This call, like JPI Urban Europe’s first one, aimed to bring together partners from different European countries so that they could carry out research projects on a scale which no single country could achieve alone. However, this time we chose two new topics to focus our efforts on: Governance of Urban Complexity, and Urban Vulnerability, Adaptability and Resilience. Focusing on these topics allowed us to continue fulfilling our long term plan, as articulated in our Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).
Focusing on the topic of Governance of Urban Complexity allowed us to deal with some very complicated issues. Firstly, we were able to encourage proposals which sought to utilise new forms of participation in governance, as well as self-organisation. Secondly, we received proposals which were focused on research into sustainability, ecosystem services, and providing efficient mobility, logistics and energy solutions. It was truly exciting and encouraging when some of these proposals looked at the use of ICT for new forms of real time monitoring and distributed participation in both planning, and decision making. This holds immense potential for application in a diverse range of areas ranging from urban infrastructure to sustainable mobility. Thirdly, we met our key aim of finding projects which explored both the use of existing data and the development of new large scale data on urban issues. This allowed for the analysis of complex relationships between different entities.
The second topic in this call, Urban Vulnerability, Adaptability, and Resilience, seriously and systematically examined existing vulnerabilities as well as future vulnerabilities whether they are environmental, social, technological or economic in nature. We realised that if planning was done in a way which was both strategic and long range, we had the potential to deal with all of these challenges workably. Specifically, we sought to develop and test theories of system transitions as well as develop advanced analysis for these system transitions. We also succeeded in attracting proposals which sought to investigate new adaptive strategies, policies, methods, tools, and decision support for the management of large scale disruptions. This is vitally important for a future where a range of challenges in the form of flooding, earthquakes, industrial and social unrest, demographic changes, and migration could destabilise our urban areas. This isn’t to say we overlooked the small continuous changes which affect the urban, ecological, social and economic systems of urban areas. We also carefully considered proposals which sought to develop the necessary tools, techniques, methods, and policies to monitor the growth and change of these every present issues in order to create forecasts which will help forward thinking.
This time we were even more rigorous in selecting the best proposals. After an initial screening of one hundred and forty-five pre-proposals by an expert panel, we chose to invite thirty-eight full proposals for further consideration. In the end we chose the ten best proposals for funding. This time our funding scope was even larger with funding agencies from ten different countries participating in this call, resulting in a total budget of €15 million. We feel confident that the projects will continue to build on the success of our first call.