Nature’s Integration in Cities’ Hydrologies, Ecologies and Societies


Website project:

Social media: @NICHES_project @NICHESproject

Project coordinator: McKenna DAVIS -

Biology and Nature-based Solutions, Ecologic Institute - Germany


Projects, Pensoft Publishers

Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology The Netherlands
Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield United Kingdom
Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University United States of America
Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona Spain


Combined drainage systems transport wastewater, stormwater and urban runoff together to a sewage treatment plant. Heavy rainfall can flood these systems and exceed capacities, resulting in the discharge of excess wastewater and contaminated runoff directly into rivers, streams or other nearby water bodies. High resultant water pollution poses a serious threat to aquatic biodiversity, especially in urban areas whereimpervious surfaces prevent rainwater infiltration and increase the likelihood of such overflow events. surfaces prevent rainwater infiltration and increase the likelihood of such overflow events.There is thus an urgent need to identify new solutions for reducing this burden both on sewage systems and aquatic ecosystems. Nature-Based solutions (NBS) are proposed as an alternative to the cost-intensive renewal of wastewater systems and as a supplementary element to existing stormwater management systems, having the potential to alleviate pressure during high rainfall events while also providing wider societal and environmental benefits. Societal uptake remains limited due in part to lacking evidence, approaches and targeted guidance that take the wider social-ecological-technological system (SETS) into account. NICHES aims to fill this gap by defining a holistic SETS framework for understanding restorative NBS for urban runoff mitigation and the resultant reduction of impacts on aquatic systems.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

Name Link
NICHES project

Download pdf

BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: urban runoff mitigation, combined sewage overflow, social-ecological systems approach, nature-based solutions, climate change adaptation, ecosystem restoration, aquatic biodiversity

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published on 2021/10/15 10:29:00 GMT+1 last modified 2022-08-31T11:21:17+01:00