Innovation Summit Programme
23-25 March 2021 

(Please note all times are in GMT  GMT = CET minus 1 hour)


Day 1 - 23 March 2021

Reducing the risks

Nature-based solutions for biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, water management and extreme weather events.


Welcome setting out the importance of urban nature-based solutions in Glasgow and Scotland and explaining how they feed into the European Union's strategy.

Chair: Julie Procter (greenspace scotland)

Speakers: Susan Aitken (Glasgow City Council), Aileen Campbell (Member of the Scottish Parliament), Ciaran Cuffe (Member of the European Parliament)


Connecting Nature - innovating with nature-based solutions in our cities
The phrase ‘nature-based solutions’ arrived into the lexicon of planning as having the potential for reconciling the desire to regreen cities while deriving benefits to communities. This is a huge challenge for planners and policy-makers, but it also opens up opportunities for innovation. This session will explore the potential of nature-based innovation.

Chair: Marcus Collier (Trinity College Dublin)

Panellists: Dr Duncan Booker (GCC COP26 Stakeholder Manager), Rachel Cowper (Inspiring Scotland), Ciaran Cuffe (Member of the European Parliament), Dr Marianne Zanderson (Aarhus University)


Big climate challenge - how cities can adapt and innovate using nature-based solutions
In 2021, Glasgow is host city for COP26 and this presents a call to action. In the urgent shift to more sustainable cities that deliver for their citizens, can nature-based solutions address problems on the scale of climate change? What solutions are being pioneered and how are they are being delivered?

Chair: Stuart Connop (University of East London)

Speakers: Gillian Dick (Glasgow City Council), Cristian Garcia (Promálaga), Gerardo Gonzalez (BIOAZUL), Jonathon Mueller (Helix Pflanzensysteme)

12.30-14.00 Networking session

Reducing the risks innovation cafes
Informal presentations of innovative nature-based solution projects or themes to stimulate conversation and questions from the presenters and participants. Bring your own coffee and cake!

Speakers: Emilie Wadsworth (Green Action Trust – 10,000 rain gardens), Laura Hainey (A&DS - Carbon Conscious Places), Shushanik Asmarya (Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies, Armenia), Gemma Lawrence (Creative Carbon Scotland) and Hannah Imlach, PHD Student, Malgorata Bartyna-Zielinska (Grow Green), Mamuka Gvilava (GeoGraphic, Georgia), James Murray (MGSDP - Challenges of Retrofit Surface Water Management in Glasgow), Fergus Walker (The Orchard Project), Piersaverio Spinnato and Maria Dubovik (UnaLab) , Gemma Jennings (Urban Roots – Malls Mire)


Building natural networks and delivering the deal with stakeholders
This session explores how to deliver city scale green networks using nature-based solutions. Cities present and reflect on their experience with urban nature-based solutions and how they involve entrepreneurs or collaborate across local authorities or municipalities.

Chairs: Marleen Lodder (DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Paula Vandergert (UEL)

Speakers: Antonio Prieto Gonzalez (A Coruña), Max Hislop (GCV Green Network Partnership), Mien Quartier (City of Genk)

Day 2 - 24 March 2021

Healing sick cities

Nature-based solutions for health, wellbeing, place-based planning, human scale, food growing and food provision.


Day two welcome and summary of previous day

Welcome: Marcus Collier (Trinity College Dublin)


Naturally Smart Cities - innovating with data to support nature-based solutions

Using the right data in the right way is a key factor in delivering successful urban nature-based solutions, this session explores how using data can help projects be planned strategically with a focus on their impact right from the start.

Chair: Gillian Dick (Glasgow City Council) and Adina Dumitru (University of A Coruña)

Speakers: John Maslen (greenspace scotland), Rania Sermpezi (Glasgow City Council), David Tomé Lourido (University of A Coruña), Clair Cooper (Durham University)

13.00-14.00 Networking session

Healing sick cities innovation cafes
Informal presentations of innovative nature-based solution projects or themes to stimulate conversation and questions from the presenters and participants. Bring your own coffee and cake!

