Challenge #15

How can we …

motivate citizens of Ghent to unpave their paved front yards and to make them greener?


City of Ghent – Environment and climate department

Our mission is to move our city to a sustainable and climate neutral city.

Involved SDG's

#11 – Sustainable cities & communities

#13 – Climate action

#15 – Life on land


  • Dutch
  • English

Problem description

Wet winters, extreme drought, heat waves, heavy thunderstorms in summer, … we can already feel the climate change, also in Ghent. It is noticeable as well since a heavy summer rain floods the streets and the sewage system cannot take it in anymore and on a hot summer day you have trouble to get the heath out of your house.

We can expect these situations to be omnipresent, and even more extreme, in the future and we should prepare ourselves to that. We can do this by introducing more green in the city and avoiding concrete and pavements in the city. But the city cannot do this by itself, it needs the support from its citizens that tackle their private grounds as well. There are a lot of hurdles to change the mindset of the citizens and the results are less direct and immediate than isolating or placing solar panels.

How can we stimulate the citizens to change their front-yards and private grounds?

Join this project

Do you want to work on a challenging project in one of the courses you follow? Let us know and we’ll bring you in contact with the contact person for this challenge. If other students are already working on it we’ll bring you in contact as well.

students are working on this challenge

What has been done already?

General sensitization around climate change and what you can do yourself (2 short videos available on the website)

Example projects of the city itself: reconstruction of streets with half-paved parking spots, more space for green elements, space for plants at the front door, …

Desk research based on the 7E model for behavioral change.

What are the next steps?

Test cases to analyze the citizen’s hurdles to change their behavior

Find sensitizing and activating tools

Expected outcome

A plan of action to continue with the project

Results of test cases