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26 June 2024

Data tells a story: Opportunities for urban transformation

Data tells a story: Opportunities for urban transformation

In 2024, Paris hosts the Olympic games at the end of a four year cycle where time, effort and commitment are represented by numbers -time, scores and finally, medals. Across a similar timeline, GoGreenRoutes after nearly four years,  has together with the sister projects, that is projects funded under the same Horizon 2020 call, made an impact which is clearly demonstrated numerically. The projects collectively represent actions in communities totalling 6 million citizens, and have been funded by the EU approximately €47 million to demonstrate visionary and integrated solutions for nature, health and well-being in cities.

The collective efforts of 116 partner organisations comprising 25 higher education institutions, and 59 SME’s in addition to city partners and NGO’s have led to almost interventions across 25 cities and communities. Scientific impact is reflected across over 75 publications in high impact journals. 

As Mario Balzan of Ecostacks Innovation recently pointed out, “the data we have collected through these city driven initiatives shows the different dimensions of what has been achieved in the cities in terms of health outcomes, and improvements in biodiversity and environmental quality.”

Reflecting upon the progress of the Health Cluster he says, “The story is not so simple to tell but by comparing before and after the intervention, outcomes are not what was expected but the change is very clear.” 

Indeed, when we dig into the qualitative and quantitative data of our joint work, a broader picture is painted which shows opportunities, both for working well in projects as well as the invaluable lessons we can learn from the work of cities for biodiversity. 

One important development in recent weeks was the adoption of the EU Nature Restoration Law, a legislation giving clear targets for biodiversity in cities and another important tool in the toolbox to keep urban spaces green and healthy. 

GoGreenRoutes along with the World Health Organisation was also involved recently in a high level session “Nurturing community and planetary well-being” on One Health at ICLEI World Congress in Sao Paolo, Brasil. In light of the triple planetary crisis, the session made clear that “we must work with nature, not against it” 

In line with these aims, there is great interest in learning from cities and integrating these learnings into the next generation of projects on nature and health. This is why the upcoming Health Cluster Final Event will also feature a preview to the up and coming Planetary Health Cluster

Cities across the sister projects have learned a lot from each other over the last four years and will continue to exchange in the years to come, demonstrating the long lasting commitment established by the co-creative processes on the ground. 

Are you ready for our joint final event in Brussels? You can explore the indicators we used, the  monitoring methods and the innovative technology we employed  at Blue Point Brussels and online. More information here