With around 75% of EU population living in urban areas, cites will play a key role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing vulnerability to impacts of climate change and building resilience. Multifunctional nature-based solutions can be a powerful tool to jointly address climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas. A number of innovative pilot projects introduced in Berlin in the last 20 years were able to demonstrate in practice how cities can save energy, cool down buildings, reduce urban heat island effect and sequester and store carbon by working with natural climate solutions.
Ewa Iwaszuk discussed a number of those innovative projects during the conference "Blue and Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Change Mitigation" organised by the Sendzimir Foundation and held online in Polish language on 27 October 2020. The presentation entitled "Good Practices from Germany as an inspiration for Polish local-governments: presentation of innovative nature-based solutions from Berlin" discussed the sites' contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation and the key success factors behind Berlin's efforts to combat climate change in the city using nature-based solutions.
The two-day online conference was addressed to city officials, local government employees, planners, designers and landscape architects actually involved in the management of greenery, rainwater management and development of blue-green-infrastructure in cities. The event, which was broadcasted live from a studio in Warsaw, was watched by over 250 participants. The recording of the conference and Ewa Iwaszuk's presentation are available on YouTube in Polish language.
The online conference served to popularize the outcomes of "Climate NBS Poland" project supported by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Ministry of Environment. The sites discussed in the presentation were visited by participants of the project, during the Berlin study tour for Polish NBS and local government experts organized by Ecologic Institute in August 2020. The project aimed to increase the understanding, acceptance and uptake of multifunctional NBS as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation and climate protection measure. By initiating and fostering cooperation and exchange between Polish and German planning, engineering and policy experts, the project sought to build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS. The project’s publications, Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions and Policy Instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions are available online in English and Polish language versions.