Creating a climate-resilient city through open green spaces


Poznań Living Lab covers urban and peri-urban landscape and concentrates on increasing access to green spaces through:  

  • co-operation between the developer and the housing estate councils

  • co-operation between cultural institutions and health institutions – management of a common space with greenery

  • co-operation with private companies as part of CSR

The challenge 

One of the key challenges for Poznań is urban heat stress. The answer to this challenge would be for example increasing the number of existing and accessible green spaces. It requires analysing ecosystem services, including regulation and maintenance functions, as well as cultural ones- ecological education and awareness raising.  

 The nature-based solution 

One of our focuses is on establishing a network of 21 natural playgrounds in pre-schools, ensuring access to good quality green spaces in different parts of the city. At natural playgrounds we replaced artificial safety surface with natural ones (sand or gravel) and equipped it with wooden and plant elements, as well as extra greenery:

trees, bushes, perennials and flowers. Natural playgrounds help with enhancing biodiversity and water retention. They provide direct contact with nature for children, improve their well-being, mental health, as well as creativity.

CN Framework figure Poznań_NP

Our project-network of natural playgrounds, has three distinct phases, around it there’s an infinity loop which is linked with each phase and can be progressed simultaneously. At every stage we consider particular building blocks at different levels of importance.  

The first phase of the figure is the planning phase. Planning of nature-oriented playgrounds in preschools, at this stage we indicate potential areas for developing, starting cooperation with architects, teachers, and children. We share our ideas about natural playgrounds collaboratively, discuss the development paths, and the means of financing the project and dealing with issues that may come up.  

The second stage is the delivery phase, where we design and implement according to chosen tools, technical solutions, and procedures of the natural playground.  

The last phase is stewardship stage: in the case of natural playgrounds, stewardship plans are compiled and communicated to all involved parties, and that the plan is documented and implemented. This is also the stage where we put big emphasis on monitoring and evaluation, measure the impact and effectiveness, and reflecting on how the project works, what doesn’t work, and what should be changed to implement better solutions next time. We focus here on long-term planning and up-scaling for the next natural-playground project. 

Role of living lab in Invest4Nature 

Poznań Living Lab’s mission is coherent with Invest4Nature’s aims of promoting nature-based solutions and increasing their economic potential. Poznań activities concentrate on: 

  • examining the possibility of cooperation with external (private) entities  
  • valuation of ecosystem services for all future and potential nature-based solutions 
  • promote investments in NBS and accelerate their introduction to the market.  

Beyond the project, the main goal will be further up-scaling and multiplication of NBS implemented in cooperation with the private sector. 

Natalia Madajczyk 

Miasto Poznań – City of Poznań