On 2nd March, 54 officers from 33 UK Local Authorities participated in the first workshop of the Nature Smart Cities UK Capacity Building Programme. The workshop introduced participants to the Nature Smart Cities Business Model. Participants got the opportunity to look ‘under the bonnet’ of the Business Model, to see how it works and how it can be used.
The programme started with a keynote presentation from Polly Billington, the CEO of UK100. She explained how local area led approaches to green infrastructure can help the UK meet its climate and biodiversity targets. This was followed by a presentation on the experiences of Local Authorities in delivering green infrastructure for climate resilience. Phil Back, independent consultant, then gave a demonstration of the business model. The model allows users to review the value urban greening provides across multiple ecosystem services, such as biodiversity, water storage, flood management or air quality. More qualitative values, such as recreational value or the social cohesion in a neghbourhood, are also taken into account.
Following this plenary session, the participants took part in interactive groupwork exercises where fictious scenarios were used to get hands on experience and explore aspects of the Business Model.
A recording of the plenary section of the first UK workshop is available to view online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfyVKMRvLFM&t=4s
This free workshop was the first of two in the UK Capacity Building programme. The second free workshop will take place on the 8th June at Mansion House in London. The second workshop will take participants further, demonstrating how to put the Business Model into practice. During the day, real-life case studies of where Local Authorities have used the tool to improve green infrastructure will be shared. There will be a site visit to an inspiring GI project. All participants will be provided with their own copy of the Business Model and the practitioners handbook so that they can start applying the tool to their future GI projects. Lastly, there will also be the opportunity to network with LA officers from over 35 Local Authorities, all with a role in urban greening.
If you would like to register for a place at the 2nd workshop, then please visit the UK registration page: Register here for the UK
The Capacity Building Programme is also being rolled out for municipality officers in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. To register for the workshops please use the links below: