Green and blue in the city: MAES Urban pilot

The 'Evidence-based policymaking for sustainable cities' conference took place in Utrecht on the 31st of May and concluded with a ceremony during which the 'Values of green and blue in the city' City Deal was signed.


Green and blue, or plants and water, are of huge value for healthy city living. The question is how huge and how can that value be incorporated into policy decisions? During the conference, the report on the MAES Urban pilot was presented (of which the full name is 'Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES): Urban ecosystems'). This report provides guidelines and examples on how to implement theoretical concepts in the city.

The focus was not only on mapping and tools to support decision-making, but also on issues such as the link between green infrastructure and health, the circular economy and natural capital, and the management and financing of green urban infrastructure.

An impression of the meeting, including photos, can be found on the website of the Atlas of Natural Capital (ANK). There you will also find the presentations given that day. The EU Urban Agenda published a more detailed report.

City Deal: values of green and blue in the city

The conference was concluded with a ceremony during which the 'Values of green and blue in the city' City Deal was signed. The partners in this City Deal – seven Dutch local authorities, private parties and knowledge institutes – are going to share their user experiences and knowledge so that the Atlas of Natural Capital can link up even more effectively with the needs of practitioners. In addition, the City Deal is intended for the further refinement of the TEEB city tool, an instrument to evaluate green and blue in the city, using location-specific information, and to accommodate this in the Atlas of Natural Capital. Local authorities and their residents will then have a clear insight into how natural capital can contribute to a sustainable and healthy city. It will reinforce the cooperation between spatial designers, hydrologists, civil engineers, ecologists and environmental and health experts in planning processes.

What is a City Deal?

A City Deal is a typical Dutch phenomenon. It records specific collaboration agreements between cities, the state, other government bodies, businesses and social organisations. The deals are intended to lead to innovative solutions for societal issues. The cities determine the content of a City Deal themselves in consultation with the ministries concerned.