UTC NBS and Green Public Spaces for Health and Resilience

Urban Thinkers Campus ‘Nature-based Solutions and Green Public Spaces for Health and Resilience’

Urban Thinkers Campus “Nature-based Solutions and Green Public Spaces for Health and Resilience”

October 7, 2020

Join us on Wednesday, 14th of October at 12 UTC (14.00 CEST) at the Urban Thinkers Campus “Nature-based Solutions and Green Public Spaces for Health and Resilience”. The event is organised by ISOCARP Institute, in collaboration with the ISOCARP Community of Practice on Urban Health (CoPUH) and the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH), as a first activity within their new collaboration partnership.

This UTC session will bring together international experts and thought leaders providing an overview over public spaces, nature-based solutions and their potential for urban health and in the current Covid-19 crisis. In particular, the session will highlight the strong interrelations between health and urban environment, and it will give voice to some organisations wand cities who are actively participating in innovative resilience and health strategies.

The session will last for 120 min and it will be as much as possible interactive and inclusive. After an inspiring keynote speech, there will be a panel discussion with other international experts and questions from the audience. Participants are welcomed to raise their voice and contribute to the discussion. 

The event will take place online on Zoom. Registration is free but required.

Speakers

Keynote Speaker
Mark Nieuwenhuijsen – ISGlobal Barcelona Institute for Global Health

Topic: Green public spaces as pathway for healthy living

 

Laura Petrella – Un-Habitat

Topic: Nature-based Solutions

 

Cecilia Vaca Jones – Bernard van Leer Foundation

Topic: Urban 95, Urban Health, Urban resilience

Thiago Hérick de Sá – World Health Organization (WHO)

Topic: Presentation Sourcebook “Integrating Health in Urban and Territorial Planning”

Uta Christine Dietrich – ThinkCity

Topic: Green Public Spaces: A Tonic for Health, Justice & Resilience

 

Nathan Iyer – IYER – Planning, Urban Design & Architecture

Topic: “Big to small – Public Spaces as essential infrastructure”

 

Nabi Agzamov – STRELKA KB

Topic: Landscape as Healthcare infrastructure

Programme 

  • Introduction ad presentation speakers | 10 min.
  • Keynote speaker presentation | 20 min.
  • Q&A with audience | 10 min.
  • Panel discussion with Guest Experts | 40 min.
  • Q&A with audience | 20 min.
  • Closing | 10 min.
 
Moderators
  • Jo Ivey Boufford – International Society for Urban Health (ISUH)
  • Jens Aerts – Bureau of Urbanism
  • Elisabeth Belpaire – ISOCARP Community of Practice on Urban Health
  • Federico Aili – ISOCARP Institute
 
 
 
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or proposals for upcoming sessions
 

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Saratov’s city centre, Open International Competition

Saratov’s city centre, Open International Competition 

July 24, 2020

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In Saratov, a Russian city on the Volga River, an International Competition for the Best Integrated Spatial Development Concepts for the Development of the City Centre has been launched. ISOCARP Institute will support the review of the results for the Open International Competition. Teams from all around the world are invited to participate in the competition. Architects and urban planners are faced with the task of developing architectural and urban planning concepts for integrated development—documents that define the primary planning, landscape and transport solutions for a construction or development project. 

‘The competition’s goal is to choose a concept that can offer options for the use of this territory while accounting for the necessary environmental rehabilitation of green spaces and allowing for the creation of an exemplary residential district on the territory of the former airport’ – said Denis Leontiev, CEO of Strelka KB.

The competition will take place in three stages. In the first stage, a jury of experts will review all of the applications submitted and choose five competition participants. As part of the second stage, each of them has to develop an architectural and urban planning concept of integrated spatial development based on the technical brief that they will receive. Based on the results of this stage, the jury will choose two finalists. During the third stage, an exhibit of the finalists’ work will be organised along with a popular vote that will ultimately help determine the winner of the competition. The winner will be chosen by the Government of the Saratov Region, based on the jury’s recommendations and the popular vote. The winner will be announced in Spring 2021. 

The jury was  composed of Russian and international experts. Among them was Didier Vancutsem, director of ISOCARP INSTITUTE; Adriaan Gueze, co-founder of West 8 and founder of the Surrealistic Landscape Architecture (SLA) foundation; Ingo Kanehl, managing director of ASTOC GmbH & Co. KG и ASTOC International GmbH; Nikolai Shumakov, president of the Union of Architects of Russia; Igor Sorokin, scholar of local lore and member of the Association of Art Historians(AAH LLC); and other specialists in the architecture and urban planning fields. The full list of jury members can be found on the competition website.

