AIPH World Green City Awards 2022 Shortlist

The AIPH World Green City Awards 2022 are designed to champion ambitious nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation.

Specifically, it recognises initiatives relying on a greater use of plants and nature to create better city environments – helping to fulfil local aspirations for improved economic, social and environmental resilience.

The shortlist for the 2022 Awards are comprised of the three highest scoring entries in each of the six award categories, assessed by the Technical Panel of judges. Click on the links below to view the shortlists for each category:


Living Green for Biodiversity

Addressing the loss of species, habitats, ecosystem health, and genetic diversity.

Living Green in a city provides habitats to support ecological communities for a diverse range of living organisms. Plants provide the backbone for all nature to thrive. City Biodiversity has an increasingly important role to play in global conservation efforts. This categories also recognises urban and peri-urban agriculture which contribute to food security, minimum waste, and circular economies for food.

Shortlisted entries

In the government of Mayor Claudia López, the commitment to the environment gained strength in the context of two strategic plans:

The District Development Plan titled “A New Social and Environmental Contract for Bogotá in the 21st Century” and the Territorial Ordering Plan revolve around the greening of Bogotá and the management and comprehensive care of vegetation cover, with a specific focus on trees and vegetable gardens.

“The greening of Bogotá” is a public policy included in the District Development Plan 2020-2024: “A New Social and Environmental Contract for the Bogotá of the 21st Century”. Its purpose is to improve the quality of the natural, built and regional environment from the perspective of generating well-being conditions for the population and other living beings present in the territory, promoting the transformation of habits and spaces, the construction of awareness about our consumption and appreciation of all forms of life.

Within this public policy, urban gardens are one of the key pieces of public space, and a determining element to reduce climate vulnerability factors. Agro-ecological urban and peri-urban agriculture takes on special importance as it involves more than 120 plant species, including orchards, fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and even small plants with multiple uses such as food, aromatic, seasoning and medicinal for self-consumption, exchange and marketing of fresh and processed products.

These very diverse agricultural practices also contribute to the generation and strengthening of the social fabric by encouraging a healthy diet, promoting physical activity, contributing to mental health, contributing to the conservation of ancestral and traditional communities knowledge and practices, and promoting the reduction of organic and inorganic waste, among many other benefits.

Urban and peri-urban agriculture development in Bogotá has been led by the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden since 2004, with the purpose of contributing to the construction of a sustainable and resilient city, which provokes interactions with nature as a strategy for the appropriation of the territory.

In 2020, this Urban Agriculture Program gained strength and prominence, not only due to the interest of the community, but also due to the collateral effects derived from the pandemic, which made it increasingly evident that we needed to promote agricultural processes in urban areas such as on terraces, balconies, and home patios, and in gardens and green areas of the city, which has today materialized in more than 5,000 fortified vegetable gardens in a period of one year and approximately eight months. On the other hand, the efforts in previous years only addressed activities reflected in the goals of technical assistance and training in urban agriculture, ignoring the integrality and interdisciplinarity of agroecological practices in urban and peri-urban areas, that today are configured in the goals of Project 7681 of the Botanical Garden with a total budget for four years 2020 (second semester) – 2024 (first semester) of $15,749,000 COP (approx. 4 millions USD).

The south-west of WA is one of 36 global biodiversity hotspots, which represent only 2.4% of the Earth’s total land surface but is home to 60% of its species. The Town of Victoria Park’s Jirdarup Bushland contains a multitude of the endemic flora species that makes the south-west of WA a biodiversity hotspot.

However, development and urbanisation has been rapid and the loss of urban tree canopy is having both a direct and indirect impact not only on the endemic species at the Bushland but also upon the quality of health and amenity enjoyed by local residents. In 2016, our Town had a canopy cover of 10% of land area – one of the lowest in Perth and significantly less than is required for a healthy urban environment.

Community concerns about this trend resulted in the development of the Town’s first Urban Forest Strategy (UFS) in 2018. Since then, the Town’s Urban Forest team has developed eight specific programs that are implemented annually during planting season (June – September) to increase our canopy coverage to 20%.

A core strategy of the Urban Forest program is the collection of seed from endemic shrubs and trees in the Jirdarup bushland (over 40 species included) and working with specialist nurseries to propagate this seed into plant stock for use in the various Urban Forest activities. This encourages the spread of these precious species beyond Jirdarup Bushland – or “jumping the fence” – through our planting programs that encourage community involvement in delivering this green infrastructure.

Through these programs, we aim to conserve biodiversity and encourage the spread of local ecosystems throughout homes, streetscapes, parks and other spaces throughout our Town. Our programs include:

  • Urban Forest at Home – free local provenance trees and shrubs for residents to plant at their own private gardens.
  • Vic Park Leafy Streets – planting trees on verges, encouraging residents’ involvement to care for them.
    Community planting days – Two whole of Town, and four street based, community planting events with our community in parks and/or other public spaces around Town identified as suitable for creating an Urban Ecosystem.
  • Urban Ecosystems – tree and low shrub planting at public areas, parks and verges to increase canopy cover, reduce urban heating and increase biodiversity using flora propagated from Jirdarup Bushland.
  • Friends of Jirdarup – community volunteers conducting annual planting of endemic species’ seeds at the Bushland.

The benefits of this biodiversity focus on our Urban Forest program go beyond environmental outcomes of a healthier and stronger place for all of us to live in.

Our Urban Forest programs have identified social benefits that include community bonding through community planting events, deeper understanding and appreciation of urban greening (the Town expressed this through their vote for Councillors who prioritised Greening Vic Park) and a sense of contributing to the greater good – that the simple, local act of planting have a powerful impact on global diversity, strengthening our environment for the benefit of our fellow community members around the world.

Paris has set itself some very ambitious objectives in terms of greening its territory, which include increasing the surface area of green spaces, those dedicated to urban agriculture and the total number of planted trees. The goal is to improve the living environment of its residents and contribute to strengthening the resilience of the City in the face of climate change. In a constrained budgetary context and because the City does not intend to abandon its many other actions, it seems necessary to rely on the key entities of the territory: inhabitants, associations, businesses. This is a viable option as these actors are themselves very interested in contributing to the paradigm shift. Having developed participatory approaches, Paris has benefited from an extremely dense and dynamic associative network for several years. In order to make the city greener and more favorable to biodiversity and urban agriculture, Paris has developed various schemes that are also part of its major Action Plans, including the Biodiversity Plan and the Sustainable Food Plan. The City relies on a network of 150 community gardens managed by neighborhood associations, which animate local life through gardening activities on land plots allocated to them. The “Green Permit” program was created in 2015 and authorizes a resident, an association or a business to garden directly on the public space, at the base of a tree, along the curb or at the foot of a building. There are 2,800 green permits active today. Primary and junior high schools also participate in greening their courtyards, through a program called “Oasis Courtyards” making them more pleasant for students as well as residents during weekends. While these structures are free for those who participate, the City has not forgotten to mobilize the business world. Another program called “Reinventing Paris” looks for innovative urban projects, allowing the award winning private developers to initiate innovative real estate projects on heritage sites belonging to the City or its partners. They have enabled the implementation of projects with a strong dimension dedicated to revegetation. The third edition was launched in 2021, with approximately 50 sites since its initial launch in 2016. In connection with that, Paris is a member of the “Reinventing cities” network set up by C40 Cities. Finally, the City has set up the “Parisculteurs”/ the Paris Urban Farmers program, following calls for proposals to implement urban farming activities, allots plots of land in the ground, on roofs or in the basement to the project winners. As with the community gardens, the City finances the pre-installation facilities for those selected. “Parisculteurs” is currently in its 4th edition with more than a hundred sites proposed and partnerships forged with neighboring suburbs of Paris. These various projects, which are often small when considered individually but impactful thanks to their numbers are making it possible to change the local aspect of the City while developing new economic activities and new uses within it.


Living Green for Climate Change

Tackling the root causes and effects of climate change in order to build more liveable and resilient cities.

Living Green solutions such as street trees, green roofs and walls, and parks and gardens, all contribute to moderating the impacts of climate change. In solving problems such as the urban heat island effect and poor local air quality, nature-based-solutions deliver quantifiable cash value to city authorities as well as enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

Shortlisted entries

Izmir has a surface area of 12.019 km2 and a population of 4.4 million inhabitants in the western part of Turkey. As a well-known port city in the Eastern Mediterranean, the city comes in the third rank among all cities in the country. Considering the distribution of the population according to location, the percentage of those living in urban areas is 91% while those living in rural areas is 9%. The city is also a fast-growing city under the threat of air pollution, heat island effect, heavy traffic and loss of natural areas. The project area, Peynircioglu Stream Ecological Restoration is located in Mavisehir neighborhood which is at the beginning point of the old Gediz River Delta. Although Gediz Delta is a Ramsar Wetland protection area, it is adversely affected by pressures of rapid urbanization.
Gediz Delta contains crucial features for the city that includes a unique variety of biodiversity, ecosystems and natural habitats as well as carbon capture. Thus, it has become a candidate for the UNESCO Natural World Heritage List. Accordingly, the tributary of Peynircioglu Stream is organized within the framework of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). The project area is located in a highly urbanized area, hence, the heat island effect has been intense and harmful. In general, the region is below sea level, therefore, storm waves can overtop coastal structures and cause coastal flooding during extreme rainy periods. Implementations carried out on the banks of Peynircioglu Stream were put in place in order to be prepared for the effects of climate change, as an outcome of the cooperation of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) with both its budget and co-financing with the European Union.

The project area is located in the Karsiyaka district, a major flood prone area in İzmir. 10 percent of the total urbanized area, in which 40% of the total population lives, is extremely vulnerable. In the recent past -2020 and 2021- significant property damage and losses have been experienced in the district due to flooding. With the lessons learned from the floods that caused the loss of life and property in Karsiyaka district in 1995, IMM focused on measures related to coastal flood and flood management, especially on the banks of Peynircioglu Stream. In the study, permeable stream bed restoration for flood management, permeable concrete applications for stormwater management and increasing the amount of existing green (permeable surface) area were carried out. In addition, both the quality and amount of the existing green area has been improved. The green area is enriched with native, pollinator-attracting plants to increase biodiversity. To this end, approximately 1200 trees and 30.000 carbon sequestrant plants were planted in the 1.6 km long Peynircioglu Stream Ecological Corridor.

The City of Melbourne’s Grey to Green program is a compelling example of a long-term strategic and incremental approach to repurposing the city to meet the changing needs of its population. By reconfiguring sites owned or managed by Council, including surplus road space, car parks, slip lanes and maintenance depots, the City converted more than 80 hectares of asphalt into diverse public spaces over a 35-year period. Between 2018 and 2022, 12 key projects have been built and are the focus of this submission, representing more than 28000m2 of new pedestrian and green space.

Starting as a series of modest kerb expansions for additional street trees, it has become central to the delivery of Council’s open space and sustainability strategies. The recent suite of projects include major park expansions through removal of parking, street closures, acquiring adjacent property, linear street parks and conversion of a former school ground for open space. The program continues with numerous future projects in planning and delivery.

