Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

TURAS Report Summary

Project ID: 282834
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Ireland

Final Report Summary - TURAS (Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability)

Executive Summary:
Cities are growing in size and scale globally. From today, almost all children born on Earth will be urbanised at some stage in their lives – the city will play a key role in their personal development, education, employment, the technology they use, and the geopolitical politics of where they live. The cities of the future will not be used for the same reasons for which they were originally constructed. Cities once built for defence, for trade, for religious worship and so on will all change to become centres of multi-functional and multi-cultural integration. Technology will guide and perhaps define city growth. Throughout the process of change, of new growth, urban communities will be continually challenged to respond. This is where resilience comes into the picture. Resilience is the ability of people to respond to change and to find opportunity in it. The most resilient cities will be those where their populations are the most adaptable and creative; where consensus and co-design will overcome the pervasive and complex challenges of climate change, population change and migration, economic disturbance, and social and political transformation.
TURAS is the acronym for the European Union funded project ‘Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability’. TURAS is also the Gaelic word for ‘journey’, or more precisely a journey of exploration or renewal, which in this case is a re-examination of how we build resilience in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods. The TURAS project was designed to bring together academic researchers, local authorities, and SMEs in collaboration with urban communities-of-interest and neighbourhoods to research, develop, demonstrate and disseminate strategies and scenarios to enable European cities and their rural interfaces to transition towards vitally-needed resilience. To ensure maximum co-creation potential the project devised an innovative, though untested, multiple twinning approach bringing together decision makers in local authorities with SMEs and academics to ensure meaningful results and real change are implemented over the duration of the project and after. Eleven local authorities or local development agencies were involved as key actors and partners in the project. They were central to a successful project like TURAS because they oriented all research and development from the outset towards the most significant sustainability and resilience challenges facing their cities. Nine leading academic research institutions and eight SMEs worked with these public sector bodies helping them to build resilience strategies through proposing new visions, feasibility strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools to help cities address complex, wicked challenges.
Figure 1 illustrates the unique twinning approach of the TURAS project. This twinning approach was one of the innovative ideas of the original TURAS proposal in 2010. At the time, there was a requirement in FP7 proposals for only a small number of SMEs. Ambitiously, TURAS involved one-third SMEs and it also consists of another third non-academic partners. TURAS was the first Framework project in the societal challenge arena to have a minority of academics. This was considered by the proposal evaluators to be a risky approach, and especially as a non-academic was proposed as work package leader. The first innovation to emerge from TURAS was to influence the nature of current Horizon 2020 proposals, and before the DG changed its name to include ‘innovation’, TURAS was already aiming at devising and scaling out innovations. Indeed, the twinning structure of the TURAS project (figure 1) is now a requirement of most Horizon societal challenge calls. TURAS has pioneered this twinning approach and demonstrated that is has a high degree of utility in the modern research and innovation arena.

Figure 1: Research typology of the TURAS twinning concept illustrating three expertise couplets and their respective areas of speciality (red). Central to the concept are urban communities in the form of local neighbourhoods or districts.

Over the five year duration of the project, the feasibility of these approaches was researched within all work packages, and tested in selected case study neighbourhoods of the participating cities and new measures to enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities have been developed. The impact of these new approaches was measured and results compared between participating cities. After the research period, a final set of strategies and tools were developed for demonstration, dissemination and scaling out to other cities. SMEs were highly involved in all work packages of the project. The cities represented in TURAS are representative of European regions in terms of size, geographical location and sustainability challenges. They include six European capital cities: Brussels, Dublin, London, Rome, Sofia, Ljubljana and other cities representing regional capitals and smaller cities including Nottingham, Málaga , Rotterdam, Stuttgart, and Aalborg. In total, eleven European countries were represented in the project with the other member states represented through the High Level Advisory Board (HLAB) and the pan-European networks of dissemination partners EBN (representing 240 members in the 27 EU member states and in eleven other countries) and Climate Alliance (representing 1,500 European local authorities in 17 countries). In addition, the project was joined by an academic, local authority and SME from Taiwan. TURAS was an ambitious and broad reaching project that brought together community stakeholders at all levels, local industry and local authorities with researchers and visionaries from many disciplines in order to achieve a real and lasting transition towards more sustainable and resilient city-making. This was supported by innovative ICT infrastructure and a new approach to underlying communication processes, thematically adapted and integrating all relevant stakeholders.

TURAS began by developing a framework and process for developing and using a geospatial information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure at sub-city / neighbourhood scale, featuring relevant contextual as well as project-specific data. In the next phase, case study data were used to develop and test new approaches to build increased urban resilience and reduce the urban ecological footprint of each participating city. Diagram 1 illustrates the connectivity of the different approaches to building urban resilience, which TURAS developed and how the work packages interact together. The final phase of TURAS involved the demonstration, dissemination and exploitation of results.

