In the framework of the UNaLab Buddy System, a method to share experiences and knowledge between front-runner and follower cities, the 5th UNaLab Buddy System Workshop was organised. The aim of Buddy System is to maximise learning with time, organise focused activities, and share a common workspace on the project website, which functions as a repository of material and information.
The activities consist of two different approaches: Webinars on topics of interest for all cities, with the participation of experts and technicians as speakers, as well as interactive workshops during the face-to-face meetings.
The Buddy System creates connections between the cities through their participation in the organised activities. The webinars help to deepen their knowledge on topics related to nature-based solutions, with the contribution of internal and external experts, whereas the workshops encourage discussions between them.
During the 5th UNaLab Buddy System workshop, the front-runner and follower cities discussed some topics which have emerged during the course of the project, with valuable insights from their local experts. The online meeting format was used as an opportunity to involve local experts who normally have not been able to participate due to the face-to-face format of the meetings. The workshop was organised as a virtual round-table discussion, where all the cities could involve their local technicians with different areas of expertise, in order to create a fruitful and deep discussion around the three main topics:
Planning green roofs
Discussion points: How to convince public authorities to implement green roofs on their buildings? Would it be possible to use public funds for this? How to build green roofs (or green walls) resilient to dry periods (without any water supply) and heavy rainfalls?
Criteria to assess the added benefits of NBS
Discussion points: How to decide if an intervention is good enough as an NBS? Which criteria has to be set out in the planning stage (e.g. in the case of storm water management) in order for it to be approved as an NBS?
Interventions to increase biodiversity
Discussion points: What interventions are feasible in areas where green spaces have been lost and the vegetation has been altered, causing the increase of desertification (e.g. depopulated areas)? Could NBS interventions contribute to reactivate and repopulate areas like this?
A fruitful discussion followed the presentation of each topic, mainly focusing on policies on climate change adaptation, blue and green factors, implementation of green roofs in historical buildings, evaluation and calculation tools, resilience approaches, and restoration plans.
The round-table discussion workshop, organised in the framework of the Buddy System, was a great opportunity to learn the experts’ point of view on the selected topics and to share knowledge between the municipalities involved in the project. All the participants left the meeting with some new knowledge and are looking forward to some further future exchange.
If you are interested in some of the workshop topics and information, feel free to get in touch!