With CITY NATURE, Vienna and Bratislava want to strengthen the protection of biological diversity in existing areas and cultural landscapes at the outskirts of the cities.
In Vienna, the transfer of knowledge about existing offers is the focus of the Vienna Environmental Protection Department (municipal department 22). The Slovak partners (Mestske lesy v Bratislave) are planning a new information center and are relying on environmental education measures. For example, experts and volunteers cultivate meadows together or examine bat populations. Both sides also rely on joint public relations work – e.g. through a cross-border “biodiversity day”, which took place in Vienna in 2019. The project started in 2019 and is co-financed with funds from the Interreg SK-AT funding program.
Citizens take action
The twin cities actively involve citizens in maintaining biodiversity. Operationally, the cultivation in the form of meadow management is central. By participating in maintenance campaigns or species monitoring, citizens see how important meadows are for maintaining biodiversity. In addition to the meadow plants and their variety of insects, the focus is also on bats and common house martins, which are equipped with small transmitters or subjected to monitoring (common house martins).
Thus, the awareness of citizens for the value of nature is raised. The CITY NATURE website has been bundling the most important information online since 2019. A dedicated service point handles all specialist questions on flowering areas and animals on buildings in the context of urban development. Trainings and interactive exhibitions with excursions and discussions as well as workshops complete the offer.
Smart City Wien relies on 50 percent green space
Vienna and Bratislava are both green, species-rich cities connected by the green band of the Danube wetlands. Both cities are expected to grow considerably over the next decades. The need for recreational areas and the pressure to use them are increasing. Nature protection meets the demands of those who are looking for relaxation. The Smart City Wien Framework Strategy aims to maintain the green space share over 50 percent. This requires measures to be taken on buildings and in the recreation areas themselves. Good communication is also required to convey the indispensability of nature at the regulars’ tables.
The CITY NATURE project is part of the Interreg V-A SK-AT cooperation program, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project from priority axis 2 (promotion of natural and cultural heritage and biodiversity) has a duration of 36 months (2019-2021) and a total budget of 1.67 million euros. The city of Bratislava acts as lead partner with MLB (Mestske lesy v Bratislave), the Vienna Environmental Protection Department (municipal department 22) is a project partner on the Austrian side. In addition, on the Slovak side DAPHNE (Inštitút aplikovanej ekologie) cooperate as a second project partner and another eight strategic project partners in quality assurance.
strategic partners in Austria:
- municipal department 18 (Urban Development and Planning)
- municipal department 21 (District Planning and Land Use)
- municipal department 42 (Parks and Gardens)
- municipal department 49 (Forestry Office and Urban Agriculture)
- Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve Management GmbH
strategic partners in Slovakia:
- Hlavné mesto SR Bratislava
- Národné lesnícke centrum
- Chránená krajinná oblasť Malé Karpaty
Further information can be found here: www.city-nature.eu
municipal department 22 (Environmental Protection)
This post is also available in: German