News and Press Releases

14/02/2020

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and TITAN partner in the first Programme for the Utilization of Urban Vegetation for the mitigation of climate change in urban space, which rolls out in Thessaloniki

 

Thessaloniki, 14 February 2020

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and TITAN partner in the first Programme for the Utilization of Urban Vegetation for the mitigation of climate change in urban space, which rolls out in Thessaloniki

  • The action shall be realized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the context of the LIFE CliVUT project, with the active participation of TITAN's plant in Efkarpia, turning to account the science of phenology
  • The complex, situated in the Thessaloniki metropolitan area, is the first of its kind in Greece
  • The first Phenological Park shall be hosted at the facilities of TITAN's factory in Efkarpia (Thessaloniki), on a site of 2,500 square metres, where 100 trees and plants are to be planted
A pioneering and innovative action –the first of its kind in Greece– is being launched in Thessaloniki by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with the active participation of TITAN's plant in Efkarpia, aspiring to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, which is one of the biggest challenges for the natural and urban environment.
The Laboratory of Silviculture of the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the Greek partner in the scientific project Life CliVUT "Climate value of urban trees", which is funded by the EU and aspires to turn to account academic expertise and know-how for a better assessment of the significance of urban green spaces in the mitigation of climate change and the potential capture of CO2. Apart from Thessaloniki, three other Mediterranean cities have been selected in Italy and Portugal to participate as pilot regions in the project.
TITAN's Efkarpia plant participates in this action and hosts one of the model Phenological Parks under the programme, which turn to account the science of phenology for the systematic monitoring of the way in which plants react to environmental changes. The plant shall provide a site of 2,500 square metres within its facilities for 100 trees and plants selected in accordance with the project's protocol. Planting is to be completed in March 2020 and students participating in the programme shall be monitoring the development and growth of the plants until 2023, when the project is to be concluded.
 
Educational activities for students and teachers from schools in Efkarpia and in the broader Municipality of Thessaloniki are being planned in parallel.
 
TITAN's participation is in line with the initiatives and actions the Group undertakes to protect the environment and contribute towards addressing climate change.
 
Drawing on the launch of this partnership, Dr. Thekla K. Tsitsoni, Professor at the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment of the School of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who is the programme's scientific supervisor, said: "Driven by the European policies which are being developed, the LIFE CliVUT project provides for the involvement of individuals and businesses in its actions and advocates the concept of including private urban green spaces in the strategies for the adjustment of cities to climate change. Under the LIFE CliVUT programme, citizens are expected to participate both in the planning and in the implementation of strategies pertaining to climate change and the management of urban green spaces, with a view to mitigating this phenomenon. In recent years, phenology has been used to observe and study the effects of climate change, as there seems to be a shift in the initiation of biological events, as well as a change in their duration. One could thus say that every plant tells a story in the way that it grows. The LIFE CliVUT project encourages people to observe plants and find out the story they tell. By providing the site for the creation of the first of the three phenological gardens to be developed in the broader Municipality of Thessaloniki and participating in the project, TITAN multiplies the impact of this action and further links phenological observation with other programmes it has been carrying out."
                                                                                                                                                                       
Mr. Kostas Nikolaou, Manager of TITAN's Efkarpia plant in Thessaloniki, said: "Acknowledging that the impact of climate change is one of the biggest challenges for the global community, TITAN has been implementing a sustainable development strategy which invests in innovative technologies and synergies with tangible results. The programme that is announced today demonstrates our focus on sustainable development and reflects our commitment to a better future both for our people and for the communities in which we operate. We are delighted to be partnering with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in this effort and we take great pride in seeing an innovative action being launched in Efkarpia, which has been the heart of our operations in Thessaloniki over the last 60 years. By hosting in our facilities the first phenological garden in Greece, we wish to communicate the message that it is urgent and imperative for all of us to contribute to the efforts to address climate change and protect the environment, thus helping to bring about a thorough change in people's mentality."
 
Turning to account the climate value of urban trees
 
The roll-out of the programme in Greece, Italy and Portugal is expected to contribute to the development and pilot implementation of a strategy for the creation and management of urban green spaces, both public and private, with a view to maximizing their impact on the adjustment to climate change and on the development of an urban green space management outlook.
 
Moreover, the following goals shall be accomplished through the project:
  • Planting of 10,000 new trees and shrubs in the pilot regions
  • Replacement of 8,000 existing trees and shrubs with higher climate value species, in parallel with an effort to remove alien species from these regions
  • Reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at 168,000 tons per annum
  • Increase of carbon dioxide storage in trees, in the region of 42,000 tons
  • Increase in the absorption of particulate pollutants (PM10) by 8 tons
  • Reduction in energy consumption by 2000 MWh / per annum, through the shade provided by the trees to be planted
  • Increase by up to 10% of biodiversity indicators
  • Temperature reduction by 4-5° C at the new urban green spaces to be created
 
The following species are to be planted:

Trees

Shrubs

Acer campestre Field maple

Alnus glutinosa Black alder

Cercis siliquastrum Judas tree

Populus canescens Grey poplar

Prunus avium Wild cherry

Fraxinus angustifolia Narrow-leaved ash

Quercus ilex Holly oak

Quercus pubescens Pubescent oak

Sorbus domestica Service tree

Tilia cordata Small-leaved lime

Berberis vulgaris Common barberry

Cornus sanguinea Common dogwood

Corylus avellana Common hazel

Euonymus europaeus European spindle

Ligustrum vulgare Wild privet

Phillyrea latifolia Green olive tree

Punica granatum Pomegranate

Salix caprea Goat willow

Sambucus nigra Elder

Spartium junceum Spanish broom

 

The LIFE CliVUT project shall provide people with an opportunity to contribute towards a better understanding of climate change and shall also offer appropriate tutoring. Moreover, good practices shall be tried out and new tutoring methods shall be developed with a view to raising awareness among children and adolescents about ways to protect our planet from the impact of climate change with the aid of hands-on activities. A network of young explorers of everyday life shall thus be developed. The hands-on approach helps raise awareness among people of all ages and, moreover, allows scientists to expand the extent of their observations both in terms of space and in terms of time.

 

 

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