To read the full press release, click here. 

Click here for the introductory video.

 

‘Planning Disrupted’ 2, webinar results and presentations

‘Planning Disrupted’ 2, webinar results and presentations  

August 30, 2020

On Wednesday, the 19th of August 2020, ISOCARP Institute in cooperation with: ISOCARP – International Society of City and Regional Planners , eThekwini Municipality, SACN – South African Cities Network, SALGA – South African Local Governments Association, SAPI – South African Planning Institute, MILE – Municipal Institute of Learning eThekwini  Municipality, SACPLAN –  South African Council for Planners, held the second ‘Planning Disrupted’ webinar. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response to our first webinar, our next offering in the “Planning Disrupted” series was Planning With People. This time we took a deep dive into what planning with people means. The webinar engaged with approaches and Covid19-induced opportunities for a local and international planning context. 

The webinar started with a kick-off presentation from ISOCARP and SACN. ISOCARP presented the results of the “Planning Beyond Limits – Building Livable Communities” ISOCARP YPP project in Jakarta and Bogor, Indonesia. While SACN launched the Practitioner Profile Magazine. The Magazine profiles the human behind the planner and is a good reminder that planners are people too, especially when we talk about “planning with people”. 

After the welcoming words and the kick-off presentation the webinar moved on to the four Breakout Sessions, which offered an interactive, broad and moderated discussion on the following topics:

1. Voices in Planning: The Bright Side of Planning Disruption – moderated by SACN, eThekwini Municipality

This session looked at the opportunities inherent in Covid19 and beyond to bring creativity, trust-building and meaningful partnerships into planning with people. A celebration of the diversity of views and voices and a willingness to embrace unheard and challenging perspectives through creative methodologies and confidence in process and deep listening. 

2. Community-oriented Plans: Methods and Approaches for Successful Implementation – moderated by ISOCARP

Community oriented plans (COP) aim (in general) to adapt the theoretical urban planning knowledge and standard planning practice to be more responsive to local people’s needs. Participatory planning is just one of the methods to implement COP, and in this session we discussed how communities can plan for their future as part of an integrated planning process for an area, and what tools and methods they may have at their disposal.

Click here to view the recording for Breakout Session 2!

3. Establishing Community Partnerships: A Challenge for Planning Practitioners – moderated by SAPI

We know that coordinated partnerships can help improve urban planning by addressing different urban challenges from every angle. Identifying formal (and informal) stakeholders may seem like a logical first step, but engaging them to become active and collaborative partners is much more complicated. The Breakout session focused on discussing the challenges and strategies for fostering successful partnerships between planners and the community. 

Click here to view the recording for Breakout Session 3!

4. Building Municipal Identity using Municipal Assets – A KZN Perspective – presented by SALGA – KZN and Maphumulo Local Municipality

How can municipalities use their natural, social, cultural, economic and other assets to build and market their municipal identity ensuring municipal spaces are legible and attract investment and development. The Breakout session showcased perspectives from Kwa-Zulu Natal. The aim of the session was to indicate how municipalities can strengthen their development potential.

Click here to view the recording for Breakout Session 4!

Final Planning Disrupted 2-Webinar-Invitation

Webinar ‘Planning Disrupted’ #2

Webinar 'Planning disrupted' - Planning with People

On Wednesday, the 19th of August 2020, ISOCARP Institute in cooperation with: ISOCARP – International Society of City and Regional Planners , eThekwini Municipality, SACN – South African Cities Network, SALGA – South African Local Governments Association, SAPI – South African Planning Institute, MILE – Municipal Institute of Learning eThekwini  Municipality, SACPLAN –  South African Council for Planners, will hold the second ‘Planning Disrupted’ webinar. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response to our first webinar, our next offering in the “Planning Disrupted” series is Planning With People. This time we will take a deep dive into what planning with people means. The webinar engages with approaches and Covid19-induced opportunities for a local and international planning context. 

The webinar will start with a kick-off presentation from ISOCARP and SACN. ISOCARP will present the results of the “Planning Beyond Limits – Building Livable Communities” ISOCARP YPP project in Jakarta and Bogor, Indonesia. While SACN will launch the Practitioner Profile Magazine. The Magazine profiles the human behind the planner and is a good reminder that planners are people too, especially when we talk about “planning with people”. 

