EUROPARC is part of the two year LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans project that will work on greening urban areas through implementing better management practices and Nature Based Solutions.
Designing innovative mechanisms to plan, implement, strengthen and manage green infrastructures in (peri-)urban areas
- Duration 2021 – 2023
The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 calls upon cities with over 20.000 inhabitants to create Urban Greening Plans by the end of 2021. These plans aim to bring nature back into cities to support biodiversity and mitigate climate change. To help cities achieve this ambitious goal, the European Commission will create a EU Urban Greening Platform, under a new ‘Green City Accord’ with cities and mayors. This is the framework of the new LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans project, of which EUROPARC is happy to be a partner.
There are a number of challenges for cities that want to implement Urban Greening Plans. The project will work on tackling the main 4:
- Lack of knowledge and expertise among policy makers and city officers on how to implement and maintain Green Infrastructures
- Bad connectivity and accessibility of peri-urban green spaces due to growing cities and spatial pressure, as well as due to the historically poor urban planning of peri-urban areas
- Poor cooperation across different sectors within a municipality and/or different municipalities. Co operations are needed because of the multi-scalar and multi-functional nature of Green Infrastructure
- Lack of innovative and effective strategies to involve local businesses and the wider public.
So, what are Urban Greening Plans? Phillipe Lahaela from ICLEI explains it in concisely in the following video:
Through demonstrating and implementing innovative actions, sharing best practice case studies and producing guidelines, the project aims to pave the way for urban areas throughout Europe to include Green Infrastructure, Nature Based Solutions (NBS) and the promotion of healthy ecosystems in their urban planning. The project supports one of EUROPARC’s main messages: the value of green (peri-)urban spaces for our daily physical and mental well being.
The project was publicly launched at the EUROPARC webinar during the EU Green Week “Urban forestry as a Nature Based Solution to mitigate climate change and reduce pollution”:
The project will work over a period of 2 years and includes the following 7 partners:
- Brussels Environment – Brussels (lead partner)
- EUROPARC Federation – Regensburg
- Câmara Municipal de Lisboa – Lisbon
- Parco Nord Milano – Milan
- Barcelona Metropolitan Area – Barcelona
- Management Authority of Schinias Marathon National Park, Mount. Hymettus and Southeast Attica – Athens
- Philodassiki Enossi Athinon – Athens
Brussels Environment – Project leader
Brussels Environment was founded in 1989 and is the public service for the environment and energy of the Brussels-Capital Region. Here they are responsible for amongst other things monitoring the air quality, biodiversity, sustainable development and animal welfare. They are the project leader of LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans, additionally, they are also the sole responsible actors for actions A6 and A7.
Contact person in Brussels Environment is Etienne Aulotte – Head of department nature & agriculture development.
EUROPARC is the biggest network of Protected Areas in Europe. We work to represent our members in Brussels and create networking and learning opportunities. Within the project, we are responsible for leading the communication on the project (B1), organising workshops and creating the Knowledge Hub (B3).
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
The local Action Plan for Biodiversity in Lisbon (PALBL) Team of Camara Municipal de Lisboa will lead the project in Lisbon. The Municipality of Lisbon, within the framework of its strategic guidelines for biodiversity in urban areas, decided to establish as a goal to improve its environmental performance and to increase biodiversity by 20% by 2020. The PALBL team is part of this initiative. Within the project they will be in charge of action A3.
Contact person is Fernando Louro Alves.
Parco Nord Milano
Parco Nord Milano is a Periurban Park in Milan. The total size is 790 hectares and the site includes urban forests, wet lands, lakes systems and meadows. The public body that manages the park was created to redevelop the suburbs north of Milan. Since 1975 it was recognized as a Regional Park by the Lombardy Region. Within the project they will be responsible for Actions A2 and A9.
Contact persons are Riccardo Gini, Director of Parco Nord Milano – Fabio Campana, forest manager and Silvia Argentiero, communication manager.
Barcelona Metropolitan Area
The Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) is the public administration of the metropolitan area of Barcelona, which occupies 636 km² and encompasses 36 municipalities with more than 3.2 million inhabitants. The area of focus will be the Llobregat Riverside, which is a Mediterranean freshwater ecosystem. Within the project they will be responsible for Actions A4 and A9.
Contact persons are: Raimon Roda (green infrastructure service SIV), Laura Cid, Patricia García, Kyriaki Ilousi, Eugènia Vidal (management technical office OTG), Jac Cirera, Marc Carbonell (master plan drafting team PDU), Elena Argelich (international office).
Management Authority of Schinias Marathon National Park, Mount. Hymettus and Southeast Attica
The management body of the National Park was established in 2003. The side, which is close to Athens, includes wetlands, coastal areas and pine forests. The main focus within the project will be on the green corridor that spreads into Athens. It is responsible for action A5 of the project.
Contact persons are: Eleni Katsirodi, Maria Trivourea, Stella Rapti, Konstantinos Koumpis.
Philodassiki Enossi Athinon
Philodassiki Enossi Athinon is an NGO in Athens that is responsible for the creation of the Mt. Hymettus Aesthetic Forest. When it was established in 1899, it undertook the initiative of
the reforestation of the hills in and around Athens. Through the initiative of Philodassiki, the completely degraded hills in the center of Athens (Lycabettus, Philopappou, Ardittos, the Nymphs and Pnyka) were reforested at the same time with the barren of vegetation slopes of the Acropolis. Withing the project it is responsible for actions A5 and A10.
LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans wants to enable local policy makers and green space managers of the 5 participating cities to design and demonstrate innovative mechanisms to increase the overall presence of biodiversity in their territories.
It aims to do so by:
- Mobilizing international networks to identify the most promising mechanisms for biodiversity enhancement to be included in Urban Greening Plans
- Putting in place ambitious and promising management actions to increase and enhance biodiversity in 2 urban areas (Milan and Lisbon)
- Improve biodiversity, connectivity and accessibility in 3 peri-urban greenspaces, each of them with different casuistics (Athens, Barcelona, Brussels)
- 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 (Brussels, Barcelona)
- Develop mechanisms for local public authorities to involve businesses and the local public more effectively in implementing and managing (peri-)urban green spaces (Milan, Athens)
All the information and experiences collected will then lay the foundations for a Knowledge Hub, created specifically for local policy makers, green infrastructure planners en greenspace managers of other cities in Europe. It will give them concrete examples and how-to guidelines to start their own Urban Greening Plans.
You can find more details on the projects objectives and outputs in “Actions & Outputs” tab.
The total budget of the project is 999.628 € and is partially financed by the LIFE Programme of the European Union.