Connecting Nature Impact Summit Genk 2022

Event posted by Elena Ricci
Thursday, 28 April 2022 - 0:00 to Friday, 29 April 2022 - 0:00 (Europe/Brussels)



Access to nature in our cities has never been more important. City residents have turned to nature in huge numbers and being able to access nature locally is a vital resource. Nature and natural environments also offer many services and solutions from improving the health and well-being of citizens to addressing contemporary (urban) problems like flooding, temperature control, and tackling air pollution.    How do cities develop inclusive nature-based strategies, that provide multiple benefits for citizens, biodiversity and tackle climate change and importantly, how do you capture the evidence that supports investment in nature?    

From April 28 - 29, the Connecting Nature Impact Summit, Genk will bring together a wide range of local, regional and international participants to demonstrate how nature impacts our lives, socially, environmentally, economically and how nature-based solutions can provide a positive impact for urban environments and protect biodiversity.  

This hybrid event, and the final summit in the Connecting Nature Summit series will include both online and in person presentations, workshops, round table discussions, site visits, exhibitions and performances, all in a creative and festive atmosphere at Thor Park in Genk. 


The event programme is based on three main building blocks of the Connecting Nature Framework: 

  1. 'Thinking with nature' explores the larger scale policy, strategy, planning and theoretical implications under the umbrella theme of Nature Based Solutions. Discussions include the impact of Nature Based Solutions on different policy levels; on the impact on climate resilience; etc.
  2. 'Building with nature' focuses on translating ideas into action. It looks at the design and development process, from defining a project to the design and development process. The integrated approach needed because of the layered character of Nature Based Solutions has an impact on the organization of a cities administration.  
  3.  'Living with nature' is about the governance, communities and stewardship of nature and natural environments. It is about the impact of Nature Based Solutions on the neighbourhoods and citizens involved. It will particularly offer community leaders to look at the longer-term care and management. 





The ‘Connecting Nature Impact Summit, Genk’ wraps up five years of research and innovation from the H2020 funded Connecting Nature project, a 30+-partner project which resulted in the implementation of large scale Nature-based Solutions in 10 European cities and established a global capacity building programme “Urban by Nature”.  The summit will present innovative results and experiences that are transferable to policy makers, planners, designers, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities across the globe. We look forward to sharing the stage with other inspiring projects experiences.  


Genk, Flanders’ greenest city, is the host of the event, showcasing excellent examples of how ideas can be put into action. The city was once considered a centre for mining and manufacturing yet over the last decade radically evolved to renature industrial land and revive ecosystems. The Stiemervalley is a blue-green corridor that bisects the city. The area will be transformed into a vibrant, central park that prepares the city for climate change and improves the quality of life of the citizens.  

The summit will take place in Thor Central. This former HQ of the coalmine has been transformed into a state-of-the-art meeting and event venue at the gates of the one and only national park in the Flemish region and in the heart of Stiemervalley. 

And if you’d like to extend your stay in Genk, join our hosts Stad Genk for the Nature Festival in the city over the weekend 30 April-1st May.  A fun filled weekend exploring all the outdoor nature based experiences that Genk has to offer.  The Festival programme will be shared shortly 

Numbers will be limited at the in-person event, and on-line participation is recommended for international participants. 

Connecting Nature Impact Summit