Circular EconomyHorizon 2020Water

URBAN GreenUP: New Strategy for Re-naturing Cities through Nature-Based Solutions

URBAN GreenUP is a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Under the coordination of CARTIF Technology Centre, 25 partners from 9 countries are working together to develop a new strategy for re-naturing cities through Nature-Based Solutions. Activities will take place in the three demonstrator cities of Valladolid (Spain), Liverpool (UK) and Izmir (Turkey) and will be replicated across Europe, Latin America and Asia. The project will officially be launched in Valladolid on 7th June.

The URBAN GreenUP project aims to contribute to the mitigation of climate change risks in cities, increase the resilience to climate change effects and improve air quality. The project will raise awareness about the benefits of re-naturing cities and making cities more sustainable places.

“RUP – Re-naturing Urban Plan” is the new keyword, offering a green transformation in cities, through Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). URBAN GreenUP partners will also focus on the “green economy in cities” approach – they want to explore and promote an innovative and dynamic economic concept that supports employment, generates new business models, attracts talent and provides goods and services.

The activities to be planned and carried out in the three demonstrator cities include innovative, technological elements which connect with citizens and improve awareness, in addition to well-being, educational, mentoring and support activities. Solutions generated by the URBAN GreenUP project will be readily transferable to other cities

Project activities will be carried out in the three ‘front-runner’ cities of Valladolid (Spain), Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Izmir (Turkey). The five follower cities Mantova (Italy), Ludwigsburg (Germany), Medellin (Colombia), Chengdu (China) and Binh Dinh-Quy Nhon (Vietnam) will directly learn from these experiences and set up their own re-naturing urban plans. On a third level, cities from Europe and beyond are invited to exchange experiences and learn directly from the URBAN GreenUP findingsand results by joining the URBAN GreenUP cities network.

“URBAN GreenUP is a real opportunity to establish a solid methodology to re-nature our cities, providing a tool for public administration bodies, service providers, and citizens to transform cities in places where urban and natural conditions can co-exist. Through introducing nature back into cities it is hoped that the cities will become more sustainable and resilient and be better placed to cope with current and predicted climate change risks and other environmental and social challenges. Today Valladolid, Liverpool, and Izmir will jointly commit to develop their RUPs (Re-naturing Urban Plans) and to implement these ambitious interventions in their cities through URBAN GreenUP. More than 100 NBS interventions in the three cities will be delivered ensuring that not only the technology and innovation but also their related business models are researched and validated making URBAN GreenUP a reference for a new concept of EU cities”. Raúl Sánchez-Francés, Project Coordinator of URBAN GreenUP, CARTIF.

Oscar Puente, Mayor of Valladolid, remarks “how proud Valladolid is of being a Front-runner city in this challenging project, since it will make the city more sustainable not only from an environmental point of view but also economic and social. For a local public entity innovation projects must be focus on improving citizens´ wellbeing, providing them with healthier and more friendly cities, with more opportunities of employment and social inclusion. It that sense, I think that Urban Green Up is a very integrated project that makes perfect environmental, economic and social sense”

“Liverpool is delighted to be part of the URBAN GreenUP project and welcomes the opportunity to develop a Renaturing Urban Plan that will see the introduction of pedestrian and cycle friendly routes together with trees and other new innovative areas of planting such as ‘green’ walls and ‘green’ roofs on buildings into its urban centre. The City Council will work closely with our local project partners of the Mersey Forest and the University of Liverpool to trial, monitor and evaluate a range of different ‘greening’ schemes in the city. The project provides a wonderful opportunity to work with other countries and organisations, to share learning and best practice, and to explore the multifunctional benefits to the environment and economy that can be harnessed by bringing nature and biodiversity back into urban areas or by including them in regeneration and development initiatives. Councillor James Noakes, Mayoral Lead for Energy and Smart City, Liverpool City Council.

Izmir is very pleased to take part in this pioneering project, URBAN GreenUP, bringing together world class urban best practice and cutting edge scientific acumen that will lead the way in helping Re-Nature our cities, looking at today’s urban sustainability problems as well as safe guarding our urban future strongly shadowed by the threats of dangerous climate change.This wonderful come together of cities, countries, organizational cultures and work styles allows us to look forward to a fruitful exchange of ideas and creativity that will bring back nature in its fullness to our cities to be appreciated and lived by its citizens. Buğra Gökçe, Vice Mayor, İzmir.

Further information on URBAN GreenUP: | Twitter: @urbangreenUP

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730426. This publication reflects only the author’s views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein