Blue-green infrastructure with funding of PLN 136.2 million. See if anything will change in your city!

Błękitno-zielona infrastruktura

A new era of urban development is beginning in Eastern Poland, thanks to support from the European Funds for Eastern Poland (FEPW). The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW) has announced that under the first edition of the program, 12 cities in the region will receive a total of PLN 176.6 million, of which more than PLN 136.2 million will be contributed by European Funds for the development of blue-green infrastructure. The investment is aimed at improving the quality of life for residents, increasing biodiversity and adapting cities to climate change.

What is blue-green infrastructure?

Blue-green infrastructure is a concept that combines green areas such as parks, gardens, and urban forests with water features such as ponds, rivers, and stormwater drainage systems. There are many benefits to investing in such solutions, including improving air quality, reducing the urban heat island effect, better stormwater management and creating new recreational spaces for residents.

Main objectives of the projects

The main goals of the planned projects are to improve the quality of life of residents and protect the environment. Investments will include:

  1. creation of new green areas: parks, gardens and green spaces will provide places for rest and recreation;
  2. construction of water reservoirs and water retention systems: such solutions will help manage rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding and drought;
  3. Increase biodiversity: planting native plant species and creating habitats for animals will help protect local flora and fauna.

Intense climate change is exacerbating adverse phenomena in cities, such as heavy rains that cause flooding, heat islands and others, which require urgent adaptation measures. By restoring parks and ponds in cities and implementing green-blue infrastructure, we will better ensure the safety, health and quality of life of residents and build the resilience of our cities. Polish cities are reaching out for grants for projects that incorporate a holistic, ecosystem approach to the environment in urbanized space – Dorota Zawadzka-Stępniak, President of the Board of Directors of the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund, said.

Wodne Sprawy 12 2024 18 2
pic. WFOŚiGW Katowice

Benefits for residents

Investments in blue-green infrastructure have a direct impact on the health and well-being of residents. More greenery in cities means better air quality, which is key to reducing pollution-related health problems. In addition, access to green areas encourages people to spend time actively, which has a positive effect on physical and mental fitness.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Blue-green infrastructure helps cities better cope with extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall or prolonged drought. Water retention systems and an increase in biologically active areas help with natural water management.

The economic benefits of investing in blue-green infrastructure should not be forgotten either. Green and aesthetically pleasing urban spaces contribute to an increase in property values, which benefits both homeowners and local governments, which can count on higher tax revenues.

Will anything change in your city?

If you live in one of the 12 cities covered by the program, you have a chance to benefit directly from these investments. Here is the list of cities that will receive funding:

  1. Chelm,
  2. Jaslo,
  3. Bilgoraj,
  4. Ciechanow,
  5. Bartoszyce,
  6. Stalowa Wola,
  7. Mlawa,
  8. Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski,
  9. Busko Zdrój,
  10. Siedlce,
  11. Debica,
  12. Loom.

To find out about planned projects in your area, check local zoning plans and announcements from municipal authorities. Chances are you will soon be able to enjoy new recreational areas, better air quality and new places to spend time with family and friends. Whether you live in a big city or a smaller town, it’s worth taking an interest in what changes await your neighborhood and how you can benefit from them.

When is the next intake?

The next call for projects under Measure 2.2. Adaptation to climate change under FEPW is planned for Q3/Q4. 2024 r. Under this program, medium-sized cities (20-100,000 residents) and resort towns in 6 eastern provinces will be able to apply for funding for investments to adapt to extreme weather conditions and reduce the urban heat island effect. A total of €255 million has been allocated for this purpose. The program covers the Lubelskie, Podlaskie, Podkarpackie, Świętokrzyskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie provinces and part of the Mazowieckie province (excluding Warsaw and surrounding counties).

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