Green Energy and Sustainability ISSN 2771-1641

Green Energy and Sustainability 2021;1(1):0003 |

Original Research Open Access

Evaluation of nature-based solutions implementation scenarios, using urban surface modelling

Emmanuel Panagiotakis 1 , Dionysia Kolokotsa 2 , Nektarios Chrysoulakis 1

  • Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Remote Sensing Lab, 100 Nikolaou Plastira Str., Vassilika Vouton 70013, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  • Energy Management in the Built Environment Research Lab, School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete Kounoupidiana, GR 73100 Chania, Crete, Greece

Correspondence: Dionysia Kolokotsa

Academic Editor(s): George Papadakis

Received: Apr 13, 2021 | Accepted: Jun 22, 2021 | Published: Sep 23, 2021

Cite this article: Panagiotakis E, Kolokotsa D, Chrysoulakis N. Evaluation of nature-based solutions implementation scenarios, using urban surface modelling. Green Energy Sustain 2021; 1(1):0003.


The present paper aims to study the impact of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) on the urban environment. The Surface Urban Energy and Water balance Scheme (SUEWS) is used to quantify the impact of NBS in the city of Heraklion, Crete, Greece, a densely built urban area. Local meteorological data and data from an Eddy Covariance flux tower installed in the city center are used for the model simulation and evaluation. Five different scenarios are tested by replacing the city’s roofs and pavements with green infrastructure, i.e., trees and grass, and water bodies. The NBS impact evaluation is based on the changes of air temperature above 2m from the ground, relative humidity and energy fluxes. A decrease of the air temperature is revealed with the highest reduction (2.3%) occurring when the pavements are replaced with grass for all scenarios. The reduction of the air temperature is followed by a decrease in turbulent sensible heat flux. For almost all cases, an increase of the relative humidity is noticed, accompanied by a considerable increase of the turbulent latent heat flux. Therefore, NBS in cities change the energy balance significantly and modify the urban environment for the citizens' benefit.


Nature Based Solutions (NBS), SUEWS model, urban climate, urban energy fluxes

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