VARCITIES

Visionary Nature Based Actions for Heath, Wellbeing & Resilience in Cities

Project Status: In Progress (Sept 2020 - Aug 2024)

Project Summary

In an increasingly urbanising world, governments and international corporations strive to increase productivity of cities, recognized as economy growth hubs, as well as ensuring better quality of life and living conditions to citizens. Although significant effort is performed by international organisations, researchers, etc. to transform the challenges of Cities in to opportunities, the visions of our urban future are trending towards bleak. Social services and health facilities are significantly affected in negative ways owed to the increase in urban populations (70% by 2050). Air pollution and urban exacerbation of heat islands is exacerbating . Nature will struggle to compensate in the future City, as rural land is predicted to shrink by 30% affecting liveability.

VARCITIES puts the citizen and the “human community” in the eye of the future cities’ vision. Future cities should evolve to be human centred cities.  The vision of VARCITIES is to implement real, visionary ideas and add value by establishing sustainable models for increasing health and well-being of citizens (children, young people, middle age, elderly) that are exposed to diverse climatic conditions and challenges around Europe (e.g. from harsh winters in Skelleftea-SE to hot summers in Chania-GR, from deprived areas in Novo mesto-SI to increased pollution in Malta) through shared public spaces that make cities liveable and welcoming.

IES' Role

IES will contribute to the design and development all the ICT infrastructure required to collect, store, analyse and visualise data coming from all pilots and make them available to different communities including citizens in an easily understandable and engaging way. This will include the development of a platform to monitor the health and well-being in each test site before and after the renovations have occurred.

Test Sites

  • Skelleftea (Sweden): Transforming old land fill area into a residential and educational area using green/blue solutions
  • Bergen (Norway): Sustainable re-establishment of an urban water park
  • Dundalk (Ireland): Dundalk Library and Museum Quarter
  • Castelfranco (Italy): A “Healing Garden” for elderly and people suffering from Alzheimer
  • Novo mesto (Spain): Sports and recreational park Češča vas
  • Gzira (Malta): Regeneration of a high traffic road in the Gzira locality in Malta
  • Chania (Greece): Creation of a Mobile Urban Living Room in open public spaces
  • Leuven (Belgium): Hertogensite-Regeneration of former hospital site