The webinar will then move to the four Breakout Sessions, which will offer an interactive, broad and moderated discussion on the following topics:

1. Voices in Planning: The Bright Side of Planning Disruption – moderated by SACN, eThekwini Municipality

This session looks at the opportunities inherent in Covid19 and beyond to bring creativity, trust-building and meaningful partnerships into planning with people. A celebration of the diversity of views and voices and a willingness to embrace unheard and challenging perspectives through creative methodologies and confidence in process and deep listening.

2. Community-oriented Plans: Methods and Approaches for Successful Implementation – moderated by ISOCARP

Community oriented plans (COP) aim (in general) to adapt the theoretical urban planning knowledge and standard planning practice to be more responsive to local people’s needs. Participatory planning is just one of the methods to implement COP, and in this session we will discuss how communities can plan for their future as part of an integrated planning process for an area, and what tools and methods they may have at their disposal.

3. Establishing Community Partnerships: A Challenge for Planning Practitioners – moderated by SAPI

We know that coordinated partnerships can help improve urban planning by addressing different urban challenges from every angle. Identifying formal (and informal) stakeholders may seem like an logical first step, but engaging them to become active and collaborative partners is much more complicated. The Breakout session will focus on discussing the challenges and strategies for fostering successful partnerships between planners and community.

4. Building Municipal Identity using Municipal Assets – A KZN Perspective – presented by SALGA – KZN and Maphumulo Local Municipality

How can municipalities use their natural, social, cultural, economic and other assets to build and market their municipal identity ensuring municipal spaces are legible and attract investment and development. The Breakout session will showcase perspectives from Kwa-Zulu Natal. The aim of the session is to indicate how municipalities can strengthen their development potential.

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JOB OPPORTUNITY: Project Manager / Researcher

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Project Manager / Researcher (28-36 h)

The ISOCARP Institute is the research spin-off of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), based in The Hague/Netherlands. With over five decades of accumulated knowledge and expertise in urban and regional planning, ISOCARP as non-profit organisation with individual and institutional members in 85 countries worldwide, initiated the Institute as a Centre for Urban Excellence – a think tank empowering individuals, organisations and institutions to achieve better human settlements. The Institute’s core function is to conduct research and promote knowledge transfer, offer advice and short-term consultancy services, as well as design and deliver capacity building and continuing education programmes. The Institute is involved in several EU research projects, technical assistance globally, engaged in capacity building projects with international partners, and more.

Profile

We are looking for an experienced project manager and researcher with in-depth knowledge of international urban development, current trends and practices, who will continue to establish the Institute as the project office of the ISOCARP Society.

Your tasks will include the management of ongoing activities, development of new projects through project proposal writing, as well as coordinating and maintaining the relationship to the Society and its members.

We are looking for a motivated, independent and creative individual who is able to balance different tasks and responsibilities effectively and collaborate with the team in both Institute and Society.

The position will be based in The Hague (NL) but can be commenced in a flexible scheme due to restrictions of the pandemic. The office location will move in the coming months but will remain in the same region. The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.

‘Planning Disrupted’ webinar results and presentations

‘Planning Disrupted’ webinar results and presentations

June 16, 2020

On the 9th of June, ISOCARP together with other collaborating partners from South Africa (eThekwini Municipality, SACN – South African Cities Network, SALGA – South African Local Governments Association, SAPI – South African Planning Institute and MILA), held the webinar ‘Planning Disrupted’. The main aim of the webinar was to defy critical thematic areas pertinent to urban planning during COVID-19 crisis across cities and regions. Practitioners, planning organisations, individuals and academia were invited to join and discuss on what kind of policy, planning and design actions should be undertaken in our cities, in South Africa and city of Durban in particular. 

Over 250 participants joined the ‘Planning Disrupted’ webinar from all over the world, with most participants being from South Africa, followed up by India and Indonesia. 

