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GreenInCities Kick-Off Meeting: NeuroLandscape in Barcelona

  • Day 1: Introduction to GreenInCities and Nature-based Solutions

NeuroLandscape was proud to participate in the Kick-Off meeting of the project Demonstrating Holistic Data-driven Co-Creative Approaches in Nature-based solutions towards Climate Adaptation and Mitigation (GreenInCities) (Project ID: 101139730) in Barcelona, Spain. This groundbreaking EU-funded project GreenInCities, brings together experts to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods and fight climate change. Their weapon of choice? Nature-based solutions (NbS) for urban regeneration (European Commission, 2023).

Day 1: El Besòs Takes Center Stage (GreenInCities Pilot Area)

El Besòs, a Barcelona district, was chosen as a GreenInCities’ pilot cities. The morning began with a warm welcome by the local leaders, including Mayor Filo Cañete. With much enthusiasm, they discussed their shared objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, echoing the ambitious goal set by the Barcelona City Council.

GreenInCities’ core values connected deeply with their mission, particularly:

  • Inclusive Development: Bringing disadvantaged communities into the fold as active participants in shaping their green future.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Recognizing the inherent value of ecosystems and actively promoting the value of biodiversity in cities, through its contribution to human health.
  • Tech-Powered Transformation: Leveraging cutting-edge approaches like neurourbanism and mental health digital twins to guide urban renewal.

In the afternoon, we explored El Besòs further. We toured Parc del Fòrum and the charming La Catalana neighborhood alongside Francesc Romero Siles of Consorci del Besòs, who was our guide. He pointed areas of interest targeted for regeneration, such as the beach and the natural landscape. Later,  LAND hosted a workshop that used an animal-centric approach to connect participants with local flora and fauna. In this way, we explored the importance of shared responsibility for the local ecosystem’s well-being. The day ended with a visit to the inspiring Nau de Turbines, a former power plant undergoing transformation into a vibrant cultural hub.

Day 2: Fostering Collaboration and Innovation at Valldaura Labs

Valldaura Labs, nestled amidst the beautiful green landscape of Barcelona’s Collserola Natural Park, provided a peaceful setting for Day Two. The day was filled with interactive workshops and engaging discussions among our GreenInCities team. We shared our knowledge and found new ways of working together. One workshop, led by Linköping University and Universidade do Porto, had us explore potential connection between representatives from “leader” and “follower” pilot cities. Another session focused on exploring the perspectives of diverse stakeholders in making impactful decisions that affects both citizens and the environment. The highlight of the day was a visit to the #FabLab, a treasure of innovative sustainable urban design solutions. The award-winning TOVA greenhouse stood out as a testament to the power of sustainable design principles.

Day 3: Building Partnerships and Charting the Course Forward

The final day’s activities were held at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Atelier in Poblenou. During the City Twinning Workshop, the consortium made the final decisions on the pairing of the “follower” cities with their “front-runner” counterparts. These included:

  • Birštonas will twin with Nova Gorica and Barcelona
  • Matosinhos will twin with Prato and Nova Gorica
  • Cork will twin with Helsinki and Athens
  • Pécs will twin with Helsinki and Barcelona
  • Reykjavik will twin with Nova Gorica, Prato and Athens

NeuroLandscape: Measuring the Impact of Green Cities

While GreenInCities prioritizes aesthetics and environmental benefits, it is crucial not to forget the impact of green environments on human well-being. This is where NeuroLandscape comes in. On Day 3, we presented Muse2, a portable neuroimaging device. This EEG technology allows us to assess, in real time, the impact of environmental changes on user well-being.

GreenInCities has officially begun its journey. NeuroLandscape is excited to be part of the team to measure the positive impact of Nature-based solutions on European citizens.

Stay tuned for updates on more GreenInCities news!