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Biodiverse Cities in Europe’s North Sea Region

Project launch as part of the EU Interreg Program for the North Sea Region

The artec Sustainability Research Center is committed to addressing the biodiversity and climate crisis and supporting the transformation to a nature-friendly society. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new project Biodiverse Cities, led by the City of Dordrecht in the Netherlands and co-funded by the European Union through the Interreg North Sea Region (NSR) Program.

As a highly urbanised area, the North Sea Region is directly involved in regional biodiversity loss. Despite increasing political attention, biodiversity conservation in urban areas is often overlooked or considered a secondary concern. Cities are introducing so-called 'nature-based solutions' (NBS) to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, biodiversity conservation is rarely an equal goal. In addition, the social implications of re-evaluating and expanding green infrastructure in cities have not been sufficiently considered in the past.

Within the framework of Biodiverse Cities, NBS are to be developed in 5 pilot cities - including Bremen - as examples. Through innovative methods such as spatial experimentation and social design, local populations will be involved in the project, with the goal of extensive participation up to and including co-production of individual measures. In order to integrate biodiversity criteria into urban planning, urban development and investments, the project aims to go beyond common practices. The long-term nature of the results is to be ensured by simultaneously influencing local policies together with regional and national governments - in Bremen's case, the Senatorial Authority for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing (SKUMS). The sub-project in Bremen focuses on the densely populated and culturally diverse district of Gröpelingen and is carried out in cooperation with the Gröpelingen Research Workshop of the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research (IfEK).

Biodiverse Cities brings together 16 partners from 7 countries, with wide expertise from ecology, to co-creation, policy, governance and climate adaptation. Including:

  • 8 cities: City of Dordrecht (NL), Aarhus (DK), Bremen (DE), Vaxjo (SE), Lille (FR), Hamburg (DE), Bergen (NO) and Brest (FR)
  • 3 universities: Aeres University of Applied Sciences (NL), Aarhus University (DK), and the University of Bremen (DE)
  • 3 knowledge expert and network partners: International Union for Conservation of Nature (BE), Flanders Environment Agency (BE), and Open Kaart (NL)
  • 2 local environmental and community NGOs: Bremer Umwelt Beratung (DE) and Vogelnest (NL)

Biodiverse Cities is an Interreg North Sea project co-funded by the European Union.

Project start: September 2022

Hinter einem Schutthaufen ist eine Schutthaufen zu sehen mit Graffiti in Form großer gelb-schwarzer Bienen
Logo-Text: Interreg North Sea, co-funded by the European Union, Biodiverse Cities