Greener cities

“Exploring financing options for greener cities – Strengthening the capacity of local stakeholders to explore appropriate financing arrangements for nature-based interventions”


Webinar: 23rd of July 2019 
Workshop: 8-9th of October 2019 
Location: Athens
Co-organiser: ICLEI – Local governments for sustainability and the NATURVATION project
Event website and program

The event took the shape of preparatory webinar and an interactive workshop that increased the participants’ capacity to respond to the community development needs of financing arrangements for local biodiversity, ecosystem services (ESS) and nature-based solutions (NBS) interventions in response to local urban challenges. "Financing Options for Greener Cities" was developed by ICLEI in close cooperation with EKLIPSE mechanism and the NATURVATION project.

The objective of the event was to improve the expertise of local stakeholders to better understand (1) the financing landscape, (2) financing options, (3) possible ‘investment’ cases and (4) financial arrangements (such as blended financing). The event built their capacity by actively involving them in a preparatory webinar, an interactive workshop and a follow-up survey.

The preparatory webinar, held on the 23rd of July 2019,provided participants with an opportunity to get to know each other, to explore specific participants’ needs and prepare for the workshop. On this occasion, the organisers presented the focus of the workshop, key preparatory materials and started to tailor the most common and urgent challenges in financing biodiversity, ESS and NBS projects. These shaped the workshop programme.

In order to secure equal opportunities and transparency, organisers opened a Call for Host (cities), for which Athens was selected, and one Call for Participants.

The 2-day workshop took place on the 8th and 9th of October and actively involved 53 participants from across Europe, representing local level policy-makers, decision-makers, economic scientists and the civil society.

Fig.1: Hosting countries of participants in the “Financing greener cities” workshop


Fig. 2: Background of participants in the "Financing greener cities" workshop


During the first day, participants identified the most urgent challenges encountered in financing and funding NBS as well as biodiversity projects and had the opportunity to exchange knowledge and receive expert advice on solutions. In a guided exercise, participants first mapped the financing /funding landscape. Following, experts from the EIB and NCFF and the municipality of Athens provided first-hand insights on how to access these funding instruments and how to create bankable NBS and biodiversity projects that attract private sector investment.

On the second day, participants learned how to make the case for investing in biodiversity and NBS projects by applying the NBS Business Model Canvas (Connecting Nature) and the NBS Business Model Puzzle (Naturvation) on six real cases in two consecutive workshops.

A short survey after the workshop will collect the reflections of the participants and the lessons learned. This information will be summarised in a report, which will serve as a knowledge base for the future development and implementation of 'green' projects.


You can read the webinar report and presentations and access the workshop report, presentations and materials.