Lead Users are able to identify market gaps and create their own solutions. A lot of valuable self-developed nature-based (or related) solutions have already been implemented at the local scale but are not broadly diffused yet. Following the Lead User Method, RECONECT will find workable but unexplored lead user innovations and make them available for other communities in need.

Authors: Dr. Vytaute Dlugoborskyte (Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology); Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Cornelius Herstatt (Head of the Department, Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology)

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Who the Lead Users are

The common understanding of innovations and innovative activities presumes that producers develop innovative goods and services in order to sell them to customers, consequently following benefit-motivated goals. In contrast, users innovate when they cannot find suitable products or solutions in the market that satisfy their needs. Such user innovations are frequently developed by so-called Lead Users.

Lead users are individuals or organizations suffering from unsolved problems and/or having strong needs while having no access to appropriate solutions. Lead users can discover trends and needs earlier than other market participants, being able to articulate those needs appropriately. Therefore, they invest their time and resources to develop their own solutions — even though time and resources are often limited — and thus benefit from their ideas themselves. If such solutions are well perceived by others who are facing the same problems, they have the potential to become general solutions for the marketplace and thereby help many others. …


Eva Crego Liz from Agència Catalana de l’Aigua (ACA) illustrates the case of the Tordera Delta and the feasibility studies made to diminish the flood risk in this RECONECT demonstrator.

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Delta de la Tordera — photo credits: Turisme Malgrat

Short description of your area (geographical context, morphological problems and goals of the NBS implementations)

The Tordera River Basin is one of the main watersheds in Catalonia, Spain, still unregulated. It has a typical Mediterranean rain regime (scarce and irregular) and flash floods usually occur. Vulnerable activities occupy flood-prone areas as the middle part of the basin is highly industrialized, while the Delta is a popular tourist spot with different campsites. Besides, the Delta is an important area for agricultural production. …


Carlos A. Madera (Universidad del Valle) and Daniel Ascuntar Rios (Local Environmental Urban Authority of Cali City, DAGMA) illustrate the hydro-meteorological hazards affecting the Cali area (RECONECT collaborator), the solutions implemented and the diffusion of the NBS approach in Colombia.

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A view of Cali. Credits: DAGMA

Short description of the Cali area

Cali is a tropical city of almost 2.3 million inhabitants, economically based on services and tourism, with an important presence of small and medium industries.

Cali is sunny, warm and windy. It is a water treasure full of birds, crossed by 7 rivers, almost 2.000 water springs and more than 6.000 surface water currents that flow into the valley area. …


Interview with Alberto Girani, Director of the Ente Parco di Portofino, and Guido Paliaga (PhD), CNR-IRPI temporary research fellow. Both are partners and demonstrators in the RECONECT project.

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What are the drivers for using Nature-Based Solutions in the Portofino area?

The landscape surrounding Portofino, along the North-West coast of Italy is characterized by steep valleys and mountain slopes extending to the shoreline. These slopes are a biodiversity hotspot and also include cultural heritage sites, which together attract a vast number of tourists. The surrounding landscape has been intensively modified since the medieval period with many changes superimposed on each other. The latest expansion of tourism infrastructure further increased the level of urbanisation, extending even further into the back-country. Thunderstorms and rainfall events in this region often have a duration of only one or two hours, but their intensity is very strong. Over the last 15–20 years an increase of storms and flash flood events has been observed, severely affecting the stability of slopes in several small catchments in the area. During heavy rainfall events, debris such as dead trees and sediment are flushed down the catchment in fast accumulating mud flows. In October 2011, thirteen people died during such a flood in the Cinque Terre- Val di Vara area, a very important touristic area close to Portofino. Economic damage was estimated to accumulate into millions of Euros. Collapsed and unmaintained terraces, together with insufficient space for flood infrastructure and poor forestry management are among the main factors causing these severe impacts of floods and landslides. These impacts drive the need for solving problems in a holistic way, through small interventions like e.g. …


Lars Kildahl Sønderby is a forest and landscape engineer working at Odense Municipality, Denmark. As a member of the RECONECT project consortium, he is leading one of the demonstration sites of Nature-Based Solutions with the potential for upscale.

