UrbanByNature South Eastern Europe
The CLEVER Cities project is bringing UrbanByNature to South Eastern Europe!
In collaboration with the City of Belgrade, the ICLEI World Secretariat, ICLEI Europe, the Centre for Experiments in Urban Studies (CEUS) and the Environmental Protection Agency Covasna, UrbanByNature's South Eastern Europe Hub (UbN SEE) was launched in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, on 17 May 2022.
The launch took place during the 24th European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF), and consisted of high-level opening remarks, inspiring showcases of urban nature-based solutions in practice, and interactive workshops to foster cross-city engagement.
On 18 May, participants of the UbN SEE kick-off were invited to join a site visit to Belgrade’s future Linear park (Section 1 under construction).
“It is a pleasure to see UrbanByNature kicking-off in South Eastern Europe with such engaged and knowledgeable partners such as the City of Belgrade and CEUS. This expertise-sharing, knowledge-exchange and capacity-building programme shall help bring nature and nature-driven processes back into South-Eastern European cities by sensitising city representatives and staff from various departments (e.g. Environment and Greening, Urban Planning, Public Spaces, Public Health, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Sustainable Procurement), as well as planners and policy officers to NBS-related topics such as technical design, indicators, financing and business models, entrepreneurship, co-production, upscaling, etc. The programme will also generate interesting content for and with non-governmental organisations, the civil society, businesses and academia, creating a vibrant and inclusive Nature-Based Solution Community in the region.”
Daniela Rizzi, ICLEI Europe
"The Environmental Protection Agency of Covasna County supports the increased recognition of nature in urban planning because we consider that in these unpredictable times there must be something pointed to the future. Locally adapted NBS solutions deliver increased adaptability and multiple benefits for different communities all around the world, and. They serve as an insurance for the sustainable development, better living spaces, urban regeneration, social cohesion and access to natural resources."
Neagu Gheorghe, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Covasna County
“Regional collaboration and exchange of experiences and ideas on nature-based solutions is critical for the resilient development of South Eastern Europe. Only in synergy, and with mutual support, we can address the pollution reduction challenges and high vulnerability of our region to the climate change crisis. Finally, participatory, inclusive and democratic processes for co-creation and joint implementation of public policies are crucial for achieving real societal transformation and green urban sustainability transition.”
Ana Mitić, Radulović, CEUS
“Today more than ever we are aware of the fact that public health is the critical element of functional urban life. Urban greening is among the most important conditions for public health in a city, both mental and physical, contributing significantly to pollution reduction, mitigation of urban heat island effects, disaster risk reduction, as well as the provision of spaces for socialisation and community cohesion. The City of Belgrade has the honour and pleasure to be the host of the UrbanByNature South Eastern Europe Hub, and therefore encourages the knowledge and experience exchange in planning and implementation of nature-based solutions in the region."
Zoran Radojičić, the Mayor of the City of Belgrade
UrbanByNature South Eastern Europe programme
The UbN SEE programme will host a five-part webinar series for South Eastern European urban nature champions, with a pre-launch event on 29 March 2022, at The Nature of Cities global online festival.