The “EEA Grants and Norway Grants” represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 16 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not EU members but are members to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement. This type of EEA Grant will distribute € 4 million between projects aiming to find economically efficient and environmentally sustainable adaptation measures to climate change risks through a variety of measures. The minimum grant amount is € 1 million. Cities or city districts with more than 20,000 inhabitants and a municipal area of at least 300 hectares are eligible. Bratislava has successfully applied for funding for its project ‘Bratislava is preparing for climate change’ to finance climate change adaptation measures.
Adaptation measures address the creation of more green spaces and permeable surfaces in a number of different sub-projects throughout the city. For all of the sub-projects the city of Bratislava organized the process towards implementation (planning, negotiating with the funding organization, design). The sub-projects are partially still in progress and should be finalized in 2017. The sub-projects are:
- Rehabilitation of a square (Námestie hraničiarov) in the city district of Petržalka of the city of Bratislava. On a square of about 1 ha the pavement will be replaced by grass areas, trees, and flower beds. A water capturing and irrigation system ensures resilience to drought. The project is implemented by the city district of Petržalka, which is - with 100,000 inhabitants - one of the larger and most densely populated districts of Bratislava.
- A green roof of 1,000 square meters size on a care home for elderly people owned by the city of Bratislava. The main function is buffering the discharge of excess rainwater.
- On two important squares in the city centre – in the historic centre the main square and in the greater Old town the Námestie Slobody (which is bordered by buildings of the Slovak University of Technology and governmental office buildings) - trees have been planted to provide shade on hot days. This very visible result has been realized after very long negotiations with many departments in the city, overcoming arguments on the historic character of the squares, archaeological issues, etc. The project was implemented by the city.
- Two tree-lined avenues have been realized, providing cool corridors that connect important big roads in the old town. One consists of 15, the other of 45 large trees. The project was implemented by the city.
- In Svoradova street, in an area with previously no green public spaces, a ca. 1,000 square meters park will be realized. It will contain a variety of water retention measures (sustainable drainage systems and underground rain water storage tanks) implemented by the Old town district.
- Nové Mesto district was historically an industrialized area with food processing factories and chemical industry. Today the brownfields are being transformed into apartment houses. The former velodrome (about 3 ha) will be revitalized and transformed into a multifunctional leisure area and a new green space for the inhabitants (on a former chestnut plantation) will be created. The newly developed areas will contain various recreational elements for the inhabitants and their children, including playgrounds and visible water flows. The district of Nové Mesto will implement the sub-projects.
- In the Bratislava Forest Park - a 19th century designed landscape park – existing water reservoirs of one of the very few remaining streams flowing down from the Male Karpaty mountain range will be revitalized. These are important from the point of view of fire protection of the forests and surrounding areas, but they also support local biodiversity and can take-up excess rain water in times of heavy rainfall which would otherwise flow into the city.
The project ‘Bratislava is preparing for climate change’ also includes a small projects grant scheme for support of sustainable drainage systems. A total amount of € 50,000 will be made available for small projects up to maximum € 1,000 per project. Eligible applicants are private home owners, NGOs and businesses. The grant covers a maximum of 50% of total costs for the small project implementation. It is expected that these will be used for water reservoirs, rainwater gardens, small green roofs, adjustment of pavements, use of permeable materials, etc. The grant scheme comes with consultancy for applicants and dissemination activities. The applications are assessed by the steering committee of the project, consisting of the Office of the Chief Architect, Department of Strategies and Projects and Department of Environment.