Project introduction ---

GreenInCities: a sustainable city for all species

Artikkelikuva: Project introduction

The GreenInCities project is at the forefront of developing transformative, nature-based solutions. By valuing both human and non-human needs, the project helps cities to prepare for and adapt to climate change. In Helsinki, Malmi will serve as a piloting platform for the solutions.

Urban greenery, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are at the heart of the GreenInCities project which aims to find ways to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss by exploring and experimenting with different types of green infrastructure solutions.

The project pilots will be executed in 11 cities across Europe. In the first phase, pilots will be carried out in Athens (Greece), Barcelona (Spain), Helsinki (Finland), Nova Gorica (Slovenia) and Prato (Italy). The knowledge gained from the pilots will be compiled and used to produce a method library for further work. The experiences and best models collected in the leader cities in the first phase will be applied and taken forward in the second phase in the follower cities Birštonas (Lithuania), Cork (Ireland), Hersonissos (Greece), Matosinhos (Portugal), Pécs (Hungary) and Reykjavík (Iceland). 

Objective

The goals of the four-year project are extensive resident participation, restoration to natural state, considering and meeting the needs of both humans and non-humans, as well as testing and using new digital tools in urban planning and participation processes. These aims will be pursued through a variety of nature-based solutions and green infrastructure pilots. 

The project will find new strategies and methods for engaging vulnerable groups of people living in deprived areas and for empowering them in co-creation, decision-making, monitoring, and maintenance activities, thereby ensuring equitable and effective greening and renaturing interventions as well as people’s ownership of regeneration projects, leading to long-lasting positive impacts on the community.

In addition, GreenInCities will focus on preserving or restoring natural assets and taking into account the needs of non-human species in urban regeneration areas. The pilots’ takeaways, knowledge and best practices from all 11 cities will be refined into methodologies and tools at future urban developers’ disposal.

The pilot site in Helsinki is located in the suburban regeneration area Malmi. The pilot site Longinoja is planned to connect the future residential area of Malminkenttä with the centre of Malmi district. This connection will be strengthened by developing Longinoja into a well-functioning and attractive green area that treasures the natural values of the site as well as the history and identity of Malmi district.  

Duration, partners and funding

The Role of Forum Virium Helsinki

Forum Virium Helsinki is responsible for implementing the local pilots in cooperation with the City of Helsinki’s Urban Environment Division. The testbed for the pilots is Malmi, one of Helsinki’s suburban regeneration areas, or designated districts which are developed in the coming years for example through infill building and renewal of public and private services in order to minimise segregation.

Forum Virium Helsinki has extensive experience of both testbed activities and cooperation in suburban regeneration areas. Malmi and other  suburban regeneration areas serve as testbeds for, among other things, the Helsinki Innovation Districts project.

Benefits for Helsinki

As a result of the project, the city will gain more knowledge on the use of nature-based solutions. The pilots and cooperation with international project partners will help Helsinki to assess what kind of measures would drive adaptation to the effects of climate change.

The solutions developed in the project will strengthen the attractiveness and appeal of the areas of Malmi centre, Malminkenttä and Longinoja, and showcase to residents what preparedness and adaptation to climate change can look like. 

In addition, Helsinki will gain ideas on how to utilise new digital solutions for participatory planning as well as the simulation of different futures aiming at increasing public participation and strengthening the sense of inclusion for all residents.

The experiences, knowledge and practices from the pilots carried out in the project will be compiled and transformed into a toolbox and a method library for further use. 

Sustainability and Responsibility

The project will help the city to move towards a proactive approach to climate adaptation and mitigation.The digital tools and co-creation methods developed based on the project’s pilots will support cities in their sustainability transition.

The GreenInCities project aims to involve vulnerable groups as well as non-humans, and to create liveable and functional spaces for all species.

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