The rehabilitation of water resources and ecosystems and the creation of urban vegetable gardens establish integrated ecosystem-based adaptation measures.
Southern European countries are being forced to design and implement adaptation measures in their territories, and the frequency of fast flooding and heat waves are projected to be amplified in the future, with reported higher emergency services demand and mortality, as well with fast flooding episodes with relevant economical losses. This reality has forced Almada to integrate ecosystem based adaptation in land use planning, focusing on multi-dimension ecosystem services provision to tackle different vulnerabilities, with a relevant number of benefits from win-win solutions. In this framework, green and blue multifunctional adaptation projects have been designed for microclimatic regulation, urban heat island effect mitigation, storm water flood control, nutrient recycling and groundwater supply, erosion control, local food production, social cohesion, recreation and education. Among these projects it is relevant to highlight the integrated approach developed through an ecosystem-based restoration of light blue-green infrastructures to regulate some watercourses. A water retention basin regulates the peak flow in the downstream, with high erosion risking areas. A set of four vegetable gardens are planned, targeting the mitigation of local heat island effect, flood control and infiltration promotion, stream line restoration, food security and the establishment of an ecological corridor. Cultivation will be developed by the community itself (targeting 360 families).
440 000 € (including 220 000 € of own funding by the Municipality). The urban farmers will pay an annual fee of 1,5 € for each m2 of cultivated/productive land. The projected annual revenue is 100 000 € in fees to cover the estimated annual cost of 35 000 € in water and general maintenance.
Evidence of success
All of the 64 projected urban farming spaces in the first vegetable garden built were attributed to families and residents in Almada, and there is certainly interest from more people, creating a “waiting list” of potential urban farmers. There are also other farming spaces planned for the future, given the interest of the population.
Potential for learning or transfer
This multi ecosystem-based adaptation approach has achieved global recognition due to its flexibility, efficacy and low implementation cost, bearing a high replication potential as adaptation measures at the local level.