Edible City Solutions لعالم أفضل!

EdiCitNet’s work on NBS impact monitoring featured in new European Commission handbook

A new handbook published by the European Commission provides decision-makers and practitioners with a comprehensive NBS impact assessment framework and a robust set of indicators and methodologies to help them assess the impact of nature-based solutions across 12 different societal challenge areas.

The handbook, entitled “Evaluating the impact of nature-based solutions”, which was published on Wednesday May 5, includes contributions from EdiCitNet, alongside 16 other EU-funded NBS projects and collaborating institutions.

A number of EdiCitNet partners, including city administrations from the Front-Runner Cities and an interdisciplinary group of research partners from a a broad variety of scientific disciplines, contributed their experiences on NBS impact assessment and monitoring to the handbook. Drawing from information gathered throughout the project, including in particular the experiences in the EdiCitNet Living Labs, the partners offer insights on, among other things: how to match intended aims with suitable indicators, how to assist stakeholders in selecting or developing methods for data collection that are both scientifically sound and feasible in light of local personnel, knowledge, time and financial resources, and the importance of giving Edible City Solution coordinators and participants access to convenient tools for data collection, storage and management.

This new handbook has been developed as part of the European Taskforce for NBS Impact Assessment (NBS TF2) with the aim of: serving as a reference for relevant EU policies and activities, orienting urban practitioners in developing robust impact evaluation frameworks for nature-based solutions at different scales and building the European evidence base regarding NBS impacts.

Download the new handbook “Evaluating the impact of nature-based solutions” here.

EdiCitNet joins #Flowers4Bees campaign to raise awareness of the threats faced by pollinator insects

Apples and pears, coffee, almonds, avocado, pumpkin and zucchini: what looks like your last shopping list may actually disappear from your dining table if pollinator insects such as bees went extinct. And this scenario is getting more realistic with each passing day due to increasing urbanisation, high pollution levels and destruction of green spaces.

One key step to save pollinators is to make everyone understand the tight bond between our lives and their survival. Want to help but unsure how? In this case, the answer is a hashtag: #Flowers4Bees!

#Flowers4Bees is a social media campaign celebrating World Bee Day (May 20) and raising awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators in general. Joining us is easy: from May 3 to June 4, take a picture of a flower and/or a bee and post it on the dedicated Facebook group of the campaign, or on your Twitter profile – in this case, do not forget to use #Flowers4Bees or we will not be able to find your picture!

#Flowers4Bees is an initiative of the following projects that are working together to make our cities more sustainable, green and liveable:

How do these projects achieve that goal? All of them are designing and installing innovative nature-based solutions in many European cities. These are interventions inspired by nature and they tackle urban problems such as poor air quality, limited biodiversity, flooding and high temperatures.

Bees and other pollinator insects are happy to see nature-based solutions pop-up in cities all over Europe. One intervention they are certain to enjoy are pollinator houses, that help them move across the city and reach as many green areas as possible by providing native bees, moths, butterflies and other regional pollinators with nesting sites. Pollinators benefit from the planting and cultivation of a range of edible plants too – in particular herbs like borage, basil and lavender, fruit trees and vegetables like squash and green beans.

Follow the hashtag #Flowers4Bees to discover some of the pollinator-friendly solutions installed by these different projects and the different ways that cities around the world are supporting bees to pursue their crucial mission of pollinating countless different species of fruits and vegetables.

URBAN GreenUP, proGIreg, UNaLab, INTERLACE, NetworkNature, EdiCitNet, GrowGreen and CLEARING HOUSE have all received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Oppla is supported by the European Commission under the Environment (including climate change) Theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development.

EdiCitNet’s Dr Ina Säumel joins digital talk on Berlin’s journey to becoming a zero-waste capital city

According to the Food Waste Index Report 2021, the world wasted approximately 931 million tonnes of food in 2019 – with 61 per cent of this waste coming from households, 26 per cent from restaurants and 13 per cent from supermarkets. How can innovation help reduce resource waste? And how far is Berlin on the way to becoming a truly “zero waste” city?

On April 27th, Dr Ina Säumel, lead of the EdiCitNet project, and head of the junior research group Multifunctional Landscapes at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems at Humboldt University Berlin, discussed this topic with others at an event entitled “On the Way to a Zero-Waste Capital City”.

