JUSTNature at European week of Regions and Cities 2023

17 October 2023

On the 10th of October 2023, the JUSTNature project joined the discussions on Citizen Science, Co-design Tools for Cities, and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement at European week of Regions and Cities 2023 in Brussels.

Why co-creation processes are important is fairly accepted in academia and among community engagement consultants. Even among local governments, these processes are becoming a reality thanks to pilot projects. But how can we make citizen engagement processes go from experimental to regular practice in municipalities?

That's one of the aspects discussed by Sonja Gantioler, the JUSTNature project manager, and fellow panelists Thomas Osdoba, Ana Belen Cristobal, and Dr. Daniela Melandri. With the aim of putting theory into practice, participants at the event could get a taste of the toolkits, apps, and solutions developed within the projects. 

JUSTNature presented the Ecological (Space) Justice Strategic planning toolkit, consisting of:

  • a map of the city/area that is being worked upon
  • set of tokens representing justices and injustices
  • set of tokens representing possible nature-based solutions to implements
  • set of tokens representing group inclusiveness
  • inspiration cards and a booklet providing guidance

The toolkit is still in the prototype phase and will be further developed in the next months with the feedback gathered during the pilot cities implementation. However, if the 140 participants' questions are to be taken as an indication, we can definitely affirm that other cities are interested in applying co-creation processes.

Here are some valuable insights from these three days of exchange and learning: 

  • Engaged and sustained engagement of stakeholders is key to achieving a successful climate transition.
  • Co-creation and citizen science initiatives play pivotal roles in overcoming barriers and propelling climate action.
  • Engaging citizens in the development of local projects is a crucial step in fostering acceptance and active participation in the climate transition at the city level.

At the event, 9 European research projects were featured in their booth and engaged in conversations with participants! Here are the names of the projects