[UNECE 🇺🇳] URBiNAT at the UN Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making

October 31, 2022

URBiNAT practices taken into account in UN Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making

Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

[October] As recently announcedIsabel Ferreira, researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra and member of the co-coordination team of the URBiNAT project, participated in the 10th Meeting of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making under the Aarhus Convention, on 10 & 11 October 2022 in Geneva.

URBiNAT’s participation in this event was not only a great chance to learn about the dedicated work of the United Nations regarding public participation, but also to share URBiNAT’s experience at UN level.

Participants included delegates from the UN State Members (including the Republic of Moldava, Serbia, Bosnia, Georgia, France, Italy, Azerbaijan, Guinea Bissau, Austria, Armenia, Sweden, Slovenia, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan), but also members from NGOs and European consortiums (like URBiNAT).

Isabel’s presentation “URBiNAT: co-creation and co-governance approaches for inclusive, nature-based solutions” focused on public participation in decision-making in urban development processes—and in particular the planning of healthy corridors and nature-based solutions—in the framework of the URBiNAT project.

She used the example of Porto to illustrate the participation of citizens, researchers, local organizations and municipal stakeholders in the living lab of three social neighborhood areas.

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The meeting offered the opportunity to gather different national experiences from UN member states in dialogue with organizations and projects operating at a more local level.

The participants shared very different experiences in terms of understanding and maturity of the participation in decision-making processes, revealing diverse cultures of participation.

Delegates and participants congratulated the URBiNAT approaches and expressed their interest in following the project’s results. The URBiNAT experience has been integrated in the official minutes of the meeting.

The Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra was invited to submit the policy brief presented at the meeting to the Clearing House data base of good practice, which is currently being updated.


Isabel Ferreira
Project Co-Coordinator CES-UC

Portuguese researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra. Principal researcher and co-coordinator of the project TRANS-Lighthouses – More than green – Lighthouses of transformative nature-based solutions for inclusive communities, European project funded by Horizon Europe and co-coordinator of the project URBiNAT – Healthy corridors as drivers of social housing neighbourhoods for the cocreation of social,environmental and marketable NBS, European project funded by H2020. Between 2015-2016 she integrated the team of the H2020 project EMPATIA. Since 2015, she also has been collaborating regularly with the Executive Agency for Research (European Commission) as an independent expert. She holds a PhD in Sociology, Cities and Urban Cultures, with the thesis dissertation “Governance, citizenship and participation in small and medium-sized cities: a comparative study between Portuguese and Canadian cities”, funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/129936/2017) and mobility grants from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the International Council of Canadian Studies. She graduated in Geography, with specialization in Environmental Studies at University of Coimbra (Portugal), and specialized in Environmental Impact Studies at University of Murcia (Spain), and holds a Master in Territorial and Environmental Planning at the New University of Lisbon (Portugal). Her professional experience is mainly related to local planning in environmental, territorial, cultural, educational and sports planning, having held technical functions at the Municipality of Barcelos where she coordinated, collaborated and developed various plans and projects between 2001 and 2012.