Urban Greening Systems for the Mediterranean Region - ''UGreenS''

(to visit the Project's webpage please click here)

Sustainability is a key element to all fields of economic and social activity in Europe. The Construction Industry, being one of the foremost consumers of energy, cannot ignore requirements of sustainable development any longer. Also considering the ongoing discussion about climate change, the immediate implementation of sustainable construction practices are a necessity.

While, the general principles of sustainable construction have shyly started being, sparingly, incorporated in the engineering curricula of universities, under the pressing deadline of the Europe 2020 targets, it would be a rather late response, if EU member states waited for such educational programs to bear fruit. At the same time, there are a number of practicing engineers, architects, landscape architects and urban horticulturists who are eager to learn new techniques and, in turn, introduce them to their respective societies. From past experiences, practitioners who participated in seminars and workshops, on sustainable construction, often complained that the information provided was rather repetitive and of little application value.

Urban Greening uses technologies (Green Roofs and Living Walls) that are widely known to mitigate urban heat island effects, storm-water runoff, as well as provide thermal conditioning for buildings, thus significantly contributing to sustainable construction and development. In Mediterranean countries, however, UG technologies have witnessed little to no application. Reasons for this include 1) a lack of knowledge, by society and the construction industry, of the benefits of using green roofs, 2) limited technical expertise for the widespread implementation of UG technologies. Few organizations, in the Mediterranean, have developed expertise in the field of UG, and these include our Spanish and Greek partners.

Therefore, the main objective of this project is to capitalize on the existing knowledge of aforementioned organizations, and transfer this innovative know-how to practitioners in countries such as Cyprus. To achieve this objective, a team of 9 research, private-practice, and public organizations has been assembled (from Spain, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus), thus ensuring a wide coverage of the academic, practice, and public spheres, in the Mediterranean vicinity. The specific tasks to of this effort include:

1) the development of technical-nature instructional material on UG technologies that would cater to the needs of practicing engineers and architects,

2) the training of a small number of engineers and scientists to subsequently act as a nucleus for further dissemination such technologies

3) the creation of demonstration pilot units and activities that would present this technology.

This project will introduce specialized knowledge in a pragmatic / tangible way that would be of immediate use to the country's sustainable infrastructure. The contribution of UG technologies to EU's 2020 targets would be multifaceted and immense.

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