kick off

09-03-2020 / admin

Get to know REGREEN project!

By Pia Frederiksen & Marianne Zandersen, January 2020

The European project REGREEN, entitled “Fostering nature-based solutions for equitable, green and healthy urban transitions in Europe and China” is funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme. The project focusses on the present and near-future challenges that cities are faced with, such as climate change impacts (flooding, heat islands), air pollution, and biodiversity decline, and how Nature-based solutions (NBS) can address these challenges in new ways.

NBS involve approaches to planning and management of the urban land area, buildings and other urban elements that bring more nature into the cities. NBS actions and interventions comprise new, restored or managed ecosystems that alleviate and mitigate urban challenges. Greening of roofs and walls may for example decline temperatures in buildings, and small urban forests located strategically may both prevent fast runoff and flooding, while also providing local recreational possibilities. NBS are also a mix of natural and human elements, where the potential of NBS is only realised when people interact or otherwise benefit from the ecosystem services and biodiversity provided by the NBS. People are in other words an integral part of NBS. Quality of NBS is another key defining feature, both in terms of the bio-physical effectiveness of mitigating a challenge; in terms of wider sustainability in construction and management and in terms of how well the human dimension is integrated.

REGREEN works in cities in China and Europe to attain new knowledge on the drivers of urban change and its spatial impacts on green and blue infrastructures, on the various types of NBS they represent, and on how different groups of citizens have access to, value and benefit from the services provided by NBS. The project also looks at how schoolchildren access nature, how they perceive their environment and how educational tools may invite children to explore their living environment more deeply. REGREEN tracks citizens’ movements in relation to urban green areas, and investigates how they value various types of NBS in general. This knowledge feeds into experiments on how NBS can be promoted by city authorities, and how they can be realized by designing good planning advice and -tools.

Working together with small, medium scale and large cities in Europe and with urban researchers in China, REGREEN will provide knowledge and solutions that can contribute to urban transitions towards equitable, green and healthy cities, and we will convene seminars and meetings, where cities can share experiences and where research results can be made more broadly available. Initiating and promoting networking activities among smaller enterprises working with nature-based solutions will bring these results closer to the market.

REGREEN started September 1st 2019, and had a kick-off meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, by the end of October, in the inspiring surrounding of the ARoS art museum.