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UPSURGE project plans begin to take shape

Date: 10 Mar 2023

Category: Climate and biodiversity


Belfast City Council has initiated the first stage in the development of a scientific and environmental demonstrator site in Lower Botanic Gardens.

This is following the successful award of funding from the Horizon 2020 EU ‘UPSURGE’ Project.

The project focuses on testing nature-based solutions in 5 demonstrator cities across Europe, with the aim of sharing learning and good practice on pollution alleviation, citizen health and climate resilience.

Chair of Belfast City Council’s Climate and City Resilience Committee Councillor Séanna Walsh said: “The UPSURGE project was co-designed by community and statutory stakeholders as part of three workshops and conversations that took place throughout 2022. Belfast City Council and Queen’s University are two local partners who are taking the project forward as part of the Horizon 2020 project.  

“The first phase of the project will see a research garden which will be used by QUB where soil enhancement, food production and digital testing can be undertaken. It is hoped the project which will also utilise bee monitoring which will lead to the stimulation of community resilience in relation to climate, community integration in the area with volunteers, residents and students learning together.”

The UPSURGE Project was co-designed with local stakeholders and will utilise land at Lower Botanic Gardens, close to Queen’s University Physical Education Centre.

Councillor Walsh continued: “The learning capabilities from this project are endless- the project team and partners can then share the knowledge across the city which will in turn create stronger climate resilient practice across Belfast.”

Professor Greg Keeffe from Queen’s University who is leading the co-design said: “Community design with a wide range of stakeholders is about creating a shared vision, one that does not compromise but builds consensus. Good design is not about giving people what they think they want, but delivering something magical, something that they never thought they could have.”

The project forms part of The Belfast Resilience Strategy which aims to transition the city to an inclusive, net-zero emissions, climate resilient economy in a generation.

For more information on climate action within Belfast visit, climate-change


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