The laboratory Smart Urban Nature worked as a consultant to the “Yauza project” bureau, which developed a project for the spatial development of the city of Cherepovets striving for a reasonable balance between the purpose of the object, the needs of people and the environment. Thus, the main goal in developing the concept was to bring nature to the city to create a comfortable living environment. With the proximity of major roads, the impact of the urban heat island, and the increasing number of extreme weather events associated with climate change, the regulatory functions of green infrastructure seem to be the most significant to assess and implement in the city development.
The Soil Basis of Smart and Sustainable Cities: How Scientists from SUN Lab expand knowledge about the functions of urban soils
It is a well-known fact that soil is the main component of a terrestrial ecosystem, the balanced functioning of which largely depends on the soil microbiome. Today, in the urban environment, there is an unprecedented anthropogenic impact on the soil, its microbiome and the ecosystem as a whole, which can lead to disruption of their functioning. Researchers from all countries are trying to develop knowledge about the peculiarities of the functioning of the soil microbiome in urban conditions, in particular by studying its various microbial indicators. However, there is no answer to the question of which microbial indicators can most informatively reflect the functioning of urban soils and be useful in planning and improving urban areas.
After the 1st ESP Europe in Antwerp (2016) and the 2nd in San Sebastian (2018), the upcoming Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference took place in Tartu (Estonia) from 7-10 June 2021. The conference turned out to be a special event in a hybrid format – both online and offline participation – which gathered near 460 participants from 51 countries from all parts of the world.
The Ecosystem Services Partnership aims to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation, and to build a strong network of individuals and organizations by connecting over 3000 ecosystem services scientists, policy makers and practitioners who work together in more than 40 Working Groups and a growing number of National Networks on all continents. Among hundreds of participants Anastasia Konstantinova and Viktor Matasov are two researchers who represented Smart Urban Nature lab in the event.
On June 2-5, 2021, St. Petersburg hosted the XXIV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-21), a leading global platform for communication between business representatives and discussion of key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world in general. The forum, which brings together tens of thousands of participants from more than 140 countries, is traditionally focused on issues of the global and Russian economy, social matters and technology development.
SUN Lab researchers examined how “Islands of nature” save mental and physical health of city-dwellers during pandemic
International research team including SUN Lab’ scientists interviewed citizens of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia) to find out what role urban green spaces played for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out that the vast majority of respondents in both cities considered contact with nature to be extremely important for mental well-being, and many of them went for walks in their free time, despite the restrictions. The results of the research, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, are published in the journal Sustainability.
SUN Lab was presented on roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia”
The roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia” took place April 19-20 in Saint Petersburg. During the event there were presented projects related to green and blue infrastructure (GBI) in Russian cities. Speakers representing academic and non-academic institutions, shared their relevant GBI experience and reflections to share. Also the factors of success and failures of such innovation projects given a variety of biophysical and socioeconomic contexts across the country were disscussed.
Prof. Riccardo Valentini, the head of Smart Urban Nature Lab opened the Module 6: Urban ecology of an educational program Master of Public Administration by giving a lecture “Urban Health and Green Infrastructures”.
Participants of this program, organized by SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, are 500 managers from 100 largest cities in Russia: mayors, deputy mayors, deputy heads of the region, chief architects. The main objective of the program is to to form leaders who will act as drivers of the development of Russian cities.
By Dr. Diana Dushkova and Prof. Maria Ignatieva
On December 17, an online webinar of the LAWN 2020 project partners was organized by Dr. Diana Dushkova, Helmholtz Center for environmental research – UFZ Leipzig, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology; Geography Department of Humboldt University Berlin, Germany and Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva, School of Design, University of Western Australia.
XV Russian Science Festival NAUKA0+ took place from October, 9-21 in Moscow and many other regions of Russia. The largest Russian popular science project designed to establish a dialogue between science and society, educating schoolchildren, students and adults about the latest achievements of science in the field of physics, biology and medicine, ecology, humanities, etc. SUN Lab is an active participant in this event. Every year our scientists take part in lectures and workshops, both at the RUDN University and in the external events of the festival.
On September 30, 2020, an international scientific seminar “Monitoring urban green infrastructures” was organized under the umbrella of the Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems of ATI RUDN University. The event was held in an online format and was devoted to a number of issues in the field of monitoring green infrastructure in cities using IoT technologies.
Experts and participants discussed topics such as express methods for assessing the physiological state of green spaces, the influence of environmental factors on the state of plants, timely diagnosis of plant diseases and the development of methods for plant protection. Among the participants of the seminar are experts from the Smart Urban Nature laboratory Vyacheslav Vasenev, Alexey Yaroslavtsev, Vasily Brykov, Yuri Dvornikov and Viktor Matasov as well as partners from the Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology, N.V. Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden of RAS and other organizations.