About Atenas

ATeNaS is an international project of JPI Water (www.waterjpi.eu) financed under the framework of the WaterWorks 2017 Programme.

ATeNaS aims to contribute to the evidence of nature-based solutions in cities for increasing urban climate and water resilience, and to building a critical mass of human and social capital for nature stewardship that allows NBS.

ATeNaS partnership is to capitalize on achievements of RDI actions financed by European Union and applied worldwide. It will review the experiences coming from NBS implementations, confront them with local physical, economic, and social realms of living labs in Poland, Finland and France, make them an attraction point for decision makers, business and citizens, and empower co-creation process in integrative NBS implementation.

Nationally the project is funded by Narodowe Centrum Badan i Rozwoju (NCBR, Poland), Suomen Akatemia (AKA, Finland) and Agence National de la Recherche (ANR, France).


ATENAS is built around three demonstration sites, covering urban and periurban zones of Lodz (PL), Lyon (FR)
and Vantaa/Helsinki (FIN) and sharing the challenge of enabling water to citizens and nature, both in terms of quality and quantity.


The upper Lodka River

Challenge: Permanent river turned into temporary stream due to limited urban runoff restitution amplified by geological conditions, pluvial flooding and drought, stewardship.
Intervention: ATeNaS will support an analysis of options for increased water storage and infiltration in urban commons through participatory design and implementation of demonstrative NBS as community building action. It will help to promote idea of stormwater retention, to link citizens with SMEs and decision makers, to establish community of practice and strengthen local leaderships



Challenge: Stormwater flood risks aggravated by climate change, increased soil sealing, runoff from traffic areas polluting brooks, modified channels of brooks and rivers decreasing ecological values.
Intervention: ATeNaS will develop tools to analyse the impacts of land use changes, apply of green area factor, model surface flows and find acceptable targets for different areas. The project will examine the reception and maintenance of recently implemented stormwater retention measures, and analyse opportunities and challenges in mainstreaming NBS in street planning practices.


Yzeron river

Challenge: Degradation of ecosystem services such as self-purification provided by small rivers.
Intervention: To identify identify small rivers’ services and address them with management strategies compatible with economic development and the sociological, regulatory and cultural aspects. This involves training of decision-makers in NBS, the analysis of the selfpurification capacity of the territory’s rivers, developement of partnership with stakeholders for the construction of new NBS to amplify the self-purification capacity of small rivers, and release of NBS catalogue dedicated to the treatment of urban runoff.


ATENAS wants to capitalize on knowledge on NBS and NBS related innovation funded nationally and internationally within RDI framework, and to make it accessible to non-professionals. It aims at triggering citizen science, making equal use of common and expert knowledge to create new values and water best-management practices. Partners membership in big global networks – LTER Europe and UNESCO IHP, secures pooling and dissemination of research and innovation, as well as continued networking and knowledge sharing.
ATENAS focuses on both experimental implementations of NBS based on co-design and living-lab approach and tracing and learning from the process of community building.
It has ambition to trigger citizen projects and to provide a toolbox for scaling up NBS effect on water management and society.


The ATENAS consortium consists of four partners: European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, FPP Enviro, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Finnish Environment Institute.


UNESCO Centre category II located in Łódź, Poland. ERCE carries out a transdysciplinary science: ecohydrology, chemistry, genetics, phytotechnology, and modelling, and socio-ecohydrology. It also implements ecohydrological NBS, and contributes to capacity building.



RiverLy is an interdisciplinary research unit  of INRAE, located in Lyon and aiming at the management and restoration of river systems and their catchments. In particular It focuses on using NBS to reducie impact of runoff and pollution on river systems.



A leading national research and development institute. It  evaluates efficiency of environmental policy and supports the development of policy Instruments. Areas of particular interest covers: sustainable use of ES, water management, and sustainability of the built environment.


FPP Enviro Ltd., PL

It was launched in 1998, as a sister company of a Danish AMPHI Consult. FPP’s activities cover a spectrum of services in natural protection and environmental management, e.g. EIA, decisions on environmental conditions, and environmental monitoring.