Portsmouth School of Architecture

Renaturing Cities

Theories, Strategies and Methodologies

Workshop / 10 - 13 July 2017

Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil


Apply for a place

We are now inviting Early Career Researchers from the UK and Brazil to apply to attend this workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Fund Researcher Links programme. See below for more details on the initiative.

The deadline for applications is 23rd April 2017.

Apply now



Coordinator Support



The main aim of this workshop is to explore novel theories, strategies and methods for re-naturing cities. There is today strong interest in the theme, since 'naturalising' cities can help address multiple global societal challenges and generate benefits, such as the enhancement of health and well-being, sustainable urbanisation, ecosystems and their services and resilience to climate change. Approximately 40 academics from the UK and Brazil, most of which will be early career researchers, will participate in this four-day workshop. This initiative is a partnership between the University of Portsmouth and the Universidade Federal de Goiás.

The workshop will enable researchers to learn from best practice, critically analyse benefits and pitfalls of case studies, and advance current theoretical and empirical knowledge. The workshop will also offer valuable insight on how academics, planners and policymakers can apply this knowledge to their cities and regions. 


The UN's prediction of significant urban population growth and climate change for as early as 2050 has led the concept of resilience to become intertwined with that of sustainability, shifting contemporary debates towards the need for new approaches and urban planning models. The overcoming of old dichotomies between the man-made and nature has been argued as a necessary paradigm change.

The development of complexity theory and systems thinking led to modes of planning that promote the intrinsic relationships among the different urban systems and the integration of ecosystem services into urbanism. In this context, the notion of re-naturing cities, nature-based solutions and biophilic cities have emerged. While it is known that the effects of population growth and climate change will hit developing countries such as Brazil harder, perspectives from the Global South are often neglected in the definition of theories, methodologies and strategies for re-naturing cities.

There is, thus, a compelling need to investigate new perspectives and integrative approaches to urban and natural systems able to help cities address the social, economic and environmental needs in times of rapid volatility. 


  • To foster academic collaborations in the field between the UK and Brazil;
  • To act as a forum for a transnational synthesis of knowledge on theories, methods and strategies for renaturing cities taking into consideration distinct socio-economic and environmental scenarios; 
  • To co-develop strategies able to inform national debates leading to short-medium term socio-economic development; and 
  • To contribute to capacity building of early career researchers (ECRs) in the related fields. 

Key Themes

  • Green and healthy cities
  • Biophilic cities
  • Systemic planning and approaches to greening cities
  • The roles of green and blue infrastructures
  • Productive landscapes: urban and peri-urban agriculture
  • Urban resilience through nature-based solutions
  • Enhancing income-generating activities through re-naturing cities
  • Integrating ecosystem services in cities
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
  • Top-down, bottom-up and mixed mechanisms for the development of systemic re-naturing of planned and existing cities.

What Will You Experience?

  • Supportive multidisciplinary environment of UK and Brazilian ECRs and experienced academics
  • The opportunity to discuss your research
  • Participatory sessions
  • Professional development sessions, synthesis and application activities.
  • Mentors will continue supporting ECRs after the end of the workshop through Skype and emails.

Tentative Programme

The activities proposed are participatory and were organised around 4 identified categories: research, professional development, synthesis and application. The research activities include keynote speeches from the coordinators and participatory research sessions when ECRs will present and discuss their work. The development sessions are expected to focus on publishing, research methods, networking and opportunities for research collaborations between the UK and Brazil. Synthesis and application activities will follow involving a variety of stakeholders.


A book including full papers from participants of this seminar will be edited. Please indicate your interest in the application form.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applications must be submitted using the online application form
  • Applications must be submitted by Sunday 23 April 2017
  • Participants must be Early Career Researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as holding a PhD (or having equivalent research experience) and having up to 10 years post-PhD research experience. They are equivalent to the ‘Recognised Researcher’ and sometimes ‘Experienced Researcher’ categories in the EU framework for researchers’ careers. PhD students who are at least in their third year may be eligible should places be available.
  • Participants must have a research or academic position (a permanent post, research contract, or fellowship etc) at a recognised research institution either in the UK or in Brazil
  • Please note that participants are expected to attend all sessions of the workshop

To apply

Please fill in the online application form and submit it before the 23rd April 2017.

Contact Us

Please send any queries to renaturing-cities@port.ac.uk


DescriptionFile Size
Re-naturing Cities – Poster PDF 803KB
Re-naturing Cities – Flyer PDF 492KB
Re-naturing Cities – Programme

British Council

Research Link

Newton Fund


University of Portsmouth