Liège, Belgium
City population: 378156
Duration: 2009 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Industrial
Last updated: November 2021

The Center for Initiatives for an Ecological Transition (CITE ASBL) developed an eco-center; a center of demonstration of the techniques respectful of the environment, that functions as an educational community garden. They wanted to create an ecologically-managed and user-friendly green space, that is conducive to the exchange of knowledge and skills but also to mutual aid and dialogue (Ref. 1). Located on the meadow of the Bâneux, in the Saint-léonard district of Liège, the eco-center is integrated in the eastern part of the slopes of the citadel of Liège. (The plot of the eco-center is located on the vestiges of the old coal mine of Bâneux that was closed in 1942.) .Characteristics of the place include proximity to a multicultural urban center, post-industrial environment, accessible by public transport, natural area of tourist interest (Ref. 2).

CITE educational and community garden
Photograph provided by the \"La CITE s'invente asb\" on the 03/12/2018

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Institutional green space
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Community gardens
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable production

Focus

Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas, Knowledge creation and awareness raising

Project objectives

The mission of the CITE is awareness-raising related to environmental challenges and the promotion of environmentally-friendly alternatives. For this, they created a place of discovery, experimentation and reflection related to environmental challenges.

Implementation activities

The eco-centre offers different services to keep their activities ongoing. The center and its site, as well as the hillsides of the citadel, lend themselves to numerous visits to discover eco-construction, biodiversity, its history. They offer consultancy services, and based on the practical experience developed at the Ecocentre, they offer training about 4 themes: habitat, energy, biodiversity and food (Ref. 2). In terms of biodiversity, they have different installments: Three ponds, An aromatic spiral and fertilizers for wild plants; A hedge consisting of beech, hawthorn, sloe, Insect hotels; Natural and artificial refuges (dry stone walls, dead trees, ...), Hives, Wilderness areas (Ref. 2). In terms of energetic performance, when they renovated the buildings, in order to achieve a good energy performance of the building, special attention has been paid to insulation and air tightness (Ref. 2). "The plot of the ecocentre is located on the remains of the Bâneux coal mine" (Ref. 2). A footbridge was planned to link the Place Vivegnis to the pre-Bâneux, facilitating the link between this green area and the Saint-Léonard district (Ref. 2)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Create new habitats
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect valued species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Public engagement
  • Capacity building

Main beneficiaries

  • Non-government organisation/Civil Society
  • Citizens or community groups

Governance

Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The eco-center is built and managed by a non-profit organization (ASDL in french), la CITE. La CITE project was made possible by Wallonia's APE program for the maintenance of jobs - for the development of the ecocentre and its educational activities. They are currently involved in the project of the non-profit organization: the Minister of Employment, the Minister of Energy (DG04) and the Minister of Agriculture and Nature (DG03). APE = Aides à la Promotion de l’Emploi (APE) pour le Secteur non marchand et les Pouvoirs publics = Employment Promotion Aids (EPAs) for the Non-Profit Sector and Public Authorities (Ref. 3, 4, 5).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown (unkown)
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (APE projects are determined within the framework of the Marshall Plan which aims to strengthen the economic activity of Wallonia ("Priority measures for the economic redeployment of Wallonia (Ref. 3, 4, 5).)
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown (unkown)

Financing

Total cost

Unknown

Source(s) of funding

  • Public national budget
  • Public regional budget
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Enhanced support of pollination
  • Increased spread of native/heirloom/open-pollinated seed

Economic impacts

  • Increase of jobs
  • More sustainable tourism
  • Increase in agricultural production (for profit or not)

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape / infrastructure
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Unknown

Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records

References

CITE educational and community garden
Photograph provided by the \"La CITE s'invente asb\" on the 03/12/2018