Plans for Healthy Corridors in Porto, Nantes and Sofia

January 20, 2022

Plans for Healthy Corridors in Porto, Nantes and Sofia

In the middle of the URBiNAT Frontrunner city Nantes, there is an island – l’Île de Nantes – where visitors flock to see gigantic articulated creatures inspired by the tales of Jules Verne. These include a giant deep-sea octopus and a huge articulated spider that can be referred to metaphorically to describe the social, spatial and interconnected aspects of the Healthy Corridors being co-created in our three Frontrunner cities: Porto (Campanhã), Nantes (Nantes Nord) and Sofia (Nadezdha).

Porto’s ‘Healthy Corridor’ is described as occupying an intervention area of 4 hectares, situated in the Campanhã parish, today strongly characterised by its topography, its crossing highway structures, its undefined spaces and its social challenges. The elaborated Healthy Corridor is established as a new multifunctional urban park. Its pathway, as the walkable part of the corridor, metaphorically takes the spatial form of an ‘octopus with seven tentacles’, connecting and collecting adjacent neighbourhoods. The local community is already testing a Social and Solidarity Economy NBS that will make this area more healthy. Campmarket is an informal market for local farmers and craftsmen.

Nantes’ URBiNAT-inspired ‘Healthy Corridor’ will also result in a multifunctional urban park. However, its spatial structure can be better described as a path structure through the district. The pathways of the Healthy Corridor under construction seem to be woven between the radial threads of a spider’s web – a fitting image for the Healthy Corridor since spiders are repairers. Local citizens and stakeholders are activating NBS, as a playground and an urban farm, to link the physical web with the social one.

Meanwhile, in Sofia the pathway of the URBiNAT ‘Healthy Corridor’s is envisioned as a metaphorical ‘meandering river’ connecting the Severen and Nadezhda parks, wending through ill-defined and under-used spaces in target intervention areas, and enhanced with four thematic features along its 2.5 kilometres course: ‘Co-Place’, ‘Health Energy’, ‘Aqua Vita’ and ‘Green Assembly’. The NBS co-created with URBiNAT partner IAAC (Barcelona) represents a dialogue between nature and high technology processes. All this, under the supervision of the Sofia Stakeholders Advisory Board, a space of interaction between citizens, politicians, and technicians.