After the welcoming words from SACN, the webinar continued with a presentation of the ISOCARP UPAT workshop for the inner-city renewal of Durban. The results of this collaborative UPAT workshop between urban planning professionals of Ethekwini Municipality and ISOCARP experts are bundled in the PLAN Magazine publication. After the welcoming words and the kick-off presentation the webinar moved on to the five Breakout Sessions, which offered an interactive, broad and moderated discussion on the following topics:

 

1. Planning Practice in the Time Of Flux – moderated by SALGA and SACN.

The Session deliberated on the changes and disruptions that are happening on the municipal level planning related to COVID, and took a concrete look what could be the new norms, the new leaderships and new formats for planning emerging from the crisis. The discussion highlighted the stark polarities and inequalities that the COVID19 crisis has brought forward in South Africa. Having to adapt to use social media as means of public participation, has shed light into inequalities in data accessibility among interested stakeholders. There is a necessity for urban planners and practitioners in the urban field to act as agents of change in order for practitioners in the urban field to best serve to those people who are most vulnerable in such situations. 

Suggested articles to learn more about the topic at hand: Built Environment Integration Practices Chronicles of a Change Agent


2. Dark Side of Planning Disruption – moderated by SAPI

Dark Side of Planning Disruption revealed the “dangers” facing planning practice, such as increasing inequality and growing bureaucracy as results of primary Covid responses. How to deal with the “low resilience capacity” of the established planning schemes and processes? The discussion touched upon topics related to: 

– The market in urban renewal and the finance economy; 

– Safety and perceptions of safety; 

– The need for leadership in organisational development;

– Need to foreground inclusiveness and transparent allocation of resources; 

– Government urban system collapse with rent seeking behaviour;

– Flexibility and transparency in regulation and laws.


3. Reset Opportunity for Density and Land-Use Planning – moderated by eThekwini Municipality

“Density Wars” seem to be at the heart of the post-COVID planning discussions. But if we can’t reset the existing frameworks of planning for more flexibility, simplicity and inclusivity NOW – when then? The Session reflected and re-prioritized the importance in land use planning for the inner city of Durban – through the lens of COVID. Main outcomes from this session highlighted the need to have a set of minimum standards for green spaces to bring relief to density. While the need for more public space is clear, the problem still remains on attracting the right investment pipelines to make this happen. Furthermore, the COVID crisis has put a big question mark on the future of the work place, in a time when working from home has become the new normal. This might require us to transform the functionality of office spaces. 

 

4. Public Spaces as Life Line for Cities – moderated by ISOCARP

How can public spaces adapt in the times of uncertainty, and will we be able to reclaim them after the quarantine restrictions? Location and scale of public spaces matter, as well as their contribution to more resilient, inclusive and just city. What kind of role will public space have for the next inner-city making? These were some of the questions that this break-out session explored. Contextualisation of public spaces is necessary as the public space is complex and the same rules cannot just be replicated from one context to another. In this way, it can reflect the values and cultures of all the people who use or experience them in an inclusive way. 

Read the Manifesto produced at the end of the session to learn more about the outcomes of the discussion. 

 

5. Relevant and Supportive National Planning – moderated by ISOCARP and SAPI

The crisis has revealed the bigger need for comprehensive planning on the highest, national level, covering primarily health facilities, housing, shelters, and all kind of supporting functions. The globalisation should not become the norm after the COVID crisis, and new economic pathways need to be found. Can urban data help establish relevant and supportive national (and local) planning and how? The discussion, pointed out three main priorities that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to national planning:

Mitigate political instability which influences planning processes;

– While the national policies are present, the main challenge remains on their implementation. ‘We need to own the policy at the local level’.

– There is a need to work on horizontal integration in planning (not just topdown/bottom-up) but for more horizontal collaboration. 

Durban

Webinar: Planning Disrupted

Webinar “Planning Disrupted” 

June 9, 2020

UPDATE 8 JUNE: The “Planning Disrupted!” webinar tomorrow is fully booked and the registration is closed since this morning. The interest in the webinar’s topic has been tremendous, and we are planning new online activities in the near future. Check our website soon for a summary of this event and information on upcoming webinars and online activities!

Join us on Tuesday, 9th of June at 11.00 CET at the “Planning Disrupted” webinar for an interactive take on the next steps in urban resilience and (disrupted) global planning.  Together with the collaborating partners from South Africa (eThekwini Municipality, SACN – South African Cities Network, SALGA – South African Local Governments Association, SAPI – South African Planning Institute and MILA) ISOCARP will defy critical thematic areas pertinent to urban planning during COVID-19 crisis across cities and regions. Practitioners, planning organisations, individuals and academia are welcome to join the “Planning Disrupted!” and formulate what kind of policy, planning and design actions should be undertaken in our cities, in South Africa and city of Durban in particular. What conclusions can we draw from the first wave of the pandemic, and how to move forward in a better way?

