Subject: 15 May Webinar: Periurban Parks - Building Green Infrastructure around Cities

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15th MAY, 10:30 (CEST)


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Building Green Infrastructure: from the protection of single Periurban Parks towards the setting-up of a large green territorial system

The EU Green Infrastructure Strategy was launched in 2013 in order to help stop the loss of biodiversity and enable ecosystems to deliver their many services to people and nature. The green infrastructure basically consists of a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas, with other environmental features, designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality, space for recreation and climate mitigation and adaptation. This network of green (land) and blue (water) spaces can improve environmental conditions and therefore citizens’ health and quality of life.

In the wider landscape, the EU green infrastructure is mainly constituted by the Natura 2000 network and the green corridors connecting these protected sites among them. However, in highly urbanised territories, the deployment of such green infrastructure is not an easy task. Urban sprawling and the presence of a large number of infrastructures difficult connectivity among the few open spaces left.

In the present webinar, we will showcase how two different geographical realities – a compact city of 250,000 inhabitants and a diffuse metropolitan space of 3.2 M inhabitants – are implementing their green infrastructure, starting from the protection of single pieces of land and seeking to connect them, over time, to other spaces that have followed the same process.


Case study 1

The Green Belt: 25 years working for a multifunctional urban green infrastructure in Vitoria-Gasteiz

By Juan Carlos Escudero, Center for Environmental Studies of Vitoria-Gasteiz (CEA), Spain

The Green Belt is the result of an ambitious project initiated in the early 1990s, the main of which was to restore and recover the outlying areas of Vitoria-Gasteiz, both from the environmental and social viewpoint, in order to create a large, green area for recreational use around the city.

As the origin of the Urban Green Infrastructure of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Green Belt is essential for the city to operate correctly. Besides its aesthetic and ornamental function, it is a space for leisure and social relations, and plays a fundamental role in improving the environmental quality of the urban milieu, providing relevant ecosystem services to the city and its inhabitants.

Juan Carlos Escudero, Biologist, has been professionally linked to the Center for Environmental Studies of Vitoria-Gasteiz (CEA), an Autonomous Organisation of the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz. For more than two decades, Juan Carlos has been involved in different action lines in the fields of environmental information, research, innovation and development applied to the urban environment.

Case study 2

Barcelona Green Metropolis, ecology, leisure and production

By Jacob Cirera Val, Area Metropolitana de Barcelona

Barcelona Metropolis is characterised by being a compact and polycentric territory. The territorial extension is over 636km2 and the population higher than 3.2 million citizens, with 52% of the land being mainly occupied by green infrastructure.

This green infrastructure has a great environmental and social wealth value, and it is made up of more than 60 different habitats where more than 5,300 species live. In order to reach their goals, a new metropolitan paradigm in relation with environmental, social and economic sustainability needs to be guaranteed, where biodiversity and ecological processes are safe, but that simultaneously offers different possibilities of use & 
leisure.

Jacob Cirera Val has a degree in Environmental Sciences from Girona University and Master’s degree in Application of Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing in Territorial Management from the Catalan Institute of Technology. He currently works in the office of the AMB’s Urban Master Plan and is a professor of “Environment and urban sustainability” as part of the City Management Master’s degree at the Open University of Catalonia.
The webinar will be held in English and last around 1:15 hours. All participants will be able to share their views and have their questions answered during the final discussion.

This Webinar is a celebration of the 
EU Green Week 2018 "Green Cities for a Greener Future"

Waffnergasse 6, 93047, Regensburg, Germany
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