WeDepave: Letting green spaces grow for urban tomorrow

In a resounding victory for sustainable urban development, Fanny Chavanne, a Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, MSc/MA Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) student, has been named the winner of the prestigious Veolia Ecological Transformation Trophies. Her end-of-studies work, “WeDepave – Design for depaving acceptance and adoption in urban environments,” secured the top position in the “Improving Quality of Life” category during a compelling pitch to a panel of Veolia experts on November 15. As a testament to her achievement, she was awarded a prize worth €2,200, acknowledging the value and potential impact of her work on urban environments.

The Ecological Transformation Trophies, hosted by Veolia, recognise initiatives that make significant contributions to environmental and ecological progress. Fanny stood out with her innovative project, WeDepave, which tackles climate change and enhances urban resilience through strategic depaving schemes. reducing flood risks, cooling down the air, and fostering biodiversity improving the health of the urban ecosystem as a whole.

WeDepave addresses the challenges hindering the widespread adoption of depaving, including the lack of understanding of its social, ecological, and economic impacts. The program empowers local councils with the tools and strategies needed to confidently initiate depaving projects. The collaboration with primary schools adds a unique dimension, turning pupils into citizen scientists and ambassadors for environmental conservation.

Fanny encapsulates the essence of WeDepave, stating, “Behind this project lies the question of transition and deconstruction design.” Her success underscores the pivotal role of design and innovation in not only conceiving solutions but also strategically implementing them for maximum impact.

As Fanny accepts the Veolia Ecological Transformation Trophy, she looks forward to advancing the implementation of WeDepave, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future for urban environments.