PACT stands for People-driven: Adapting Cities for Tomorrow. It is the ability of cities to deploy and improve nature-based solutions (NBS). In this way we can increase urban resilience and improve the health and well-being of citizens.
Cities are not deploying Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) at the scale or speed needed to ensure urban resilience. There are multiple causes for this. The LIFE PACT addresses three key challenges:
Lack of buy-in from citizens
NBS can conflict with other needs, such as the (perceived) need for space for cars (e.g. parking spaces).
Lack of an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach
NBS require a cross-departmental approach. Today, cities’ cross-departmental work on NBS is often ad hoc and not yet mainstreamed.
Beyond the city administration, too, there is a need for a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach. For instance, 80% of Leuven’s sealed/impermeable surfaces are on private property; to unlock this potential for NBS, we need to activate non-city stakeholders.
Lack of data on the (private) urban green stock
Many cities don’t have a clear picture of the amount or quality of its green spaces. This is particularly due to a lack of data on private green spaces. Without such data, it is difficult to design or plan for effective interventions.
Cocreating NBS on both public property (i.e. roads) and citizens’ private property. Citizens will be stimulated to implement NBS on their own property through a menu of options that will be developed for them. They will also be inspired by the city’s ‘living library’ of completed NBS projects and informed of the co-benefits of ecosystem services, both for climate adaptation and for their personal well-being.
Both within the city (cross-departmental collaboration) and beyond it (activating the broader network of non-city stakeholders, i.e. hospitals, care centres, schools, universities, companies). Activating non-city stakeholders is crucial, since a large amount of cities’ sealed surfaces are typically on private property.
Data collection and monitoring
Developing a tool to track cities’ stock of green spaces (‘green stock’), particularly on private property, which is often a blind spot in adaptation strategies. The tool will make it possible for citizens and other stakeholders to input the actions they implement on their own property and track progress. The use of data in designing and implementing NBS will be mainstreamed in city processes.
If properly deployed, these levers are expected to result in the physical transformation of urban spaces, producing increased urban resilience and improving the health and well-being of citizens.
PACT’s approach will be piloted in Leuven, then replicated across Leuven, Madrid, and Kraków.