The URBiNAT Healthy Corridors being co-designed with residents and stakeholders in the districts of Campanhã (Porto), Nantes Nord (Nantes) and Nadezhda (Sofia) are one decisive step closer to becoming fully functional, living realities. In recent weeks draft urban plans have been drawn up, revealing for the first time the main conceptual and functional attributes of each corridor, each with its own specific cluster of Technological, Territorial, Participatory and Social & Solidarity Economy Nature-Based Solutions.
In Nantes Nord, plans include the repurposing of public spaces between residential buildings, notably with a view to reinforcing social cohesion, creating plots for urban agriculture, and an experimental plant nursery in a rooftop greenhouse. In Campanhã, teams on the ground have been working with local schools as part of a drive to boost the involvement of children in the co-selection of NBS and the transformation of their neighbourhoods. And in the district of Nadezhda citizens have seized on the idea of co-creating a school pavilion, a process that's well under way in coordination with URBiNAT partner and NBS-oriented design experts at IAAC (Barcelona).
Meanwhile, in our four Follower cities, URBiNAT’s local scientific partners are working with municipal technicians and representatives to conduct the first, “local diagnostic” stage of their projects. Each city is redoubling efforts to raise awareness through online webinars and opportunities for open dialogue to promote the active participation of citizens in co-creation processes.
Since early April partners in Siena have been hosting an eight-part series of public webinars on the theme of Paths, Meetings, and Reflections on Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainability. In Brussels collaborations are growing with local actors, including local hip hop artists, women’s groups, community associations, and cultural centers, in order to build inclusive and convivial public spaces together. In Høje-Taastrup which has a well-established culture of citizen-engagement in urban planning, URBiNAT is providing an opportunity to explore the potential of NBS in generating new knowledge about the neighborhood and cultivating new relations between neighbors. And in Nova Gorica, recently selected as European Capital of Culture 2025, partners working on the restoration of an ancient stream are raising awareness about the cultural heritage dimension, as well as the ecological services that will be derived.
Looking ahead our events management coordinators have started working on the organisation of two URBiNAT public events, the first in Milan (17-18 June 2022), the second in Porto in late 2023. These events will be open to all and specially aimed at our diverse target audiences including citizens, academics, urban planners, environmental planners, policy makers and the representatives of sister-H2020 projects. Related calls for papers and conference programmes will be announced shortly via the website.
So all in all, despite the inevitable COVID-related complications and delays along the way, things are moving along steadily.
Keep well and don’t hesitate to get in contact, one way or another, to help out in the co-creation process!
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