More natural urban streams in Europe's cities – EU project ReBioClim launched

In times of climate change and declining biodiversity, the restoration of streams and rivers in densely built-up cities is becoming increasingly important. However, there is often a lack of local acceptance for such measures. The EU-funded ReBioClim project aims to change this. Twelve project partners from five different countries are looking for suitable solutions until January 2027. Initial measures are being implemented in two real-world areas.

In many European cities, streams have disappeared from the cityscape over the course of history. They have not only been straightened or channelized, but to a large extent also built over, so now only flow through urban areas underground. In times of climate change, the large and small streams in Europe's cities are becoming increasingly important. If they are sensibly designed with adjacent green spaces, these green-blue corridors can not only provide cooling and fresh air in densely built-up urban neighbourhoods. They also provide habitats for plants and animals and thus make an important contribution to the conservation of biodiversity. Last but not least, urban residents also benefit from restored rivers and streams - they gain space for recreation and quality of life. Restored streams can also fulfil an important protective function in the event of flooding.

There are many reasons in favour of nature-oriented management of urban watercourses. However, such measures often lack broad acceptance. How can this be changed? How can we increase acceptance for the implementation of nature-based solutions instead of technical ones? How can various challenges such as lack of space, property rights of surrounding land, different stakeholder interests be tackled? The Interreg project ReBioClim (Restoring urban streams to promote biodiversity, climate adaptation and to improve quality of life in cities) will address these questions over the next two and a half years. Twelve partner organisations from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands are working together to achieve this. They met at the end of June for the official kick-off in Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic and agreed on the first steps.

The aim is to use a participatory approach involving many different stakeholders to increase acceptance of measures that restore the natural appearance of small watercourses in cities. Streams in the cities of Dresden (Germany), Jablonec nad Nisou (Czech Republic), Poznan (Poland) and Senica (Slovakia) will serve as practical examples. There, the project team will work with various stakeholders to develop strategies and action plans for the successful implementation of nature-based solutions and find out which measures are particularly suitable and accepted at the same time. In Dresden and Senica, implementation of the first measures is set to begin during the project period.

By the help of co-design workshops with different stakeholders, the project team will develop a best-practice guide on preferable nature-based solutions as well as a handbook giving practical guidance to urban stream restoration. These outputs will be available to urban planners and decision-makers in other cities in Central Europe and support them in restoring urban streams in their cities.

ReBioClim is funded by the EU in the Interreg Central Europe Programme.

More information about the project

Scientific contact at the IOER
Dr. Ralf-Uwe Syrbe, E-Mail:
Dr. Henriette John, E-Mail:

Project start in Jablonec nad Nisou (left). An excursion took the project team to the local Bílá Nisa stream (right), which serves as a practical demonstration (Photo: R.-U. Syrbe/IÖR-Media)

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.