At COP28, the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, taking place this year in Dubai, the Green Living Areas mission was highlighted as a key initiative for transformative and impactful action bolstering resilience to the effects of climate change in cities. The event “The Built Environment and Green Living Areas as Resilience and Adaptation Approaches to Climate Change in Cities” organised by project partner of the Interreg Euro-MED project Community4LivingAreas, the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, was held on the 6th December 2023 in the Mediterranean Coalition Office.
The panel discussion, moderated by Joanna Grodzka, EMEA Project Manager, brought to light a variety of crucial themes in the pathway towards greener living areas. This not only included the discussion of concrete solutions such as the need to accelerate renewable energy among both urban and rural communities, collection of wastewater, introduction and maintenance of bicycle lanes and low-emission zones etc. but also the importance of understanding urban areas in a holistic way, encompassing human physical and mental health as well as building resilience and sustainability, and how these factors work together to build economic prosperity.
The esteemed panel was made up of:
- Judith Cazas Project Officer, Interreg Euro-MED Programme
- Upali Nanda, Global Practice Director, Research Partner at HKS, Inc., Assoc. AIA, EDAC, ACHE
- Amaia Celaya Alvarez, Shelter & Settlement and Climate Resilience, Advisor at IOM – UN Migration
- Julie Hiromoto, FAIA, Principal and Director of Integration at HKS, Inc., FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, LFA
- Esteban Leon, Head, City Resilience Global Programme (CRGP), UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme)
- Sheba Ross Titus, Global Practice Director, Cities and Communities, and a Partner at HKS, Inc. AICP CUD, Intl., Associate AIA, CDT, LEED AP
- Alejandro Lafarga Martinez, Programme Officer, Interreg NEXT MED
Prof. Ayadi, President and Founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, also intervened in the discussion, highlighting “In green living communities, adaptation and mitigation of climate change intertwine with the essence of resilience. By harnessing renewable energy, embracing sustainable agriculture, and fostering green infrastructure, and promoting brain health for citizens all integrated in sustainable planning and design, these communities not only reduce their carbon footprint but also fortify themselves against the impacts of a changing climate. Urban and rural areas alike can thrive by prioritizing ecological balance, local resources, and community-driven initiatives, thereby creating a harmonious relationship with the environment that ensures flourishing and resilience for future generations.”
The webinar is available to watch back at the EMEA YouTube channel at this link.