“Green cities do better” – EUROPARC at EU Green Week 2018

EU Green Week 2018 © European Commission DG Environment

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Last week was a special week for all Protected Areas in Europe. Starting with the celebration of the Natura 2000 Day that matched the opening of the EU Green Week 2018, the Natura 2000 Awards Ceremony, and closing with the celebration of the European Day of Parks! This meant also a very intensive week for EUROPARC network, especially in our Brussels office. Below, the main highlights of the Green Week for Parks across Europe.

“Green cities do better”

was the message of the EU Green Week 2018, that a took place from 21 to 25 May 2018, with the objective this year of drawing attention to the benefits of bringing nature into our cities. This year, the kick-off took place in Utrecht, Netherlands on the 21st May: the Natura 2000 Day. There, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, together with local and national representatives, and the Executive Director of the United Nation’s Environment Program, officially launched the Week.  

 Building a city that is genuinely sustainable and ‘fit for the future’ takes vision, a long-term perspective, and investment

The role of Periurban Parks

As now the official representative network of Periurban Parks, following last years’ integration of FEDENATUR into EUROPARC, we organised a special webinar dedicated to the role of Protected Areas building Green infrastructure in and around cities. The webinar was organised by the members of the EUROPARC Periurban Commission and two case studies reflecting different geographical realities were presented: the green ring of Victoria-Gasteiz and the Green Strategy of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

Green Infrastructure, periurban parks

Click on the image to watch the full webinar recording and download the presentations

“Nature in the City” Workshop

On the 23rd May, EUROPARC supported the organisation of the workshop in Brussels “Nature in the city“, where we looked from different perspectives on how nature-based solutions and green infrastructure can provides solutions for urban challenges and increase citizens’ quality, health & social life. Our invited speaker, Wilma Zijlema, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the ISGlobal, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, presented the case study of Collserola Nature Park in the outskirts of Barcelona, and the importance it has to the livelihoods of its citizens. 

Workshop Nature in the city – EU Green week 2018 © European Commission

The presentations are available for download here. The session was moderated by Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director for Natural Capital at the Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission; and other perspectives were shared by Nick Paling, Head of Data, Evidence & Communications, Westcountry Rivers Trust (UK); Dr Davide Geneletti, Associate Professor, Planning & Design for Sustainable Places Lab, DICAM University of Trento (Italy); Gitty Korsuize, Consultant, Green Areas & Urban Nature (The Netherlands); and Patrick ten Brink, Director for EU Policy, European Environmental Bureau.


“52 steps towards a greener city”

A green city depends not only on land planning cabinets and governmental organizations. There is a wide range of actions that can be done by each citizen, towards having a more environmental-friendly lifestyle in the city. That is why the European Commission launched the guide “52 steps towards a greener city” available for download in all members’ languages

During the week there was also another celebration day: the European Day of Parks, 24th May, where EUROPARC and IUCN organized a Webinar about “Solutions from European Protected Areas“ to promote examples of successful approaches from 2 different regions in Europe.