The PERFECT project has had a successful second partner meeting hosted in Ljubljana. Over 40 partner staff and stakeholders attended across the eight partners, including managing authorities and policy makers, to learn about the benefits of investing in the natural environment based on its potential for jobs and growth. Inspiring examples were shared to highlight how important it is to plan for multi-functional green infrastructure to boost the socio-economic success of urban and rural areas across Europe.

Across three intense days, partners undertook the following activities:

Day 1

- Discussed the progress and achievements of the project so far and agreed on next steps and milestones towards creating their Action Plans and influencing their policy instruments

- Heard from the Lead Partner, the Town and Country Planning Association (UK), about progress in creating the MAGIC (Multi-Advantages of Green Infrastructure in Cities) database of good practices

- Presented good practices from all partners, and discussed how they could learn from these to convince policy makers of the importance of investing in green infrastructure. 

Day 2

- Heard an Expert Presentation by Ece Ozdemiroglu, founder of Eftec and member of the Adaptation Sub Committee of the UK Committee on Climate Change, about the opportunities to make the case for the economic benefits of green infrastructure

- Took part in a workshop with a planning game between partner staff and their stakeholders, to come up with creative ideas about how to retrofit green infrastructure for the socio-economic benefit of towns and cities

- Learnt from the City of Ljubljana about how they achieved the European Green Capital Award 2016, and the way that they created ownership and pride of their citizens for its green credentials

- Had a study tour of the green banks of the river Ljubljanica to see the work undertaken by the City of Ljubljana to improve the green spaces of the city

Day 3

- Learnt from the City of Amsterdam about how they foresee the project working to improve Structural Funds Operational Programmes

- Discussed the results of their SWOT analyses in targeted peer to peer groups, based on their matching strengths and opportunities that they can learn from one another about, and discussed how to achieve their self-defined performance indicators and create effective Action Plans

- Had a study tour of Smartinski park created by the City of Ljubljana with innovative elements to improve levels of activity including inclusive design for disabled people

- Visited improvements to the River Sava area, funded by Structural Funds, which have improved access through investing in pathways as well as recreational opportunities

A full learning report is being published shortly to explain the outcomes of the project and how it will influence the partners' action plans.