Climate change effects combined with pollution, heat waves and overpopulation are amongst the main challenges facing our cities today. To address them, cities are turning to so-called ‘Nature-based solutions’ or NBS. Bringing nature back into urban areas, through solutions such as green spaces and green walls, has become a priority for many municipalities worldwide. Like in Turkey’s Mediterranean city of Izmir.
“Our main goal is to reduce carbon emissions, increase green zones and biodiversity, while we also aim to reduce urban heat island effects,” says Sinan Alper, architect of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and member of the URBAN GreenUP EU funded project.
Since its launch in 2017, URBAN GreenUP has been implementing innovative NBS in a number of cities in Europe and beyond. One of the most impressive one is the Peynircioğlu Stream Ecological Corridor, right at the heart of Izmir. This 10-acre green belt near the city centre boasts almost 5,000 trees, fruit walls, green fences, and technical solutions for getting around sustainably. It’s claimed that such solutions have helped improve the inhabitants’ quality of life.
“Absolutely, there are more trees. Since there are more walking trails, the residents, especially the elderly, can have a walk in the morning and in the evening. So, they get the chance to exercise. There are more spaces for birds now. And there are plenty of cats and dogs. This place is very convenient for them”, says Birol Kucukgorur, a representative of the Izmir Citizen Committee.
Find out more on the Peynircioğlu Stream Ecological Corridor and how URBAN GreenUP is inspired by nature to make Izmir more resilient to heatwaves, droughts and flooding by watching the project Video News Release.