Master Class Series Nature-Based Solutions

Categorized as News from NA

Our webinar series, Nature Based Solutions, brings together a cohort of IURC cities and metropolitan areas in a peer-to-peer learning environment to discuss and share challenges and best practices related to the main topic as they build long-term learning, networking, and working relationship amongst the participants. These webinars build upon topics of interest emerging from the cooperation among cities and questions that arose during study visits in 2023. The lessons from these webinars will be further explored during our IURC NA Thematic Networking Event on Renovation Wave and Nature-Based Solutions that will take place in Mannheim, Germany, on September 18-20th, 2023. The series started in April 2023 and will end in July 2023. You may find below the information regarding past sessions and register for the upcoming ones:

12th of April, 2023

Fostering Social Cohesion & Community Engagement through Urban Agriculture and Green Spaces

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Nature-Based solutions have become an essential part of climate action plans. Beyond their environmental impact, these projects and programs are an opportunity to foster social cohesion and promote community engagement. In this session, the O’Brien Farm in St John’s, Canada, explained its program, School to Farm, and presented its Farm Incubation program, which supports new farming businesses. The Farm Borg project in Rimini, Italy, presented how they create gardens to promote socialization and participation in joint initiatives, develop the ability to grow shared community ideas, and expand public spaces. And the Bergamo Botanical Garden spoke about their food policy projects, Science Cafe, and how volunteers link city institutions and the general public.

  1. Bergamo Botanical Garden:
    • Owned by the Municipality of Bergamo, the garden’s primary goal is to reconnect people with plants.
    • A team of four, supported by 70 community volunteers, emphasizes changing behaviors and perspectives about the relationship with the planet.
    • Initiatives include facilitating dialogues on food policy, educating through exhibits, and hands-on programs for children.
  2. Rimini’s CIVIVO Program:
    • Rimini’s CIVIVO program engages citizens in taking care of urban commons, emphasizing civic responsibility.
    • Seventy-five active groups operate in schools, parks, gardens, social activities, and beaches, promoting volunteerism and community involvement.
  3. Farm Borg in Rimini:
    • Farm Borg, led by Katia Policardi, focuses on upgrading green spaces in San Giuliano Mare, Rimini, emphasizing small, concrete steps and community integration.
    • Marketing strategies at community events and a diverse range of programs attract different interest groups, with volunteers’ passion and self-sustainability driving success.
  4. O’Brien Farm in St. John’s, Canada:
    • The 200-year-old O’Brien Farm in St. John’s, Canada, transitioned into a farm-style park and non-profit charitable organization in 2011.
    • The farm’s agriculture incubation program supports new farmers, providing infrastructure and coop opportunities, while the Cloudberry Forest School and School to Farm programs foster education and hands-on learning.
    • Addressing social cohesion challenges, the farm promotes healthy living, tackles food security, and engages various demographics.
  5. Multifaceted Impact of O’Brien Farm:
    • O’Brien Farm contributes to solving challenges like social isolation, an aging population, and food security.
    • By providing a multigenerational space, the farm promotes healthy living, decentralizes food production through incubation programs, and creates outdoor experiences to enhance community well-being.

Presentations:

Presentation Bergamo Botanical Garden – Mara Sugni

Presentation O’Brien Farm – Aaron Rodgers

Presentation Farm Borg in Rimini – Katia Policardi

Presentation Metropolitan Meadows at GZM – Kamila Okon

12th of July, 2023

Tackling Urban Heat Islands & Extreme Temperatures: How Cities are Implementing Climate Shelters and Other Solutions

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Because of climate change, intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent and intense. They are exacerbated by urban heat islands – a phenomenon that occurs when an urban area is much hotter than the surrounding undeveloped areas (i.e. too much concrete, too few trees!).  

This webinar will feature presentations from experts with the City of Boston and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area sharing specific solutions that they are undertaking, such as networks of cooling spaces, increasing vegetation, and urban parks, and how these interventions have been identified and are being implemented. 

  1. Boston’s Equitable Heat Resilience Plan:
    • The city of Boston developed a comprehensive Equitable Heat Resilience Plan in 2022, emphasizing environmental justice at the neighborhood level.
    • The plan includes 26 strategies covering awareness and cooling strategies, with initiatives for cooling centers and a city-wide network, identified using data-driven heat risk mapping.
    • Boston continues to expand its cooling spaces, incorporating pop-up misting stations for events and outdoor Wi-Fi stations at public libraries.
  2. Barcelona Metropolitan Area’s Climate Shelter Network:
    • Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area focuses on extreme temperature response with a Metropolitan Climate Shelter Network.
    • Utilizing a Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), the city identifies hazard concentrations and affected populations, ensuring the adequacy of climate shelters through studies on accessibility and thermal comfort.
    • Ongoing evolution of the climate shelter network includes collaborations with the private sector and investment programs for improving parks and green areas.
  3. Improvement Strategies for Climate Shelters in Barcelona Metropolitan Area:
    • AMB employs a Bioclimatic Criteria approach for improving climate shelters, considering location, shadows, airflow, vegetation, water, and materials.
    • Case studies, like Illes Balears Park and 13 Roses Square, showcase strategies such as rainwater collection, shade creation, and urban landscape design to enhance thermal comfort.
    • The city utilizes a simulation approach to demonstrate the thermal improvements resulting from implemented strategies.
  4. AMB Sustainability Protocol:
    • Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) follows a Sustainability Protocol covering 75% of projects in public spaces.
    • The protocol includes six categories and 19 indicators, with a primary focus on reducing the Heat Island effect by limiting impermeable surfaces, increasing shade, and promoting permeable pavements.
    • The guide outlines specific values and time spans for criteria in transversal analysis, energy, water, materials, comfort, and site sustainability.
  5. Environmental Impact Assessment in Barcelona:
    • AMB and IMPSOL (AMB’s Housing Department) have collaborated to draft a sustainability protocol assessing the environmental impact of projects in their municipalities.
    • The protocol outlines specific values and time spans for 19 criteria grouped into six categories, providing a comprehensive guide for designing and executing environmentally conscious projects in the metropolitan area.

Presentations:

Presentation Tackling Urban Heat Islands – Boston

Presentation Tackling Urban Heat Islands – Barcelona Metropolitan Area