This project aims to convert the scarce remaining open space fragments in a greying peri-urban context into ecological stepping stones with a multifunctional character. By upgrading and connecting natural and semi-natural landscape elements, such as pools, orchards, natural grassland and watercourses, the so-called green/blue infrastructure, an ecological framework will be developed throughout built-up areas.
These ecological stepping stones have a high social added value, as they fulfill multiple other functions, such as sustainable food production, natural water retention, recreation and green lung. A more difficult term for these functions is ecosystem services. The green and blue landscape elements improve the environmental quality and help control problems related to urbanization, such as biodiversity loss, lack of resting and meeting places, lack of space for flood protection or sustainable food production,...false
By developing green and blue landscape elements in peri-urban open space fragments, grey semi-natural landscapes are transformed into green hotspots. In this way, we stimulate the conservation and reinforcement of more natural urban landscapes.
Monofunctial areas, are areas designed to serve one single function, such as food production for example. Monufunctional design often creates dull and unattractive landscapes. Integrated planning stands for the combination of objectives from different themes in one project area: nature, recreation, water retention, landscape, sustainable food production, climate adaptation,... In this way, multifunctional land use is pursued with smart use of the scarce open space in an urban context. In addition, multifunctionality improves the environmental quality and the social dynamics in the project areas.
Together with inhabitants, employees, students, policy makers, experts and non-govenrmental organisations, we integrate the different wishes for a project area using participative working methods. This way, we raise awareness on the different functions of blue/green infrastructure and enthuse users of blue/green infrastructure for the sustainable maintenance of these landscape elements.
We promote the multifunctional character of green infrastructure and the importance to invest in this green infrastructure for businessess.
With this innovative, integrated and multifunctional method of building green/blue infrastructure, the project aims to contribute to the implementation of the EU’s Green Infrastructure Strategy in EU peri-urban areas.