NEXT LEVEL 2021: a 1-day celebration of nature-based solutions

15 September 2021 - Published by Ellen Kelder

The climate crisis is impacting cities and communities across the globe. As extreme weather events become increasingly frequent, cities must work together to find effective nature-based solutions (NBS) to adapt to their changing climates. The Dutch city of Dordrecht - a region with a long history of climate adaptation solutions - invites cities, practitioners, researchers, and citizens to join the conversation on the future of liveable cities at the NEXT LEVEL 2021 conference on the 20th of October. 

“With over half the world’s population living in urban areas, a statistic that is only projected to grow in the coming years, the need to build more liveable cities is crucial to a healthy and sustainable future. Dordrecht’s vulnerability to flooding has given us centuries of experience working towards this mission and we look forward to sharing our green-blue vision for liveability at NEXT LEVEL 2021,” says Ellen Kelder, leader of Dordrecht’s initiative to create a green-blue city. 

This hybrid event will mark the culmination of the BEGIN project. Since 2016, our 10 cities and 6 research institutes have co-developed Blue and Green Infrastructure (BGI) solutions and exchanged best practices to better deal with extreme weather events, enhance climate adaptation, and improve the use and design of BGI through social innovation within their urban areas. Now, these partners are looking to take their work to the next level with exciting new ideas and collaborations.

Dordrecht provides a fitting setting for the in-person conference, as the city has dealt with extreme flooding for over 600 years. That’s why the city has created a Green-blue vision for climate adaptation and liveability and continuously practices innovative ways to involve citizens in decision-making processes on climate issues.

NEXT LEVEL 2021 attendees can look forward to keynote speeches from Senator Dr. Anjes Tjarks, City of Hamburg; Dr. Ir. Robert Snep, Wageningen University; Mckenna Davis, Ecologic Institute; Paul Sayers, Director of Sayers and Partners; and Jens Thoms Ivarsson, City of Gothenburg.

For an opportunity to deep dive into the many facets of liveable cities, NEXT LEVEL 2021 also offers four workshops to choose from:

  • Climate Adaptation and NBS

  • People, Society and NBS

  • Health, Wellbeing and NBS

  • Multifunctional and Multi-benefit NBS

Space in both the online and in-person events is limited, so register for free today to discover the latest developments in liveable cities and channel your vision to shape a liveable cities future.

"We need everyone to make cities more liveable. We need to create a shared vision between cities, scientists, communities and businesses by working together, and this conference creates the space for such collaboration to thrive," says Sofia Aivalioti, an innovation consultant at Bax & Company and one of the driving forces behind the conference.

What is the next level for liveable cities? Join us next month to find out!

For more information and to register, visit