EKOLAURY award for IETU’s Urban Environmental Acupuncture project!
It is once again that IETU received a prestigious EKOLAURY award in the Polish Chamber of Ecology 2023 competition under the category: Nature Protection, Increasing Biodiversity and Development of Green Areas. The competition jury positively approved the implementation of the proposal: "Urban Environmental Acupuncture, or How to Green the City Together with Its Residents". The award ceremony took place on November 21, 2023.
The concept of Urban Environmental Acupuncture (UEA) involves point-based injections into the urban tissue by introducing various forms of greenery to improve aesthetics, quality of life or thermal comfort and strengthen ecosystem services in the city. What is required to obtain such effects is a large number of these points, just like in medical acupuncture. Another requirement is also close cooperation with the residents from the beginning of its planning to develop a sense of co-ownership of the idea and responsibility for these places in the future.
The SALUTE4CE project (Integrated Environmental Management of SmALl Green Spots in FUncTional Urban ArEas following the idea of acupuncture), financed under the INTERREG Central Europe Programme and coordinated by IETU, helped develop a method for selecting spots and nature-based solutions for the needs of Urban Environmental Acupuncture, as well as a procedure for engaging residents in the development of an action plan in a co-design and co-creation process. Apart from Chorzów, UEA investments were demonstrated in the Impulse Region, represented by Erfurt, Jena, Apolda and Weimar in Germany, Alessandria in Italy and Liptovský Mikulas in northern Slovakia. A total of 16 small, green investments were implemented under the project.
Each "green needle" not only introduces greenery but can also provide a place for rest, recreation and integration of residents. A significant scale, i.e. the number of "green pricks", contributes to the improvement of the local climate (temperature, air humidity) and increases the aesthetics of the urban space.
Urban Environmental Acupuncture is a very pleasant topic, easy to talk about, which quickly captures the listeners’ imagination and convinces them to take such action. It convinces us of the validity and advisability of this approach to urban space management. I am glad that also the jury of the EKOLAURY competition recognised this idea as an action supporting the improvement of the quality of life and aesthetics of the cities. UEA also has a social value, as it integrates local communities that have been involved in the selection of spots and solutions from the very beginning. This will make residents feel like co-creators of these places and care about their maintenance - says Dr. Anna Starzewska-Sikorska, coordinator of the SALUTE4CE project.
City authorities and residents are becoming more and more aware of the need to develop green areas. It is not only about providing recreation and aesthetic values but also about the need to adapt to climate change. Green areas and the so-called blue infrastructure are important in strengthening the cities' resilience to the effects of climate change.
We would like to thank our Partners from the SALUTE4CE project, representatives of the Municipal Office in Chorzów and the residents of Chorzów who took part in planning green investments!
In 22 editions of the EKOLAURY competition, IETU has already received statuettes four times.
- EKOLAURY 20214 – for activities focused on modern environmental protection - IETU research as a catalyst for modern environmental protection management
- EKOLAURY 2019 – for activities supporting the development of modern municipal waste management in Poland
- EKOLAURY 2019 – for education and promotion in the field of reuse of post-industrial areas and wasteland in cities
- In 2019, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Polish Chamber of Ecology, IETU received an award for combining activities in the field of environmental protection with work on socio-economic development and cooperation with the Polish Chamber of Ecology.
- EKOLAURY 2021 – for all activities aimed at improving air quality and adapting to the effects of climate change