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Evaluating green roofs/walls
urban 
biodiversity

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WHO WE ARE

GRAVITY is a research project promoted by Instituto Superior Técnico and Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.

The project is funded by FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, project 10.54499/2022.02093.PTDC

(DOI https://doi.org/10.54499/2022.02093.PTDC).

OBJECTIVES

The growing urbanization requires that cities will have to increase their participation in natural ecosystems.

 

In GRAVITY’s project we will explore how green roofs and walls can support biodiversity and ecosystem health of urban centers, alongside climate goals.

STRATEGY

This project will map, monitor and model biodiversity of existing green roofs and walls at different scales, focusing on the solutions and also on their connectivity and synergies with other nature-base solutions in the city.

 

Biodiversity monitoring will be enhanced by using platform Biodiversity4all, maximizing the data collection and contributing to environmental awareness of the citizens.

PUBLICATIONS AND EVENTS

Recent Publications

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Next / Recent Events

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Encontro UniversiCidades 2024

On the 11th of April, team member Diogo Oliveira participated in Encontro UniverCidades 2024: Ideias para Lisboa, held at Centro de Informação Urbana de Lisboa (CIUL). This event represents the collaboration between CIUL and Academia, and was an opportunity to share Diogo's work, titled "Avaliação da contribuição de coberturas verdes para a biodiversidade das cidades com o apoio da ciência
cidadã" ("Evaluation of the contribution of green roofs to the biodiversity of cities with the help of citizen science"), presenting green roofs as a solution for the sustainable development of the city of Lisbon.

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ECSA 2024

From April 3rd to April 6th, our teams members had the priviledge of participating in the 5th European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference, in Vienna, Austria.

The project was highlighted through two different presentations: one scientific poster, "Utilizing Citizen Science to Assess the Impact of Green Roofs and Walls on Urban Biodiversity", and an oral presentation, "The Role of Bioblitzes in Citizen Science: Insights from Participants and Experts".

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EXPOJARDIM 2024

On March 21st, Project PI showcased the GRAVITY project at EXPOJARDIM 2024, held at FIL- Feira Internacional de Lisboa. The presentation highlighted the concept of green roofs and walls, elucidating visitors on their substantial contributions to urban sustainability.

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5.ª Conferência de Professores Aprender Fora da Sala de Aula

On March 15th and 16th, 2024, our team participated in the "5.ª Conferência de Professores Aprender Fora da Sala de Aula", promoted by Academia Ciência Viva Para Professores. During the lectures we showcased our project and discussed eco-friendly urban solutions and their impact on biodiversity, focusing on the case study of Lisbon

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Sampling at Fábrica de Água de Alcântara

On February 6th, the team concluded the winter season sampling with a visit to Fábrica de Água de Alcântara. The positive and collaborative atmosphere established during this visit has been encouraging, and the investigators look forward to building on this partnership as we continue our work into the spring season. The completion of the winter sampling marks a significant milestone, and the team is eager to delve deeper into the research objectives with renewed enthusiasm in the upcoming months.

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Sampling at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

On January 31st, our team conducted a sampling expedition on the green roofs of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, at both ground level and on the elevated green areas. The efficient cooperation from the staff was appreciated, fostering an environment conducive to our scientific pursuits. Engaging in our sampling activities amidst the unique green oasis in the heart of Lisbon, we aimed to integrate this distinct urban environment into our project. Now the team eagerly anticipates the return in the spring to repeat the sampling efforts!

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Appearance on Portugal em Direto

On the 31st of January, the Principal Investigator (PI) of our team, Cristina Matos Silva, took center stage on "Portugal em Direto, on RTP. During this televised appearance, the PI delved into a detailed discussion about the project's overarching objectives, its scientific significance, and most importantly, how citizens can actively participate in the data gathering process. A key focus of the conversation was the utilization of the BioDiversity4All app, which was highlighted as a user-friendly tool empowering citizens to contribute valuable data and engage directly with our project.

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Appearance on Jornal Público

On the 23rd of January, our team made an appearance in a feature article by Jornal Público, following an insightful interview with one of their reporters, who joined us on a visit to some sampling sites in Parque das Nações, providing a hands-on experience of our data collection processes. The resulting article not only showcased our team's dedication and innovation but also contributed to a wider dissemination of our project's mission and potential societal impact, garnering increased awareness and support from the community and stakeholders alike. This coverage was not only an acknowledgment of our ongoing project but also a chance to offer the public an inside look at our work

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4º Encontro Nacional de Ciência Cidadã (ENCC2023)

On the 27th of November, Ana Leal and Patrícia Tiago presented the project at the 4º Encontro Nacional de Ciência Cidadã (ENCC2023) in Coimbra, Portugal. The presentation was titled "O uso da Ciência Cidadã para avaliar o potencial das coberturas verdes para a biodiversidade das cidades" ("The use of Citizen Science to evaluate the potential of green roofs for the biodiversity of cities").

