This week our EC Horizon 2020 Project REGREEN kicks off in earnest with our first full meeting of the partners in Aarhus, Denmark.
We’ve been meeting under Olafur Eliasson’s amazing rainbow at the ARoS art museum for the first two days, making plans and thinking about how we get the most out of this 4 year programme of work. We’ll also be taking a field trip to see some of the exciting work underway in Aarhus, which include innovative work in rainwater/waste water separation, and thinking about how these kinds of projects can have environmental , social and economic benefits.
REGREEN is all about fostering nature-based solutions (NBS) for equitable, green and healthy urban transitions in Europe and China. It’s one of a number of projects funded by the European Commission to research, develop and implement NBS in response to a diversity of environmental and societal challenges. The EC define NBS as:
“solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.”
The overall aim of REGREEN is to promote urban liveability, by systematically modelling and combining ecosystem services and biodiversity as the basis for NBS that can be widely deployed. Such NBS, underpinned by evidence-based tools and improved urban governance, will enable urban planners and policy makers to meet contemporary and future challenges, such as climate change resilience, public health and well-being and social inclusion. Thereby REGREEN will accelerate the crucial transition toward equitable, green and healthy cities in both Europe and China.
REGREEN works through three Urban Living Labs (ULLs) in Europe: Aarhus (Denmark), Île-de-France (France) and Velika Gorica (Croatia); and three in China: Beijing, Shanghai and Ningbo. ULLs are a central element in the REGREEN concept, where co-creation of knowledge will involve local citizens, schools, businesses, organisations and public administrations enabling new forms of urban innovation.
We’re looking forward to working with our excellent partners and to developing new ideas and solutions based on the nature in and around our cities – watch this space for updates as the project takes shape!
The REGREEN project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821016