Grey to Green was visionary from the outset. In 1985, prioritising people over cars was seen as a radical approach. The program catalysed a growing awareness of climate change impacts and informed the development of the City’s Urban Forest and Open Space Strategies in 2012, as well as the Nature in the City Strategy and Transport Strategy. With Council’s declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity emergency in 2019, the city has cemented its commitment to realising built outcome to effect these strategic aims.

Given its relationship with these strategies, the process of a greener city transformation has been a part research-based and part design-led program. New spaces are integrated within the existing public realm through high-quality design responses. From bluestone paving, new council-designed street furniture and lighting, water sensitive urban design, tree and understorey planting and integrated public art, Grey to Green areas appear as though they have always been a part of the city’s public realm. The interventions are largely subtle and small scale, helping knit the city together in a well-choreographed expression of city pride. Melbourne is now a city revitalised by its high quality pedestrian environments where the majority of trips are made on foot. This has been achieved at modest cost through the incremental repurposing of existing space. In the Open Space Strategy 2012 it was estimated that $700 million would be required for land acquisitions to meet the strategy’s aims for open space provision, however to date the program has only spent $1,000,000.

Grey to Green is an innovative, cost-effective and environmentally friendly model that is replicable in any city, anywhere. It’s success is due to the fact that it can take place on both a small or large scale, involving local communities in making the city a better place for people. The City of Melbourne’s Grey to Green program methodology can be used by other local councils, governments or consultants to either preserve or regain public open space and its inherent benefits. By involving multiple disciplines and the public, the program is an exemplar model for ‘good planning’ and promotes socially responsible urban design.

Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated metropolises in the world. Despite having only an area of 1,494.3 km2, equivalent to 0.1% of the national territory (INEGI, 2020), it is home to 2% of world biodiversity and 12% of national biodiversity, 770 endemic species of plants and animals, and a great variety of species of corn, squash, chili, amaranth and beans. This natural and cultural heritage comes both from urban areas (rivers, urban forests, ravines and parks), as well as from the more than 87 thousand hectares that are classified as “conservation land” that represent almost 60% of Mexico City’s territory (natural forests, thickets, rivers, wetlands and lands worked by rural communities).

Given the deterioration and loss of this heritage, caused by the disconnection with nature, the growth of the urban sprawl and factors such as overexploitation, pollution, changes in land use, invasive species and the effects of climate change that have generated, for example, conditions conducive to a greater incidence of fires, as of 2019 a comprehensive policy was launched to regenerate the ecological conditions of the city based on a vision of sustainability, innovation and rights, derived from the Government Program of Mexico City 2019-2024 and established in the Environmental and Climate Change Program (ECCP) 2019-2024.

The first of the axes of the ECCP refers to the “Revegetation of the countryside and the city”, which gave rise to the revegetation strategy called “Green Challenge”, within which the planting of 10 million trees and other plants between 2019 and 2020 was established as a quantitative goal, with a comprehensive approach that covers the following lines of work:

  1. Rescue of nurseries to increase production and planting
  2. Recovery of native species through seed collection and nursery production
  3. Promotion of gardens for pollinators
  4. Strengthening of public space with the opening of natural protected areas for public access and the creation and rehabilitation of parks
  5. Improvement of soil and vegetation quality through comprehensive management, attention to pests and diseases, diversification of vegetation strata and training for public servants
  6. Participation of citizens, civil society and companies in revegetation days and environmental education activities

Thanks to the Green Challenge, the increase in the annual production of plants went from less than 500 thousand in 2018 to more than 10 million in 2021, which has allowed the planting of 27,082,593 trees and plants. The creation and rehabilitation of 16 large parks located mainly in peripheral areas with the greatest lack of access to public spaces, has benefitted 6.3 million inhabitants. Additionally, 4,155 inhabitants of rural communities are benefiting in return for their work as brigade members in reforestation and ecological conservation activities, such as the planting of 16.9 million plants on conservation land and the reforestation of 16,505 hectares of forests and rivers.


Living Green for Health and Wellbeing

Addressing the medical, behavioural, and social determinants of health for residents.

People are measurably happier when they work and live in green surroundings. This comes from both physical and psychological benefits. Improved health results in lower costs for health-care providers, and benefits the economy through improved productivity and lower absenteeism and staff turnover.

Shortlisted entries

Fortaleza is a city in northeastern Brazil that, like many other cities in developing countries, has experienced accelerated urban growth marked by social inequalities. Outdoor spaces have, since the beginning of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, been identified by the scientific community as low-risk and strategic in the safe return to community life. In the context of Fortaleza, where access to public leisure areas is restricted and unequal, Urban Micro Parks have become a low-cost and fast implementation alternative to expand this offer in more vulnerable areas with high population density.

The Urban Micro Parks program is an initiative of the Municipality of Fortaleza, through the Innovation Lab of the Foundation of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Municipal Secretary of Urbanism and Environment, in partnership with the Urban 95 Network. Urban Micro Parks combine two concepts for the recovery of degraded areas and the construction of new public spaces for the population to be in contact with nature. The Naturalized Park concept proposes the use of elements such as trunks, branches and the topography and vegetation of the land to create places for socializing and playing that are more attractive and challenging for children. They are also a simple and cheap way to expand the network of urban green areas. The concept was presented by Alana Institute, a partner of the city of Fortaleza through the Urban 95 Network, a global initiative that seeks to include the perspective of babies, young children and caregivers in urban planning and in the programs and services offered by cities. Each Urban Micro Park is a combination of a Naturalized Park and a traditional square, with elements already known and demanded by the population, such as benches, garbage bins, sidewalks for walking, improvement in public lighting, and the insertion of natural elements, such as the use of pruned wood to produce furniture and maintain the permeability, vegetation and topography of the terrain.

