Visionary Nature Based Actions for Heath, Wellbeing & Resilience in Cities
In an increasingly urbanised world, governments are focussing on boosting cities’ productivity and improving citizens’ living conditions and quality of life. Despite efforts to transform the challenges facing cities into opportunities, problems such as overburdened social services and health facilities, air pollution and exacerbated heat create a bleak outlook. With these challenges in mind, the EU-funded VARCITIES project aims to create a vision for future cities with the citizen and the so-called human community at the centre. It will therefore implement innovative ideas and add value by creating sustainable models for improving the health and well-being of citizens facing diverse climatic conditions and challenges around Europe. This will be achieved through shared public spaces that make cities liveable and welcoming.
In an increasingly urbanising world, governments and international corporations strive to increase productivity of cities, recognized as economy growth hubs, as well as ensuring better quality of life and living conditions to citizens. Although significant effort is performed by international organisations, researchers, etc. to transform the challenges of Cities into opportunities, the visions of our urban future are trending towards bleak. Social services and health facilities are significantly affected in negative ways owed to the increase in urban populations (70% by 2050).
Air pollution and urban exacerbation of heat islands is exacerbating. Nature will struggle to compensate in the future City, as rural land is predicted to shrink by 30% affecting liveability. VARCITIES puts the citizen and the “human community” in the eye of the future cities’ vision. Future cities should evolve to be human centred cities. The vision of VARCITIES is to implement real, visionary ideas and add value by establishing sustainable models for increasing H&WB of citizens (children, young people, middle age, elderly) that are exposed to diverse climatic conditions and challenges around Europe (e.g. from harsh winters in Skelleftea-SE to hot summers in Chania-GR, from deprived areas in Novo mesto-SI to increased pollution in Malta) through shared public spaces that make cities liveable and welcoming.
Telecommunication Systems Research Institute (T.S.I.)
Technical University of Crete
Campus – Akrotiri
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