With the aim of bringing citizens closer to urban and peri-urban forests and understanding their importance and potential for well-being, the project “Boscos i Ciència Ciutadana” (Forests and Citizen Science) has been launched this summer in the city of Barcelona. This initiative was born in the framework of the recognition of the Spanish city as a future European Forest City in 2022, when the Annual Conference organised by the European Forest Institute (EFI) will take place.
The project “Forests and Citizen Science”, which will last until the end of 2021 and is promoted by the Barcelona City Council, aims to link the scientific and educational fields through five sessions aimed at citizens to address different topics on the impact and potential benefits of the circular bioeconomy and forests on urban environments. The topics to be addressed are Green Pedagogy, Health, Bioconstruction, Bioenergy and Citizen Science.
In addition, a session will be organised with public administrations and local entities to promote a citizen approach in their activities. The main goal of these sessions is to feed into the programme of the EFI’s Annual Conference in 2022, which will dedicate an exclusive day to citizens, by making their real needs and concerns visible.
Objectives of the initiative
- To improve the knowledge of the participating citizens.
- To bring forests closer to the neighbourhoods, since, on the one hand, not all neighbourhoods are close to the urban and peri-urban forests of the city and, on the other hand, there will be groups with more difficulties to move around in the forests.
- To prepare the citizens of Barcelona so that they can actively participate in the annual forest conference that will recognise Barcelona as European Forest City 2022.
- To elaborate an agenda proposal for the participation of citizens in the annual forest conference, including topics of interest and a list of interested actors to participate.
- Elaborate proposals for improvement regarding public policies aimed at education, the use of green spaces (health) and citizen participation and science.
Barcelona: capital city for forests and biocities in 2022
Barcelona was the winning candidate to host the EFI Annual Conference in 2022, which will focus on the impact of the Circular Bioeconomy in urban environments, overcoming the traditional dichotomy between urbanised spaces and natural spaces, with the aim of defining a vision for the urban future of the so-called Biocities. Since 2014, the “European Forest Cities” selected by EFI have been Bilbao, Saint Petersburg, Vienna, Oslo, Aberdeen, Bonn and Prague.