The webinar will start with a kick-off presentation of the ISOCARP UPAT workshop for the inner-city renewal of Durban. The results of this collaborative UPAT workshop between urban planning professionals of Ethekwini Municipality and ISOCARP experts are bundled in the PLAN Magazine publication. The kick-off presentation will showcase several possible approaches to inner-city renewal, from new mobility schemes towards greater walkability (the “road diets”) to some new design typologies and relevant financial instruments to spur more mixed-use, better social housing and quality upgrade of the inner-city public space.

The webinar will then move to the five Breakout Sessions, which will offer an interactive, broad and moderated discussion on the following topics:

1. Planning Practice in the Time Of Flux – moderated by SALGA and SACN.

The Session will deliberate on the changes and disruptions that are happening on the municipal level planning related to COVID, and take a concrete look what could be the new norms, the new leaderships and new formats for planning emerging from the crisis.

2. Dark Side of Planning Disruption – moderated by SAPI

Dark Side of Planning Disruption will reveal the “dangers” facing planning practice, such as increasing inequality and growing bureaucracy as results of primary Covid responses. How to deal with the “low resilience capacity” of the established planning schemes and processes? Mirror, mirror on the wall – what kind of planning we need for all?

3. Reset Opportunity for Density and Land-Use Planning – moderated by eThekwini Municipality

“Density Wars” seem to be at the heart of the post-COVID planning discussions. But if we can’t reset the existing frameworks of planning for more flexibility, simplicity and inclusivity NOW – when then? The Session will also reflect and re-prioritize what is of importance in land use planning for the inner city of Durban – through the lens of COVID.

4. Public Spaces as Life Line for Cities – moderated by ISOCARP

How can public spaces adapt in the times of uncertainty, and will we be able to reclaim them after the quarantine restrictions? Location and scale of public spaces matter, as well as their contribution to more resilient, inclusive and just city. What kind of role will public space have for the next inner-city making?

5. Relevant and Supportive National Planning – moderated by ISOCARP and SAPI

The crisis has revealed the bigger need for comprehensive planning on the highest, national level, covering primarily health facilities, housing, shelters, and all kind of supporting functions. The globalisation should not become the norm after the COVID crisis, and new economic pathways need to be found. Can urban data help establish relevant and supportive national (and local) planning and how? What kind of cross-sectoral collaborations we need?

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or proposals for upcoming sessions.

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A recap from EU project ThinkNature

 

A recap from EU project ThinkNature 

May 29, 2020

 

Between 2016 and 2019 ISOCARP was part of the EU funded project ThinkNature, whose goal was the development of a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform and think tank to promote innovation with Nature-based Solutions (NBS). ISOCARP joined a consortium of sixteen partners, led by the Technical University of Crete, and was responsible for the communication and dissemination of project outcomes and activities. ThinkNature was a project coherent with ISOCARP’s mission and vision of promoting sustainable urbanisation and sustainable communities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The project highlighted ISOCARP’s effort in favour of innovative sustainable solutions in the field of urban planning, exploring new knowledge in the relation between cities and nature, sharing and promoting new outcomes and best practices among urban planners.

Although the project is officially concluded, both the website and the Platform will remain open, as well as all the social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube). Therefore, the legacy of ThinkNature will remain a precious reference for further projects. ISOCARP will continue its engagement in the field of Nature-based Solutions, and from September 2020 ISOCARP Institute will be working on the new project VARCITIES

 

Project overview and key information

Nature-based solutions aim to help societies to address a variety of environmental, social and economic challenges in sustainable ways. They are actions which are inspired by, supported by or copied from nature. Some involve using and enhancing existing natural solutions to challenges, while others are exploring more novel solutions, for example, mimicking how non-human organisms and communities cope with environmental extremes. NBS are energy and resource-efficient, and resilient to change, but to be successful they must be adapted to local conditions. The main objective of ThinkNature was the development of a multi-stakeholder communication platform that supports the understanding and the promotion of Nature-based Solutions in local, regional, EU and International level. Through dialogue uptake facilitation and steering mechanisms as well as knowledge capacity building, the ThinkNature Platform aimed at bringing together multi-disciplinary scientific expertise, policy, business and society, as well as citizens. This platform was meant to be efficient, fluent to use and attractive to a wide variety of actors and stakeholders, merging all aspects of NBS in a clear, pyramidal methodological approach. Moreover, the project was meant to create a wide interactive society that builds new knowledge with a wide geographical scope. The expected result was to provide a series of policy and regulatory tools to solve significant societal challenges such as human well-being, tackling energy poverty, impacts of climate change, etc. through continuous dialogue and interaction.

