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Conference on ‘evidence-based planning for greener cities’

The speakers will analyse the link between green spaces and benefits to society, the influence of equal access to urban spaces on citizens’ health, and the importance of green infrastructure as way of adapting to climate change.

The speakers will analyse the link between green spaces and benefits to society, the influence of equal access to urban spaces on citizens’ health, and the importance of green infrastructure as way of adapting to climate change.

‘Evidence-based planning for greener cities’ is the title of a conference that the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (Mcast) will hold on Tuesday at its Institute of Applied Sciences, Paola, in collaboration with the Maltese presidency of the EU.

The conference will analyse the important role of green infrastructure in urban environments. Green infrastructure refers to a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas that provide benefits to society and protects biodiversity. The benefits include higher land property value, work productivity and tourism potential, less noise and air pollution, increased natural flood mitigation, and improved opportunities for recreation, leisure and exercise.

In contrast to the most man-made ‘grey’ infrastructure that serves only one objective, green infrastructure promotes multifunctionality, which means the same area of land can perform several functions and offer multiple benefits if its ecosystems are in a healthy state.

The speakers at the conference will come from 20 cities from all across Europe besides Malta. They will present case-studies and analyse the role of science in providing tools to inform policy-making and urban planning. Malta’s case-study is being implemented through the scientific support of Mcast’s Institute of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the Planning Authority.

Among others, the speakers will analyse the link between green spaces and benefits to society, the influence of equal access to urban spaces on citizens’ health, and the importance of green infrastructure as way of adapting to climate change.

The conference is organised as part of the ‘Enhancing Resilience of urban ecosystems through green infrastructure’ (Enroute) project, which aims to provide scientific evidence to help policy-makers and planners achieve this target. The project also aims to provide guidance on the creation and the management of urban green infrastructure and illustrate how collaboration between and across different policy levels can lead to green infrastructure policy setting. It is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

For more information about the conference and Malta’s work in the project e-mail Mcast senior lecturer Mario Balzan on mario.balzan@mcast.edu.mt.

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