The Nature of Cities Festival 22–26 February 2021.

About the Nature of Cities festival

The Nature of Cities is a virtual festival over five days with programming across all regional time zones and provided in multiple languages. It aims to connect local places and ideas on a global scale for a much broader perspective and participation.

Read more about the festival .

Early stakeholder engagement is seen as crucial to successful urban planning and implementation of Nature Based Solutions and green infrastructure in cities. The COVID-19 outbreak has created a challenge for both researchers and planners in stakeholder involvement as traditional methods of engaging stakeholders, such as workshops and consultations of plans in public spaces have been limited. Virtual methods for engagement exist and have been used also in the past, many times as a complement these more traditional methods, and new innovative virtual methods are being developed to be able to engage stakeholders in different ways. However, many of these tools are limited in the ways that they can engage varied groups of people across society. Digital exclusion remains a risk as the burden on participation is often on the stakeholder themselves.

This session crowdsourced ideas on how to overcome the current limitations related to virtual stakeholder engagement in work that aims to also promote the green infrastructure that benefits society as a whole. Ten x five minute mini-presentations highlighted virtual methods of engaging with stakeholders (from lower-tech to higher tech) in projects related to urban greening, as well as other issues around the ethics of such engagement.

The presentations acted as a starting place for further discussions and a virtual brainstorming session on Miro about the use of digital tools in participatory planning of urban green infrastructure.

  1. Future of online platforms for participation; Romanus Otieno Opiyo, SEI Africa
  2. Digital and non-digital approaches, Dr. Mbathi, Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI)
  3. Use of Minecraft as a digital tool for engagement; James Delaney, Block by Block Foundation
  4. Ethical issues to consider related to digital engagement; Fiona Lambe, SEI
  5. B.Green PPGIS online resident survey for assessing perceptions to urban greening; Heidi Tuhkanen, SEI Tallinn
  6. Design sprint model for stakeholder participation; Mette Hiltunen, Forum Virium Helsinki
  7. Results from Augmented Urbans project; Päivi Keränen, Metropolia
  8. Her City toolkit and digital participation cases, Tove Julin, GlobalUtmaning
  9. Digital participation during COVID Cesis, Latvia; Gunita Kulikovska, Vividly
  10. Interactive 3D modelling of urban green infrastructure; Lauri Lemmenlahti, Forum Virium Helsinki