Connecting people with nature-based solutions in Valencia

GrowGreen’s new mobile app

As part of GrowGreen, a new app has been developed to engage local people in the Benicalap neighbourhood of Valencia with their new nature-based solutions and the local plants and wildlife. The app makes it easier for people to identify the flora and birds that are part of the neighbourhood’s local biodiversity.

The city’s Councillor for Innovation and Knowledge Management, Carlos Galiana, and the Councillor for Climate Emergency and Energy Transition, Alejandro Ramón, presented the new mobile application at the Valencia City Council. The City Council underlines that GrowGreen turns Benicalap “into a laboratory of innovative solutions against climate change”.

The GrowGreen app is designed by the Universitat Politècnica de València, one of the project partners. It was gamified by Play & Go, making it suitable for all audiences, and is now available for Android and Apple devices.

“It also has an educational function, encouraging learning and awareness of local biodiversity, and involving people in the identification of birds and flora. It also transmits the importance of nature-based solutions within cities. It is undoubtedly useful for school children. We want the public to become aware of the natural values we have, and through this app they can also collaborate in a bird census in Benicalap”, explained Ramón.

The app offers 2D and 3D maps, in which users can find different thematic routes to explore interactively and identify the species of flora and fauna, as well as points of interest related to nature-based solutions. In addition, the app includes different types of games and missions that will help people to better understand the urban biodiversity of Benicalap in a fun way.

Shading the school yard

The installation of nature-based solutions in Benicalap also continues with a focus on the neighbourhood secondary school. Its schoolyard gets very hot due to a lack of shade. To combat this, a new structure to give shade and space for gathering is being built. It will expand the shady areas of schoolyard to make it a fresher, friendlier and greener space. The shading structure is also a winner in the Collaborative Green Initiatives Contest, organized as part of GrowGreen.

This initiative began last October with the celebration of co-design sessions with the students and teachers at the Artista Fallero professional training course at the school. The participants worked on a constructive solution that included shade, vegetation and space, and inspired the final design. Its construction began this week.

The shading structure joins other GrowGreen pilots that are already underway in the neighbourhood, such as the vertical garden located in the CEIP Ciudad Artista Fallero, the green roof in the neighbourhood’s senior centre, the Espai Verd Benicalap and the Center Cívic Verd.