The 1st Local Stakeholder Workshop in Szombathely

Szombathely 21 February 2023
Thinking with the city's residents to co-create new green developments

JUSTNature project will research, plan, develop and monitor the city for three more years. All this with the involvement of the population.

On 14 February, we invited residents who had completed our pre-advertised questionnaire to the 1st Local Stakeholder Workshop, held in the Jászai Utca Community Space with the participation of ABUD Engineering, aiming to gather ideas and experiences from residents who either use the areas designated for development or have more specific ideas about the function of the bank of the Gyöngyös stream, or what would be appropriate for the courtyard of the Dési Huber István Primary School. Nature-based solutions, however, are at the heart of all possibilities.

In the first part of the workshop, participants could get an insight into what the project itself is about, what nature-based solutions are, and why a development that has been going on for several years has left no visible traces in the city. JUSTNature is divided into many work packages that examine the various backgrounds and the effects of interventions in nature: from air quality to societal reaction, there are numerous factors to be considered when looking at developments. The concrete developments along Hunyadi Road and in the courtyard of the Dési school could be regarded as the tip of the iceberg.

After the frontal presentations, group work began, with participants using small tokens to mark problematic urban areas and then listing possible solutions alongside them. We were delighted to hear the great ideas that local residents had and that they were brave enough to share their positive and negative opinions, as we can all benefit from them if we work together.

Overall, the participants received a good experience, and if we had more time, they would have been eager to discuss different ways to make Szombathely even more beautiful, greener, and more belonging.