Urban Klima 2050 highlights the benefits of naturalising urban spaces to adapt them to the impacts of climate change
The LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project was one of the entities that took part at the ‘Renaturalising our cities’ conference, which was organised by Bilbao Urban & Cities Design and took place on Tuesday, January 31 at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UPV/EHU in Bilbao.
The conference was an opportunity to present the different natural solutions that exist for adapting our urban centres to the challenges that our cities and towns are currently facing: urban regeneration and climate change.
Iñigo Urrutikoetxea Alvarez, a member of the Urban Klima 2050 coordination team and a climate action technician at Ihobe, used his presentation 'Urban greening. A necessity with many benefits', to explain the importance of naturalising urban spaces and emphasised the positive impacts that this has on the environment, society and the economy.
Urrutikoetxea presented nature-based solutions (NBS) as “innovative, easy-to-implement solutions that make it possible for cities and towns to tackle challenges such as urban regeneration and climate change”. By way of example, he illustrated a few solutions that can be applied at various levels to achieve an urban configuration that is greener, healthier and more resilient to climate change:
- Buildings: green façades, green roofs, etc.
- Water bodies: actions for renaturing rivers and streams, or projects that focus on controlled flood plains.
- Drainage systems: sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS).
- Public spaces: green street furniture and areas with water microclimates.
- Transport infrastructure: such as permeable paving and green linear infrastructures.
- Coasts: projects in peri-urban areas to restore dunes, and to regenerate marshlands and coastal wetlands.
As specific examples, Urrutikoetxea outlined some of the actions included in the LIFE Urban Klima 2050 project, such as the restoration of the Tonpoi natural area in Bermeo, and the future creation of flood zones next to the course of the River Estepona in Bakio to reduce the risk of flooding in the coastal town.