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What are the drivers for using Nature-Based Solutions in Odense Municipality?

The Seden Strand project area is just four kilometres outside of Odense, Denmark’s third largest city. Located on the shore of a fjord of the Baltic Sea, the small settlement of 142 houses with bordering agricultural areas and a nature conservation area is one of ten flood risk areas in Denmark. In the recent ten years an increase in frequency of floods has been observed, requiring immediate measures. …


Interview with Pritha Hariram, Senior Business Development Officer at FMO (Dutch Development Bank). In her own personal capacity, Ms. Hariram is a member of the Advisory Board of the RECONECT project.

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What does RECONECT bring to the financier community?

There are several demonstration projects implemented within the RECONECT project that pilot Nature-Based Solutions. Having those demonstration projects consolidated under RECONECT fosters both quality in planning and evaluation, but also momentum for uptake of projects both within the RECONECT consortium, as well as in the demonstrators regions. When these pilots are then up-scaled, that is where financiers can step in and invest.

The finance community has substantial differences between financiers. For example, the European Development Financial Institutions (EDFIs) only invests in developing countries, and further only in projects with private sector participation. Most infrastructure developments in the Netherlands, like e.g. Room for the River, are however financed by public means. Having members of the finance community on the advisory board of RECONECT allows projects to be informed on what financiers are looking for in a project. Many times financiers are confronted with amazing technical proposals, but are not able to fund them due to the lack of a business case for these projects. Communicating criteria for making a solid business case to the project owners is a valuable process that takes place within RECONECT. …


Floods, droughts, landslides and heat waves are increasing due to the impacts of climate change. Nature-Based Solutions can be used to effectively reduce hydro-meteorological risk. But what is the best measure to choose? Each area has its specific context for applying NBS, and there are tools to evaluate what is the right action to adopt.

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From L. Ruangpan, Z. Vojinovic, S. Di Sabatino, L. Leo, V. Capobianco, A. Oen, M. McClain and E. Lopez-Gunn, Nature-Based Solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction: A state-of-the-art review of the research area, paper under discussion for the Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Journal. …


Interview with Prof. Dong-Jiing Doong, Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering, Coastal Ocean Monitoring Center at the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). NCKU together with the governmental Water Resources Agency (WRA) are partners in the RECONECT project.

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Weather extremes in Taiwan

Floods are a serious problem in Taiwan. Surrounded by sea, the island is vulnerable to typhoons, tropical storms that bring extreme rainfall events with them. In 2009 the typhoon Morakot broke records by dumping over 2,500 millimetres of rainfall in three days on parts of southern Taiwan, causing extreme damage. In comparison to rivers around the world, rivers in Taiwan have the steepest slopes, the largest discharge per unit drainage area, and the shortest time of concentration. Rapid urbanization without proper land use management usually worsens the flood problems. …


Laddaporn Ruangpan, PhD researcher from IHE-Delft, illustrates how the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were determined to facilitate monitoring of the demonstrator areas.

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The RECONECT project will monitor, upscale or implement Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in a selection of European rural and natural areas. Of course, each area has its own particular conditions, which means a different solution to activate. How do organisations select the right NBS to use? How can implementers know if the solutions already adopted are in line with the expected results?

Key Performance indicators (KPI) are measurable values that indicate whether the project is achieving its objectives. KPI, derived from variables, are the first, most basic, metrics or aspects which can be used to measure, describe or assess the change and state of sub-goals over a period of time. Each demonstrator in RECONECT has to select indicators that best meet the area needs and monitor them throughout the duration of the project, to check if they are on the right track to reach expectations. According to the particular objectives of each demonstrator (e.g.: reduce flood hazard, store river run-off etc.), …

About

Reconect

The RECONECT project demonstrates the effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction in rural and natural areas www.reconect.eu

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