Monday, June 27, 2022
Urban areas, especially cities, have the greatest impact on sustainable development. However, more and more cities are struggling with the challenges of unsustainable urbanization, degradation and loss of natural capital, climate change and increasing risks of natural disasters. Documents at the global and European level and development policies aimed at sustainable development, as one of the key elements of urban development planning, recognize the importance of green (green and blue) infrastructure and nature-based solutions, improvement of urban landscape and a wide range of their positive impacts and long-term benefits. Protection, restoration, development, and improvement of green infrastructure, as a part of urban landscape, should be an integral part of spatial planning and territorial development. In the planning process, it is necessary to establish new and preserve existing systems of urban green infrastructure - networks of green areas in which and with which it contributes to the preservation, improvement and restoration of nature, natural functions and processes in cities. Encouraging green spatial planning leads to a green city, which not only connects different elements of nature, but also crosses environmental and political boundaries and connects sectoral policies. A survey on the state of green infrastructure in the Republic of Croatia, conducted at the end of 2019, pointed to very different challenges faced by stakeholders at all levels. Therefore, in December 2021, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Urban Green Infrastructure Development Programme for the Period 2021 - 2030 with the aim of establishing sustainable, resilient, safe and comfortable cities and municipalities in the Republic of Croatia and creating preconditions for better quality of life and human health. The program is consistent with the goals and content consistent with the documents at the global and European level, and in its essence represents the concretization of the approach to achieving global and EU goals at the level of the Republic of Croatia. Organizing a panel session Green Future of Cities within the dialogue Green Urban Future aims to share knowledge, good practices, and concrete examples of European countries, but also challenges in the development of green infrastructure and urban landscape in European cities. The results of the discussion can serve as one of the starting points for defining and implementing national models of green infrastructure development and the Croatian Landcape Basis adapted to the local specifics of urban regions, both in the Republic of Croatia and other countries. It also can help national, regional and urban decision-makers and policy makers to better understand how green infrastructure in urban areas and urban landscape can be developed, managed and improved in order to contribute to a high quality of life for the population and to make it widespread and accessible to all and contributed to sustainable social, economic, and spatial development.
The key objectives of the Green Future in Cities panel are: - exchange of knowledge and experiences by sharing good practices of EU countries in the implementation of green infrastructure and promoting the use of nature-based solutions in their cities, - sharing experiences and discussion on successful ways of involving various stakeholders - the general public, decision makers at all levels of government, experts and public and private business sector in information and education to raise knowledge and social awareness of sustainable urban development through green infrastructure development and its importance and positive impact on all aspects of life, - discussion on ways to encourage policy makers at the local level, especially in the development of strategic development documents and spatial plans, to consider the importance of strengthening natural capital and planning and development of green infrastructure, - exchange of information on the involvement of countries in the planning and development of green infrastructure, which are the main sources of funding for its development and whether and to what extent EU funds are used.