Las Naves and the municipality of Valencia present GrowGreen at the ‘Naturally Connecting Cities’ conference
From 27th to 29th November, a conference of villages and cities for sustainability, called Conama Local, took place in Valencia. More than a hundred presenters from public administration, business, universities and civil society from different European countries met at Las Naves – the city’s Centre of Innovation, to share initiatives, solutions and projects to create greener and more sustainable and socially inclusive cities. Three days of intense debates and workshops focused on climate change adaptation in cities, urban regeneration, the energy transition and transport management.
The Conama Local conference allowed us to learn about the work of other Spanish cities that will serve as an example for the development of GrowGreen in Valencia. One initiative triggered our interest: the Clinomics Project on climate change adaptation in Catalonia, which proposes to implement new investment processes for public entities to reduce Catalonia’s vulnerability, anticipate climate impacts, and increase its resilience, while improving competitiveness and increasing employment.
We also learnt about the process to integrate adaptation into urban planning in the framework of the Roadmap for Climate Change in Navarra, as well as about the Life Zaragoza initiative to renaturalise the city by creating, managing and promoting green infrastructure. In addition, the Parks and Garden Areas for Biodiversity Project in Santander is groundbreaking in Spain, and aims to integrate biodiversity conservation into the design and management of urban green spaces.
Las Naves and the municipality of Valencia had the opportunity to present GrowGreen at the conference, sharing a roundtable with initiatives of international importance, such as the MARES Project from Madrid, which is the Urban Innovation Action of the Spanish capital, and the Fertilecity Project, which expects to improve sustainable urban agriculture in Catalonia.
In the case of Valencia, as was highlighted in the congress, the conditions are unbeatable for the development of nature-based solutions. We have a compact, coastal city that has two natural parks at its boundary or just a few kilometres away, which are connected by an urban garden, as well as an agricultural landscape of international importance: La Huerta. With these characteristics the renaturalisation of the city has great potential, given an optimal location, and can allow the urban area to be regreened and the green surroundings to penetrate the city. Therefore, several initiatives exist related to parks and gardens, ornamental fountains, adoption of street tree plots, nature conservation and strengthening of urban biodiversity, and urban allotments.
In the global context of climate change and the fact that cities already host more than half the population, it is necessary to establish strategies to ensure their resilience to new climatic and environmental conditions, while ensuring the wellbeing of their citizens. As part of these strategies, urban greening is starting to be more strongly considered as an effective way to reduce risks of global warming and to create more human, just, and green cities.
Las Naves Press Department