Kick-off Green-blue Networks, 20 September 2022

Nineteen Flemish municipalities are looking for concrete tools to put more than 50 projects related to green-blue networking and climate adaptation into practice. They are working on opening up hidden waterways, softening streets and squares, and getting citizens and partners along towards a climate-adaptive city or village. For the Breakthrough Ateliers in March, the municipalities came together and exchanged views on concrete breakthroughs towards raising their pre-set ambitions to put green-blue ambitions into practice.

In realizing a living environment with more space for green and blue, local governments very often encounter the same challenges and opportunities. The trajectory, under the guidance of Architecture Workroom and Department of the Environment, together with design teams and experts, creates a learning environment that facilitates the exchange between the municipalities themselves. It aims to raise the ambitions and quality of the projects and to reach a shared agenda together with the local governments.

During the Breakthrough ateliers on March 2 and 3, local governments came together around the themes of hidden waterways, green(blue) oases, participation in streets and squares, ambitious design of streets and squares, and land direction. Concrete green and blue projects, to be realized in the next two to five years, were the topic of the discussion table. In the ateliers, the participating municipalities, experts, and design teams helped to sharpen the projects further. This way, the municipalities are working toward more qualitative projects in which systemic thinking about green-blue networks can flourish.

During the closing event on Friday, March 17, the entire group shared the collected insights and knowledge with each other. They worked towards Breakthrough questions for the follow-up process such as: How can we raise more awareness to soil (quality) within the process? How can we scale up the design and approach of one street or square to a hundred streets and squares? How do we monitor the level of ambition throughout the process, from vision and participation to implementation? Which directing role can local governments take in order to get citizens and partners to invest sufficiently in a green-blue system?

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