Creating Green Cities

Creating Green Cities

Valuing nature: can money really grow on trees?

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Hans Pijls, founder of the “Food for Good” urban farm in Utrecht, believes his project generates different types of value for the city, such as improving the economic value of surrounding buildings, boosting employment, and generating positive effects for health, well-being and urban biodiversity. But the initiative is only able to receive one type of public funding. To ensure its survival, Food for Good cooperates with local enterpreneurs and tries to generate some of its own income by selling the vegetables grown on the farm.

In the 4th episode of the Creating Green Cities podcast, we discuss the topics of business models and financing. Nature-based solutions are diverse and can be applied in diverse contexts and areas to achieve different aims. But who should pay for these solutions? And why? The business models behind nature-based solution initiatives can range from simple single-source funding to being a complex combination of public and private funding. Apart from Hans, we are joined by Logan Strenchock, Environmental and Sustainability Officer at the Central European University in Budapest. Together with our guests, we discuss different models for financing and capturing the value generated by nature-based solutions.

Learn more:

NATURVATION Business Model Catalogue: https://naturvation.eu/businessmodels

Urban Nature online course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/urban-nature

Urban Nature Atlas: https://naturvation.eu/atlas

Ecologic Institute: http://ecologic.eu

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

All hands on deck: governing urban green

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The city of Barcelona has an entire strategy dedicated to taking care of its trees, called the Tree Masterplan. To create this Masterplan, the city talked to over 700 different people - from gardeners to urban planners and from restaurant owners to street cleaners - to understand their needs, viewpoints and opinions on this topic. In the Swedish city of Malmö, the Municipal Housing Company has gone a step further and is actively engaging everyone from local residents to utility companies to design and implement blue and green features in its neighbourhoods.

In this episode of the Creating Green Cities podcast, we talk about the governance of urban nature-based solutions. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to governance, there is strong evidence supporting the added value of involving various actors in collaborative approaches when implementing and managing nature-based solutions. The episode features interviews with Gabino Carballo from the team behind Municipality of Barcelona’s “Tree Master Plan”, Tanja Hasselmark Mason and Mikaela Gomez from the Swedish Green Roof Institute in Malmö and Logan Strenchock, Environmental and Sustainability Officer at the Central European University in Budapest. Our podcast guests discuss the keys to success in creating and managing initiatives related to urban nature and why it is worth it to engage many different people in the process.

Learn more:

Taking action – lessons from NATURVATION project: https://naturvation.eu/action

Urban Nature online course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/urban-nature

NATURVATION project: https://naturvation.eu/

Ecologic Institute: http://ecologic.eu

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

Urban trees and gardens: How good are they really for you?

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Living in a neighborhood with lots of trees will make you live longer… or will it? Urban nature is said to bring diverse health, social, economic and environmental benefits to cities and their populations. Understanding the scale of and access to these benefits is important if such nature-based solutions are to be considered as a viable alternative to more traditional grey infrastructure approaches to addressing urban challenges. So how exactly can the impact of nature-based solutions be measured?
In the second episode of the Creating Green Cities podcast, we discuss the topics of monitoring and assessing nature-based solutions. The episode features interviews with Gabino Carballo from the team behind Municipality of Barcelona’s “Tree Master Plan” and Hans Pijls from Food for Good, an urban care farm in Utrecht. Our guests tell us how they collect and analyse data to measure the impact of the projects they are working on and highlight challenges they have encountered along the way.

Learn more:
Assessing urban nature-based solutions – lessons from NATURVATION project: https://naturvation.eu/assessment
Urban Nature online course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/urban-nature
NATURVATION project: https://naturvation.eu/
Ecologic Institute: http://ecologic.eu
This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

Bringing Nature Back into Cities

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Green roofs make buildings cool. Literally. As cities deal with the impacts of climate change, green roofs can offer solutions and help with rainwater management, insulation and cooling, amongst other benefits. No matter the weather, installing a green roof also benefits biodiversity and can transform inaccessible, unused areas into inspiring communal green spaces in the middle of densely built urban centres.

Green roofs are one of the many “nature-based solutions” featured in the Creating Green Cities podcast. In the first episode, we talk to Logan Strenchock, Environmental and Sustainability Officer at the Central European University in Budapest, and Tanja Hasselmark Mason and Mikaela Gomez from the Swedish Green Roof Institute in Malmö about the benefits of bringing more nature to cities and potential pitfalls.

Learn more:
Urban Nature Atlas: https://naturvation.eu/atlas
Urban Nature online course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/urban-nature
NATURVATION project: https://naturvation.eu/
Ecologic Institute: http://ecologic.eu

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

About this podcast

We all want our cities to be greener, but how does this look in practice and what do we need to get there? The Creating Green Cities podcast takes you on a journey into the world of nature-based solutions and shows how they can be used to bring nature into cities for the benefit of society and the environment alike. We talk to guests from Barcelona, Budapest, Malmö and Utrecht to learn more about the implementation of these urban innovations across Europe.

The podcast has been created by the Ecologic Institute (http://ecologic.eu) as part of NATURVATION (http://naturvation.eu), an EU-funded research project focusing on urban nature-based innovation. If you want to learn even more about nature-based solutions than we touch on in the podcast, subscribe to “Urban Nature”, a free online course on nature-based solutions from NATURVATION: https://www.coursera.org/learn/urban-nature.

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 730243.

by Ewa Iwaszuk, Karl Lehmann; Ecologic Institute

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