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SZEGED – the 3rd largest hungarian city embraces Nature Based Solutions to meet its urban challenges

Dernière mise à jour : 26 mai 2020

Together with Alcala de Henares, Ankara and Milan, Szeged is one of the 4 pilot cities of the Natue4Cities project.

Participating cities are located in different countries and different climate zones (Mediterranean, continental and semi-arid), allowing to test the replicability of our tools in several geographical contexts.

Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary – in terms of population number. The city, located in the southeastern part of Hungary, has a population of 162,000 and an urbanized area of about 50 km2 (281 km2 of administrative area). Szeged is spread on a flat area without considerable topographical differences (78-85 m above sea level) which allows small-scale meteorological result to be generalized.

Szeged joined the project to support field-testing of the future Nature4Cities tools accessible at Nature4Cities online platform. Nature Based Solutions (NBS) will be implemented in Pilot Sites. The citizens of each pilot city will be invited to take part in a participative process to co-create and develop suitable NBS.

Floods, heats island and air pollution: critical challenges to address

It is expected that climatic changes will intensify environmental problems and therefore increase the importance of green spaces and infrastructures while also increasing the cost of their maintenance. Due to its location close to two rivers and heavy rain events, the city has also been repeatedly affected by urban floods.

Other challenges are the urban heat island and air pollution (mostly coming from road traffic). The frequency and duration of summer heat waves are expected to increase and thus are a threat to human health and life quality as well as the attractivity of the city for summer tourism.

The careful planning of a more efficient urban green infrastructure will significantly reduce thermal stress in public areas. It will generate positive effect on the energy efficiency of buildings. Therefore, reduce energy consumption and green urban planning are key approaches towards sustainable and resilient urban landscapes.

As for biodiversity conservation, cities green spaces of most kinds serve as habitat or temporary refuge for many species (especially birds and wild bee species). The loss of structural and species diversity of the vegetation leads to a general loss of biodiversity. One of the foreseen solutions includes a nature orientated approach in planning of green areas (taking into consideration the aspect of habitat and species diversity), by integrating expert knowledge and specialist NGOs in the planning processes and the use of an up-to date tree cadaster for accurate management and reduction maintenance costs. One proven solution is the use of perennial flowers and shrubs, which provide favorable feeding places for auxiliary fauna throughout the year.

Are you facing similar challenges? Do you want to be informed about Nature4Cities pilot implementations for greener resilient cities?

Are you a citizen from Szeged and you wish to be invited to the upcoming participation process?

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