Cities are major energy consumers and significantly contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They have a high density of socio-economic activities and a built environment design that enhances these issues. In this regard, specially developed cities can be exemplars in leading the way towards a low-carbon society, and turning it into an opportunity as recently iterated by the European Green Deal. JUSTNature project emphasizes the importance of bringing together everyone’s ideas and actions to create a new and sustainable future; starting by rethinking our cities.

The overall objective of JUSTNature is the activation of nature-based solutions (NbS) by ensuring a just transition to low-carbon cities, based on the principle of the right and not constraining the ecological space of others, the right to clean air and indoor/outdoor thermal comfort for human health and well-being, as well as thriving biodiversity and ecosystems. JUSTNature project is under the lead of EURAC, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Program.

Case studies: 

Public posts

VIDEO︱Helicopter flight: The tree heritage is surveyed from above

In the second half of February, the vegetation of the entire municipal area will be detected by a helicopter with a laser scan. Under good weather, a helicopter will fly over the city for two consecutive days at 350-400 meters above the ground.

The city of Merano is known for its historical tree heritage. Thanks to new technologies, this heritage can be recorded more precisely for the first time as part of the Horizon2020 JUSTNature project.

VIDEO︱Tree inventory short story in Gzira

Around 100 Grade 7 students together with teachers, LSE's and SLT members were involved in cataloguing all the trees at Stella Maris College premises. In collaboration with the Research Innovation Unit, a specialised unit of the Gzira Local Council, the students were encouraged to reflect on how trees could impact the carbon emissions and heat resulting from urban areas. The exercise involved students determining the different types of trees, measuring their trunk diameter to determine their age and photographing the trees' height using a special grid.

VIDEO︱Chania showcases the city's ambitious plans (in Greek)

The video showcases Chania city's ambitious plans to implement climate cooling and sustainable mobility by restoring green facades combined with green open spaces in the municipality's five-story car park located in the heart of the city.

Chania recognizes the need to address the challenges posed by global warming and the negative impact of carbon emissions on the environment. The city is committed to making a difference by reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices.

VIDEO︱Just Nature - Driving a just transition toward low carbon cities

Just Nature is the EU Horizon 2020 project working on the motto that “Everyone has the right to ecological space and the duty of not constraining that of others; to live and help live, work and play in climate-resilient and sustainable cities and beyond” The overall objective of JUSTNature is the activation of nature-based solutions (NbS) by ensuring a just transition to low-carbon cities, based on the principle of the right to ecological space.

VIDEO︱Introduction to the Urban Heat Island of Gzira, Malta

Urban heat island study at the locality of Gzira.

With the context of dense build-up areas and a need for open spaces, it is challenging for sustainable development to get started. The city contexts are real-estate overdevelopment, narrow street, and car-oriented, which all causes severe urban heat island. With monitoring tools, the city found intensified solar radiation (heat bomb) and from cars, heat capture at night in built-up areas. This leads to implementing nature-based solutions for resilience for citizens' well-being.

VIDEO︱JUSTNature family show Earthy's appointment at SITC 2022

In October 2022, the University of Malta team and researcher Mohamed Soliman gave memorable performances of our family show "Earthy's Appointment" at the Science in the City festival at Sala San Duminku Theatre in Valletta, Malta.

During the show, UM interacted with many young spectators, who, as trainee environmental scientists, helped us to investigate Earth's sea, land, and air in a playful way. The half-hour performance aims to engage and educate the public about climate change and global warming and spread environmental awareness.