Nature as environmental, economic and social solution

24 june 2016

Experts in Nature Based Solutions, researchers, companies and government representatives participated in the V CARTIF Forum Technology-Company, in its facilities in Valladolid.

The main purpose of this meeting was to share ideas and projects based on nature, which are being carried out in different cities, aimed to solve social, economic and environmental challenges and meet the R&D&I programs that enable it through European funds.

The event was attended by Paul Nolan, world expert in this subject and director of The Mersey Forest Team (United Kingdom). This entity is turning specific areas in the north of England into spaces with a higher quality of life through the creation of forests, which are a source of renewable products, create jobs and help the local economy. Nolan stressed the importance of raising awareness of the new generations.

Representatives of the Office of Climate Change in Spain and H2020 Program Committee presented the public calls for research and innovation which fund this kind of project and they stressed the importance of that these projects can be replicated in other European cities. ‘We do not only look for the implementation and effectiveness of these solutions in the short term, but we want a medium and long term beyond the H2020 funds’, said Lydia González (CDTI).

The companies ‘Singular Green’ and ‘Aguas de Alicante’ and the local government of the city of Valladolid provided the practical part of the day with examples of how these solutions are being developed in cities. The technology chief of the company in Alicante, Antonio Sánchez Zaplana, introduced the project of ‘La Marjal’ park. It is a flood-prone park that serves as a water reservoir outdoor, which will be subsequently reused. ‘This park has become a laboratory of biodiversity, with animal and vegetal species that have never been seen before in the area’.

In addition, Jordi Serramía, of ‘Singular Green’, stated that ‘not all solutions based on nature are sustainable or ecological solutions’, because in some cases the costs or consumption of energy and water are higher than the budget spent. Therefore, a systematic implementation of these solutions appliance is necessary in order to quantify the impact.

Teresa Redondo, from the Department of Environment in Valladolid, said the city is at the head of Spanish cities in extension of green areas, which promote climate change mitigation, reduce noise pollution and minimize the effect of ‘Heat Island’. However, he acknowledged the need to apply technology to forecast which will be the benefits returned.

CARTIF is working on research projects on urban green infrastructure, smart soils, urban farms and new systems of carbon emissions capture, which is added to its consolidated line of researching in smart cities.

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