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GREEN SURGE Report Summary

Project ID: 603567
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Denmark

Periodic Report Summary 2 - GREEN SURGE (Green Infrastructure and Urban Biodiversity for Sustainable Urban Development and the Green Economy)

Project Context and Objectives:
The collaborative project GREEN SURGE includes 23 partners from 11 European countries. The project is organized around 8 Work Packages with close cross-collaboration between these. The overall project objectives are to identify, develop and test ways of linking green spaces, biodiversity, people and the green economy in order to meet the major urban challenges related to land use conflicts, climate change adaptation, demographic changes, and human health and wellbeing. The project has developed analytical approaches, frameworks, and typologies during the first 18 months, whereas the past 18 months have had a major focus on empirical data collection and analyses in order to identify and develop different ways of linking green spaces, biodiversity, people and the green economy. The linkages between urban green spaces and people were studied by multiple approaches, including: 1) ecosystem services synergies and trade-offs; 2) biodiversity and cultural diversity; 3) human health and well-being; and 4) integration of ecosystem services into real economy. Further, the different ways of ‘doing so’ were elaborated by focus on advanced and successful planning and governance experiences from a selected sample of European cities.

Project Results:
Within the past 36 project months GREEN SURGE has achieved its objectives and goals set for these two periods. The identification and documentation of green infrastructure planning, governance and typologies were carried out by city-regional case studies and desk-top studies. This work included the Tier 1 study of 20 cities which revealed the state of green infrastructure planning, governance practices, and linkages between biodiversity and culture (i.e. expressions of biocultural diversity) in a cross-sample of city regions within the five main European planning families.The case study work has continued in the past 18 months with focus on more in-depth case study analyses (the tier 2 study level) revealing good practices, advanced approaches, and success and failure of urban green infrastructure planning and governance. Furthermore, by literature reviews, spatial analyses, and empirical data from additional case studies the project has analyses multiple functional linkages. These analyses and reports include a study of linkages between biodiversity and cultural diversity based on an empirical questionnaire distributed in 10 different languages to local people in the five urban learning labs (n=3,800). Furthermore, functional linkages between green infrastructure and ecosystem services, and human health and social cohesion have been explored resulting in a novel classification of UGI based on these linkages. The linkages to the green economy were studied with a focus on a review of experiences with integrating green space ecosystem services in real economies, and also empirical case studies exploring cash flows generated by urban green spaces in six different cities, and finally, by a case study on how to integrate different approaches to valuation of urban ecosystem services.

Potential Impact:
GREEN SURGE will have multiple academic, but also policy, socio-economic and societal impacts.
While the project’s final results are yet to be produced, the project’s first 36 months have laid the foundations for these final results. This work has included starting up and running the ULLs (in Bari, Berlin, Edinburgh, Ljubljana, Malmö) with local learning alliances, in order to create the basis for the iterative implementation and testing of urban green infrastructures, biocultural diversity and ecosystem services provisioning in planning, management, and governance arrangements.
Furthermore, GREEN SURGE has a strong focus on the green economy, and method development, data mining, and analyses have been carried out for better capturing of cash flows generated by UGI in combination with other urban land uses and their services. Moreover, a typology of green infrastructure in cities and the demand on green across European cities has been carried out in order to improve the basis for implementation of ecosystem services in UGI. Finally, the case city portraits of 20 cities, together with in-depth cases from 10 of these cities, provide a unique insight into local green space governance arrangements, green infrastructure planning and implementation and biocultural expressions. This work has had value for the cities themselves, e.g. in terms of mutual learning (similarities and dissimilarities). Furthermore, the portraits offer a unique insight into the status of green infrastructure planning and implementation in a diverse sample of European cities with value for GI policy and strategy makers within Europe and globally.

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