Urban Planet (2018), Resilient Urban Futures (2021) and Nature-based Solutions for Cities (2023). He was a Lead Author for the IPCC AR6 report, a Contributing Author to the IPBES first report, and an inaugural member of the World Economic Forum Global Commission on BiodiverCities. In 2020 he was named an NYC Climate Hero by the NYC Department of Transportation and Human Impacts Institute. He was awarded the Innovation in Sustainability Science Award by the Ecological Society of America in 2019, and the Sustainability Science Award from ESA in 2019 and again 2023. In 2022, McPhearson was awarded the 2022 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity as a member of the IPCC and IPBES.

Panel members

  • Professor
  • Prof. Wendy Y. CHEN works in the interdisciplinary field of physical and human geography, focusing on key gaps in evaluating and modelling urban green-blue spaces that are reserved, modified, and deployed in urban and peri-urban areas for their multiple benefits and urban sustainability. Her research helps to integrate socioeconomic dimensions to enrich green-blue infrastructure scholarship, and rethink theories pertaining to the demand and supply of urban nature in the context of extensive urbanization in developing countries and re-urbanization in developed world.
  • Berry Gersonius works as advisor for the Green Blue City at the City of Dordrecht. As a freelance consult, he also provides expert advice in the field of water and nature and supports collaborative networks in this field. An example is the network KANS: Climate Adaptation Dutch Cities. With a portfolio that includes nearly 100 journal and conference papers, he is an expert in the field of climate adaptation. He has developed policy briefs for the various EU projects.
  • Professor
  • Dr Hanneke Kruize is a senior environmental epidemiologist. She works both at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Utrecht University for Applied Sciences (HU) as a Professor in Healthy Urban Development. Her expertise covers research in the field of green space & health, healthy urban living and healthy design. Hanneke Kruize studied Environmental Epidemiology at Wageningen University and obtained a PhD in Geographical/Environmental Sciences at Utrecht University with a project on environmental equity in the Netherlands.
Start date and time
End date and time
Social Impact Factory, Vredenburg 40, Utrecht

Please register (for free) via this link