This paper considers how design-driven methods can facilitate citizen engagement in urban ecosystem regeneration, focusing on wild bees. The research addresses the need for a better understanding of wild pollinators and tools aimed to 1) develop cities where humans and wild nature could coexist and 2) facilitate discussion with different stakeholders on public engagement within the following theme. An action research project, “BiodiverCities I”, is used as the method within this paper. The project provides design tools and educational methods to facilitate urban nature regeneration through citizen engagement. Two engagement activities were delivered during the project: 1) a survey on emotions related to wild bees and 2) a co-design session. Twenty participants from various fields and age groups were engaged. During the co-design session, participants used locally available materials to design wild bee nests and install them in the nearby area. The results show that the activities led to solid empathetic feelings towards the wild bee species, and practical knowledge about environmental regeneration based on requirements for the habitat of the wild bees, enabling citizens to create solutions to the pollinator decline problem. Co-design sessions guide the discussion about wild biodiversity in the cities and improve citizen engagement, while design tools such as visual memos or thematic questions can effectively guide citizens to their own decisions, foster self-incentive and facilitate a better understanding of interspecies. This paper contributes to the existing knowledge of how nature-centric design can facilitate the coexistence of humans and wild nature in cities.
Student, Master, Delft University of Technology, Noord-Holland, Netherlands Ruta Valusyte
Professor and Head of Design Centre, Mechanical Engineering and Design Faculty, Kaunas University of Technology, Kauno Apskritis, Lithuania
Biodiversity, Citizen engagement, Co-design, Nature-centric design, Temporary urbanism