Cross-border Collaboration in Support of Healthy Corridors and Climate Change Adaptation
30 September 2021: URBiNAT and the Cyprus Institute (CyI), now formally an URBiNAT Observer, took part in a joint on-line Expert and Dialogue Meeting
The Expert and Dialogue Meeting was jointly prepared by URBiNAT and the Cyprus Institute (CyI), an international science and technology organisation supporting the establishment of a knowledge-based society in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The focus of the meeting was on achieving a creative exchange and the sharing of experience between URBiNAT Consortium members and Cyl, highlighting key features of their respective agendas and ongoing research, including the participatory process reaching diverse and marginalized groups.
As URBiNAT brings together cities and partner organisations in a transboundary Community of Practice (CoP), linking both within and beyond the EU, while the CyI chairs the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI), wider cross-regional project activities and issues were addressed.
This Expert and Dialogue on-line meeting was intended to explore common ground and opportunities for collaborations. Some 20 participants took part, ten from URBiNAT and CyI.
The meeting was an opportunity to compare novel developments in urban planning and practice. Key concepts and the scientific discourse were set out and compared, along with methods and issues for practical implementation. Topics addressed included public space, urban design, citizen participation, a spectrum of NBS and healthy corridors unfolding in the wider context of economic restructuring, multicultural blending, polarisation, evolving challenges to health and well-being, and the ongoing degradation of our natural environment as reflected in climate change with rising temperatures, sea levels and extreme weather events.
The URBiNAT – CYL Expert and Dialogue Meeting was organised with a view to achieving a better understanding of the approaches and achievements of the participating organisations in urban regeneration, including NBS and Healthy corridors co-created with citizens, how they compare and what lessons can be learned from success factors as well as hindrances. It also aims to identify opportunities and set out a roadmap for collaboration going forward.
Participante in the URBiNAT - CYL Meeting on 30/09/21
The Cyprus Institute (CyI) has been an URBiNAT Observer since April 2021. This form of engagement opens for mutual exchanges and learning from the experience on both sides, and applies as much to research as it does to empirical practice, especially when it to constructive engagement of citizens and stakeholders.
As part of the engagement, CyP provides a more developed link for URBiNAT to its EMME-CCI network with its ongoing policy and reform work related to climate change. CyI also has the opportunity to collaborate with the URBiNAT ecosystem via knowledge sharing activities, the development of joint research projects and the promotion of URBiNAT implementation methods and tools which lead to the development of Nature Based Solutions in Cyprus.
Among the goals of the Expert’s Dialogue Meeting was to achieve better understanding of the approaches and achievements of the participating organisations in urban regeneration, including NBS and Healthy corridors co-created with citizens, how they compare and what lessons can be learned from success factors as well as hindrances.
The discussion also aimed to identify opportunities and set out a roadmap for collaboration going forward.
The event began with presentations from URBINAT consortium members and partners who presented a number of topics on how NBS impacts health and wellbeing in disconnected neighbourhoods and how open innovation and open data can ignite and inspire urban sustainable development. They also showcased how co-creation processes were implemented in many EU NBS Cities’ projects.
The Cyprus Institute brought attention to the current debate around the urban development of Nicosia and the establishment of the Pedieos river urban park, which can be an ideal testbed for the implementation of Nature Based Solutions and the creation of a Healthy Corridor that spans and connects all the main city districts. In this context, experts from CyI, Asst. Prof. Georgios Artopoulos of the Science and Technology for Archaeology and Culture Center (STARC), Assoc. Prof. Adriana Bruggeman and Prof. Salvatore Carlucci of the Energy Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC), presented topics on sustainable participatory urban design, the protection and regeneration of river basins and urban river agenda, showing effective connection with the Pedieos river urban park.
Moreover, the CyI Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office presented U-SOLVE, a project funded by ENI CBC MED, and described how Open Innovation and ecosystem participatory tools can be engaged to support entrepreneurial processes targeting Urban Sustainable development. The presentation concluded with suggestions on how the introduction of Healthy corridors can become attractors for the prioritization of those Sustainable Development Goals’ dimensions that will be selected to implement the resulting place based Urban Sustainable Development strategies.
In the second part of the meeting a series of round-table presentation and discussions focussed on the role of civil society in the co-selection and co-creation of Nature-Based Solutions in conjunction with urban planners, and city authorities.
NGOs and citizen representatives from Nicosia located around the Pedieos area as well as NGOs collaborating with URBINAT in Portugal, Sofia-Bulgaria and Nova Goricia-Slovenia shared their visions, experiences and ideas on the design and use of NBS for sustainable urban development.
For more on this event and the Cyprus Institute, visit the Cyl Website HERE.