These Urban Micro Parks offer spaces to play, sit, and gather, as well as trails, climbing elements, and community vegetable gardens, among others. Because they does not require major construction, this is an inexpensive project which is fast to implement. The construction of natural parks has saved 60% of what would be spent on paved parks, according to the traditional model and better provides a favorable environment for increased cognitive development in early childhood.

After the implementation of the first two urban micro parks between 2020 and 2021, 3 other locations were selected in diverse neighborhoods to receive the pilot projects. Additionally, in the government plan of the new municipal administration a goal of expanding to 40 micro parks implemented in the various regions of the city of Fortaleza by 2024 was proposed. The feasibility of 30 of these have already been guaranteed through an External Financing Program with the World Bank. Furthermore, the Micro Parks were also included as priority actions both in the revision of the municipal plan for early childhood and in the city’s walkability plan.

The city of Utrecht (pop. 360,000) faces a strong growth in population in the next 10 years, leading to an expected 400,000 residents in 2028. This will require new living space, while the city cannot and does not want to expand its built-up area. At the same time, climate change is already affecting the city of Utrecht. The average temperature in Netherlands will increase considerably in the next 100 years, and dry and extremely warm summers will be more frequent. Urban heat phenomena may be even more pronounced in Utrecht, where the projected densification of the city is expected to cause a further increase in the magnitude of urban heat. Considering these demographic and environmental developments Utrecht faces a challenge to safeguard its harmonious balance between living, working and recreation in an already densely populated area. To rise to the challenge the city has committed itself to a ‘Healthy Urban Living for all’-approach, prioritizing living environments that are simultaneously less polluted and invite and stimulate healthy behaviour among their inhabitants. This is also reflected in the city’s ‘Green Grows Along’ perspective on urban planning, in which urban development must be accompanied by similar development of nearby green-blue spaces to prevent asymmetrical outcomes. Greening the city is of major importance for Utrecht. Measures can range from modification of city mobility structure in favour of green, nature friendly buildings, development of new parks and increase of vegetation in housing areas, both in public and private space (including roofs).

In the RSU 2040 (Spatial Strategy Utrecht), the task is to achieve a healthy balance between densification and greening: an expansion of the greenery in the city by 440 hectares (approximately 900 football fields) and with 60,000 trees. In addition, there is another 250 hectare assignment around the city. This means that the available amount of green space per household (performance indicator 2.2.2, PGB 2022) remains stable in a growing Utrecht.

Utrecht lies in the heart of the Netherlands and has the busiest train station of the country. A lot of people travel through the area daily. The area needed transformation to accommodate all these people and needed to improve on livability. The initiative we would like to present for the World Green City Award is know in Utrecht as the Central Station Project and encloses the encircling of the old city canal, improving the public area surrounding the central station to make more bicycle parks, greening the public spaces of the Moreelse Park and Smakkelaarsveld and improving the connectivity and the public space on the other side of the central station while adding extra housing (Wonderwoods) and office buildings (amongst which our own Public Offices; Stadskantoor).

Sunvale Community Park is the result of Brimbank City Council and Greener Spaces Better Places (GSBP), engaging with the community to transform a dormant 1.1 hectare area of land into a resilient, inclusive and community-led park.

The site was a school which closed in 2009. Brimbank purchased the land in 2014 which was a key action in Council’s “Creating Better Parks Policy and Plan” (CBP) which highlighted a lack of open space in this part of Sunshine. Council was determined that the site would once again be a place for public use and to bring the community together.

GSBP, a national initiative to increase plants and trees in urban areas, identified the area as ‘Place Type 3’ or Urban, Spacious and Low Rainfall (Where Will All The Trees Be, 2020). Being highly built up with low rainfall has a unique set of challenges. Brimbank has the third lowest canopy coverage, and the third highest growth in ‘grey cover’ (i.e. hard surface to support population growth; shopping centres, roads, carparks, etc).

GSBP gave Brimbank a ‘Challenge Rating’ of Very High, indicating that the Council would face very high challenges in maintaining and growing green cover over the next decade.

The park is the result of four years of community advocacy, engagement and design. It is enthusiastically embraced by locals and offers a lively, busy green space. Users of the park span all cultures, ages and abilities and it has provided residents with strong social, recreational and ecological outcomes.

From the 548 ideas submitted by the community for the site, Council distilled these into a design that shaped the park. The result of this 360 degree design process is a park guided by community attachment for the old school site, and the ambitions of residents for a new space for their community to gather.

Examples of community consultation informing the design include the resurrection of a cricket pitch, with the previous site containing a pitch that was popular with refugees, and residents asking for the inclusion of the Wurundjeri people, whose deep connection with the landscape was important to recognise. This resulted in Council engaging indigenous artists to design and build a sculpture walk within the park.

Sunvale Community Park was the 100th park upgrade under CBP and won three Park of The Year awards in 2020. It has been celebrated by GSBP as a successful example of a project completed under the ‘Very High’ challenge rating with the park having been showcased nationally.

It includes many sustainable features, including an integrated blue-green infrastructure approach, making the 1.1 hectare space water neutral. Surrounding stormwater is directed to a network of rain gardens and biofiltration ponds with additional UV filtration, and the water produced is suitable for irrigation. With this system the park can harvest 100,000 litres of water via underground tanks during the wetter months.

