Shaping communities for a just, sustainable world
Human activities have already triggered a rise in the earth’s surface temperatures. To reduce the damage from climate change, a transition to a low-carbon society is urgently needed. At the moment, environmental resources are distributed unevenly. As a result, wealthy regions benefit from better conditions than low-income areas that are more vulnerable to the impacts caused by warmer temperatures. The JUSTNature project, a four year and a half project that started in 2021, brought together for the first time in Munich representatives from seven cities and 13 organisations across Europe to discuss how to involve citizens in implementing green and sustainable spaces to achieve high air quality and low carbon neighbourhoods, as it is the right of every citizen.
JUSTNature’s goals are brought to life in six City Practice Labs (CiPels) across Europe: Chania, Gzira, Leuven, Merano & Bolzano, Munich, and Szombathely. City Practice Labs (CiPels) constitute the backbone of the project’s activities by delivering community-engaged, co-explored and co-decided innovation to implement Nature Based Solutions to tackle down the environmental challenges in all these cities.
In Munich, the project partners identified the key challenges the project faces. The participating cities updated each other about their status, and the whole project group learned about the host city Munich’s history and future urban plans. A session using 3D visualisations was conducted to show how such technology can be used to involve citizens in greening processes. The project’s business strategy was discussed to ensure that the economy is involved in the transition needed.
In Brussels, the team participated in the The NEB European Bauhaus Festival for 3 days 9-12 June, 2022 to distribute information, flyers and brochures about the project's visions, objectives, and our partnership networks. The team engaged audiences with activities around how everyone could live in better, greener public spaces through participatory urban-planning games, Virtual Reality simulation, workshops and fruitful conversation. The Festival of the New European Bauhaus was the new flagship event of the European’s Commission, aimed to bring together talent and ideas from all over Europe, which contribute to the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development plan and the European Green Deal to enhance the Health and Wellbeing of the European citizens.
JUSTNature emphasises the necessity of bringing everyone's thoughts and actions together to create a new and sustainable future, beginning with our cities. Every citizen should have the right to access ecological space, regardless of their position in society. In this view, the EU officer, Ugo Guarnacci, said: ‘’green areas should not be just for the rich, but for everyone”.