2021: URBiNAT at midway point

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2021 is here! May the year ahead be a source of inspiration for citizens across Europe, and around the world, engaged in the co-creation of healthier, greener and more inclusive cities! Let's hope it's a year for reconnecting face-to-face, a year to #buildbackbetter!

2021 marks the midway point for the URBiNAT project (2018 - 2023), a good moment to take stock, reflect on where we stand in relation to our goals, and recognise how much ground we've already covered. There have been significant achievements including some 22 project deliverables (9 in 2020), dozens of conference presentations, and key milestones, including the activation of Living Labs in each Frontrunner and Follower cities (as planned and on schedule!). 

The Local Diagnostic - data collection and analysis in the Living Labs - phase of the project is now complete in Frontrunner cities [report], and under way in Follower cities, allowing us to assert with confidence that the theoretical and methodological foundations of the project are strong. We are on track to achieving to goals we have set for ourselves in terms of the co-selection and implementation of Nature-Based Solutions, and the co-creation of larger Healthy Corridors, in our target intervention areas.  

Looking ahead, as we transition to the planning and implementation phases of the project, our focus in Frontrunner cities is going to be on the consolidation of urban plans outlining the main structural and functional features of the Healthy Corridors. Meanwhile, in Follower cities, we shall be working on the replication of data collection and analysis methods as part of the co-diagnostic of intervention areas. At the same time we shall be continuing work on the URBiNAT Catalogue, there are several research papers in the pipeline on the production of papers relating to the theoretical and methodological aspects of the project, and there'll be no letting up of our awareness-raising efforts about the project via the website and related social media.  

So things are moving along nicely, but that's not to say we haven't faced significant challenges along the way! Twelve months ago who could have imagined the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the lives of citizens worldwide? The project inevitably took a hit as lock down rules across Europe hampered plans to engage with citizens in face-to-face meetings and co-creation workshops. Nonetheless, our teams on the ground were swift to adapt and showed remarkable resourcefulness as they resorted to traditional and various forms of digital communication to reach out to and engage citizens in online project activities, from responding to surveys, to taking part in online meetings, and co-creation workshops. Quite a feat!

Porto Living Lab: online workshop with citizens to co-create NBS

If anything the pandemic has brought into sharper focus the social and environmental injustices that persist in many of our cities, and the physical barriers (roads, industrial zones, vacant plots), and psychological barriers (unemployment, poverty, illiteracy) that prevent sizeable sections of our urban populations from enjoying healthy, secure and prosperous lives. It has confirmed our belief that NBS as part of the co-creation of Healthy Corridors can address these significant challenges bringing multiple benefits to local communities.

It is difficult to predict how things will evolve in coming weeks and months. Come what may we are embarking on the next phase of the project with determination and a strengthened conviction of the importance of our mission!   

Saudações! Greetings! Saluti! Salutations ! Groeten! Поздравления! Vær hilset! Pozdravi! با درود



WEBSITE: 18 new "NEWS" blog posts since Oct. 2020 covering project news, city updates, research outputs and academic events + new comments functionality. Reorganised and regularly updated CITY pages. Improved RESOURCES page with links to all project deliverables and related outputs. Better integration of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

URBiNAT MEETINGS: SIENA: Meetings and workshops involving URBiNAT Consortium members, citizens from the district of Ravacciano (intervention area), city administrators and other stakeholders, organised as part of  "Technical meeting" (Oct. 2020).
FRONTRUNNER HIGHLIGHTS: NANTES: Walkthroughs of intervention area with residents during Fête de la Science 2020. PORTO: Public events & presentation of preliminary version of urban plan (Nov. 2020). SOFIA: More outreach and engagement to local citizens in district of Nadezhda.
FOLLOWER CITY HIGHLIGHTS: Full descriptions of the Living Labs that have been established in HOJE TAASTRUP, BRUSSELS, NOVA GORICA and SIENA are included in the Milestone 2: URBiNAT Living Labs and Community of Practice. All 4 Followers currently focused on data collection and analysis as part of Local Diagnostic. Details on individual city pages on website. 
COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE: Continued regular contacts with H2020 sister projects, notably through Task Forces 1 - 6.  Joint webinar organised as part of Nantes Innovation Forum . TF2: Work no NBS impact assessment in view of publication. TF3: Contribution to EU guidance on public procurement for nature-based solutions. TF4: Regular coordination meetings with other "NBS Communicators". TF6: Meeting on Co-Creation and Governance (25/01) coordinated by URBiNAT, heading to the development of a  WIKI on co-creation in spatial planning for an inclusive nature based regeneration.’

Recent Deliverables

  • D2.3: On the establishment of URBiNAT's Community of Practice
  • D3.3: Portfolio of purposes, methods, tools and content: forming digital enablers of NBS (Read on)
  • D6.1: Communication and Dissemination Plan (V2)
  • D6.2: Report: Website and Newsletter (V2)
All project deliverables are available via the RESOURCES page on the website


Click for complete list of URBiNAT events
SEMINAR: Solidarity Economy and Urban Regeneration, 24 and 25 February

Online webinar: check URBiNAT event schedule on website for connection details.



Click for resource archive
Webinar presentation of the preliminary plan for the creation of a Healthy Corridor in the neighbourhoods of Cerco and Falcao, Porto (November 2020). 
Video recap of the URBiNAT Technical Meeting in Siena, 9 - 10 October 2020
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The URBiNAT project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776783