Additionally the community requested a communal garden and the park includes an edible garden with figs, olives, pomegranate and herbs, free to be enjoyed by all.


Living Green for Social Cohesion

Fostering belonging, trust and inter-generational as well as cross-cultural relationships to prevent exclusion, marginalisation and violence.

Greener environments encourage people to spend more time in outdoor spaces, improving social interaction and community cohesion which in turn contributes to reduced crime. Community cohesion is especially important in multi-cultural communities and also enable inter-generational social relationships.

Shortlisted entries

As with most of the existing vulnerable neighborhoods in Buenos Aires City, by 2016 Rodrigo Bueno was facing significant housing problems (40% of houses under the flood zone), urban problems (lack of public utilities and public spaces) and socioeconomic problems. Under participatory governance, the local government gathered the neighbors in order to create an intervention program, so as to integrate the neighborhood with the formal City.

However, unlike all other vulnerable neighborhoods in the City -and in the entire region-, Rodrigo Bueno adjoins the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, which extends over 350 hectares. The Reserve brings together the largest amount of biodiversity within the City of Buenos Aires and is included in the list of wetlands of international importance (recognized as a RAMSAR site).

In this context, the integration process we carry forward contemplates three dimensions: Housing (access to decent housing), Urban (infrastructure and public services) and Socioeconomic (development of the social economy, its integration to the current value chains, and its connection to environmental practices that take care of the Ecological Reserve and generate awareness and lower settlements pollution levels).

Following participatory meetings, the local government started the construction of 611 new homes with solar water heaters, the provision of public services under a sustainable construction model and the implementation of several productive spaces. Thus, from 2020 the Housing Institute of Buenos Aires accompanies the families in the move to their new homes and assists them in organizing the payment of their mortgages, thereby promoting future economic sustainability. The relocation of families, and the subsequent demolition of their old houses, allowed the opening of new streets in pursuit of better airflow and mobility. New undertakings and entrepreneurships were launched, such as the Gastronomic Gallery. Additionally, 57 new commercial stores were built. Today, Rodrigo Bueno neighborhood is recognized with the Sustainable Housing Seal in accordance with the bioclimatic strategies implemented and their link with the Sustainable Development Goals.

As a result of this process, participatory governance boosted the environmentally sustainable development of the neighborhood. The Housing Institute launched the “Sustainable Housing and Habitat Strategy,” a new working area which focuses on the definition and promotion of the sustainability agenda. As an example, the Rodrigo Bueno Organic Garden and Nursery was created in 2019 by 14 women. With the city government support, they started to sell their products -native plants, vegetables and aromatics- outside the neighborhood, such as to the five-star Hilton Hotel.
Finally, due to the interest of the neighbors themselves, the Housing Institute and the Health Minister of the City created the Environmental Health Board at the beginning of 2021, which provides a local space to promote, discuss and propose environmental initiatives. Among other things, the board has promoted the plantation of native trees all over the neighborhood.

In conclusion, we can affirm and thus demonstrate that through an environmental and participatory approach, transformation is profound and sustainable over time.

In 1996, when the Dongcheon Estuary Maintenance Project and Aggregate Collection project were approved, the Suncheonman Bay Conservation Movement began as a campaign against them by local NGOs and academia. Suncheonman Bay Committee, a civil-academic council led by civic groups, was established, and as a result of the continuous conservation campaign, it led to the cancellation of permission for projects in 1998 and laid the foundation for Suncheon Bay conservation. Since then, various legal and institutional strategies have been established to conserve Suncheonman Bay. The legal and institutional protection systems currently applied are listed in chronological order below:

  • Permission for aggregate collection project in 1996 as well as Dongcheon Estuary Maintenance Project.
  • Being observed of rare international migratory birds such as storks, hooded cranes, and black-haired seagulls in 1996.
  • In 1997, the civic movement against aggregate collection project. Held the 1st Suncheonman Bay Reed Festival.
  • In 1998, the permission for the aggregate collection project at Dongcheon was revoked.
  • Proposal for designation of wetland protected area and registration of Ramsar Wetland in 2003
  • Suncheonman Bay wetland(28㎢) registered as Ramsar Wetland, the first Korea coastal wetland in 2006
  • Establishment of the first Suncheonman Bay Efficient Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan in 2008
  • The official destination of Ramsar General Assembly in 2008 and the World NGO Competition were held.
  • Designated as Korean Cultural Heritage Scenic Spot No. 41 in 2008.
  • In 2009, a rice paddy wetland near Suncheonman Bay & its estuary(7.7㎢) were designated as ecosystem conservation district.
  • 2013 Suncheonman International Garden Expo was held (April 20, 2013 ~ October 20, 2013).
  • 2015 Suncheonman Garden Designated as Korea’s first National Garden. Dongcheon Estuary registered as a wetland protected area.
  • Registered as Ramsar Wetland in Dongcheon Estuary in 2016 (5.4))
  • In 2017, Applied the entire Suncheon-si for registration as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, which promoted the registration of the southwest coast island tidal flat as a World Natural Heritage Site.
  • In 2018, the entire city of Suncheon was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
  • Suncheonman Bay Mudflat registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

Suncheonman Bay is a wetland with various habitats such as a river’s brackish water area (where rivers enter the sea and mix with seawater), salt marsh, wide reed field, and tidal flat, and 239 species of birds are observed. Of them, 33 species are rare endangered birds worldwide and live on the nature of Suncheonman Bay.

