DivAirCity H2020

Nature in the City: A Practical Approach to Urban Wellbeing

Architect, urban designer and fellow DivAirCity consortium member, Blanca Pedrola, chaired this event, which focused on the pivotal role of nature-based solutions in urban environments.

Carolyn Daher (IS Global) discussed health extending beyond sickness and medical care and how urbanisation magnifies health inequities, highlighting the need for equitable policies and environments. With rising temperatures exacerbating urban heat islands and mortality rates, urban greening offers multifaceted health benefits, reduces mortality rates and enhances mental well-being. She stressed that evaluating interventions and monitoring health impacts are essential for demonstrating the effectiveness and economic value of nature-based solutions in fostering planetary and human health.

Mary Bowman‘s (Gustafson, Porter and Bowman) presentation outlined the comprehensive redevelopment project around the Eiffel Tower in Paris, focusing on enhancing its historical significance, improving pedestrian access, and integrating sustainable elements. It demonstrated the significance of collaboration, as to achieve this, they needed to work together with transport services, reroute bus links, and address technical complexities such as managing drainage. Mary’s case study showcased a holistic approach to urban redevelopment, balancing historical preservation with pedestrian accessibility, sustainability, and community engagement.

Rudi Scheuermann (Arup) gave a technical perspective on how green spaces not only improve microclimates but also contribute to the well-being of people and reduction healthcare costs associated with breathing diseases. He covered various methods for integrating green infrastructure into cities, including green roofs, urban farming, and the use of plants to reduce CO2 levels. He also highlighted the benefits of green roofs in reducing energy consumption for cooling buildings and absorbing rainwater to prevent flooding.

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