First ENABLE webinar: How can urban green be more accessible?

The ENABLE project will host a series of webinars and the first one took place on 7 December. Erik Andersson, Associate Professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and project coordinator introduced the goals and activities of ENABLE and how the project intends to help cities in realising urban green and blue infrastructure. Jakub Kronenberg, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology from the University of Lodz, and one of the partners of ENABLE, shared first results from research on ways to determine how accessible green spaces in cities are. He also explained how we can use data to make public space more inclusive.

Erik Andersson explained that there are serious challenges to implementing Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI): segregation, unequal opportunities, decreasing areas of green space, and they are often disconnected from the larger urban system. At the same time they have multiple benefits compared to grey infrastructure, and often respond better to complex challenges. To solve these challenges, often means to focus on other factors, such as infrastructure, institutions, including ownership, user rights, regulations as well as how people see, understand and value different GBI benefits, and how values are influenced by different social and cultural factors.

The ENABLE project works across 5 European cities and New York City for benchmarking, and the solutions developed will be adapted to local circumstances. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to urban GBI. To understand how the quality of GBI translates into benefits for citizens, we need to understand the system and this is what the ENABLE research team will continue to focus on the next two years. ENABLE aims to find solutions that are useful for cities, for academics and practitioners.

Jakub Kronenberg focuses in his research on measuring and mapping GBI, as well as developing standards and indicators of accessibility, availability and attractiveness, all of which are included in the provisioning of GBI. He highlighted that there are various ways to value urban green infrastructure, but to ensure that every citizen benefits from urban green space, it is essential to look at the distribution of these spaces. Mobile apps can be a great tool to assess this.

Listen to a recording of the webinar and watch the slides here

The next ENABLE webinar is planned in Spring 2018 and the date will be announced here on the ENABLE website.


Featured image: By John Idzerda, Autumn ’17, CC-licence


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