The Greenkeys projects
The problem of abandoned and devalued urban areas is common among many European cities. The environmental, economic and social decline, which these areas often entail, requires rapid reconsideration and improvements as the lowering of the quality of life may not only spill over to adjacent neighbourhoods, but also the area itself does not need to be relinquished.
The cities are facing difficulties in finding an adequate solution to the main problem of how to apply methods of sustainable rehabilitation to redevelop and enhance the areas in the long term.
The European Commission has started the EU Community Initiative INTERREG III B CADSES (2005-2008), which focuses on increasing the sustainability of cities by initialising the endowment of green spaces. By means of that, local residents and medium-sized enterprises would benefit immediately, but the scientific and practical experiences gained during the projects are equally important as they will promote transnational cooperation in Europe and bring about further projects.
The key question posed by the GreenKeys project is: What are the tools and methods necessary for increasing the sustainability of urban areas by adding green spaces, given the fact that ecological, social and economical conditions are often mutually dependent?
Greenkeys focuses on the improvement of urban green spaces as a step towards more sustainable cities. The three main objectives are
- to provide incentives for structural changes in cities by offering opportunities for the enhancement of green spaces. Its 12 partner cities will, together with local stakeholders, develop a strategic approach for the pilot projects to create new or upgrade existing green areas to achieve more accessibility, social and recreational values and ecological efficiency. By the involvement of local activists, the political attention to the benefits of green spaces to urban environments will be increased. GreenKeys will support the implementation/evaluation of pilot projects in order
- to develop a “Pool of Green Strategies” (instruments, methods, concepts and good examples) based on the experiences being made to meet the demands of future needs and
- to use the synergies to promote the transfer of knowledge by a transnational network and, thus, foster the exchange of the particular national experiences.
In pursuing these goals, GreenKeys brings together 12 cities in 7 countries, 8 scientific supporters, external experts, design studios and NGOs, which participate through their own networks.