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Unveiling the Urban ReLeaf Community of Practice

3 min read • 27th November 2023

conference speaker with microphone

Fostering Inclusive Green Urban Transitions!

An Urban ReLeaf workshop, “Building a Community of Practice for Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Green Transitions through Citizen-Powered Science” unveiled plans for three working groups to explore the power of community collaboration in enhancing urban climate resilience.

Held as a part of the European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO), the workshop took place in the city of Cascais, Portugal, from 18th to 20th October 2022. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the conference centered on transformative approaches to urban sustainability, and climate resilience future for our cities. It brought together thought leaders, city represenatives, practitioners, academia, community organisations, the European Commission to the United Nations, to forge a path towards more resilient and sustainable urban environments.

Sophie Callahan (ICLEI) (see feature image), Inian Moorthy and Gerid Hager (IIASA) and Mel Woods (University of Dundee), pictured below, introduced the Urban ReLeaf project and Community of Practice (CoP) Working Groups (WGs).

Inian Moorthy (L) Gerid Hager (M) Mel Woods (R) Introduce CoP Working Groups
Images credit: ICLEI Europe, All Rights Reserved

Launching the Community of Practice

Our interactive workshop introduced citizen science as crucial for sustainable, inclusive urban green transitions. each addressing key areas:

  1. WG 1: Innovating in public authorities through citizen science.
  2. WG 2: Integrating citizen science with Earth Observation for monitoring key environmental initiatives.
  3. WG 3: Planning urban design with Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and green infrastructure

Participants from various sectors, including municipal representatives, architects and urban planners, academics, data and earth observation experts joined to explore each topic and it’s context, the problems and how citizen-powered science might help.

Interactive Methods

An interactive format involved participants in activities and dialogues in breakout groups aligned with WG themes. Each WG asked questions relating to Three key needs WG members could help address, e.g.

  1. What are the key challenges on the topic, and why?

This facilitated a collaborative environment for identifying challenges, forging partnerships, and shaping the WGs’ objectives.

Kevin Frediani (L) Husam Al Waer (R) co-lead WG3 interactive workshop.
Images credit: ICLEI Europe, All Rights Reserved.

Towards a Greener, More Just Urban Landscape

This workshop marked a significant step towards convening the CoP in spring 2024. The energy and collaboration from participants set a foundational path for our next steps, highlighting the importance of collective efforts going forward.

We thank EURESFO workshop participants and welcome new sign ups for the Urban ReLeaf Community of Practice.