The six city partners of the INTERLACE project, Chemnitz in Germany, Corredor Biológico Interurbano Río María Aguilar-San José in Costa Rica, Envigado in Colombia, Granollers in Spain, Metropolia Krakowska in Poland and Portoviejo in Ecuador officially kicked-off the project's activities in their cities in a series of events conducted across March 2021.
INTERLACE is a 4-year research and innovation project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 funding programme. The project fosters the deployment of diverse nature-based solutions to support restoration, rehabilitation and (re)connection of urban and peri-urban ecosystems.
The six INTERLACE cities represent diverse urban ecosystems and governance contexts of small- and medium-sized cities in EU and Latin America. At the same time, they share the challenge of restoring and preventing further degradation of urban and peri-urban ecosystem while pursuing sustainable development objectives. The city partners are central to the project's activities. To ensure that the tools and products of the project are fit for-purpose, INTERLACE deploys an innovative agile co-production process. To this end, a local stakeholder group has been convened in each of the project's partner cities. These groups are invited to provide feedback, new knowledge and perspectives and express their demands, needs and expectations to increase relevance, legitimacy and impact of the project’s products.
In March, INTERLACE city partners organized kick-off events to officially convene and launch the cooperation with those stakeholder groups. The invitees consisted of individuals that represent groups and institutions affected by and able to impact key local challenges in each city. During the events the participants were familiarized with the project and its planned activities and had an opportunity to express their wishes and expectations. The participants analysed the local challenges and proposed local options for actions within the project. In Portoviejo the event included a local site visit. Metropolia Krakowska and Chemnitz created creative and eco-friendly gift packs related to the project themes, to welcome the participants who could not meet in person and attended the event online.
In parallel, the cities conducted outreach events with the general public and the press to officially announce the start of the project in the city and inform wider local community about its planned local activities and their potential impact. The city representatives discussed with the press the ambitious plans they want to realise with the support of the INTERLACE project. The events were supported by local and national officials: in Envigado, Granollers and Portoviejo, the events were officially opened by the City Mayors. The First Lady of Costa Rica, Ms Claudia Dobles Camargo, joined the launch event in Corredor Biológico Interurbano Río María Aguilar-San José via a video message. In Chemnitz the INTERLACE local project coordinator and the City Mayor for Construction planted a tree together to mark the occasion. Additionally, Granollers and Portoviejo accompanied their launch events with videos created to promote the project and its planned activities. The events received a wide news coverage including the local press, radio and TV.
You can learn more about the INTERLACE project and its planned activities on the INTERLACE project website.