Latest news on the CLEVER Cities project
28 November 2023
Community led urban greening in the City of Quito, Ecuador
28 November 2023
Communities are promoting local urban greening and by taking action they can generate an impact on the policy at the City level. This is the case of the San Enrique de Velasco (SEV) neighbourhood, located in Quito (Ecuador) a fellow city in the CLEVER Cities Horizon Europe Project.
In this neighbourhood the local community, with the collaboration of the consulting company YES innovation, has started a co-creation process to improve their green areas. The community in SEV see the importance of reclaiming their green areas as places of community integration and social development, while also exploring the opportunity to improve local production through vegetable gardens. The community has also examined the use of raingardens, implementing green spaces for the management of rainwater to reduce flooding, one of the most urgent issues of the area and even more relevant these days because of El Nino phenomena. Though challenges remain, and the implementation of these solutions are still on progress, the will of the community people and their belief of the benefits of green spaces and nature in their quality of life is an outstanding achievement. Built on the work with the community and the experiences in the development of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to address challenges at the urban level, the Guidelines for the implementation of NbS was created. This document contains all the technical information for the design and development of NbS to address a variety of environmental challenges and their easy replication in different contexts and urban development projects. Additionally, the activities of the community in San Enrique de Velasco, along with the involvement in the CLEVER Cities project, and the pressures from the civil society regarding the protection of water and river areas of the city, resulted in the creation of the Green and Blue Ordinance of the city of Quito by the Municipal Secretary of Environment. The policy at city level supports the increase of green areas in the city, preservation of ecosystems, and promotes the use of NbS and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems for water management. This policy integrates nature and biodiversity with the concept of building resilience for climate change at city level.
The case of San Enrique de Velasco and the city of Quito is a clear example of the progress that can be achieved in terms of sustainable development at local level when several actors like the community, private companies, and the local government work together. Community efforts can result into driven change towards urban greening that has an impact at city scale.