Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies @ University of Bucharest


Project title: Evaluating the role of nature-based innovations for healthy cities

Project number: PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2019-0316

Contract no.: TE 29/2020

Funding body: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

Budget: 431.860 RON

Period: 2020-2022

Research team:

Mihai Răzvan Niță – Project Coordinator

Diana Andreea Onose – Post-doctoral researcher

Athanasios Alexandru Gavrilidis – Post-doctoral researcher

Ana Maria Popa – PhD student

Stoia Larissa Nicoleta – PhD student


The main aim of the project is to evaluate nature-based innovations (NBI) and their health effects, integrating them in a framework for urban planning which will lead to the creation of healthy cities.


O1. Assessing the Challenges of urban environments in Romania, by evaluating specific targets and goals of sustainability and resilience, the transformation of land use and urban functions, the search for green cities and identifying key actors in the urban planning process.

O2. The evaluation of nature-based innovations will require identifying typologies and connecting a range of nature concepts, evaluating their effects in cities, determining the services and disservices to urban health and developing a model for integrating NBI in urban planning.

O3. We will explore ways of moving forward towards healthy cities in Romania by assessing the determinants of urban health, identifying the drivers and barriers of health, demonstrating the role of NBI in health and developing a framework for using NBI for healthy cities.

The project will use selected scientific methods on three levels for each WP: (i) establishing the theoretical framework of analysis, (ii) evaluating the existing situation and (iii) developing toolboxes of indicators and models for going forward to the development of an integrative framework for nature-based innovations in healthy cities. Project will use state-of-the-art methods: network analysis, grounded theory, multicriteria analysis, spatial analysis and modelling, PPGIS, sociological surveys.

Main results


Gavrilidis A.A., Niță M.R., Onose D.A. (2021), Landscape of health – a review of the research on urban landscapes associated with health and wellbeing, Health and Place, under review

Popa A.M., Iojă I.C., Onose D.A., Niță M.R. (2021), How much do we plan for nature in cities? Evaluating the integration of nature-based innovations in urban planning, European Planning Studies, under review.

Vasilescu A.G., Niță M.R., Stupariu-Pătru I. (2022), Methods for identifying the benefits associated with urban green infrastructures at different urban scalesCarpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 17(1), 69 – 80.

Iojă I.C., Badiu D.L., Haase D., Hossu C.A., Niță M.R. (2021) How about water? Urban blue infrastructure in Romania, Cities, 110, 103084.

Niță M.R., Arsene M., Barbu G., Cus A.G., Ene M., Serban R.M., Stama C.M., Stoia L.N. (2021), Using Social Media Data to Evaluate Urban Parks Use during the COVID-19 PandemicInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(20):10860



Niță M.R., Popa A.M., Stoia L.N. (2021) A combined analysis for integrating synergies and trade-off in planning sustainable urban parks, IOER Annual Conference 2021: Space & Transformation, September 22-24, Dresden, Germany

Gavrilidis A.A., Niță M.R., Onose D.A. (2021) Healthy landscapes – evaluating the influence of urban landscapes over health and wellbeing, 34th INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL CONGRESS, August 16-20, Istanbul, Turkey

Onose D.A., Niță M.R., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M., Stoia L.N. (2021) Insights of the relation between urban green infrastructure and self-perceived health of residents, The World Conference of the Society for Urban Ecology, July 7-9, Poznan, Poland

Nita M.R., Stoia L.N., Onose D.A., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M. (2021) Evaluating the health effects of urban parks use during the pandemic period, 17th International Conference on Urban Health – Transforming our Collective Urban Future: Learning from COVID-19, July 6-8, online

Nita M.R., Stoia L.N., Onose D.A., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M. (2021) The green walk – An analysis for improving the accessibility of urban green spaces, EUGEO 2021 8th EUGEO Congress on the geography of Europe, June 28 – July 1, Prague, Czechia

Pindaru L.C., Nita M.R. (2021) Dysfunctions caused by alien invasive species in urban areas: Case of study – Ailanthus altissima, International Symposium Present Environment and Sustainable Development (PESD), June 18-19, Iași

Nita M.R., Onose D.A., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M., Stoia L.N. (2021) The challenges of urban nature in Romania cities, Geobalcanica 7th International Scientific Conference Connect all geographers, June 15-16, Ohird, North Macedonia

Popa A.M., Niță M.R., Iojă I.C., Onose D.A.Grădinaru S.R. (2021) Nature-based solutions: from theory to implementation in Romanian urban planning, Third ESP Europe Conference – Ecosystem Services Science, Policy and Practice in the face of Global Changes, June 7-10, Tartu, Estonia


Popa A.M., Iojă I.C., Niță M.R. (2020) Sustainability indicators frames for assessing urban sustainability; The 2nd International Conference on Re-Shaping Territories, Environment and Societies: New Challenges for Geography, November 20-21, Bucharest, Romania

Onose D.A., Niță M.R., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M., Stoia N.L. (2020) Framework for assessing the transformation challenges of Romanian cities; XV-th edition International Conference Present Environment and Sustainable Development, November 21, Iași, Romania

Niță M.R., Popa A.M. (2020), Sustainability indicators used in the environmental planning process in Romania, The 8th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum (EEEN2020) Environmental Evaluation Supporting the Implementation of SDGs and Transformative Policymaking, 4-5 November, Finnish Environment Institute, Online

Niță M.R., Popa A.M., Grădinaru S.R. (2020) Evaluating the quality of local strategies for sustainability and resilience in Romanian cities; International Geographical Conference Dimitrie Cantemir, 40th Edition, October 24, Iasi, Romania

Niță M.R., Onose D.A., Ioja C.I., Gavrilidis A.A., Popa A.M. (2020) Playing with sustainable planning – analyzing the integration of playgrounds in the urban green infrastructure of Bucharest; International Geographical Conference Dimitrie Cantemir, 40th Edition, October 24, Iasi, Romania


Scientific Report 2021 Română / English

Scientific Report 2020 Română / English


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