In Europe, cities gather 72% of the population. The urban environment consumes nearly 75% of energy resources and generates nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. This massive urbanization and intensive concreting leads to severe environmental perturbations. Uncontrolled urban sprawl have also created many social and health problems. Cities then have to face major challenges such as poor air quality, heat island effects, increased risks of flooding, increased frequency and severity of extreme events. So far, abandoned industrial sites and degraded urban environments increased social exclusion and inequality.
Air pollution in Paris
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Proposals for urban development solutions focused on nature present in this context a relevant alternative. The green building, alternative techniques of water management, plant engineering and new management practices and maintenance of green spaces (differentiated management, urban valleys, shared gardens, ponds pollution…) are nature-based solutions that can significantly improve the resistance to climate change and significantly improve the quality of life while contributing to a functional economy.
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Urban nature-based solutions offer many advantages
Increase of biodiversity, beautification of the living environment, limitation of soil waterproofing and restoration of the water cycle, better air quality and better thermal regulation.
Reduction of infrastructures, reduction of energy costs, jobs creation, businesses and services related expansion , state value increase.
Promote direct human contact with the environment, social appropriation of public space, mixing and social interaction, improve well-being and have positive effects on health.
These solutions nevertheless face with several problems
The limited experience feedback of contracting authorities and local authorities makes the choice of the good practice to adopt difficult.
The necessity of regular maintenance leads to a fear of additional operating and management costs for communities.
The utility and purpose of these green facilities is not always well perceived, because of traditional believes as well the legacy of hygienism.
How to develop and promote a sustainable management of urban green spaces ?
One of the levers considered in our the Progress project is to engage professionals and stakeholders of the urban environment and green spaces by bringing them together and giving them experiences feedbacks, knowledges, methods and know-how about the implementation of alternative and sustainable management solutions in different cities and countries with different contexts and problematics (population, climate, politics, cultures,…)
Progresss is a European partnership project wich falls within the framework of the Erasmus+ program: “Strategic Partnerships for Cooperation and Exchange of Good Practices”.
at a European level to the transfer of knowledges, methods and experiences on sustainable management practices of urban green spaces;
the technical knowledge and alternative green spaces management methods;
the modalities and costs of managing and operating urban green spaces;
citizen re-appropriation of urban green spaces, especially through participatory management;
employment and social integration in green spaces areas;
a platform for the sharing of knowledge, methods, feedback, technical and human resources.