İzmir, Türkiye

Photo by Sinan Alper

Monitoring, Maintenance, and Management

How has the initiative been designed and implemented so that long-term needs for management and maintenance are reduced and can be met?

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Department of Parks and Gardens has been carrying out protection and maintenance of the plants. As a relevant department, they have been ready to identify and overcome both short-term and long term needs of the area.

The plants in the area were determined according to their features regarding their adaptive, resilient, and effective characteristics. In this sense, the maintenance of the plants as well as additional new plants have been determined by the experts in the project. Furthermore, to provide sustainable, efficient, and adaptive features, the green area in the project is enriched with native, pollinator-attracting, adult plant species that pave the way for increasing biodiversity in the area. In this context, approximately 1200 trees and 30.000 carbon sequestrant plants were planted in the project area.

In line with the overall context of the project, the perspective behind the maintenance of the land has been based on durability, sustainability, and nature friendly approach. In this context, using local, low water consuming plants as well as drip irrigation systems ensures a feasible and efficient process in terms of maintenance and long-term durability in the project area. The maintenance infrastructure combined with the features of the plants provide feasible ground and facilitate the protection, identifying and meeting long term needs of the area.

What protocols are in place to facilitate monitoring of results?

Izmir extended its vision for a sustainable, zero-carbon emission city by becoming a world city aiming to enhance its “unity of life.” In that sense, the current strategic plan of the city is aligned to the UN’s 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals. In the plan, there is a strong political commitment that green infrastructure is the city’s main focus is to accommodate nature-based living throughout the city. The vision covers the role of culture in harmony with nature. This vision claims synthesis of this aim with new tools and methods such as NBSs, green & blue infrastructure action plans in parallel with other world cities. The project focuses on urban sustainability through a complex process where a combination of parameters, baselines, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and data come together to play a big role and provide an advantageous interaction. NBSs have been presented as an innovative way to address the many challenges facing urban areas. This project tests whether – and to what extent – NBSs can contribute to solving biophysical, social, and economic challenges in urban areas by first undertaking 1 year of baseline research, then implementing targeted NBS interventions, followed by a 2-year post-intervention monitoring period which is amended due to Covid19 lockdowns. During the monitoring period, some NBS challenges are used which involve the KPIs. The challenges are climate mitigation & adaptation, green space management, air quality, urban regeneration, participatory planning and governance and public health and well-being.

How has the initiative been enhanced in response to monitoring of results?

A large-scale and fully replicable demonstration action of NBS accompanied by innovative models will provide pieces of evidence about the benefits of NBS contributing to the creation of new market opportunities for green SMEs and fostering citizen insight and awareness about environmental problems. Izmir, one of the frontrunner cities of the UrbangreenUP Project, has strengthened the replication potential of the results of five follower cities. The project also aims to: foster the creation of a global market and EU international cooperation; deploy a wide Exploitation and Market deployment procedure for NBSs & deploy an Impact-based Communication and Dissemination strategy. As a dissemination activity, webinars and field trips are organized for municipalities and private sector representatives from different domestic cities.