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Madeira Innovation Talks - Madeira, Portugal

On November 3rd, the "Madeira Innovation Talks" event took place on the island of Madeira, organized by the Order of Engineers. At the invitation of the organizing committee, the Project Coordinator, Cristina Matos Silva, was in attendance and delivered a presentation entitled: "The Need to Incorporate Nature into the Surroundings of Buildings." The lecture aimed to address crucial questions, including: Why do we need green roofs and facades in cities? Where should we install them and how? How should they be constructed? How do they contribute to more sustainable and resilient cities? How do they help combat climate change? And how do they contribute to the necessary circular economy?

 

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X National congress of cartography and geodesy - Guarda, Portugal

On November 2nd and 3rd, the tenth edition of the National Congress of Cartography and Geodesy took place at the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda. The GRAVITY project was represented with an oral presentation led by Joana Pernes, the theme of which was: The use of Sentinel-2 images in green cover mapping and monitoring: The Case Study of Lisbon.
 

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International Green Roof Conference - Maia, Portugal

On October 26th, the GRAVITY project coordinator, Cristina Matos Silva, delivered an oral presentation at the International Green Roof Conference in Maia. The presentation was titled "Contribution of Green Roofs and Facades to Biodiversity."

BIOBLITZS - 16th and 17th September

On the 16th and 17th of September, the GRAVITY team hosted a remarkable series of BioBlitzs events in Lisbon, Portugal. These BioBlitzes, specifically conducted on green roofs, took place in two distinct areas: the first day's event unfolded within the surroundings of ''Parque das Nações,'' and the following day's focus shifted to the vibrant locales of ''Benfica/Telheiras.'' BioBlitzes are events designed to promote citizen science, and participants were enthusiastic about documenting the rich biodiversity of these urban landscapes, with a particular emphasis on birds, insects, and plants thriving on these green roofs. The data collected during these BioBlitzes was promptly shared on the 'biodiversity4all' platform, contributing valuable information to the broader scientific community. These events served as a powerful platform for encouraging active participation and environmental stewardship among the local community, fostering a deeper connection between people and their natural surroundings while advancing our understanding of biodiversity within urban green roofs. Moreover, these events were mentioned in the website of the ''Ecology Day'' as a part of the celebrations of this special day promoted by the Portuguese Society of Ecology.
 

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Frontiers in E3: cE3c Annual Meeting

On the 8th of September, Patrícia Tiago and Ana Leal presented the project at Frontiers in E3: cE3c Annual Meeting in the National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon, Portugal. The presentation was titled "Evaluating the contribution of Green roofs/walls for cities' biodiversity with the support of citizen science"

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''ON SITE'' MEETING

On the 25th of July occurred an on-site meeting of GRAVITY's project. During this gathering, team members came together to brainstorm ideas, chart the course of action, and discuss upcoming events. Notably, the research efforts of each team member were prominently highlighted, underlining the collective dedication and expertise that will drive the project's success.

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World Infrastructure Congress - Berlim, Germany

During the World Infrastructure Congress held in Berlin from June 27 to 29, 2023, the coordinator of the GRAVITY Project, Cristina Matos Silva, made a significant presence. At the congress, GRAVITY was showcased through a captivating roll-up flyer, highlighting the project's innovative approach to green infrastructure and urban biodiversity. Moreover, a notable lecture titled "Green walls for grey water treatment: contributions to the circular economy" was delivered by Ana Galvão and Cristina Matos Silva herself, emphasizing the project's contributions to sustainable water management. As stated by the congress organisation: ''With almost 1,100 participants on site and on the screens the World Infrastructure Congress was the world's largest congress on green roofs, green facades and interior greening to date!''.

For more detailed information about the congress, please visit the following website: World Green Infrastructure Congress 2023.

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Workshop for Gulbenkian's Colaborators 

On the 19th of June, Patricia Tiago and Ana Leal, members of the GRAVITY team, organized a highly informative workshop for the collaborators of Gulbenkian. This engaging event provided an opportunity for the participants to delve into the key concepts and practical applications of urban biodiversity and green infrastructure. 

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Bioblitz for Gulbenkian's Colaborators 

On the 29th of May, Patrícia Tiago and Ana Leal, members of the GRAVITY team, organized a captivating Bioblitz event for the collaborators of Gulbenkian. This exciting initiative brought together participants to explore and document the biodiversity within the Gulbenkian premises.

