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1 February 2022

Connect the Dots and GoGreenRoutes: enhancing engagement for more inclusive Nature-based Solutions

Connect the Dots and GoGreenRoutes: enhancing engagement for more inclusive Nature-based Solutions

Engagement is key to the success of many public health and sustainability programmes. When it comes to the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) such as green corridors, linear parks, pocket parks and shared walkways, public participation can increase acceptance of urban interventions and help engage residents in the maintenance of new public spaces. More green areas, in turn, enhance the physical and mental health of residents and help restore ecologically valuable spaces.

To achieve these above-mentioned benefits to health and society, GoGreenRoutes partner Connect the Dots (CtD) is working on different fronts to foster collaboration between project partners and the engagement of residents and interested stakeholders in the GGR Cultivating Cities.

During the spring of 2021, CtD worked with GGR partners to design and facilitate a workshop entitled “How do we want to work together.” This task was framed as a first step in establishing and maintaining the framework for collaboration among project partners. A set of discussion-based activities and interactive Miro worksheets for Zoom were designed, guiding participants through a process of familiarising themselves with the work of all packages in the project. This also included identifying their shared values in internal co-creation and discussing how best to overcome challenges.

In the summer of 2021, Connect the Dots created presentations and guidance documents aimed at helping the GGR Cultivating Cities plan their first public engagement events. Building off of efforts aimed to increase engagement of stakheolders, Connect the Dots once again worked with the Cultivating City partners last Autumn to advise them on the design and administration of their first set of workshops - including their October/November “Challenge Workshops,” which launched local taskforces made up of residents, SMEs, local associations and public administration bodies who will collaborate to co-create NBS in each city.

So far in early 2022, GoGreenRoutes and Connect the Dots have been supporting these cities as they take the next step with their local stakeholders in preparing “seedbed  interventions” - temporary installations to raise awareness about the potential of nature to tackle urban challenges. GGR partner Maynooth University will also work with Ctd to create Healthy Strategies and Urban Well-Being Plans. This work is in an early scoping phase, where CtD is providing a stakeholder and community engagement perspective as the next steps of creation and implementation are mapped out. This work will lay the foundation for the preparation of the “seedbed interventions”.

Overall, by working with Connect the Dots, GGR partners will learn about and identify engagement tools that are best for their context to collaborate with diverse groups to design NBS which encompass the GGR 360-health approach, which values hearing from the different spheres about the various  attitudes, behaviours and perceptions that influence the health of each unique community.

Through this mix of guidance and facilitating shared learning, GGR puts the work and methods of Connect the Dots at the forefront of engagement within the public health and sustainability field.

Learn more about CtD's work with stakeholder engagement here.

Defocus nature (Unsplash, + CtD logo) by "Asit Khanda, (+ CtD logo)", licensed under Free stock, logo for promotion