We are recruiting a strongly motivated PhD student (with full scholarship) to conduct research on “Furthering nature-based solutions and biodiversity values in spatial planning tools and practice”, in the framework of a new EU-funded research project. The position is highly inter-disciplinary and open to candidates with social science or environmental sciences/engineering background, ideally with training/experience in the specific topic of the research. Candidates should apply to the call issued by the Doctoral Programme in Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering:

The PLANES Lab position is in Curriculum D (Topic D1) and is described below.

Description of the position

Recent international and European strategies have placed increasing emphasis on halting biodiversity loss in cities and urban environments through a series of policies, including spatial and urban planning (e.g., EU Territorial Agenda and Biodiversity Strategy). A transformative change is needed in terms of paradigms, goals, values and tools shaping current spatial development patterns and urban regeneration dynamics if such objectives are to be achieved. Spatial planning systems are able to create opportunities as well as challenges for the implementation of nature-based solutions (NbS), as fundamental drivers of change towards conservation and improvement of biodiversity. This research will be set within the EU Horizon Europe-funded project “BioValue” (Biodiversity value in spatial policy and planning leveraging multi-level and transformative change), and will focus on understanding the main drivers of change within urban and peri-urban areas and different spatial planning systems for protecting biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services through NbS. According to the candidate profile, the research may address (a combination of) the following topics:

–          Mapping the European spatial planning systems and benchmark policy directions for biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning;

–          Developing and applying innovative spatial planning and policy tools for mainstreaming Biodiversity and promoting NbS;

–          Testing Ecosystem Services (ES) mapping and assessment framework for mainstreaming biodiversity value in spatial planning-policy;

–          International comparative analysis of 3 to 5 case studies.

Application deadline: August 25, 2022, 4.00 PM (CEST).

Contact for further information: Prof. Davide Geneletti ( and Dr. Enzo Falco (


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