Resilient Optimal Urban natural, Technological and Environmental Solutions© Jp Valery on Unsplash
Institute and Chair of Landscape Architecture: Involved in several work packages + management of work package „Cultivating: Re-/Co-Design, Co-Creation, and Co-Ownership“ in the EU-Horizon 2020 Projekt GO GREEN ROUTES
How can nature-based solutions promote health and well-being in cities?
This question is to be answered within the EU-funded project GO GREEN ROUTES. The large transdisciplinary team of GO GREEN ROUTES will test innovative approaches for natural based solutions (NBS) by, among others, promoting a positive relationship between man and nature through interventions in 6 European cities. The project's goal is to position European citizens as ambassadors of urban sustainability for the whole world. On the road to improved mental health and well-being, the project focuses on nature-based businesses, sustainable physical activity and digital, cultural and knowledge innovation. In close cooperation with various European communities, the project aims to generate new knowledge about nature-based solutions and to raise awareness of the links between human health and environmental hygiene.
The partner University of Limerick (UL) is leading the €10.5 million EU project to improve the urban environment and human health in cities. The four-year project started in early September 2020 and aims to apply visionary and integrated solutions to improve urban health. The project will also take into account the impact of Covid-19 in public spaces and social interaction, as well as the effects of reduced air pollution during the lockdown and its after-effects. It will also assess the impact on the mental health of urban residents and their views on the redesign of their cities. “Evidence is emerging that people flocked to green spaces during lockdown for mental health, physical activity and connectivity with their communities,” said Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, a lecturer in psychology at UL and coordinator of the project.
The consortium will develop technological and natural-based solutions for health in six cities - Burgas (Bulgaria), Lahti (Finland), Umea (Sweden), Versailles (France) and Limerick (Ireland) - and will provide a basis for future implementation in Munich (Germany), the Spanish Region of Murcia and the Municipality of Gzira (Malta).
The project has also partners in China, Mexico and Georgia, enabling a global exchange of knowledge. The development of new nature-based solutions (NBS) will focus on their conceptual extension by co-producing new approaches to promote a positive human-nature relationship and civic engagement through digital, educational and behavioral innovations
The nature-based approaches that will be tested and established within the project should increase the acceptance of NBS actions in many areas of urban design. To this end, for example, "seedbed interventions" will be carried out in the cities of Burgas, Lahti, Limerick, Tallinn, Umea and Versailles, which will be used to promote awareness and understanding of new nature-based designs on the one hand, and to analyze them on the other hand. In an iterative process, the citizens should ensure that the project will continue beyond its duration.