Climatic disruptions such as heat waves and air pollution are among the biggest challenges facing our cities today. To address these issues, urban planners are turning to Nature-Based Solutions—NBS for short. Bringing nature back into urban areas through solutions such as green spaces and living walls has become a priority for many municipalities worldwide. One notable example is the Mediterranean city of Izmir, Turkey.
“Our main goal is to reduce carbon emissions, increase green zones and biodiversity while we also aim to reduce urban heat island effects,” says Sinan Alper, architect of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and member of the URBAN GreenUP EU-funded project.
Since its launch in 2017, URBAN GreenUP has been implementing innovative NBS in a number of cities in Europe and beyond. One of the most impressive is the Peynircioğlu Stream Ecological Corridor running through the heart of Izmir. This ten-acre green belt boasts some 5,000 trees, fruit walls, green fences, and innovative ways to get around sustainably. Such solutions have been found to positively impact inhabitants’ quality of life.
“Absolutely, there are more trees. Since there are more walking trails, the residents, especially the elderly, can have a walk in the morning and in the evening. So, they get the chance to exercise. There are more spaces for birds now. And there are plenty of cats and dogs. This place is very convenient for them,” says Birol Kucukgorur, a representative of the Izmir Citizen Committee.
Find out more on the Peynircioğlu Stream Ecological Corridor and how URBAN GreenUP is embracing the power of nature to make Izmir more resilient to heatwaves, droughts and flooding by watching the project’s Video News Release below.
Claudio Rosmino has over 25 years of experience in TV journalism and science communication. His passion for science has always driven his work.