: The integration of the Urban Biodiversity Plan adding Value to the City Green Areas, so citizens can enjoy/respect them. Moreover, the project should aid in increasing awareness of the relevance and added value of autochthonous species. Thus, sensitising, educating and involving citizens and local stakeholders through strong leadership is among the principal objectives to be achieved. As a consequence, a holistic strategy (P2GREeN) addressing the need to promote biodiversity in the city context, was developed. (URBACT, 2019).
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, natural regulation of floods and storms via the natural retention and absorption capabilities of trees and soil.
Improved air quality
Yes, the project will regenerate the urban space and increase the quality of the environment by the recovery of the natural environment and continuos green planning (La Verdad, 2008; Naturvation 2020).
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, trees can reduce the ambient temperature in urban areas.
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
Yes, the P2GREeN good practice comprises three main steps: Alien Species Plan Control, Reforestation (the forestation program allowed the planting of more than 15,000 indigenous species in Guimarães) and Creation of a Biodiversity Database (IUCN, 2019).
Yes, an initiative consisting in characterising, combating and monitoring invasive plant species was effected through the Invasive Alien Species Plan Control and (Re)forestation (autochthone species). (URBACT, 2019).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, Natural/Biodiversity routes were created in the region. (IUCN, 2019; URBACT, 2019).
Yes, the project aids in moulding the pattern and distribution of urban biodiversity, contributing also to specific social goals, such as community-based management, sustainable development and poverty reduction. (IUCN, 2019).
Improved aesthetic value
Yes, natural routes were already integrated in the city routes system and birdwatching stations were constructed in several green urban areas. (URBACT, 2019).
Increased access to green infrastructure
Yes, natural routes for nature tourism were already identified and integrated in the city routes system for enjoying the biodiversity of the region, promoting natural heritage, and involving the school community. (IUCN, 2019; URBACT, 2019).
Increased social interaction and inclusion
Yes, over a hundred activities involving in excess of three dozen partners, reaching all schools in the country. In the first year of implementation the programme took the environmental debate to all students of Guimarães. The mobile application Biodiversity GO! also allows the creation of a database of species found in Guimarães. The mobile app Biodiversity GO! was created under the ‘citizen science’ concept, with people being invited to contribute in creating the municipal biodiversity database. (IUCN, 2019).
Increased willingness, participation, investment in NBS
Yes, involving citizens and local stakeholders through strong leadership is one of the main objectives to be achieved. All actions are monitored by Landscape Laboratory, an institution created to safeguard the territory and to promote biodiversity, and to also be responsible for scientific monitoring of all actions developed. (URBACT, 2019).
Provision of health benefits
Yes, it also comprises a series of actions to foster nature‐based tourism. (IUCN, 2019). Potential areas become more attractive for locals/tourists by promoting touristic activities relating to nature and cultural events. (URBACT, 2019).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, the city of Guimarães has created a strategic plan which promotes biodiversity in urban areas. (IUCN, 2019). An Educational/Environmental Awareness Program PEGADAS was developed, gathering together more than 30 partners, contributing to the P2GrEeN holistic approach (according to which each child is invited to plant a tree and protect it during all its growth stages). Other initiatives generated from PEGADAS – Youth EcoParliament – allows students to propose solutions for biodiversity improvement. With the purpose of educating and raising the awareness of the community about the importance of protecting Biodiversity, the Guimarães Ornithological Observation Center was also created. (URBACT, 2019).
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Low aesthetic value
Yes, the integrated Urban Biodiversity Plan adding value to the city green areas. (URBACT, 2019).
Limited knowledge about biodiversity
Yes, there is a need to promote the biodiversity in the city context. (URBACT, 2019).
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Yes, spending time in nature and connection to nature were observed to offer a number of cognitive, effective, and physiological benefits (Hartig et al. 2014).
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, the Plan will enhance urban ecosystem services and contribute to a sustainable way of living in the area.
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Yes, urban vegetation contributes to natural cooling processes, such as photosynthesis and evapotranspiration.
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
Yes, this action significantly contributes to an increase of autochthonous species in the urban environment.
: Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0299-2.
IUCN. 2019. Nature based Solutions in Mediterranean cities. Rapid assessment report and compilation of urban interventions (2017‐2018). Malaga, Spain: IUCN. 117pp. Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493.
Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5781-3_2.