The purpose of this paper is to present the varied roles played by the University of Lódz (UL) in maintaining and restoring the natural capital of a city as a driver for sustainable city development. The higher education institution can be perceived as visionary, originator and executor of natural capital projects.
The paper analyses three cases performed by the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, UL, in the city of Lódz. The activities are based on different scales ranging from city-wide to local, e.g. river and green infrastructure, and which vary in character from policy planning to implementation.
Natural capital projects influence city development on different levels: by the initiation of legal protection, by the implementation of rehabilitation concepts for rivers and by influencing the strategic documents for mid-term and long-term urban development.
The university has the potential for multidisciplinary engagement in the development of urban sustainability. In large-scale projects, academics play a more conceptual role, in capacity building and knowledge transfer, while in local-scale implementations, their role includes innovation, know-how and technology transfer. Moreover, it may act as a reinforcement hub, by safeguarding and strengthening the natural capital of the city.
The concept of the BGN was developed by the Department of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Protection of the University of Łódź (DEA UL) and European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology under the auspices of UNESCO, Polish Academy of Sciences (ERCE UNESCO), within the EU Project SWITCH (6 FP, 018530).
Ratajczyk, N., Wagner, I., Wolanska-Kaminska, A., Jurczak, T. and Zalewski, M. (2017), "University’s multi-scale initiatives for redefining city development", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 50-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2015-0089Download as .RIS
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