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GRAVITY at the primary school ''Vasco da Gama''

On the 25th of May, the coordinator of the GRAVITY project had the honor of delivering a lecture at the primary school "Vasco da Gama". The purpose of this engaging presentation was to introduce the project and encourage children and families to actively participate in citizen science.

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Biodiversity day at ETAR de Alcântara

The GRAVITY team recently conducted a field trip to the ETAR de Alcantara, a green roof, on a special day - The Biodiversity Day (22nd of May). The team collected valuable data to map and monitor the biodiversity present in this urban green space. 

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Contribuição de Coberturas e Fachadas verdes para  a Biodiversidade da Cidade de Lisboa at Tektónica - Lisboa, Portugal

On May 5th, Professor Cristina Matos, coordinator of the Gravity project, presented a talk titled "Contribution of Green Roofs and Walls to Biodiversity in Lisbon City". The talk explored how green roofs can be used to create more resilient cities with greater biodiversity, making this event an unique opportunity to learn about the role of green roofs in creating more sustainable and resilient cities.

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Bioblitz at Gulbenkian

On the 22nd of April occurred the Bioblitz at the gardens of Gulbenkian. This event, also known as the Biodiversity Marathon, is an activity in which the goal is to identify as many living organisms as possible in a certain area within a specific period of time. As an important location for the passage and residence of many species, the Gulbenkian Garden is well suited for this type of activity, which makes any participant an active element in the process of monitoring species.

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''Jornadas de Engenharia do Ambiente do Instituto Superior de Agronomia de Lisboa''

In March 2023, at the "Jornadas de Engenharia do Ambiente do Instituto Superior de Agronomia de Lisboa", researcher Patrícia Tiago presented on the topic of citizen science and BioDiversity4All as a national biodiversity observatory. During the presentation, she focused on the Gravity project and its significance in comprehending the contribution of green roofs and walls to urban biodiversity conservation as one of the members of the project.

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LAUNCHING WORKSHOP

On the 16th of March occurred the launching workshop at CIUL. In this workshop lectures about ''how and why to increase knowledge about the contribution of green roofs/facades to the biodiversity of cities'', ''how to identify green roofs in the city'' and ''how to use citizen science and the BioDiversity4All platform for species registration'' were given.

KICKOFF MEETING

On the 2nd of March occurred the kickoff meeting of the GRAVITY project. Ideas, course of action along with next events were debated. All the members of the team were excited to start working on GRAVITY and looking forward to the following steps of the project. 

Website users:

Communications in International Conferences:

Oral presentation: Galvão A. and Silva, C.M, ‘’Green walls for grey water treatment: contributions to the circular economy’’, World Infrastructure Congress 2023, 27th -29th of June, Berlim, Germany.

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M, ''Contribution of Green Roofs and Facades to Biodiversity'' (Contribuição das coberturas e fachadas verdes para a biodiversidade), International Green Roof Conference in Maia 2023, 26th of October, Maia, Portugal.

Oral presentation: Tiago, P., Evaristo, I., Pinto, B., "The Role of Bioblitzes in Citizen Science: Insights from Participants and Experts", ECSA 2024 Conference, 3rd-6th of April 2024, Vienna, Austria. ​

 

Posters in International Conferences:

Scientific Poster: Silva, C.M., 2023. Green Roofs and Walls Biodiversity: GRAVITY project. World Infrastructure Congress 2023, 27th -29th of June, Berlim, Germany.

Scientific Poster: Tiago, P., Leal, A., Silva, C.M., "Utilizing Citizen Science to Assess the Impact of Green Roofs and Walls on Urban Biodiversity", ECSA 2024 Conference,  3rd-6th of April 2024, Vienna, Austria.

 

International workshops (by invitation):

Oral presentation: Tiago, P., Leal., A.I. & Silva, C.M., “Evaluating the Contribution of green roofs/walls for cities’ biodiversity with the support of citizen science”, Frontiers in E3 – 9th cE3c Annual Meeting, 8 th  of September, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Communications in National Conferences:

Oral presentation: Pernes, J., ‘’The use of Sentinel-2 images in mapping and monitoring green roofs: The Lisbon case study’’ (O uso de imagens Sentinel-2 no mapeamento e monitorização de coberturas verdes: O caso de Estudo de Lisboa’’), X CNCG - Conferência Nacional de Cartografia e Geodesia, 2nd and 3rd of November, Guarda, Portugal. 