Diagram 1: Typology illustrating the six principal RTD work packages of the TURAS Project. All six are interconnected and inter-reliant with each other, and the ultimate focus was to establish mechanisms for building resilience into urban planning and design through integrated transition strategies (Work Package 7).

The scientific and technical objectives of TURAS are directly related to the FP7 topic Sustainable and Resilient Green Cities under Area 6.2.1.5 of the call FP7-ENV-2011. The stated aim of this call topic “is to develop positive transition strategies and scenarios to enable cities (and their rural interface) to meet these combined "grand challenges" by reducing their urban ecological footprint, via the innovative development of: public and private green infrastructure (i.e.: green walls and green roofs) and spaces, organic materials/products and green processes – inspired by nature (i.e.: biomimicry) ; rehabilitation of ecosystem services and urban biodiversity, urban/industrial regeneration, land use planning and creative design; shortcircuit economies (increased reliance on local goods and services), improved climate-neutral infrastructure for sustainable waste, water, energy and transport management, while also fostering greater equity and social cohesion, and mitigating negative environmental impacts. The strategies must also limit urban sprawl to privilege compact and polycentric approaches, so as to reduce transport and energy costs, retain valuable agricultural land and natural areas, and protect landscape value, while limiting the negative effects of densification (i.e.: increased vulnerability to risk, noise, stress, safety).”

This final report for the TURAS project focuses on the main results and innovations that have been derived from the five-year journey of research and demonstration. Since the project has been evaluated three times earlier in its lifetime, three periodic reports exist charting the minutiae of research and demonstration from years one to four. It is not possible to replicate these reports in this, the final report, because space is limited. However, it is the purpose of this report to outline the main contributions of TURAS to research and innovation with respect to ‘Sustainable and Resilient Green Cities’, as was the original challenge.

Project Context and Objectives:
Work Package 1
Work package 1 was the foundation for the TURAS project and created a web interface for public to access the data and tools that are used and developed within other work packages. The data available provided insights on urban economy, energy, sprawl, green infrastructure, regeneration and urban design. This package sought first to facilitate communication and interaction amongst project partners (academic, local authority, SME and the wider community) in addressing the project challenges. Internet-based tools were developed for implementation in the project case study areas within the TURAS cities and urban regions. This new interface was a key functioning part of the TURAS project website, and was accessible to the public for testing and validation on an ongoing basis. The web-based G-ICT tool was linked to the local authorities’ websites in those cities or urban regions and was developed in close cooperation with the other TURAS work packages, based on their local case study context and methodological approaches. This work package was divided into two stages. Stage 1 was the development of a WebGIS database with general as well as specific case study data. Stage 2 was the provision of tools to support much better community engagement. This resulted in a live WebGIS for most of the TURAS case study cities as well as an interactive ‘geowiki’, where the public and urban communities were invited to upload their own information. The work package 1 research team, together with Future Analytics and the University of Taichung with SkyEyes (both in Taiwan), worked with other work packages to further develop these tools. These include a crowd-sourced web mapping application for vacant sites, a ‘geotimeline’ for community capacity and a Twitter geospatial analytics dashboard for green infrastructure. A final output was the ‘Resilience Dashboard; a multifunctional dashboard where the tools and data are integrated to support smart resilience planning and decision-making. This work package produced two deliverables (1.1 and 1.2).

Work Package 2
Work package 2 aimed to enable cities to reduce their urban ecological footprint through better implementation of public and private green infrastructure, using organic materials and/or products and green processes that are inspired by nature . This can lead to the rehabilitation of damaged urban ecosystem services and boost urban biodiversity. This was a very complex work package initially it focussed on the development of the urban green infrastructure model for Rome. The work package then began started some complex experiments. The Barking Riverside brownfield landscaping and green roof experimental facilities were established and are still being monitored. In Stuttgart, a novel experiment to see how natural features can create ‘Urban Comfort Zones’ led to experiments in ‘green wall’ technology experiment being carried out, that ultimately resulted in the ‘urban green living room’. This is an ‘urban comfort zone’ living experiment that investigates a novel system of creating 3-D green wall systems that not only provide urban comfort, air pollution, noise pollution and biodiversity benefits, but also provide pocket-park inspired social spaces for local communities. TURAS has provided an opportunity to showcase and monitor the benefits of this innovative way to design urban green infrastructure. It has also provided an opportunity for the designers and constructors to work with academia in 3-D virtual environments to see the designs in their urban context before installation. Towards the end of the project, this concept was repackaged as a mobile demonstrator of the new technology – the ‘mobile green living room’ – which toured European cities in the summer of 2016. The work package prepared green infrastructure guidelines for local authorities, which are now being used by city planners and designers to promote better urban resilience. In addition, the package established design principles for a novel green roof experiment, which received a commendation in the 2012 Integrated Habitats Design Competition. Furthermore, a unique ‘beetle bump’ was built on the grounds of the University of East London. This was shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education Award. During the project timeline, the London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offered areas for future collaboration and experimentation. All of the work package outputs have been successfully completed, the results of which have been reported in Deliverable 2.3. The work package continues to expand on the TURAS findings through PhD and postdoctoral researchers, and also to expand connections to policy-makers and planers in the case study area and in London as a whole. Helix’s Green Living Room video was awarded a gold medal at the Deauville Green Awards Film Festival 2015.

