As part of the NATURVATION project, Utrecht has been examining nature-based solutions projects in the city. The Roerplein Pocket Park is one of our best examples of a successful citizen-led intervention, and began as an initiative by a local social entrepreneur to turn a paved public square into a park. The small park was built within a highly paved neighborhood with little green space, and is managed by local citizens with the support of the municipality.
In an effort to support local urban green space interventions, the city of Utrecht developed the Neighborhood Green Plan project, providing funding and support for such projects. The Plan was successful in other neighbourhoods, as well, and each of the 10 funded neighborhoods in Utrecht developed at least 10 initiatives based on resident proposals.
This project created a bridge between the municipality and a neighborhood that is often distrusting of local government. This has led to increased social cohesion and citizen engagement in Utrecht.