Life UrbanGreeningPlans

Source: Xarxa de Parcs Naturals, Facebook page

Designing innovative mechanisms to plan, implement, strengthen and manage green infrastructures in (peri)urban areas

The recent lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have even more highlighted the importance of what EUROPARC has been defending for many years: the value of green (peri)urban spaces for our daily physical and mental wellbeing.

The promotion of healthy ecosystems, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions should be systematically integrated into urban planning, including in public spaces, infrastructure, and the design of buildings and their surroundings.

To bring nature back to cities, the European Commission – in its EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy– calls on European cities of at least 20,000 inhabitants to develop ambitious Urban Greening Plans. These should include measures to create biodiverse and accessible urban forests, parks and gardens; urban farms; green roofs and walls; tree-lined streets; urban meadows; and urban hedges.

To help cities in this ambitious goal, the Commission will set up an EU Urban Greening Platform, under a new ‘Green City Accord’ with cities and mayors.

It is in this framework that lays the Life UrbanGreeningPlans.

How will the Life UrbanGreeningPlans contribute to this process?

  • sharing best case studies
  • demonstrating innovative actions
  • producing guidelines

Who we are?

The project is taken forward by 7 partners:  5 representing large dense European metropolis, quite advanced in their greening plans, with large periurban parks in their territories and 2 NGOs, with large experience in Periurban Parks, communication and participatory approaches.

Metropolis

  • BRUSSELS: Brussels Environment
  • LISBON: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
  • MILAN: Parco Nord Milano
  • BARCELONA: Barcelona Metropolitan Area
  • ATHENS: Management Authority of Schinias Marathon National Park, Mount. Hymettus and Southeast Attica

NGOs

  • EUROPARC Federation
  • Philodassiki Enossi Athinon (Athens)

The project is led by Brussels Environment.

When will the project take place?

During 2 years: from 3 May 2021- 30 April 2023

What is the main goal?

To enable local policy makers and greenspace managers of the 5 participating cities to design and demonstrate innovative mechanisms to increase the overall presence of biodiversity in their territories.

And the main objectives?

-Put in place ambitious and promising management actions to increase and enhance biodiversity in 2 urban areas (Milan and Lisbon), with a special focus on (i) mitigation and adaptation to climate change, (ii) pollinators enhancement and (iii) acceleration of natural succession in greenspaces.

-Improve biodiversity, connectivity and accessibility in 3 peri-urban greenspaces, each of them with different casuistics: (i) Athens, green cooling corridor connecting Mt Hymettus peri-urban forest to inner city, (ii) Brussels, street-parks and pocket gardens connecting the Woluwe park (urban park) with the Sonian Forest (peri-urban forest), (iii) Barcelona, re-organising complex metropolitan Llobregat riverside as a green & blue corridor to provide safe and healthy space for citizens and BD.

-Smoothen local decision-making and the implementation of innovative biodiversity mechanisms by actively involving different departments and/or different municipalities in co-decision processes and overcoming language barriers across sectors: (i) Brussels, changing practices in urban gardening that are harmful to biodiversity, with the involvement of different city departments, (ii) Barcelona, using novel Socioecological Integrated Analysis and multidimensional and multiscale governance approaches to seek consensus with different municipalities on greening elements of the new Master Urban Plan for Metropolitan Area, in preparation.

-Develop mechanisms for local public authorities to involve businesses and the local public more effectively in implementing and managing (peri)urban green spaces and to increase their global support in 2 peri-urban greenspaces: (i) Milan, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to involve local business in green space management, (ii) Athens, CSR and capacity building programs.

What else will be done?

A knowledge hub to support local policy makers, green infrastructure planners & greenspace managers in mechanisms to enhance and maintain biodiversity for Urban Greening Plans.

What is in for EUROPARC members?

EUROPARC members will benefit from the Knowledge Hub and other communication material prepared to disseminate the results of the project.

What is the total budget?

999.628 €