Nature-Based Solutions in Peri-Urban Areas of Latin American Cities: Lessons from São Paulo, Brazil

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Sustainable Development Goals Series
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Marques A.L.
Alvim A.B.
Pereira I.A.
Leite C.
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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.Faced with the challenges posed by climate change and the environmental crisis, cities need to implement strategies to transform urban environments and increase local resilience. Among the solutions highlighted in the literature and innovative practices in some cities are the Nature-based Solutions (NbS) approach. The peri-urban areas of large cities in Latin America are marked by different overlapping dynamics, such as accelerated urban growth, social and economic problems, and lack of infrastructure. On the other hand, these areas have environmental attributes and natural remnants that can enhance local transformations and generate new territorial dynamics through NbS. The city of São Paulo (Brazil) has developed policies with this approach in its peri-urban context, such as the project Connect the Dots (Ligue os Pontos). This article aims to discuss the concept and implementation of this experience, pointing out its limits, challenges, and lessons learned. Hence, the outcome of this study will contribute to studies on NbS, particularly those that apply to fast-growing cities that face socio-environmental challenges. The discussion is organised around (1) governance, (2) NbS strategies, and (3) the main innovations of this policy. The results show that the project had an intersectoral and participatory governance model, which resulted in a substantial increase in rural producers adhering to organic and agro-ecological practices, as well as an increase in land cultivated, which potentially contributed to the containment of urban sprawl.
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