The Nature Smart Cities and Cool Towns Annual Exchange of Experience Event took place on Thursday 19 November 2020. More than 250 participants attended this event. Due to the measures surrounding Covid-19, the event took place online.

You can also view all individual presentations and a full report of the event here

Watch the presentation by Tiny Maenhout (Cool Towns)

Watch Anna Oxenham’s presentation (Nature Smart Cities)

Keynote speeches

During the event there were three keynote speeches.

Gideon Spanjar of the Amsterdam University of Aplied Sciences (NL) shared the first findings about the heat measurement protocol developed within Cool Towns. This protocol enables provinces, municipalities and companies to develop and implement heat stress-reducing measures.

Watch Gideon Spanjar’s presentation

Wito van Oijstaeijen of the University of Antwerp (B) spoke about the business model that the Nature Smart Cities project will deliver. This model supports cities in building climate resilience through the implementation of green infrastructure. The model should be ready in 2022.

View the presentation of Wito van Oijstaeijen

Phil Back of Imperial College London (UK) presented the results of 53 interviews he conducted with officials and elected members of local authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. The interviews were conducted to ensure that the Nature Smart Business Model is based on the needs of smaller municipalities.

Watch Phil Back’s presentation

Inspiring good practices

After that, four inspiring good practices were presented.
Jan van Damme of the municipality of Merelbeke (B) talked about the heat stress interventions in the “Jan Verhagen Garden District” in Merelbeke.

Benny Pycke from Sioen Industries (B) and Howard Gray from GreenBlue Urban (UK) gave a presentation on green infrastructure interventions and inspiring good practices from the Cool Towns project in Breda (NL), Southend (UK), Kent (UK), St Omer (FR), Middelburg (NL) and Ostend (B)

Tanne Schreuder of the municipality of The Hague (NL) spoke about the urban water buffer in the Cromvlietpark in that city.

Finally, Matt Ling from Cambridge City Council (UK) shared the findings on the Cambridge Canopy Project.

View the presentations of the four good practices

The meeting ended with a short round of questions and discussion between the participants.

View the full report of the Cool Towns / Nature Smart Cities Event