 

Start date                          1 December 2016

End date                            30 November 2019

Funded by                         EU – H2020 – SC5-10-2016; Grant Agreement ID: 730338

Project Lead                     Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece

Website                             www.thinknature-eu; platform.think-nature.eu; CORDIS EU

 

Project outcomes

The core of ThinkNature project was the Platform, where all the activities and outcomes have been published in a comprehensive and exhaustive way. In addition, the platform includes a repertoire of case studies from all over the world and a section called ‘resources’, where papers, videos and other dissemination materials cover various aspects of NBS. Here the most relevant initiatives and results of the project are reported and shortly presented.

Forums on Nature-based Solutions 

During the three years of the project, a series of forums were organized by the consortium in different regions of Europe.

  1. A Coruna (May 2018): Transforming cities, enhancing well-being: innovating with nature-based solutions.
  2. Paris (April 2019): Addressing major societal challenges: Climate change adaptation-mitigation, risk management and resilience.
  3. Bucharest (October 2019): Rethinking the nature of the cities

ThinkNature Handbook

The Nature-based Solutions Handbook is one of the most important outcomes of ThinkNature. Its main objective is to gather and promote state-of-the-art knowledge regarding NBS, comprising a comprehensive guide to all relevant actors. Each aspect of NBS is investigated, from project development to financing and policymaking, and is presented in a concise and effective way.

ThinkNature webinars

ThinkNature organised a series of four webinars between January and June 2019, introducing and covering several aspects of NBS to a wide audience. The objectives were to raise awareness and understanding of the concept of NBS and to support and promote knowledge on multiple aspects of NBS design and implementation. The expected target audience was researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and businesses that are active or interested in NBS. Each webinar focused on a different aspect of NBS design and implementation.

ThinkNature summer school

ThinkNature organised a week-long summer school focused on Nature-Based Solutions. The training program consisted of a mix of inspirational talks and discussions covering various topics related to NBS, followed by a hands-on, co-design workshop in two case studies in Chania (Greece).

ThinkNature interviews with experts

ThinkNature organised a series of video-recorded interviews with conference participants during the H2020 Clustering Action “Transforming Cities, Enhancing Well-being: innovating with nature-based solutions” which took place at the University of A Coruña in 2018. The interviewees are NBS experts of different background and expertise (policymakers, market actors, scientists, end-users/authorities), providing a range of perspectives and different insights into the present and the future of NBS.

Other activities and initiatives

ThinkNature was also involved in several other activities, some of them in partnership with other EU funded projects on NBS. The consortium conducted surveys and research about the barriers and implementation of Nature-based solutions, as well as initiatives to foster the dialogue among stakeholders. Furthermore, the NBS scenario game Greencity was created to demonstrate the impact of choices and the advantages of using Nature-based solutions. Last but not least, the projects partners participated in various international events and submitted articles and publications. An interesting initiative was also the signature of a Cooperation Manifesto on NBS, which took place during the World Forum on Urban Forest in Mantua (2018).

 

For any questions or further information, please contact Federico Aili (aili@isocarp-institute.org)

 

Leuven Varcities

Upcoming EU funded research and innovation project – VARCITIES  

Upcoming EU funded research and innovation project – VARCITIES  

May 4, 2020

ISOCARP Institute is glad to announce that the European Commission has signed the grant agreement for the EU funded project VARCITIES. ISOCARP Institute is part of the consortium which will implement the project, starting from September 2020 until February 2025, together with other 24 partners and under the lead of Telecommunication System Institute (TSI).
VARCITIES aims at designing visionary nature-based actions for health, well-being and resilience in cities. The project confirms and renews ISOCARP’s vision of promoting inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, through integrative and participatory processes. Moreover, VARCITIES supports ISOCARP’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to good health, wellbeing and sustainable communities. 