The Suncheonman Bay Conservation Movement provided an opportunity to newly recognize the value of reed fields and tidal flats, and Suncheonman Bay has become a representative ecological resource in Suncheon. As a result, Suncheonman Bay’s ecology has evolved into a world-class ecological tourist destination beyond Korea.

Paris, as one of the most symbolic capital cities worldwide, and an attraction pole for multi-cultural exchanges, is a pioneer on innovative actions for developing public policies. In the last years, the city has launched several long-term programs, proving the importance that the administration gives to climate change management in the city. The Climate Plan, The Resilience Strategy, and the “15-minute city” plan are some examples of that commitment.

One of the programs that emerged from those initiatives is the Oasis Schoolyard’s project, launched in 2018, and powered by the City of Paris. The project seeks to renew, dynamize and green the existing public schoolyards by improving their thermal conditions, responding simultaneously to multiple urban issues such as the lack of green areas within the city, the design of appropriate public spaces for children growing up in the city and in general the enhancement of citizens’ quality of life. This includes an active work in community cohesion improvement, which is achieved by providing to the local community free access to the schoolyards on Saturdays. By December 2021, 72 schoolyards had been transformed, and the City’s goal is to reach all 770 kindergarten, elementary and middle schools by 2050.

Furthermore, the three traditional pillars of sustainability are integrated: the environmental pillar, by improving and creating green spaces in the city, tackling heat island effects, and by using local eco-materials. The social pillar by improving social networks between the school’s community and their neighbourhood, through public equipment accessibility, co-creation and participatory workshops. Integration of all children is enhanced through free game and cooperative group play, reinforcing the children’s soft skill and social cohesion in general. Lastly, the economical pillar is addressed by improving the city’s attractiveness and life quality, by creating a new model of urban green interventions, and by prioritising a circular and local economy scheme, prioritizing small-scale interactions.

In terms of financing, Oasis project’s budget is assured by the City of Paris, the State of France, and the Seine Normandy Water Agency. In addition, from 2019 to 2021, the project received funding of the UE European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) up to around 5 M€, through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. Thanks to this budget, and as Oasis schoolyards were created as a new possible model for cities, technical evaluations can now be made to measure impact. Thus, temperature measures by Météo France and scientific partners laboratories are being collected, to analyse variations in the renewed schoolyards. Sociological studies are also being made, to measure the impacts on children who use the schoolyards, in terms of gender segregation, multiplication of playing activities and interaction with natural elements, among others.

Oasis schoolyards have attracted the attention of many cities in and out of France, looking to replicate it in their urban areas. This is proof of its innovative and pertinent approach to the current urban challenges facing cities.


Living Green for Water

Ensuring water resources are safeguarded and wisely used, with clean water available to all while also protecting residents from flooding risks.

Water issues related to drought and flooding are already a significant impact of climate change, with traditional engineering solutions commonly overwhelmed. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems incorporate plants into water management systems, thereby offering considerable advantages over engineering solutions, an, at the same time, providing additional benefits of amenity and recreation, and space for wildlife.

Shortlisted entries

With its collection of about 20,000 plant species and cultivars and 30 topical gardens spread out over 75 hectares, the Montréal Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. The Botanical Garden is part of Space for Life, a group of five institutions that together make up the largest museum complex in Canada.

Widely recognized as a perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the world of plants, the Botanical Garden is also distinguished by its numerous initiatives in the field of phytotechnologies, whereby plants are used to solve environmental problems like purifying air, water and soil, controlling erosion and run-off, and helping to remediate degraded sites.

In recent years, the Montréal Botanical Garden has set up a series of phytotechnology stations to address various environmental issues that exist on its site. The idea is to design installations that simultaneously solve the problems, demonstrate the technology, and educate the public as to the role and functioning of the plants.

The plan is to set up six phytotechnology stations over the next few years, inaugurated one at a time, and completed by 2026.

The first station was inaugurated in 2019. The Botanical Garden took advantage of the renovation of the aquatic garden, which presents a diversity of aquatic plant species, to include two different types of sub-surface constructed wetlands, one with horizontal flow and one with vertical flow. These wetlands ensure the water used in this garden, which circulates in a closed circuit, is of good quality. The innovation not only ensures the removal of phosphorus and nitrogen surpluses and the reduction of suspended solids, but also educates visitors on the role and benefits provided by these green infrastructures.

In 2021, the Garden opened a second phytotechnology station to address a problem related to invasion by undesirable plants. Among the phytotechnologies used, a riparian strip involving a great diversity of native plants was established as a buffer. This has the effect of opposing strong competition to invasive plants while acting as an effective biofilter that limits the leaching of nutrients brought by the runoff of rainwater. Floating islands in the form of mattresses woven of plants have also been installed. This original phytotechnology makes it possible to add filtering elements that move on the pond according to the winds. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also effective in making it more difficult for invasive plants that require sunlight to establish themselves.

Currently, the Montréal Botanical Garden is preparing another phytotechnology station where various plant species will be used to extract or degrade certain contaminants from soil excavated during construction works. This technology is called phytoremediation. It is an innovative and promising phytotechnology, which has led the Botanical Garden to stretch its know-how and apply this process in the east end of the City of Montréal on four hectares of brownfield contaminated by various pollutants. This constitutes the largest phytoremediation project in Canada.

Our City vision is: City of Logan – a green city full of pride and culture. To achieve our vision of being a green city, we must create a climate resilient organisation and community. Our city contains an amazing range of natural areas including rainforests, bushland reserves, waterways and wetlands which are home to an incredible diversity of native animals and plants – some so unique and iconic, they are world renown.

