URBAN DEVELOPMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
21% of Paris Region – territory is urbanised (16% totally impermeable), 23% covered by forests and 47% of the territory is composed of cultivated, mainly intensive open field crops. Île-de-France has 35 Natura 2000 sites and 11 Regional Nature Reserves and hosts many endangered species or taxa. Biodiversity has greatly depleted over the last decade, especially visible in agricultural areas and in urban parks and gardens. On the other hand, plants observed in urban informal spaces have increased by more than 90% in just 7 years.
Green space per inhabitant is very scarce within the inner ring of Ile de France consisting of 4 départements, varying between 2-10 m2 by administrative unit. The region experiences substantial land take with more than 900 hectares of rural areas consumed each year by urbanisation. The City of Paris has an ambitious plan underway to expand green space through 100 hectares green roofs and squares as well as an additional 30 hectares of urban agriculture.
Urban heat islands represent a substantial risk in the region, exacerbated by heat waves and generally rising temperatures. In the 2003 and 2018 heatwave events, the Paris Region was particularly vulnerable due to a very dense urban fabric, heavy traffic and lack of vegetation. Nocturnal temperatures differ in the range of 2.5℃ or up to 10℃ in special cases compared to rural areas.
Ile-de-France also faces severe riverine and pluvial flooding events, which become more frequent and can be associated with intensive farming on the Seine basin, the lack of trees and hedges in agricultural areas, but also the lack of green infrastructure in periurban and urban areas to absorb excess of rainwater and slow water flow. Heavy traffic causessevere air pollution peaks every summer.
NBS IN FOCUS
Water cycle management and temperature regulation through improved soil services and vegetation to reduce urban heat islands and reduce riverine flooding:
Impermeable surfaces made permeable again (streets, parking lots, squares etc.)
Obstacles and coverages of rivers removed and “re-naturalised”, offering an additional opportunity for urban regeneration
Increased vegetation cover in streets and squares; and roofs and building walls vegetated to increase evapotranspiration and slow down rain-water flow
- Awareness raising and education of children and adults including both the public, professionals and elected representatives:
- With children, REGREEN will test different interventions aimed at developing children’s knowledge and awareness of nature as a vital resource for urban living
- With adults, REGREEN will raise awareness, educate and train them to NBS design and management, including helping technicians from cities to design NBS based on solid biodiversity and ecosystem knowledge in order to switch from landscape-based design to nature-based design.
- At the scale of the region: concrete planning tools, guidance and governance approaches that i) enable a better integration of the hydrological cycle in rural and urban areas; and ii) help an ecological transition by systematically integrating NBS in newly developed urban areas/areas at the planning and projects scales
- At the neighbourhood, street and building level: methodologies, technical guidelines and planning tools on concrete NBS and biodiversity solutions to meet multiple urban challenges
- Methodology for identifying the “re-greening” potential in cities (mostly “depaving” potential) in Paris region (mainly Seine-Saint Denis département)
REGREEN PARIS ULL PARTNER- Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle & Institut d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme de la Région Île de France
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