BEGIN project kickoff meeting: city-to-city learning for climate resilience

BEGIN will create a replicable approach for implementing Blue Green Infrastructure and maintaining ecosystem services in cities

The kickoff meeting of the BEGIN project is taking place this week in Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands. Partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Sweden, and Norway will engage in city-to-city learning activities to share each other’s knowledge and experience in adopting Blue Green Infrastructures (BGIs) through social innovation to improve climate resilience.

A total of 10 BEGIN cities have joined forces to better deal with extreme weather events within their urban areas. Frequent and intense rainfall due to climate change is a widespread problem for many cities. To cope with it, cities need Blue and Green Infrastructures, such as green corridors or rainwater harvesting, in addition to conventional grey infrastructure. BGIs support existing grey infrastructure to cope with extreme weather events and improve disaster resilience.


Blue Green Infrastructures through social innovation

At the start of the BEGIN project, city partners chose their pilot projects to develop in the coming years. The main goal of BEGIN is to demonstrate how cities can improve climate resilience with BGI, involving stakeholders in a value-based decision-making process to overcome its current implementation barriers (e.g. Bradford’s flagship project).

Whilst developing their BGIs, cities will engage in a transnational exchange and city learning networks to share experiences and best practices. Importantly, six scientific partners experienced in the fields of social innovation and BGIs, including UNESCO-IHE, Royal College of Art, CIRIA, Hamburg University of Technology, University of Sheffield and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, will provide assistance and facilitate city-to-city learning initiatives during the project.

The main objective of this first meeting is to pave the way for effective city-to-city learning. Before the session, UNESCO-IHE and Bax & Company conducted an initial assessment of the cities strengths and needs based on 10 BGI essentials, which include: citizen participation, design integration, financing & evaluation methods, mainstreaming and operations. As a result, three transnational groups were formed with cities complementing each other and the knowledge institutes filling the knowledge gaps.

10 essencials for BGI graph

City grouping based on 10 BGI essentials’ initial assessment score

Together, cities can most effectively conduct their quest of becoming more climate resilient through building with nature practices and stakeholder involvement.


Bax & Company is experienced in project management of transnational collaboration projects, in which we aim for the timely delivery of high-quality deliverables, achieving the ambitious yet realistic milestones, ensuring the dissemination and long-term sustainability of project results, and most importantly, constructively joining forces and interests of project partners to work together on one common goal.

If you are interested in our project management services and/or city-to-city learning workshops, please contact our team.

See also our post about Create Blue-Green Cities through Social Innovation and International Collaboration for more information about Blue Green Infrastructures.

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