Carbon Smart Urban Green Infrastructure

Individuals, communities and municipalities mitigating climate change by carbon smart green space

About the project

Urban green infrastructure (UGI) can be considered to be a next-generation solution for society to simultaneously deal with climate and social pressures. The potential of UGI to mitigate climate through carbon sequestration and storage (CSS) has not yet been fully harnessed in urban planning particularly when viewed in a system with other socio-ecological impacts of UGI. This is because urban CSS is hard to assess due to the large variability of UGI and urban conditions to be covered. Furthermore, the translation of scientific insights into practical implementation is challenged by lacking tools and the fact that different types of UGI with various ownership patterns require engagement of diverse stakeholders using a range of top-down and bottom-up processes. 

In CO-CARBON we will develop a new concept of carbon-smart UGI, and through co-creative processes, create science-based solutions to support its implementation among the society. We will adopt a systemic approach where the solutions to maximise CSS are considered together with other environmental and societal factors. The scientific aims are to quantify CSS at different urban scales and support the practical operations for the planning and management needs of carbon-smart UGI. We will establish the most effective practices to maximize CSS and the associated benefits of UGI, assess values and preferences for carbon-smart UGI, and engage multiple stakeholders in their policy and decision. We do this by combining novel ecological observations, process-based modelling, life cycle methods and social survey research, which will be transformed into new knowledge and innovative solutions directed for key stakeholders.

We use participatory and collaborative methods in which real case study areas and interactive learning platforms serve as key bases for communality and learning. The efficient interaction with key stakeholders and international project partners will allow mainstream and upscale carbon-smart solutions. For this, CO-CARBON brings together environmental, soil and social scientists with landscape designers, urban planners, businesses, governmental bodies, interest organisations and residents. The ultimate goal is to have carbonsmart UGI to become a well-recognized part of urban transition at different societal levels. We put individuals and their decisionmaking in focus at the same time when we support the ambitious sustainability and carbon neutrality of municipalities and businesses.