The outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic has impacted everyone’s life and caused dramatic changes in our society. URBAN GreenUP too has been affected, with many activities being stopped or rescheduled to comply with safety measures. But rewinding the tape of the past months to prepare this editorial, I am pleased to note how much the project has achieved despite the difficult conditions.
More and more of the planned Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are being installed in our Frontrunner cities, with some of the latest additions being green walls, drainage systems and floating islands in Liverpool; parklets and green pavements in Ízmir and green roofs and green façades in Valladolid. Now these places enjoy cleaner air and water and increased biodiversity. And if you are also convinced of the effectiveness of NBS and wonder which ones should be installed in your city, you are welcome to find inspiration with our NBS selection tool.
We are also very happy to see the quick growth of our recently established network of cities. Eighteen cities from Europe and beyond have already joined our Frontrunners and Followers on their mission to boost the worldwide adoption of renaturing urban plans, the only way to welcome nature back into our cities. Remember, our network is open to all interested cities, so do not hesitate to contact us!
Of course, being confined at home means that social media are pivotal in allowing us to stay in contact with our community and supporting it throughout this difficult time. That is why we joined forces with the network of EU Smart City Projects and together launched the #SmartCitiesHelp and #CityFromMyWindow campaigns. These campaigns have helped citizens to access the best solutions offered by cities to cope with the COVID19 emergency and to feel less isolated during the lockdown, respectively. And these were not our only campaigns, as we also launched #Flowers4Bees in collaboration with the EU EFFECT project. #Flowers4Bees was inspired by the 2020 World Bee Day on May 20 and aimed to raise awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators in our environment. Help us protect bees by sharing pictures of flowers on Twitter or on our dedicated Facebook group!
So, as you can see there is a lot to read about the recent developments of URBAN GreenUP. I hope you will enjoy our collection of stories and that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe!
Raúl Sánchez URBAN GreenUP coordinator CARTIF Technology Center
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