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Co-creating Healthy Corridors in the midst of a global health crisis

How to co-create NBS-filled Healthy Corridors in cities across Europe in the midst of a global health crisis the societal, economic and environmental consequences of which are likely to be felt for years if not decades to come, that is the challenge faced by the URBiNAT today.

It’s a challenge none of us, not even our most prescient risk planners, could have anticipated at the outset. Yet here we are, just over two years into our project. Many milestones have already been achieved and scores of citizens have been engaged in multiple co-planning events. Consortium partners are as focused as ever on our health-related and broader mission to bring about greater physical, mental and social well-being in the districts covered by the project. But we are very much aware that the seriousness of the pandemic may require certain adjustments to be made

It's good to take this opportunity to recall some of the achievements of the first two years of the project, a phase during which we have been sharing, testing and learning together, from Porto, Nantes, and Sofia, through Brussels, Høje-Taastrup, Nova Gorica and Siena, and around the world from Brazil, China, Iran, Oman and Japan. While in the Frontrunner cities we have had teams running regular workshops to engage citizens and local stakeholders, setting up a living lab in each city, in the Follower cities, other teams have been working on the methodology and implementing similar steps.

All the while we have had consortium partners taking part in international conferences, as others were prototyping and testing digital tools, and our scientific partners have been working on the compilation of the URBiNAT NBS Catalogue and the preparation of Local Diagnostic reports - the first all-important phase in the process of co-creating a Healthy Corridor for each URBiNAT city. The results of all this work can be accessed via our project website (

As this newsletter goes out Porto, Nantes and Sofia have restarted workshops and participatory activities with citizens and stakeholders to co-design their NBS - although they have had to rethink participation and adapt to the new circumstances of interaction in public spaces with imposed physical distancing (how to do so while still aiming to enhance social cohesion). This will pave the way to the co-implementation of their Healthy Corridors in 2021. Meanwhile, in Hoje Taastrup, Brussels, Siena and Nova Gorica, teams are kick-starting participatory processes and planning the co-diagnostic phase of their intervention areas.

Going forward we will continue building together, as a wider Community of Practice, together with our Observer cities, our sister H2020 projects and all colleagues and initiatives that are working towards advancing NBS for sustainable and more resilient communities. An ambition which seems more important than ever!


Many updates to the URBiNAT website ( in recent months. The site tells the unfolding story of the URBiNAT project and contains links to the many deliverables produced by consortium partners. Visit our website or you can follow or interact with us via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
URBiNAT has taken stock of existing participatory cultures to generate strategic insights into actual and potential collaboration among stakeholders to enhance citizen participation (D3.1). Multiple interactions and engagement activities established community-driven processes to co-design and co-implement NBS (D3.2).
Front-runner cities performed an extensive local diagnostic, collecting existing and new data, through an array of methods which have been tailored together with scientific partners (D2.1). The reports form the basis for the urban plans of Healthy Corridors. See more developments in Porto, Nantes, Sofia.

Considerable work has gone into the development and launch of the URBiNAT Observatory which will allow scientific partners associated with the project to share and analyse data. Currently in a Beta form, a functional version will be launched in the next phase of the project.
Activation of the URBiNAT Ethics and Scientific Commissions. Close collaboration established with the the Ethics Commission to establish the ethical guidelines, requirements and code of conduct covering both research and collaborative activities. The Scientific Commission will support the project in various ways, including in the development of its thematic research fields, deliverables and resources.
Closer working relationship with H2020 sister projects, notably proGIreg, Clever Cities, and Edible Cities - working together in several task forces, namely in the new co-creation task force. URBiNAT organised or taken part in several very productive meeting with the representatives of other H2020 projects.


Click for full event schedule


14th October 2020: Residents of Nantes Nord district are invited to take part in a neighbourhood walkthrough. Afterwards, residents will be invited to share their impressions and proposals to improve this green belt during an URBiNAT citizen workshop. Read on

Online European Forum

8h October 2020: URBiNAT in collaboration with sister H2020 projects will be leading a workshop on "co-creating solutions with local citizens and stakeholders within European projects"

Researcher Giovanni Allegretti will participate in a roundtable coordinated by la "27e Region" on "Innovating in turbulent times: views from stakeholders in Nantes"

International Research Symposium 

12 - 13 October 2020: URBiNAT will present two research papers on the establishment of its community of practice and on "citizen engagement for the co-creation of NBS. Programme


Click for resources archive
Short video animation on the aims and methodological principles of the URBiNAT project. More videos on the URBiNAT website and dedicated YouTube channel. 
Article published on 1st October on the URBiNAT project and plans to build a Healthy Corridor in the district of Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels. Click to read.
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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