Latest news on the CLEVER Cities project
9 December 2019
Sfântu Gheorghe launches its urban innovation partnership
9 December 2019
On 18 September 2019 Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania, launched its urban innovation partnership – a city-wide informal alliance of local authorities, community groups, businesses and academics – in order to kick-start the process of co-creating nature-based solutions for regeneration within the CLEVER Cities project.
CLEVER Cities partners, the Municipality of Sfântu Gheorghe and the Covasna Environmental Protection Agency, hosted the event, which brought together local stakeholders including the Sapientia University, the Vadon Association, TEGA SA (a waste management company), WMS Covasna (water management), the SEPSI Local Action Group Association, the Chief Architect of the City Hall, and the Deputy Mayor. The meeting started with a presentation from Antal Delin, CLEVER Cities project manager, on the concept of nature-based solutions and on CLEVER Cities itself. Next, the the members of the implementation team Municipality of Sfântu Gheorghe together with the representative of Covasna Environmental Protection Agency, Balázsi Beáta, presented the chosen area for regeneration within CLEVER Cities, located near the Debren stream, and the situation of the community living in the nearby social blocks. The challenges they face include dealing with the mud that forms during raining, the high risk of flooding and an identity problem - of not belonging.
The participants discussed various measures they can take to start reaching out to the local community. The group recognized that it takes time and dedication to establish an effective communication path, but that it is very important to find representatives for the community, even if its population is not homogeneous. The participants also proposed measures to address the challenges faced, for example, a suggestion from the water management company was to set up a water retention reservoir in the Orko area and build a system of dams on the Debren stream, which would aim to ensure a constant flow of water and reduce the risk of flooding. Other ideas put forward included collaborating with students from the faculty of landscape architecture, introducing an ‘ideas factory’, and organising tree-planting activities with locals to generate dialogue and spread awareness of the importance of preserving native plant species.
The participants welcomed the aims of the project and saw this session as a good opportunity to get to know each other and begin the process of co-creating nature-based solutions in the area.
Image: UIP launch/ Municipality of Sfântu Gheorghe