URBiNAT at the "Kammer vor Ort" event organized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
URBiNAT scientific partner Marcel Cardinali, Institute for Design Strategies at OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts, has been invited by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia (AKNW), Germany, to present URBiNAT to the 200 architects participating in the recent “Kammer vor Ort” event organized by AKNW on 10 May 2023.
What impact can “green” and “nature-based solutions” have on people’s health and well-being?
Marcel Cardinali emphasized the increasing importance of urban design and innovative solutions in view of societal challenges like climate change, non-communicable diseases, and decreasing social cohesion.
Integrating nature-based solutions (NBS) into architecture and urban planning enables sustainable and inclusive urban regeneration and helps to improve the quality of life in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, while leveraging natural processes to combat the aforementioned societal challenges.
“In principle, we are certainly familiar with the positive effect of NBS and innovative projects that can be seen in the city centres – but what about the neighborhoods that are already severely disadvantaged today?”
Marcel Cardinali underlined the importance of participatory approaches and collaboration among stakeholders from various sectors, including urban planners, residents, community organizations, and scientists. By involving all relevant parties, URBiNAT ensures that the needs, aspirations, and ideas of local communities are taken into account. This inclusive approach not only strengthens social wellbeing, but also tailors urban regeneration measures to the specific needs of residents.
He used the URBiNAT project to demonstrate how NBS can provide numerous benefits for disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Special emphasis was put on their ability to improve the urban microclimate by creating green spaces and incorporating natural elements into the built environment. Such spaces serve as meeting points for social interaction and promote health and well-being by encouraging physical activity and reducing stress levels. NBS also contribute to climate change resilience by serving as water retention basins, regulating temperatures, and combating the urban heat island effect.
URBiNAT and similar projects play a significant role in demonstrating the multitude of benefits of urban renewal with the help of NBS. The results and experiences gained from URBiNAT serve as a guide and a source of inspiration for urban planners, decision-makers, and community organizations on their way towards sustainable urban regeneration. By embracing nature-based solutions and investing in sustainable urban development, cities can become models of health, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
There is an urgent need to harness the potential of urban design and innovative approaches such as nature-based solutions to address the challenges of modern cities. URBiNAT shows some of these approaches and offers new perspectives for designing our cities. It is now the responsibility of planners and decision-makers to seize these opportunities and work together towards a sustainable and inclusive future where the benefits of urban design are accessible to all.
For more information, please read the article published by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia AKNW (in German):