The URBAN GreenUP consortium gathered in Valladolid (Spain), the city where the project was launched in June 2017. The goal was to discuss the work done so far and get ready for the next project stage
The URBAN GreenUP partners have met in Valladolid (Spain) from the 24th to the 27th of September 2019 to share the latest progress of the project and set up the plans for the upcoming activities. The meeting was hosted by the Municipality of Valladolid, one of the three URBAN GreenUP Front-runners cities along with Liverpool (UK) and Izmir (Turkey), and project coordinator CARTIF Technology Center. In particular, Mrs Ferne Edwards from the RMIT University was invited to give a presentation of the EU-funded EdiCitNet project.
The three Frontrunner cities illustrated the progress made to date on the delivery of the agreed NBS. Several of the more complex NBS schemes had been awarded or are currently out to tender. In particular, some of the early schemes in Liverpool that have already been completed have received good media coverage. One example is the Mobile Forest, which attracted positive feedback from both citizens and social media. Another major achievement is the recent installation of a number of parklets in Izmir, which will increase carbon sequestration, reduce air pollution and help regulate the local microclimate. Moreover, solid progress has been made by cities on delivering a range of supporting non-technical and co-creation activities, which helped to engage citizens and raise the profile of the project
The project Follower cities have also been very active in the past months. In particular, Ludwigsburg intensified their efforts to convince companies of the benefits of green solutions and are setting plans for the installation of a pocket park in the industrial zone. They also organised the workshop “Your Garden and Climate Change” to inform citizens about suitable plants and soil structures for a climate adaptive garden. Moreover, the city of Quy Nhon has released a video to promote their work in URBAN GreenUP.
Work has been done on the development of joint methodologies to develop a Renaturing Urban Plan. During the meeting, cities worked through a few key early steps and shared their experiences. Besides validating the new planning methodology, this also provided an impetus for valuable transfer of knowledge and experiences between cities. The Renaturing Urban Plan developed by the project is flexible in order to adapt to local contexts
One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was the procedure to collect monitoring data from the NBS to be installed in cities. A dedicated workshop was organised among partners to brainstorm on key aspects such as monitoring measures, data collection procedures and sustainability beyond URBAN GreenUP.
Progress has also been made in terms of the economic exploitation of the NBS. The ex-ante evaluation of the value of the NBS in the Front-runner cities has been delivered. In the next months, partners will set the basis for the analysis of the NBS market within and beyond Europe.
The URBAN GreenUP community keeps growing and the project is now an acknowledged actor in the Nature-Based Solutions ecosystem. Project representatives participate regularly in international events to present URBAN GreenUP and the project channels are constantly updated with new information and editorial products
The meeting turned out to be a very productive occasion for partners to exchange ideas and keep working for the introduction of NBS into our cities.