Our natural areas are highly valued by our community and form an integral and important part of the identity, cultural history and fabric of our city. LCC recognises and respects the importance of a thriving natural environment in the growing region and our role in protecting and enhancing nature.

Since 2018, LCC has achieved great success in living green for biodiversity, which has included the development and implementation of our suite of Living Green for Biodiversity strategies, projects and actions.

The key underlying strategy is our City of Logan Natural Environment Strategy which outlines how we will balance growth and development with our natural environment while meeting the challenges of a changing climate. It provides a road map to ensure that the City of Logan’s natural environment is protected, enhanced, connected and celebrated to provide valued spaces for people, plants and animals now and into the future and has been developed based on the community feedback received through a 10 month community visioning process involving extensive community consultation and engagement.

Additional key highlights include:

  • Extensive stakeholder and community consultation and engagement including a ground-breaking City Visioning process providing a community led direction for our Natural Environment Strategy;
  • Delivery of an organizational environmental governance review and research into best practice options and bench marking/SWOT analysis of solutions;
  • Development of a Sustainability Policy, Sustainability Framework and Climate Resilience Policy;
  • Expansion of our private land environmental conservation partnerships program – including Land for Wildlife, Habitat Connections and Voluntary Conservation and Restoration Agreements/Covenants;
  • Implementing strategies and successfully increasing our green canopy across the city over the last couple of years while accommodating a growth rate that is one of the highest in Australia;
  • Resilient Rivers Initiative working with our agricultural sector to deliver environmental outcomes while maximizing agricultural and economic outcomes for our local producers;
  • Successful implementation of our River Visions, catchment recovery plans, river recovery projects and waterway and waterbody recovery plan;
  • Expansion of our environmental vegetation offset program reaching over 77,000 trees planted.

Incredibly, the City of Logan’s green canopy grew by 5% last year and what makes this achievement even more special and unique, is that the City of Logan is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia with very high population growth and development pressures.

Often seen as the underdog, the City of Logan has been revitalized through a positive community pride campaign, a commitment to living green, and a commitment to leading the charge on protecting, enhancing, connecting and celebrating biodiversity not just in the city, but across the region and country.

The City of uMhlathuze is on the North-East coast of the Province of KwaZulu Natal, about 180kms North-East of Durban. The uMhlathuze land area covers 123 359ha and incorporates rural areas. The 2016 number of households was 110, 503. There are a number of natural and man-made phenomenons. The area is inundated with a system of wetlands and natural water features.

Our entry is on the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWaSP). UWaSP is a partnership that was catalysed by a major drought that was experienced in the uMhlathuze region in 2016. The major dam serving the region, Goedertrouw Dam, was at 18.52% in August 2016. UWaSP was formalized in 2016 through a Letter of Intent, which was aimed at ensuring water availability for residential and industrial use, securing sustainable livelihood and environmental integrity of eco-systems in uMhlathuze. UWaSP is a partnership between the following organizations/stakeholders:

  • GIZ’s International Water Stewardship Programme (GIZ-IWaSP)
  • Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Grindrod
  • Mondi
  • National Business Initiative
  • Proto-CMA Pongola-uMzimkulu
  • Richards Bay Minerals
  • Strategic Water Partners Network – South Africa
  • Tongaat Hulett
  • Transnet
  • World Wide Fund South Africa

The partnership aims to:

  1. Identify short-term measures to improve water security for businesses, industries, forestry and agriculture producers, and communities..
  2. Engage in a process to identify and implement medium to long-term measures affecting the entire catchment area catering to interconnectedness of upstream and downstream users and the required water resource management approaches.
  3. Support existing water stewardships.
  4. Engagement with all relevant landowners and community members, civil society organizations, industries and other water users.

The uMhlathuze River Catchment is on the north-east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 180kms north of Durban. The catchment covers 4209km2 starting in the Babanango Hills in the west, and south east to the Goedertrouw Dam in the upper-mid catchment. The catchment is bounded by the Mfolozi catchment in the north and the Lower Thukela, uMlalazi and Amatikhulu in the south. Agriculture is the biggest water user, followed closely by the urban and industrial usage of the City of uMhlathuze.
The catchment is a high risk catchment in terms of water-related issues. The uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) has been established and has developed projects around this area. Water scarcity is the top risk, and many other risks are linked to this scarcity. Water quality is also a concern in the lower catchment, and better regulation and monitoring is needed.
Water scarcity is halting development, and could result in large industries and mining operations moving out of the area. Agriculture is a significant employer of the poorer communities in the catchment, and loss of financial viability due to water issues would result in job loss and poverty. There are large areas of alien vegetation in the catchment.

The Goedertrouw Dam is the second largest dam in KwaZulu-Natal, and is set in the uMhlathuze Valley. The drought that occurred in 2016 saw a drastic reduction in the level of the dam.


Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth

Creating systems and solutions that allow all city residents to overcome economic distress and thrive.

It is now widely recognised that quality Green Infrastructure increases the value of both residential and business property. A more attractive environment stimulates inward investment and encourages additional visitors to a city. Examples of this are neighbourhood regeneration, and new developments that offer green space as a key commercial attraction.

