From good practices to general practices – University of Copenhagen

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From good practices to general practices

“From good practices to general practices” – A look back on GREEN SURGE's successful final conference

Under the banner of "Connecting People and Nature for Sustainable Cities", the GREEN SURGE project's final conference took place in Malmo, Sweden, from 20 to 21 September 2017. The highly interactive conference welcomed around 250 participants from 37 countries, among them 80 speakers in 14 thematic sessions.

The conference brought together researchers, decision makers, and practitioners for multi-faceted discussions. A variety of high-level key note speakers opened the conference from Stephan Pauleit, as GREEN SURGE project leader and Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management at the Technical University of Munich, and Cathy Oke, Chair of the Environment Portfolio of the City of Melbourne, Andreas Schönström, Deputy Mayor of Malmo, Helena Bjarnegård, from the Swedish Association of Park Administrators and Head of the Parks Department of Gothenburg, to Maria Yeroyanni, Senior Expert at the Directorate General Research & Innovation of the European Commission.


“Consideration of biocultural diversity is becoming increasingly important. It does not suffice to know about the biodiversity in the city, one also needs to know about the people living in the city and how they interact with green spaces and their biodiversity”,

Stephan Pauleit, GREEN SURGE project leader

Discussions focused amongst others on:

  • the capacity of green infrastructure to foster social cohesion and biocultural diversity;
  • the value of evidence deriving from research for policy and practice and the need for translating results for the use by decision–makers and other stakeholders at local level;
  • different perspectives on the integrated valuation of green spaces to better understand its diverse potential; and the range of options to include citizens into the process of planning and managing to meet their needs and requests.

GREEN SURGE project's research findings as well as lessons learnt from the collaboration between scientists and local governments contributed greatly to the conversations. The GREEN SURGE Handbook on Urban Green Infrastructure featuring guides and tools developed to support urban planners and managers to take ample advantage of these potentials to steer sustainable development at city level was launched at the conference.

The highly interactive conference featured interactive discussion formats and sessions including a talk from Gil Penalosa, Founder of 8 80 Cities, on low cost high impact ways to bring city dwellers and nature closer together. He emphasised that cities have to move from good practices of urban green infrastructure to making them the general practice.

Participants were also invited to explore one of five sites in Malmo, in tours organised by the hosting city, that provide clear evidence on the feasibility and benefits of a strategic  application of urban green infrastructure principles.

Videos of all keynote talks are available here.