Smart Cities in Smart Regions 2018 - Green Infrastucture and Well-being​​

Smart kuvituskuva

​Attention to the green environment has been growing over the past decades. Its role in urban planning is better recognized, but still needs strong argumentation in decision making concerning growing cities and regions. The need for resilient urban areas brings forth the necessity for wider understanding of the functions of green infrastructure. In urban planning processes the consideration of ecosystem services makes a big difference to physical solutions for city structure compared to the situation where these services are neglected. Planning processes need also support from leadership and management to realise the ideas presented in the plans.

Flooding, storm surges and overheating are becoming significant challenges in urban areas

The impacts of densification in urban areas need to be evaluated also in terms of of the quantity and quality of green infrastructure. Provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services provide a variety of functions which are enabled by green areas and elements in cities and their surroundings. It is possible to utilize Nature based solutions (NBS) in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Flooding, storm surges and overheating are becoming significant challenges in urban areas, where the management of heat stress and stormwater need to be considered. Research in these areas can bring important scientific knowledge to be utilized in the evaluation of urbanization processes.

Different age groups and their needs are important to consider in planning of areas and services. Today´s communities are co-creators of new information, communication and services based on the interest of their members. Planning processes are able to benefit from new kinds of interaction and resources.

The development of nature connected services provides an opportunity for a new kind of entrepreneurship in both urban and rural centres and regions.

At the regional level the need for natural areas accessible to citizens and tourists is becoming a larger issue, not only locally but internationally. Development of geotourism is recognized and its market is growing globally. The development of nature connected services provides an opportunity for a new kind of entrepreneurship in both urban and rural centres and regions. Nature experience and well-being have been subject to several studies, which confirm the significance of natural areas for citizens and their recreation. Green care services are planned based on different kind of concepts which use the environment as an essential part of business or service. Tourism and hospitality management face new needs for more individual and tailored services which visitors expect.

Topics w​ill deal with, for exampl​​e:​

  • urban sustainability and planning
  • communities as platforms (co-creation of knowledge and communication)
  • nature based solutions (NBS) to mitigate and / or adapt to hydro-meteorological risks
  • nature experience and wellbeing
  • new business development in green sector

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