15 November 2022

IED Spain is involved as a partner in the UFIL Cuenca project in order to promote the rural development of Cuenca and generate local economic fabric

IED Spain has been one of the partners of the Urban Forest Innovation Lab (UFIL) that was born in 2019. The initiative's mission was to generate the local economic fabric and promote rural development by making sustainable use of natural forest resources.

The selected town was Cuenca, since it is the city with the largest forest area in the entire European Union. It has more than 55,000 hectares of well-preserved and well-managed forests

The project was led by the City Council of Cuenca and together with IED, different agents were involved, such as UCLM, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the Community Board of Castilla-La Mancha, FSC Spain, CEOE CEPYME Cuenca, the City Council of Cuenca Maderas S.A. and Khora Urban Thinkers. In addition, the Provincial Council of Cuenca, Globalcaja and its foundations (Globalcaja XXII Foundation and Globalcaja Cuenca Foundation), and Prodese also collaborated. 

Urban Forest Innovation Lab - UFIL was part of the framework of Urban Innovative Actions (UIA), 80 % financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of this organization was to provide urban areas across Europe with the resources to test new - and untried - solutions to address the current challenges of our society. 

A total of 80 students have been part of the different promotions and currently 18 companies are already operating as a result of this forestry bioeconomy and circular economy initiative. They highlight business opportunities, employment generation and rural development as well as the enormous potential of sustainable and innovative use of natural resources from our forests.

In addition, a design contest titled “Bosques de Cuenca” was organized for urban furniture, eco-design and packaging proposals, which was highly successful in terms of participation and quality of the proposals submitted.

As a result of the project, various articles and publications have been published, including the book Ecodiseño UFIL, coordinated by the IED Madrid team.

Find more information about this project here.  

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