CLEVER Cities if the first Horizon 2020 project for the City of Belgrade and CEUS as its local supporting partner. This project gathers 34 institutions across countries and continents, to develop nature-based solutions for urban regeneration in Hamburg, London and Milan, and replicate those solutions in urban planning in Belgrade, Madrid, Malmo, Larissa, Sfantu George and Quito, Ecuador.

On 19 November 2019 Belgrade’s city administration and CEUS hosted almost 60 representatives from over 35 local and national institutions from civil society, academia, and the public and private sectors, to launch its CLEVER Cities Urban Innovation Partnership. This partnership is a city-wide informal alliance, which has come together to guide and plan the process towards co-creating nature-based solutions in Belgrade.

This event included an information session held by the Secretariat for Environmental Protection and CEUS, an open discussion and initial interactive workshop on mapping needs, wishes and first proposals of nature-based solutions for the targeted area of Dorćol. One of the aims of the project is to transform the area around a historic railway track in Dorćol into a Linear Park. The motivated participants proposed ideas including introducing urban beekeeping, sounds of nature in electric vehicles, alarm badges for air pollution, and the integration of nature-based solutions within medieval and industrial built heritage sites.

Feedback from among the Urban Innovation Partnership was very positive and constructive, with a majority of all participants confirming that they had developed a solid understanding of the concept of nature-based solutions as a result of the event.

Since the meeting, the first focus group on visioning the Linear Park was held, a call for young architects to design particular zones and hubs for the nature-based solutions in the area of Dorćol was launched and a questionnaire for wider citizenry on amenities and ideas for the Linear Park was published. Further steps coming up will be another focus group with Urban Innovation Partnership members and hosting of an open workshop with an exhibition for local citizens.

Finally, the BELLAB platform was launched, for facilitating co-creation among local partners.