Cyprus Mail

Getting residents on board for a sustainable Nicosia

The group of experts getting to know Nicosia


A GROUP of international environmental experts are in Nicosia to advise residents on how to make their city a greener, healthier place.

The EU-funded ‘Roadshow’ from May 8 to 15 links up the experts in various fields with locals, and transfers the specialised global knowledge to the people who in turn have the local expertise. Combined, the two can determine what really works in a place.

The method evolves city-by-city as it travels to locations in various countries with differing climate, culture, economy and buildings, with the aim to get residents to develop their own sustainable city agendas.

According to Craig Martin, who leads the project, radical solutions are required to achieve the much-needed change towards a healthier environment, and those must come from the people who live in the place.

”It is the citizen at the heart of the project, not the expert,” he said

Which is why they have invited anybody living in Nicosia to take part in the daily workshops, from students to politicians.

“We leave every city clearly having shown what the question is, and potentially what the answers are,” he added, saying from then on it is up to the locals what to do.

A strength of the project is that the team from abroad come with a spectrum of talents, from sustainable architecture, carbon accounting, energy potential mapping and efficient technologies

It is not about sacrifice but about changes in lifestyle and health and ranges from simple things to complex ones.

“It can be as simple as which route you take your kids to school,” the project leader said. “In the case of Cyprus, one thing we have to look at is the huge climate potential of the empty rooftops and what we can do with the abundant sun. It is not about rebuilding Nicosia but to see what can be done with existing technology.” Another local issue on the agenda is the urban heat effect created by air conditioning, which Martin for one says can be tackled.

Anybody who is interested in the project still has a chance to get involved.

‘Fun-Shop Drop in’, “friendly informal & fun, but with serious aims”, will take place on Monday and Tuesday, where residents can pass by to see what possible solutions have been developed so far.

Monday at the Unficyp community room of the Ledra Palace Hotel from 2pm until 2.45pm. Tuesday in the University of Nicosia’s architecture building in Engomi from 5pm until 5.45pm.

On Wednesday, the last day, the final presentation, the city vision for Nicosia, is shared in the atrium of the Centre for Visual Arts & Research (CVAR) from 6pm until 7.30pm. All are invited.

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