Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Turin in Italy aims to use regenerated soil for urban forestry and public green spaces throughout the city. (source: proGIreg www 2022)

Productive Green Infrastructure, Europe

The international project Productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration (proGIreg) was founded under the umbrella of European Union’s Horizon 2020 innovation action programme and runs until 2023. Just like the CPUL concept, the proGIreg project aims to implement green infrastructure into urban spaces – with less focus on food-producing sites but on the renewal of post-industrial districts.

Garden area and pathway in between houses. (source: Cascais Ambiente 2022)

Participating city Cascais focusses on the NbS category ‘community-based urban farms and gardens’. (source: Cascais Ambiente 2022)

In four front-runner cities (Dortmund (Germany), Turin (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), Ninbo (China)) nature-based solutions (NbS) are developed, tested and implemented in so-called living labs. These NbS aim to address specific technical, social and/or economic challenges encountered in each participating city. The European Commission understands NbS as ‘solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience’ . ProGIreg project explores NbSs in eight categories which contain, f.e., leisure activites and clean energy on former landfills, new regenerated soil, community-based urban farms and gardens and aquaponics. Working with these NbS, urbanisation should no longer be a process of loosing green spaces but instead of enabling urban transformation with and for citizens, reducing vulnerability to climate change and taking into account the measurable economic benefits to citizens and entrepreneurs.

Poster with the text 'nature for renewal' on it.  (source: ProGIreg www 2022)

Nature works for renewal in post-industrial urban spaces. (source: ProGIreg www 2022)

Because the regeneration of urban space should be designed together by local citizens, governments, businesses, NGOs and universities, the project intends a co-creation process. The European cities of Cascais (Portugal), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Piraeus (Greece) and Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) follow this process in the living labs and work themselves on a city-to-city exchange about the replication of NbS.

The best practices of proGIreg and nature-based urban regeneration are presented in an online course on edX. It introduces participants to collaborative design as well as to implementation and evaluation of NbS for urban renewal with local communities. The project also develops self-sustaining business models for NbS based on the scientific assessment of their benefits.


+++ researched and written by our colleague Antonia Humboldt +++


For further information on proGIreg see the project’s own website.

For information on the online course see our news post.

Image: Turin in Italy aims to use regenerated soil for urban forestry and public green spaces throughout the city. (source: proGIreg www 2022)


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* green infrastructure* urban agriculture* urban designEuropeInternational

Jasmine Cook • 1st May 2017

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