Other participants in the discussion included Stephanie Otto, the CEO of BSR, Berlin’s waste management service, Alexander Piutti, the founder and CEO of SPRK.global, a start-up which aims to reduce food waste through technology and Jasmin Suchy, who has opened Germany’s first vegan zero-waste restaurant, “Frea” in the centre of Berlin.

The participants discussed different ways of approaching the challenge of achieving zero waste in the German capital. Dr Ina Säumel offered the scientific perspective and explained how urban farming and innovations within Berlin-based food systems – like those explored within the EdiCitNet project – can make a significant contribution to waste reduction and more sustainable cities.

This online discussion (in German) was part of a series of “Digital Talks” organised in cooperation with the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper and the business network Berlin Partner. Missed the livestream? You can watch a recording of the event right here.

The City of Oslo joined the “Food System Change Online Congress” in March to present Oslo as a city assuming responsibility for food production.

The City of Oslo joined the “Food System Change Online Congress” in March to present Oslo as a city assuming responsibility for food production. Watch the video here:

Oslo has a long history of growing food in the city and is particularly known for its development of school gardens and allotment gardens in the early 20th century, which helped feed the citizens during WWI and especially WWII. While agricultural industrialization has led to a decline of food production in the city duringthe second half of the 20th century and the focus has shifted from growing food as a necessity to growing food for social and educational purposes, more and more people are again getting interested in urban gardening. Since 2017 the municipality has supported over 300 urban gardening projects through its grant scheme of 200.000 Euros annually.

Kindergardens, housing cooperation, nursing homes, volunteer groups, social and green entrepreneurs and many more have received support to start their projects. In 2019 Oslo municipality adopted the strategy “Sprouting Oslo – Room for everyone in the city’s green spaces” to support a green city development, strengthen local food production, create more green social places and activities, build up school garden teaching, and promote collaboration, knowledge transfer and innovation in urban agriculture. Through the participation in EdiCitNet, Oslo municipality has gained a deeper insight into engagement of citizens in urban agriculture projects, how to reach disadvantaged groups and provide valuable work experiences, and thus support the city reach its strategic goals. EdiCitNet has also enabled the municipality to help new entrepreneurs to kick-start their ideas while receiving guidance through a difficult first year as a farm-entrepreneur.

Flashback of “ECS Projects for Carthage, EdiCitNet Carthage”, a dream of an edible Carthage city.

The event: “ECS projects for Carthage, EdiCit Carthage”, which took place on March 19, 2020 in Tunis, was organized by REACT in collaboration with the Municipality of Carthage. This is the interview stage of the selection process of candidates in response to the “Edicit Carthage” call. This call aims at identifying innovative and sustainable ECS projects to be implemented in Carthage. This event was dedicated to interviews of the invited five candidates. Each ECS holder presented his project, which was discussed with the members of the evaluation committee made up of members of the Municipality of Carthage, REACT, and expert. This discussion provided an opportunity to exchange deeply with the candidates. The assessment was made based on criteria such as the feasibility and sustainability of the project, the commitment and the know-how of the candidate. The interviews conduction by the committee was perceived as specific coaching for ECS holders who demonstrated enthusiasm and motivation for making Carthage edible city e.g.; Improving the quality of life was the motivation and the goal:”It is a project which aims to improve our lives, a healthy and clean life for all the citizens of Carthage” Karim Ben Yaala, Amiris Carthage project.

Also, this call was for other an opportunity to revive the past: “Regarding this project, it is in my native neighborhood, that has become a black point between Carthage and Kram, we hope with this project to replicate the lived past to create our future, to renew the ties of neighborhoods which were very solid “Jaafer Abdellaoui, An edible garden for all in Carthage Yasmina project.

The interview session was followed by the selection session, during which committee members discussed the projects and their adequacy with the criteria and objectives of the “EdiCit Carthage” call. The selected projects will be considered as pilot projects at the municipality of Carthage and it is expected that their establishment in the city will boost the change to an edible city. We thank a lot all candidates for this call and salute their engagement and initiatives to make the city of Carthage an edible city.

“I really wanted to thank REACT and the Municipality of Carthage who gave us the opportunity to present our projects, and especially the initiative they took to make Carthage a greener city, it’s really refreshing” Moez Farhat, Kartagrow Project. The movement of the transition of Carthage to an edible city seems well underway!!