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26 September 2023

Pollinator highways and new perspectives: GoGreenRoutes explores new tools for well-being in Tallinn

Pollinator highways and new perspectives: GoGreenRoutes explores new tools for well-being in Tallinn

Do you ever wonder how bees get from point A to point B? In Tallinn, Estonia, bees have their own highway, enabling them to pollinate throughout the city. GoGreenRoutes was fortunate to be able to see these in person when we met in the European Green Capital to progress on our many initiatives and innovations for urban green space and health. Let’s take a stroll down pollinator lane and review some of our most important takeaways from the gathering.

From the start,our keynote James Sherry, Irish ambassador to Estonia reminded us of all of our common objectives, saying, “It's through the EU we've found our space”. His speech set the tone for our gathering, as people and place are at the heart of the work in our cities.

As a part of our work, our Seedbed Cities and the needs of stakeholders there are central to what we are developing. Our innovations start from the very beginning with the knowledge we are generating and spreading. This occurs through many channels, but importantly is powered through the tireless research of our Academy Cluster.

There are many tools that are in development by GoGreenRoutes to further our objectives, such as the digital placemaking toolkit, the 360 Health toolkit, the GGR datahub, our virtual reality showcase, apps to monitor well-being, physical activity and more.

To ensure that our nature-based interventions are accounting for the needs of a diverse and representative set of stakeholders, GoGreenRoutes utilizes citizens voice monitoring. This process is two-fold. On one side we are using data from our specialists to monitor public opinion online, as well as meticulous research in the field from our researchers to make sure all voices are heard locally in our cities. On the other side, we have at GoGreenRoutes a dedicated group of individuals committed to integrating Gender, Diversity and Inclusion into all that we do.

For example, Nature-based Solutions Expert, Shreya Utkarsh from ICLEI Europe led a pivotal session at Tallinn on the implications of gentrification when implementing nature-based solutions. Those in attendance concluded that we all must play a proactive role in ensuring that the potential for gentrification is prevented and mitigated. This is just one of many examples of how integrating a GID perspective enhances the quality and fairness of our interventions.

As our new Advisory board member Professor Craig Mahoney reminded us in Tallinn, knowledge is most valuable when shared widely. To stay true to this commitment, we also held a workshop on communicating research findings online, which was a crowd favorite at the event.

GoGreenRoutes is working hard to provide impact in its six Seedbed cities and beyond as well as translate these learnings towards its successor initiative, GoGreenNext. Learn more about our work at https://gogreenroutes.eu/about/project.