As part of an academic project, 9 students from the French prestigious engineering school AgroParisTech based in Clermont-Ferrand have conducted an international flash survey in May 2021 to compare and analyse different initiatives being carried out by INMC cities about shared issue of nature in the city.
These 9 students are studying on an ACTERRA Specialised Master’s degree course which will prepare them for careers as territorial policy and territorial project managers. They are highly knowledgeable and skilled and have worked on the theme of nature in the city because it offers a great deal of transversality and makes it possible to cross-reference different public policies: ecology, mobility, food, culture, citizen participation, etc.
To have a better vision of the relationship between cities and nature, they performed a comparative analysis of 5 cities members of the INMC.
- work on the theme of nature in the city as a means to urban-rural integration and intergenerational and intercultural collective learning,
- take part in videoconference interviews (45 minutes per interview) with the students.
The entire international flash survey has been conducted virtually between 17 and 28 May 2021.
For analysing the place of nature in city in the local strategy of the 5 cities of the network, and developping their thoughts, the students asked themselves the following questions:
- How do cities integrate nature to their strategy, and how do they forge links with their their rural surrounding territory ?
- How is INMC a lever for collaboration between its members and the valorisation of initiatives promoting nature and human activities synergies ?
They ended with proposing possibilities for transversal actions between cities.
The analysis highlights converging challenges and opportunities of cooperation between the 5 cities in relation to the following themes :
- People’s well being,
- Mobility impact,
- Environmental education,
- Biodversity protection,
- Urban spread management
Most cities face issues but have different challenges regarding :
- Eco-tourism development,
- Agriculture and food security,
- Water management
The study shows that the cities are working on common challenges such as urban sprawl control, biodiversity protection or developing alternative mobility.
The comparative analysis suggests possibilities of collaborations on various subjects, such as:
- increasing awareness of people regarding environmental issue,
- reducing environmental impact of transportation,
- protecting existing natural areas and resources and to develop new spots of biodiversity.
This international flash survey provided an opportunity for participating cities to benefit from the expertise of students who will be the development professionals of the future and also to benchmark their public policies on the theme of nature in the city.
To showcase this initiative, the results of the international flash survey will be presented at the 3rd INMC Conference in Querétaro, Mexico, in March 2022.
The study has underlined that nature in the city is a transversal topic, gathering multiple areas, and shared by all cities of INMC.