Project progress

Green Yerevan event insights

With this text, we want to summarize the results of the Green Yerevan event and express our gratitude to our colleagues who shared their research and practices.

The relevance of the event topic: 30% of Armenia's population is concentrated in Yerevan, and the city's population is continuously growing. Urban heat is a major concern, as confirmed by recent studies from CENS, WB, and UNDP.

Key factors affecting urban heat: The formation of temperature depends mostly on underlying surfaces. High density and lack of land use regulations in the city exacerbate the issue. It's important to take this under control, as changes in urban structures can alter the microclimate.

Yerevan, located in a hot climate, is currently experiencing abnormally high temperatures. One way to monitor thermal conditions is through airborne technologies that provide high-resolution thermal data. This technology, already tested by CENS, could be scaled up as a basis for spatial and greenery planning.

Evidence: The CENS study presented by Shushanik Asmaryan, based on satellite and airborne images, shows a correlation between decreased greenery and thermal discomfort. Satellite data could be used to predict further climate changes and mitigate them by greening city areas.

Satellite image analysis presented by Sarhat Petrosyan demonstrates a major loss in the areas of "Defanse," "Dalma Garden," and "Nork Forest." The loss of greenery occurs in areas with the highest average annual temperatures, highlighting the lack of understanding of microclimate aspects in spatial planning and the significant consequences of greenery loss due to major developments.

Colleagues from Poland and Germany highlighted the variety of nature-based solutions that can mitigate urban heat. The collection of proven practices could be adapted for the Yerevan context.

What needs to be done:

1. Scientific-based Greenery Methodology:

- Microclimate prediction models should be taken into account for spatial development plans.

- Comprehensive inventory and monitoring of existing green spaces and trees to plan replacements in advance.

- Proper tree species selection: choosing trees that absorb CO2 and create proper shade.

- Spatial data analytics and planning should consider census data distribution.

2. Public Green as City-wide Infrastructure:

- Continuous, connected, and properly financed.

3. New approach to greening:

- Including parking lots and plots.

- Active vertical greening.

- Narrowing streets for linear greening.

- Pocket parks.

Thank you to all the participants of the meeting, and we hope for continued collaboration and joint efforts in creating a green Yerevan.