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Urban Lunch Talk #17: Regenerative Green Neighbourhoods and Circularity Transitions – The Do’s, Don’ts and Dilemmas

16 April 2021 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Welcome to an Urban Lunch Talk around the themes in the “Regenerative Green Neighbourhoods” pillar in the Driving Urban Transitions to a Sustainable Future (DUT). What are the dilemmas, do’s and don’ts around this pillar in theory but more importantly practice? Which are the policy- and practice recommendations and the cross-cutting issues? Meet guests with experience from research, innovation and policy across and beyond Europe. Attendees will be invited to JPI Urban Europe’s Slack space for further self-organised exchange. EDIT: You can now watch a recording of the lunch talk.

Downsizing District Doughnuts – An Integrated Approach for Urban Greening and Circularity Transitions
Downsizing district doughnuts hinges on the three Rs of reduction, regeneration, redistribution in order to break the unsustainable linear economies of make-sell-waste. Increased efficiency in resource use alone comes with risks of rebound effects, hence reuse is not enough and a reduction of consumption is needed to keep within the ecological ceiling. In turn, transition pathways towards regenerative cities and urban areas are needed, in order to be active upcyclists and drive a planetary economy. As boundaries and operational limits are set, this furthers redistribution among practices and actors to foster sustainable urbanisation. By developing and improving blue-green infrastructure (BGI) and nature-based solutions (NBS) overall urban liveability, public health, and urban robustness may be considerably improved together with cutting-edge approaches to clean technology and entrepreneurial creativity. In combination with an increased circularity in urban economies, this is a crucial transition pathway to drive urban transformation to facilitate genuinely regenerative places. Hence, cities and urban areas are attractive starting points for making the global transformation to liveable societies, circular economies, and planetary health.

Regenerative Green Neighbourhoods is one of three transition pathways in the Driving Urban Transition to a Sustainable Future (DUT) partnership programme currently under development by JPI Urban Europe. Focus in this Urban Lunch Talk will be given to identify do’s, don’ts and dilemmas of the Doughnut Economy model on local scale, relating to nature-based solutions and circular economies.

What is meant by a dilemma-driven approach?
Everyone who is somehow involved in city development knows about the wicked issues that emerge from strategic decision making in this context. In a changing, interconnected and hyper-complex environment urban practitioners and strategists often encounter dilemmas (or even tri-lemmas). In its simple definition, a dilemma means having to decide between two or more alternatives that seem equally desirable or undesirable. However, dilemmas may also mean difficult situations where the path taken is not clearly beneficent and the need to compromise continuously appears. In other words, typical implementation, transition, and innovation situations. Dilemmas occur where the level of uncertainty is too high to rely on a pre-calculated action plan.

Guests and participants are welcome to share ideas and experiences on questions like:
– Have you encountered any dilemmas related to this topic?
– Can you reflect on a “do” and/or a “don’t” based on this dilemma-experience? This could be process/method related.
– Do you have a policy- or practice recommendation?

Meet the guests:

  • Dr. Volker Coors, Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart from the project IN-SOURCE: Integrated analysis and modelling for the management of sustainable urban food-water-energy (FWE) resources. IN-SOURCE helps decision makers (such as governments, utilities, developers, investors) identify and visualize FWE systems and their interrelations for urban strategic planning investments. The project is active in  New York (USA), Vienna (Austria) and Ludwigsburg Region (Germany).
  • Dr. Maria Beatrice Andreucci works at the Department of “Planning Design Technology of Architecture”, “Sapienza” University of Roma (IT), and is member of the steering board of Urban Europe Research Alliance UERA), where she leads the working group “Urban Economies and Welfare”. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and an M.B.A (INSEAD). She is a registered architect and an economist who focuses her professional activity, research and teaching on the application of environmental technological design and environmental economics theories, principles and methods on urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture projects. She will launch, in  May 2021, the book “Rethinking Sustainability Towards a Regenerative Economy” (Andreucci, Marvuglia, Baltov & Hansen, Future City, Springer Nature). She is a member of the COST Actions “RESTORE”, “Circular City”, and  “PED-EU-NET”.
  • Dr. Thomas Nehls, Technische Universität Berlin from the Vertical Green project. The project re-develops “vertical greening” of urban areas according to stakeholder needs and different architectures and climates. How do create positive impacts to as many urban neighbourhoods as possible? The project is active in Berlin (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Taipei (Chinese Taipei) and Vienna (Austria).
  • Daniela Rizzi, Senior Officer for Nature-based Solutions and Biodiversity at ICLEI Europe – Local Governments for Sustainability,has been promoting capacity-building, peer-learning and partnerships between civil society, businesses and all levels of government through the UrbanByNature programme to help cities plan and deliver nature-based solutions. Daniela has a doctoral degree in Landscape Architecture and Planning and is currently involved in EU-funded projects about measuring NBS impact on climate change adaptation, inclusive urban regeneration, urban governance through research and demonstration actions within urban living labs in Europe, China and Latin America (see for example Connecting Nature, CLEVER CitiesREGREEN, CONEXUS. ICLEI Europe recently joined a coalition of 31 stakeholders calling on the European Commission to deliver an ambitious EU strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment (SSBE) as part of its implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. ICLEI hosts its World Congress in Sweden this week (13 – 15 April).
  • Daniel Black, Director at “Daniel Black + Associates” and TRUUD (Tackling Root causes of Unhealthy Urban Development) at University of Bristol works to bridge the gap between research and practice to achieve impact and is part of the WASTE FEW ULL project. WASTE FEW ULL contributes with policy decision support models for economically viable waste reduction, rethinking waste as a resource as well as establishes entrepreneurship networks in each of the project’s Urban Living Labs to continue working after the formal end of the project. The project is active in Cape Town (South Africa), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Campinas (Brazil) and Bristol (United Kingdom).
  • Johannes Riegler (host) is the Stakeholder Involvement Officer in JPI Urban Europe and manager of the AGORA – JPI Urban Europe’s Stakeholder Involvement Platform to build capacities to co-creating pathways for urban transitions. He also works with matters of internationalization beyond Europe and the conceptual work around urban living labs. Johannes is an urbanist and geographer and conducted his studies in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, Madrid, Budapest and Klagenfurt.


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16 April 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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