Speakers: DDominic Hall (TCV - Glasgow National Park City), Ian Mackenzie (greenspace scotland - Edinburgh & Lothians Green Health Partnership), Theresa Martin (Glasgow City Council – green health), Abi Mordin (Glasgow Community Food Initiative) , Ricard Walsh (SACRO Garden Project, Glasgow), Emily Cutts (Children’s Wood, Glasgow), Maria Mavroudi (Municipality of Pavlos Melas – creating a new urban park), Natalia Madajczyk, (City of Poznan– natural playgrounds), Raul Sanchez (Urban Green Up), Ea O’Neill (greenspace scotland - Young Placechangers), Hannah Imlach (PHD Student)


Where art and business collide: Imagining urban nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing.

Join us to learn about two very different collaborative creative techniques for planning, designing and managing your nature-based solution. Hear from cities and communities who have tried and tested these approaches and see what might work best for you.

Chairs: Isobel Fletcher (Horizon Nua) and Pauline Georgiou (University of East London)

Speakers: Eleni Malekiddou (ANEL - Nicosia Development Agency), Rachel McLauchlan (Bellahouston Demonstration Garden), Belma Pasic (SERDA), Nermina Suljević (City of Sarajevo) .


UrbanByNature capacity-building programme goes westwards - meet the Brazilian hub
Hear a conversation between two Brazilian cities on the inclusion of nature-based solutions in their local climate action plans. Speakers discuss the support needed for the financing, planning and delivery of nature-based solutions. Language will be Portuguese.

Chairs: Daniela Rizzi (ICLEI) and Victor Ferraz (ICLEI SAMS)

Speakers: Cecília Guerra (Development Bank of Latin America), Renata Farias, ADD (Fortaleza Municipal Secretariat of Urbanism and Environment), Carlos Ribeiro (Recife Secretary for Environment and Sustainability), Rodrigo Perpétuo (ICLEI SAMS)

Day 3 - 25 March 2021

Routes to recovery

Nature-based solutions for a green recovery,policy that supports natural infrastructure, nature-based enterprise, skills and employability. 


Day three welcome and a look forward to our next summit

Welcome to day 3 and an introduction to the Connecting Nature Enterprise Summit hosted by the City of Poznan in June 2021.


UrbanbyNature – meeting the Caucasian, Chinese and Korean streams 

UrbanbyNature, the nature-based solutions capacity-building programme extends eastwards.

Chairs: Shreya Utkarsh (ICLEI) and Vasileios Latinos (ICLEI)

Speakers: Shushanik Asmaryan (CENS), Mamuka Gvilava (Geographic), Tea Melikazde (EBRD), Qin Mao (Changing Low Carbon Project Management and Development Centre of Shanghai), Shu Zhu (ICLEI East Asia)


New green deal - can nature-based solutions aid city recovery?
A decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent climate change, it also presents opportunities for business, enterprise and society. Can nature-based solutions and enterprises deliver for a green recovery? Do they support economic (growth) models that ensure humans prosper and nature thrives?

Chair: Julie Procter (greenspace scotland)

Speakers: Catherine Pearce (SNIFFER), Jo Pike (Scottish Wildlife Trust), Esmee Kooijman (Horizon Nua), Siobhan McQuaid (Trinity College Dublin)


Accelerating innovation and start-ups in the nature-based economy
The EU Green Deal recognises that nature-based solutions are key to innovation for economic or societal needs and can lead to significant business opportunities. In this workshop we meet entrepreneurs in nature-based innovation and the people nurturing the potential of this new breed of start-ups.

Chair: Siobhan McQuaid (Trinity College Dublin)

Speakers: Stine Casparij Kondrup (Greencubator), Stuart Connop (ARENA Incubator), Colm O’Driscoll (ECOSTAR/ Etifor), Agnieszka Osipiuk (City of Poznan),Sean Vincent Kelly (Glasgow City Council)

13.00-14.00 Networking session

Entrepreneurial Enterprises - Service Design for nature-based solutions training
This services design skills workshop, aimed at environmental designers, engineers and planners, will be participatory and introduce simple exercises that can be applied to your daily workflow. Skills that could help you get more out of your projects and lead to more sustainable results.

Trainers: Adrian Hill and Laurens Van Der Cruyssen (Osmos)


Download the summit programme here