VARCITIES – Visionary Nature-based Actions for Health, Well-being and Resilience in Cities   

In an increasingly urbanising world, governments and international corporations strive to increase productivity of cities, recognized as economy growth hubs, as well as ensuring better quality of life and living conditions to citizens. Although significant effort is performed by international organisations, researchers, etc. to transform the challenges of cities into opportunities, the visions of our urban future are trending towards bleak. The increase in urban population is already intensifying the pressure on urban services and facilities, as well as on nature and ecosystems, significantly affecting the liveability of contemporary cities. Air pollution and heat island effect are just two of the most evident impacts of the climate crisis we have started to live. These impacts will more and more negatively affect social and health facilities, whose responsiveness and efficiency is more than ever crucial in time of pandemic crisis like in 2020. 
The vision of VARCITIES is to implement real, visionary ideas and add value by establishing sustainable models for increasing health and wellbeing of citizens (children, young people, middle age, elderly) that are exposed to diverse climatic conditions and challenges around Europe. The ambitious foundation of VARCITIES lies in the close interrelation of sustainability, public health and digital innovation in order to make cities more liveable and welcoming; shared public spaces are pointed out are the privileged areas where to explore this integration, and ultimately to foster the evolution towards fully “human-centred cities”. 

The specific objectives of the project are: 

• To desing visionary nature-based solutions which contribute to the shaping of future cities and the wellbeing of citizens in eight European cities. 

• To monitor and assess the sustainability and impact of interventions through advancing and developing new KPI indicators for health and well-being. 

• To improve the sustainable transition to smart and future cities by creating a framework of locally adapted GBF (Governance, Business, Financing) models.  

• To include, in the co-design process, various stakeholders and inspire sustainable and resilient future smart cities.  

• To achieve knowledge exchange, maximization of EU investments, advancement beyond the state of art through clustering with other European initiatives and platforms.  

• To transfer, upscale and sustain best practices from VARCITIES through the development of a Healthy Cities Helix.

The configuration of the project sees the development of eight applied exemplar pilots (eight European municipalities from different geographic and climate zones). The pilots will implement integrated initiatives which support both municipal actions and local SMEs in meeting credible opportunities to grow and generate revenues. The eight pilot cities are: Bergen (Norway), Castelfranco Veneto (Italy), Chania (Greece), Dundalk (Ireland), Gzira (Malta), Leuven (Belgium), Novo Mesto (Slovenia) and Skellefteå (Sweden). 

 

 

 

 

VARCITIES is an ambitious project that acknowledges the complexity and the challenges of future cities and sets the ambitious target to advance innovation across different urban scales by fully exploiting nature-based solutions from a digital, social and cultural perspective. VARCITIES envisions future public spaces as people-centred areas that support creativity, inclusivity, health and happiness for the citizens.  

 

  

This project will receive funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. Call H2020-SC5-2018-19-20 Greening the economy, under grant agreement No 86950.

 

Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or further information.

Call for Proposals for “Local Authorities: Partnerships for Sustainable Cities”

Call for Proposals for “Local Authorities:
Partnerships for Sustainable Cities” 

February 27, 2020

The European Union (EU) has published on February 12th 2020 a global call for Proposals for Local Authorities, seeking proposals to promote integrated urban development through partnerships built among Local Authorities of the EU Member States and of partner countries in accordance with the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development.

The deadline for delivering the proposals is March 27th 2020.


The Specific objectives of this call are:

• Strengthen urban governance;
• Ensure social inclusiveness of cities;
• Improve resilience and greening of cities;
• Improve prosperity and innovation in cities; and
• Strengthen institutional resilience in context of fragility.

We, at ISOCARP Institute, would like to support the Local Authorities applications with our knowledge and global network, sharing our experience in project development and implementation. The ISOCARP Institute can e.g. contribute with technical assistance, but much more support your application in achieving the four priorities of the call, which are:

• Contribution to the achievement of SDG11;
• Integrate the promotion of peer-to-peer learning;
• Promote multi-stakeholders and multi-sectors approaches;
• Promote the EU development cooperation Rights-based approach, encompassing all human rights.

Furthermore, ISOCARP Institute can support in achieving the triangular cooperation (partnership between two or more local authorities – host, EU partner, co-provider), with smart cities approach and job creation mechanisms.

What do you have to do?

• Based on the Call for Proposals, identify if your local authority is eligible in checking the lot and objectives your local authority is appropriate.
• Set up an appropriate working group developing the proposal, identify possible partners -including EU local authority- and co-providers.
• Define a working plan for proposal delivery before March 27th 2020.

 

Download the invitation letter from ISOCARP Institute and the overview of the call.

 

Do not hesitate to contact us at ISOCARP Institute if you need support.