Storytelling Workshop: Exploring and sharing ways towards citizen-led energy transitions

Storytelling Workshop: Exploring and sharing ways towards citizen-led energy transitions

October 23, 2019

From the 23-25 October 2019, ISOCARP Institute was in Limerick (Republic of Ireland), participating in the second Consortium Meeting of the Horizon2020 Smart City project, +CityxChange.

We are a proud partner in this project, providing our expertise in areas which range from dissemination and communication, to helping our Follower Cities reach their 2050 goals on transiting to more sustainable urban ecosystems that have zero emissions and establish a 100% renewable energy city-region.

After the first year, we took advantage of this face-to-face partner interaction to dive into key challenges which came up during the project implementation so far and develop joint outcomes which help us to move from the development phase to the deployment phase for the second year of +CityxChange.

ISOCARP Institute, represented by Tjark Gall, facilitated two workshops during the first day of the meeting, namely the Glossary workshop and the Storytelling Workshop – Exploring and sharing ways towards citizen-led energy transitions.

The Glossary workshop aimed at developing a common understanding and definitions of central project terms, discussing contested definitions, aligning different usage of terms across project and laying foundation for citizen-friendly definitions and visual descriptions.

As the second workshop, we organised a storytelling workshop with the objective to exchange knowledge and best practices internally and externally on how to involve citizen effectively. The workshop was facilitated by Limerick County and City Council and ISOCARP Institute and took place in the Fab Lab Limerick – a collaborative space to engage, produce, and co-create.

The workshop was attended by 31 project representatives, three international speakers (online) as well as local residents from the demonstration areas of Limerick. The workshop aimed at way of creating a better understanding of the experiences, challenges, failures and successes of similar projects in engaging citizens as well as fostering interactive and progressive exchanges between external participants and the +CityxChange team. As overarching problem statements, three key questions were formulated:

  1. What techniques/tools/approaches are effective to inform citizens about energy-related concepts, projects, and necessary technical/financial details?
  2. How can effective collaboration between a representative group of the society and projects/cities be achieved? Which methods work; which do not? How to reach those normally not involved?
  3. How do behavioural changes evolve? What does it take to reach a community-driven process in which citizens take the leading role and become proactive prosumers?

With this starting point, the first part of the workshop was dedicated to learning from other projects and individuals working on similar challenges. Muriël Pels, advisor for international cooperation and EU funding affairs (H2020) at Municipality Utrecht and project partner of +CityxChange’s sister project IRIS presented the approach, challenges and successes in generating support from the residents in IRIS’ demonstration area in Utrecht. Ariane Lelieveld, one of the initiators of Blijstroom in Rotterdam, presented the motivation, and ups and downs of the solely community-run project in Rotterdam. Lastly, John W. Lee, the community representative of Tallaght, a community outside of Dublin, shared his story how to collectively transform their community into a more sustainable and energy-neutral one.

Afterwards, the external speakers discussed the three questions with smaller groups, accompanied by a collaborative brainstorming on best practices, learned lessons, and promising approaches. A compilation of the results and more detailed overview will be published on our +CityxChange project website soon. If you have questions or comments, please contact us.

Pre Congress Training Jakarta

Report on Global Professional Planning, Jakarta

Pre-Congress Capacity Building Programme:
Global Professional Planning

REPORT | September 7-8, 2019

The Podomoro University in Jakarta with a local support of CITIESLAB and the Indonesian Association of Urban and Regional Planners (IAP) hosted the first training programme organised by the ISOCARP Institute Academy. This newly-formed branch of the Institute is dedicated to offering international capacity building trainings and planning education for the management of cities relying on expertise of ISOCARP members.
The faculty composed of Jens Aerts, Ali A. Alraouf, Bernardus Djonoputro, Pedro B. Ortiz and Dhiru A. Thadani during the two-day programme tackled the topic of Global Professional Planning focusing on global best-practices to address current issues such as: urban growth, the management of metropolitan megalopolises, the contested role of human dimension in urban development, and local responses to global challenges. The workshop aimed at providing knowledge, instruments and tools to address the mentioned global urban problems, as well as offering the participants access to knowledge resources and shared practices to develop expertise and, thus, become specialists in particular areas of urban planning.

The training sessions were interactive and the response from local professionals was more than encouraging.  As a consequence, the Institute is motivated to organise capacity building programmes at future Congresses, as well as quarterly sessions at the international level in the future.

Day 1

The first session was delivered by Pedro B. Ortiz, Senior Consultant & Senior Fellow at NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, who provided an overview of urban regional and metropolitan planning. He focused on the emergence and importance of the conglomeration of cities at the metropolitan dimension in the last decades that has led to a necessary shift in the planning paradigm to address the metropolitan scale. Furthermore, he presented the main features and components which structure the metropolis of the 21st century, highlighting the main challenges in terms of governance, expansion and finance, as well as reflecting on the principles and actions of an effective metropolitan management.

Moving to the Indonesian context, Bernardus Djonoputro, the President of Indonesian Association of Urban and Regional Planners, presented the Indonesia Most Livable City Index (MLCI), as result of a research to measure the state of liveability in Indonesian cities. Despite the strong diversity characterising the country, the study revealed how in general the largest Indonesian cities are still perceived as less liveable. The research was also the opportunity to present and discuss some challenges in the management of Indonesian cities, such as investing and financing gaps, the empowerment of local governments and the introduction of private public partnership.

The concluding lecture of the day was given by Dhiru A. Thadani, AIA, APA, FCNU, ISOCARP, on the topic of sustainable New Urbanism. The focus was on the centrality of the human dimension and public realm in cities. He illustrated examples of techniques and principles of New Urbanism, a human-scale urban design approach, where walkable blocks and streets, mixed land uses, proximity and accessible public spaces represent an alternative and sustainable model to the ‘placelessness’ of contemporary suburbia.

Day 2

The next day, Professor Ali A. Alraouf, Head of Research and Development at the Department of Urban Planning at Hamad Bin Kalifa University, Qatar delivered a lecture on urban waterfronts, presenting innovative case studies and suggesting different planning and urban design approaches. Specifically, he remarked the importance of shifting from the perception of waterfronts as edgy and pure visual landscape towards vibrant, resilient and inclusive urban spaces, where the dialogue between the city and the water is solidly reaffirmed.

The last presentation was delivered by Jens Aerts, the UNICEF Urban Planning Specialist, who also led an interactive workshop on child-responsive urban planning. The workshop aimed at providing knowledge and tools to put children in the centre of planning practice, highlighting how children-friendly cities are also healthier, safer and more sustainable. Nevertheless, it was also highlighted how planning for children still remains difficult to mainstream into the planning practice, and how further capacity building is required in order to design participatory processes with children.

The concluding session was organised as an interactive question and answer activity, were participants and instructors jointly discussed concerns and possible solutions to global planning challenges in light of impeding climate change. Judging from the positive response, the ISOCARP Institute Academy assesses that the first training in Jakarta was a success and we will certainly continue with this practice in future.