€12m EU-funded initiative launches to bring nature into cities
Dublin - 8th June 2017: 37 organisations from 19 countries came together in Dublin last week to celebrate the launch of Connecting Nature - a €12m EU-funded project, led by Trinity College Dublin, which aims to establish Europe as a global leader in rethinking the way nature can be used more effectively in our cities. There is growing recognition and EU-wide investment in smart, 'engineered' nature-based solutions designed to bring more nature and natural processes to cities, landscapes and seascapes. These innovative solutions help to improve urban environments but equally importantly they have significant potential to create sustainable jobs in urban communities and to enhance the health and well-being of our citizens.
Mayors, elected city officials, academics and industry participants from across Europe listened to speakers from the European Investment Bank, Social Finance UK and the European Venture Philanthropy Association as they identified current opportunities to finance large scale city-wide investment in nature-based solutions. The market is significant. Right now, over 70% of Europe's population live in cities and this is expected to increase to over 80% by the middle of the century. This translates to 36 million new urban citizens, who will need housing, employment and care by 2050. Nature-based solutions can help to address many urban challenges, such as unsustainable urbanization and related human health issues, degradation and loss of natural capital and the ecosystem services it provides (clean air, water and soil), climate change and an alarming increase of natural disaster risks.
Through Connecting Nature, 11 European cities will invest in large scale implementation of nature-based solutions, measure the impact of this approach and share their experience on a global scale. Connecting Nature is an Innovation Action funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union. The five year project began on 1st June, 2017.
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