In recent years our extensive knowledge on a range of environmental topics is being applied to build decision support tools to advise users on Nature Based Solutions, smart strategies for using vegetation and water bodies to improve environmental quality and liveability. 

Decision Support For Nature Based Solutions in Cities

One of our most recent achievements is the development of a decision support tool for the city of Antwerp, Belgium, to advise urban planners and city officals on application of urban green in real estate development and infrastructural changes. This tool can be transferred to other interested cities or regions.


  • Insights into the advantages of including vegetation and water bodies in urban developments.  The degree of positive impact of various ‘smart’ measures can be seen on the following environmental factors:
    • Air quality
    • Heat Stress
    • Noise
    • Water management
    • Nature and Biodiversity
    • CO2-capture
    • Recreation
  • An overview of the existing environmental quality is provided allowing the existing environmental challenges to be identified.
  • The effects of a large database of green and blue measures can be analysed for each topic.
  • Suggestions of interesting measures to users for locations of their interest
  • The measures are applicable on different scales: street level up to city wide

Important features

  • Analysis is based on cartographic information: spatially explicit!
    • Thematic maps
    • Maps presenting the impact of possible measures
  • Calculation of the monetary effects and distribution effects between stakeholders can be added
  • Case analyses can be saved and exported as a report. 
  • Thematic background information and links to relevant scientific reports
  • The tool can be applied to benchmark sites owned by city authorities, support management plans and can be made mandatory for urban development plans to ensure spatial planners take into account environmental challenges and liveability.

The Antwerp GreenTool is developed to support employees of various city services in their assignments and in the preparation of designs and advice. The tool also serves as input for the development of plans such as the Antwerp Green Plan and for the actualisation of the strategic Spatial Structure Plan. It was important that the application would be very user-friendly. This ensures that the city services will use the wealth of information available for Antwerp more efficiently and frequently.

Iris Gommers
Sustainable City Coordinator for City of Antwerp

For whom?

This tool inspires spatial planners and city officials to take smart and green measures when developing urban locations.  It bundles a lot of environmental information and creates for each area in a city a quick overview of current landuse and existing environmental qualities and challenges.

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