Oral presentation: Leal, A., Tiago, P., "The use of Citizen Science to evaluate the potential of green roofs to the biodiversity of cities" ("O uso da Ciência Cidadã para avaliar o potencial das coberturas verdes para a biodiversidade das cidades") - 4º Encontro Nacional de Ciência Cidadã (ENCC2023), 27th of November, Coimbra, Portugal.

Accepted: Tiago, P., Leal, A., Falcão, A.P., Sousa, V., Rei, M., Padinha, V., Pernes, J., Oliveira, D., Silva, C.M., "Evaluating the Contribution of Green Roofs/Walls for cities' Biodiversity with the support of Citizen Science", NBS Summit, 23rd-24th of May, Porto, Portugal.

Accepted: Rei, M., Leal, A., Tiago, P., Silva, C.M., "Contributo das Coberturas Verdes para a Biodiversidade de Lisboa", 5º Congresso Luso-Brasileiro de Materiais de Construção Sustentáveis, 6-8 of November 2024, Lisbon, Portugal.

Accepted: Padinha, V., Tiago, P., Leal., A., Silva, C.M., "O Papel dos Cidadãos no Conhecimento da Biodiversidade: o Caso de Estudo das Coberturas Verdes na Cidade de Lisboa", 5º Congresso Luso-Brasileiro de Materiais de Construção Sustentáveis, 6th-8th of November 2024, Lisbon, Portugal.

National workshops (by invitation):

Oral presentation: Tiago, P. ‘’Citizen science and BioDiversity4All as a national biodiversity observatory’’, Jornadas de Engenharia do Ambiente do Instituto Superior de Agronomia de Lisboa, 27 th of March 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M., ‘’Contribution of Green Roofs and Walls to Biodiversity in Lisbon City’’, (Contribuição das coberturas e paredes verdes para a biodiversidade da cidade de Lisboa), Tektónica, 5th of May 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M., ‘’The Need to Incorporate Nature into the Surroundings of Buildings’’, (A necessidade de incluir a natureza na envolvente dos edifícios), Madit, 3rd of November 2023, Funchal, Portugal.

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M., "Contribution of Green Roofs to the Biodiversity of the City" ("Contribuição de Coberturas Verdes para a Biodiversidade da Cidade"), 5ª Conferência de Professores Aprender Fora da Sala de Aula, 15th of March 2024, Lisbon, Portugal.

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M., "Contribution of Green Roofs ans Walls to the Biodiversity of the City of Lisbon" ("Contribuição de Coberturas e Fachadas Verdes para a Biodiversidade da Cidade de Lisbon"), EXPOJARDIM 2024, 21st of March 2024, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Other presentations:

Oral presentation: Silva, C.M., ‘’GRAVITY and citizen science’’ (‘’O projeto GRAVITY e o uso de ciência cidadã’’), Primary school Vasco da Gama, 25th of May 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Oral presentation: Tiago, P., Leal, A., ‘’Workshop for Gulbenkian’s Colaborators’’, Gulbenkian, 29 th  of May 2023 and 19th of June 2023, Lisbon, Portugal. 

Oral presentation: Tiago, P., Leal, A., "Evaluating the contributos of Green roofs/walls for cities' biodiversity with the support of citizen science", Frontiers in E3: cE3c Annual Meeting on the 8th of September, in the National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon, Portugal.

Reports:

Scientific Report: CERIS DTC 01/2024. Oliveira, D., Silva, C.M., Tiago, P., "Avaliação da Contribuição de Coberturas Verdes para a Biodiversidade das Cidades com o apoio da Ciência Cidadã", February, 2024.

Scientific Report: CERIS DTC 02/2024. Pernes. J., Flor, A.P.F., Miranda, V.; Silva, M.C.M., "Desenvolvimento de uma metodologia de monitorização das coberturas verdes baseada em imagens de Satélite", April, 2024 

Workshops Organization:

‘’Green Roofs and wAlls biodiversity’’ (A Biodiversidade de Coberturas e Fachadas Verdes)– 1st Workshop of GRAVITYs project, 16th of March 2023, CIUL – Centro de Informação Urbana de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Bioblitzes:


1. Bioblitz, gardens of Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, 22nd of April 2023, with the participation of citizens.

2. Bioblitz, gardens of Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, 29th of May 2023, with the participation of workers of Gulbenkian.

3. Bioblitz, gardens of Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, 19th of June 2023, with the participation of workers of Gulbenkian

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4. BioBlitz, Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal, 16th of September 2023, with the participation of citizens.

5. BioBlitz, Telheiras and Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal, 17th of September 2023, with the participation of citizens.

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