Shortlisted entries

The 2020-2030 Master Plan for the Conservation, Improvement and Development of Parc Jean-Drapeau represents a marked change in the mission and vision of Montréal’s oldest and largest urban park, which is comprised of two islands in the Saint Lawrence River and adjacent to Old Montreal. Following a lengthy public consultation process that received over 6,000 submissions followed by a thorough diagnosis and a methodical planning and design process, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau Corporation or SPJD decided to make a significant shift in the role of the park as a public place for the people of Montréal. By placing ecological transition, diversity, and inclusion among its guiding principles, and sustainable development and conservation among its primary strategic objectives, the park is broadening its social reach and its contribution to the issues facing society today. Practical, theoretical, and empirical research in several cities concerning contemporary park issues at the local, national, and international levels was conducted. Many of the 8,700 parking spaces will be converted to green space, which is known to provide many ecosystem services, including improving air quality by capturing pollutants, regulating temperatures, reducing stormwater runoff, and reducing noise pollution. As Adrian Geuze said: “Sometimes we have to change ideology.” Ambitious, bold, and in tune with best practices in planning and the environment, it will be one of the key elements of the Montréal 2030: Citywide Strategic Plan, whose four guiding principles include accelerating ecological transition; strengthening solidarity, equity, and inclusion; amplifying democracy and participation; and stimulating innovation and creativity.

The holy city of Mashhad is located in the northeast of Iran. It has a population of 3,001,184 and about 20 million pilgrims and tourists visit yearly. The Mashhad climate is cold and semi-arid with hot summers. The city only sees about 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) of precipitation per year and In recent years, it has faced a sharp decline in rainfall leading to water shortages.

The 27km long southern Beltway project of Mashhad in the southern heights of the city was introduced and implemented in 1990 in order to facilitate citizens’ access to suburban highways and reduce the traffic load of the inner city streets. However, after about 20 years, negative effects of this highway project were observed on the surrounding environment and the nature of the highlands.

Although environmental reports portrayed a dark future for the region, the construction of the highway continued despite the devastating effects on the environment. Finally, in 2018, in order to protect the environment and the interests of citizens, it was decided to stop the development of the southern part of the beltway. A comprehensive environmental protection plan related to this area was subsequently developed. Based on this plan, different projects such as the development of multi-purpose parks and natural-mountainous parks were designed with the aim of preserving the environment and developing native vegetation, thus transforming the “Southern Transport Belt” into a “Green Belt”.

The most important features of this project are as follow:

  • Stopping the construction of the highway due to its negative effects
  • Preparing the ground for the possibility of protest and follow-up through legal and judicial institutions in all stages of project implementation.
  • Carrying out comprehensive environmental studies in the region and providing solutions
  • Design of “natural-mountainous” multi-purpose parks (access routes to parks and mountain heights were designed to provide a safe space for citizens).
  • The scope of the project has led to the design and implementation of other small-scale micro-projects with different objectives. For example, the Biopark project, Waterfall, Chelbaze Natural Park (in three phases), Kuh Park, Khorshid Park, etc. are designed as a space for citizens and families to get acquainted with the natural ecosystem of the city.
  • Connecting several large green space projects to each other, the project is topographically located in an area consisting of hills and mountains, which is surrounded by southern heights. This feature allows all these multi-purpose parks to be connected to each other over time as projects progress.
  • Construction of canals to direct surface water and seasonal rainfall and store it for irrigation of green space
  • Rehabilitation of water resources due to lack of rainfall and depletion of groundwater resources that were within the scope of this project.
  • Providing a platform for citizens to get acquainted with cultural, nomadic, and rural ecosystems.

Hyderabad is Mega city (10 million inhabitants) and one of the fastest growing metropolises in India, which is expected to be home to about 19 million residents by 2041. The city is managed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in the core area comprising 650 sq. km. and by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) beyond GHMC limits with an area of 7257 Km2 under its jurisdiction. Hyderabad is the only city in India to have been recognized with Tree Cities of the World for the year 2020 for its commitment to growing and maintaining Urban Forests.

Hyderabad is famous for its 1,350 lakes which occupy a total area of 2,000 ha. in the core area and around 3000 lakes in the HMDA area with a total area of more than 32,250 ha. Lake Hussain Sagar, the World’s largest heart shaped lake, was officially declared as the “Heart of the World” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization on on World Tourism Day in 2012.

Telangana Ku Haritha Haram (TKHH), meaning ‘Green necklace to the State of Telangana’ is a flagship program which is a large-scale tree-planting program implemented by the Government of Telangana since 2015-16. The program envisages increasing the tree cover of the State from 24% to 33% of the total geographical area of the State.

In Hyderabad city massive plantations were taken up under various components like Avenue Plantation, Multi-layered Avenue plantations, Miyawaki plantations, Barren Hill Afforestation, Institutional plantations, Homestead plantations, Tank foreshore, Canal Bank, Riverbank and Rivulets, industrial parks, the creation of Smrithi vanams, Greenery under flyovers, vertical gardens, and Planting in Urban Residential Colonies involving all stakeholders.

Due to intensive plantations raised in Hyderabad city over the last (6) years, the environment improved significantly. Annual cumulative rainfall (mm) from 01/06/2021 to 11/03/2022 Actual – 6958.7; Normal – 5255.6; Deviation (%) – 232 of Hyderabad City limits (HMDA area) is far higher than that of the State Cumulative Rainfall (mm) Actual – 1138.5; Normal – 861.2; Deviation (%) – 32. Improvements have also been seen in ground water level and abatement of air and noise pollution.

The resident associations of the city have raised plantations at their homesteads & colonies adopting 760 colony parks and their maintenance. Remarkable increase in the green cover noticed as per FSI report by 48.66 Sq Kms. i.e., from 33.15 Sq Kms in 2011 to 81.81 Sq Kms in 2021. Importantly, the aim is to inculcate the right attitude towards trees and green environment in the younger generation.