Integrated NBS-based Urban Planning Methodology for Enhancing the Health and Well-being of Citizens: the euPOLIS Approach

euPOLIS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens NTUA,interconnects the knowledge and experience of 28 partnering entities from all around the globe, including four European case cities: Piraeus, Belgrade, Lodz, and Gladsaxe. These cities will pilot the citizen-wise engagement and nature-based solutions of the euPOLIS innovative urban planning methodology, while Bogota, Palermo, Limassol and Trebinje will follow, replicate, and demonstrate the advantages of our innovations through mentoring and coaching. 

euPOLIS NBS-based urban planning methodology offers the synergy of people/health-centered approach with significant environmental and economic benefits of Nature Based Blue Green Solutions.  

euPOLIS’ overall concept, indicating NBS interventions at the demo sites of the cities and the supporting ICT-based tools. 

1. NBS-based multi-functional (MF) pocket parks accessed by NBS locally conditioned pathways and shared spaces (1.1. -1.9), 2. Waterway with mini biotope nodes, aquatic biodiversity 3. NBS for surface runoff quality and pluvial flood management, 4. Ground-water abstraction for water, energy, greenery nexus, 5. MF NBS canopy for socializing, „recharging electronics“, or „green bus stop“ etc., 6. MF Live vegetation shaded waterfront promenade, 7. Air pollution abatement shrubs, trees and vertical green curtains, 8. Metabolic hub with MF ecotechnology demonstration/promotion, roof garden and art and culture performance, 9. MF floating island, river water purification, 10. Coastal sea bottom marine aquatic biotope with euPOLIS-NBS, 11. MF euPOLIS Urban square/streetscape and other NBS (biotopes, sensory garden, waterfall, biodiversity & kitchen garden for socializing, recreation), 12. Space for NBS business activation and promotion Monitoring- ICT System: A. Wearable devices for monitoring PH & WB, B. Visualisat

The euPOLIS project aims to replace or combine the traditional costly engineering systems built to protect the environment with natural systems to create resilient urban ecosystems at lower Life-Cycle Costs and simultaneously enhance public health and wellbeing. The project addresses critical challenges such as low environmental quality, fragmentation and low biodiversity in public spaces and water-stressed resources by introducing a structured approach to activate the hidden resources and services of existing Natural and Engineered urban systems and regenerate and rehabilitate urban ecosystems.  

The euPOLIS’ detailed objectives are to improve urban resilience through interventions of proper urban planning matrices and co-create livable, inclusive urban spaces. A process based on systematically implementing innovative participatory tools with particular attention to gender, age and disability perspectives. The experts of the euPOLIS team will map the critical challenges that the demo cities encounter, provide holistic solutions and measure their positive impact on the quality of the lives of the citizens: their overall wellbeing, physical, mental, and emotional health. 

The Imperial College’s research team is co-led by Prof. Cedo Maksimovic and Dr Ana Mijic, and supported by Dr Stanislava Boskovic  .