Launch of sister-project REGREEN
Following long preparations, the kick-off meeting of H2020 project REGREEN took place in Aarhus from 22-25 of October. 16 European project partners and one of the four Chinese, gathered in a colorful setting of Aarhus landmark building – ARoS art museum designed by Olafur Eliasson, while other Chinese partners participated remotely via video conferencing.
The first two days of the kick-off meeting were spent with partners’ presentation and consolidation of project workflow. Besides, the partners discussed how to position the project and take the most out of it, with regard to sister H2020 nature-based solutions projects. On the third day, the kick-off host, Aarhus municipality, organised a field trip to a neighbourhood full of innovative rainwater and waste water management solutions. Seeing this successful application of nature based solutions in reality further inspired partners in achieving the common goal – making our cities more green, while solving pressing challenges of flooding, biodiversity decline, etc.
What will be done by REGREEN?
A mix of partners working at universities and research institutes, cities and public authorities, green businesses and start-ups will work together, for the next four years, to accelerate implementation of nature based solutions (NBS) within the urban areas. Their focus will be, among others, on creation of knowledge and tools that assess cost-effectiveness of NBS solutions, quantify ecosystem services delivered by NBS, as well as their benefits and values, help to integrate them in urban governance systems, including policies and plans.
One novelty is, that REGREEN will draw cities’ nature to schools by developing digital learning tools for children and boost NBS solutions industry and market by setting start-up accelerator programmes. In addition, an important aspect of the REGREEN is an exchange of European and Chinese experiences, varying in scale and approach, in combating specific urban challenges through deployment of nature based solutions.
REGREEN will work with 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, serving as testbeds where generic tools and scientific tools are put in practice, in co-creation with local communities, schools, urban planners, businesses and public authorities.
As a NBS sister-project, we believe that REGREEN will provide a valuable content, for both scientific community and practictioners. To learn more about REGREEN ideas and results, or about solutions based on nature in and around our cities.