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1 September 2022

GoGreen Greetings from Limerick and Burgas: locals shape green space through participatory gatherings

GoGreen Greetings from Limerick and Burgas: locals shape green space through participatory gatherings

As summer dies down and we prepare for fall, GoGreenRoutes is reflecting on two of our latest ‘Seedbed Interventions’ from our Cultivating Cities Limerick (Ireland) and Burgas (Bulgaria).

Seedbed Interventions are participatory processes involving researchers, city council workers, locals and other specialists. These interventions are temporary events which connect different groups of people. By coming together from various sectors, participants thus raise awareness about urban health and well-being and create solutions jointly that address the challenges of urban life.

In both Limerick and Burgas, participants were encouraged to engage actively with brainstorming activities to imagine how their local spaces could be improved, using methods such as the Burano and Canvas Methods. These methods help people to come up with new original ideas drawing upon their surroundings.

Sunny days on the Castleroy Greenway: incorporating NBS on a local cycle way

In Limerick, (Ireland) residents enjoy many rich networks of green space. Limerick City Council, in partnership with GoGreenRoutes, is working diligently to expand and improve on these networks, while including residents in the process along the way.

On a sunny day in July, GoGreenRoutes representatives, and the Limerick City and County Council worked together to create a design for the local Castleroy Greenway. Design elements drew upon nature based solutions, for example including the use of felled trees, rain gardens and a natural play area to create more biodiversity along the greenway.

During the group meeting, both children and adults were encouraged to explore the developing area, through interactive activities - learning about ways to further ‘green’ and activate the greenway and making wildlife shelters and ‘bug hotels’.

A green oasis from city life

In Burgas (Bulgaria) environmental NGOs, the architectural bureau, representatives from the city, environmentalists, locals and more all came together for a two day event. The neighborhood people discussed revitalisation of two urban areas of the city.

One such area lies in the neighborhood of Bratya Miladinovvi and is envisioned to be an urban space for wellbeing, utilizing plants, seating and recreational spaces for exercise and even greener parking spaces.

The other area near Gurko street and Oborishte is imagined to be a green meeting space, cleverly referred to as "Park Island", providing an oasis for recreation, sound therapy and connection to nature. The park is intended for all residents but the framework for the space creates ideal conditions for patients of nearby health facilities.

The gathering brought attention from many passersby who also stopped to discuss with the city officials what they’d like more of in their neighborhood to ensure a better health and wellbeing prospect for them, their family and friends.

The City of Burgas then led a discussion to explain what they hoped could happen to green the area over the course of the project and left space for residents and others to brainstorm. Both children and adults stopped by in large numbers to look at the posters on display, chat and even draw birds and trees onto the installed canvas. The citizens really appreciated the hands-on nature of the get together and city officials feel that this seedbed intervention has sparked creative ideas for innovative NBS.

Coming together
It is clear to see that both Limerick and Burgas greatly benefited from their own respective seedbed interventions. Those in attendance got a chance to mingle with specialists and share their ideas for a new and improved green space. GoGreenRoutes was happy to take part and would like to extend a special thanks to Sarah O Malley of Limerick and Ivaylo Trendafilov of Burgas for organising beautiful, engaging and lively events.

Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming GoGreenRoutes Seedbed Interventions.

person sketching (Unsplash) by "Fabian Centeno", licensed under free stock