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Green Minds will deliver a more integrated planning and management system for urban nature and help maximise the social value created through sustainable land-use management and nature based solutions. For the first time, Green Minds aims to combine approaches to urban development and governance that are entirely new or in their infancy - creating green mindsets; urban rewilding; and complexity management.
Changing attitudes and behaviours to give natural infrastructure higher priority and foster a management approach that works with nature rather than against, calls for a significant campaign to change minds.  The traditional approach to urban parks, gardens, verges is to keep them tidy and manicured – fighting nature. This is costly and reduces biodiversity. In wilder spaces, management is reactive, poorly integrated amongst various landowners, and ecological and social value is lost. To reverse these trends requires more integration, more stakeholder involvement in strategic AND day-to-day decisions (moving towards ‘shared stewardship’), and to welcome nature into the city so reducing maintenance costs. 
Plymouth will do this by:

  • Trialling different approaches in a diversity of spaces, experimenting with different delivery and management approaches which fully involve stakeholders and through community-based management forums - community-based budgeting; community rewilding mini-projects; pooled resources and joint programming; and developer partnerships for rewilding (green roofs, natural planting, green walls etc). This will include new best-practice investment projects, increasing understanding and inspiring more stakeholders to participate
  • Using a complexity management theory approach to underpin these experiments, based on a process pioneered in Plymouth’s public health sector.  Using best practice behaviour change tools, it will involve carrying out ‘Appreciative inquiry’ - detailed interviews (rather than simple surveys) with public, private and resident stakeholders.  This will gather a rich database of community needs and develop new networks for integrated service delivery and shared use of resources
  • Communicating what we learn widely and in creative ways to reach and engage new and diverse participants and encouraging others to do the same  
  • Using scientific and creative digital tools to make nature in the city much more visible and exciting to people.  We will develop these tools with stakeholders and communities ensuring they have the skills to be able to use them long term
  • Creating a stronger evidence base, assessing natural capital and its social value and a research and data management plan to keep this refreshed; develop a new ‘urban rewilding’ planning code; prepare action plans for upgrading and rewilding green/blue infrastructure and mainstreaming new structures and procedures. This will enable better targeted investment and maintenance decisions
  • Leading multi-stakeholder workshops and conferences; developing toolkits to disseminate the learning more widely

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Plymouth, United Kingdom
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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