From concrete cage to the green haven
The very idea of the euPOLIS mission is to improve and revitalize neglected or underdeveloped parts of the four FR cities, along with engaging the widest possible group of stakeholders to contribute to the process of enhancing the citizens’ wellbeing in these areas.
Lodz demo site is situated in the heart of a city’s degraded area of 1783 ha that includes “Polesie district” and the historical city center, inhabited by 152.292 people (app. 23% of the whole city population), and is a picture-perfect case-study location for implementing the nature-based solution within an urban area aiming to affect the quality of lives, and for the better. A masterplan to introduce more green spaces Green Polesie’ Programme in the area has been developed by Municipal Urban Planning Office and is step by step implemented by the city.
This green passage is located in the very core of the city, densely built and is surrounded by mainly communal housing with a population with lower income. Presence of vulnerable socio-economic groups, and limited access to cultural, economic, or sports activities, and events, made it somewhat forgotten and neglected.
Nowadays it is mostly used as a shortcut to connect the more active neighborhoods with higher social frequency. Even though a kindergarten is located there, and a population of older people lives nearby, it is not rich in greenery, park furniture, and facilities suitable for the mentioned type of users, they are outdated, and need replacement or repair.
In fact, the preliminary examination of the area shows the abundance of environmental problems:
- high air pollution in the urban center,
- often a shortage of water,
- soil degradation,
- heatwaves – heat islands
Its low environmental quality and disrepair attract unwanted social activities, so many users declared they do not feel very safe around here.
There is a new apartment building constructed in the vicinity that will bring in new inhabitants to the site. The location is also bound to undergo the demolition of some buildings opening an empty plot for sale and future construction
Some expected NBS are:
- Street shading and cooling NBS (tree trenches),
- NBS conditioned pathway
- Rainwater harvesting NBS (rain garden); Water tanks for rainwater harvesting,
- Surface and roof runoff collectors,
- MF NBS canopy for socializing, open-air gym, cooling and space management,
- Vertical gardens for noise prevention, shading, and cooling (green walls, green walls/facades with solar panels),
- NBS for surface runoff management and quality improvement (detention basins, detention/retention ditches),
- Rainwater-based drinkers and shelters for animals,
- Water toys, a water playground.
This means that mainly concrete-covered neighborhoods used by many only to by-pass other city locations will possibly get roof gardens, some beehives, and water management facilities that will change its face, thus revitalize its biodiversity and improve the health and environmental conditions.