Work Package 3
Work package 3 had as its goal the aim of developing transition strategies and scenarios to enable cities to improve planning. To address urban industrial regeneration challenges requires the incorporation of creative design. There is a large amount of information, much of it hidden away in reports and old documents, so much of the operation of the work package was devoted to building research capacity among the partners. It has also carefully selected differing sites and urban issues, necessitating numerous visits and communications with sometimes difficult to access urban authorities. The extensive and comprehensive literature review yielded information necessary for the integration of resilience into mainstream planning and design. Many similarities between cities were discovered and there have also been some disconnects identified between policies and actions, which is a prime motivator for this work package. This work package produced Deliverable 3.4. This is a series of spatial scenarios for urban neighbourhoods. A detailed literature review revealed that innovation in the area of adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and techniques promoting behavioural change to encourage local authorities and citizens to implement and develop community resilience, was strongly represented in grey literature as well as anecdotal sources. It was clear that much of the recording of these activities is reflected not in the academic literature, but on a variety of city and regional local authority webpages, and / or contained within in-house, unpublished reports (thus unavailable to city communities and researchers alike). Case study analysis emerged as a core research strategy for capturing innovation that is not (currently) documented in the peer review literature. A compendium of case studies relevant to the individual tasks was then assembled. A critical aim of this work package is not merely to produce and discuss abstract, intangible concepts, but to provide practical tools for operationalising these themes. An example of this is the project carried out by landscape architecture students in the Dublin case study area of Pelletstown. This resulted in a travelling exhibition (see photographs 18 and 19), a professionally created web video and a book.
Work Package 4
Work package 4 sought to create visions, feasible strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools that will enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change. The goal was to seek to contribute to improved climate change resilient city planning and climate-neutral infrastructure, throughout the TURAS project network and in a wider European context. Within work package 4 various aspects of city planning and infrastructure are addressed in a number of case-study cities, notably: Rotterdam (flood risk and urban services), Ljubljana (transport and water management), London (green roofs), Seville (integrated solid waste management), and Aalborg (energy). The activities in the various cities and on the various themes came together in an overall report setting out recommendations for strategic urban planning for European cities. The work package produced Deliverable 4.5, which provided a joint analytical-policy framework for strategic urban planning, brought together the research activities that were carried out, provided valuable insights into the hands-on process of strategic urban planning and concluded with recommendations to guide strategic urban planning. This synthesis was the culmination of the multi-disciplinary research team in work package 4. Several methodologies and tools were developed with the goal of aiding strategic urban planning over the course of the reporting period. Many of these support policy formulation by allowing a-priori assessment of measures to become more resilient in the face of future development and uncertainties. Such tools include a GIS database to support planning of energy for heating (the HEAT Atlas), a GIS model to assess the potential for green roofs, models to estimate direct and indirect consequences of extreme flooding, and a model to estimate the provisioning of ecosystem services in urban settings. Some practical measures have also been developed or monitored. These include the WebGIS platform for micro-communications with stakeholders and citizens on transport issues and the monitoring at the multi-purpose reservoir near Podutik (including green ecosystem technologies). These activities (development of methodologies, platforms and monitoring) also contributed to the raising of awareness of specific issues in partner cities and meeting of various stakeholders over the course of the activities (also non-TURAS stakeholders). The municipal stress test on climate change has been designed for specifically this purpose and awareness for sustainability issues in urban settings is also raised by the development of a recreational/learning path at the Podutik reservoir.

Work Package 5
Work package 5 was aimed at improving the understanding of urban growth and to propose regulations, recommendations and guidelines on managing urban sprawl. This would see the compact city approach being favoured leading to a reduction in transport and energy costs, whilst retaining green belt and natural areas, while limiting the negative effects of densification. One of the main findings was that the scale of urban sprawl in the Eastern European cities that were studied is lesser than that of similar cities in Western Europe. However, this trend is steadily changing with a turn towards sprawl in Eastern European cities. As a consequence of the work in work package 5, TURAS research and modelling has been accepted by the planning authorities in the city of Sofia, and has resulted in new policies being discussed and formulated. Work package 5 produced Deliverable 5.6. The partners in this work package made serious efforts to facilitate the adoption of the regulations that were aimed at promoting compact, polycentric urban forms. This resulted in several productive meetings with the Urban Planning Directorate of Sofia Metropolitan Municipality, which were attended by several suburban districts administrators leading to a new policy being devised. These meetings discussed the policy proposals in detail and served as basis for further development of the system of regulations. A report was then prepared on the monitoring and analysis of urban development, migration and trends (showing population dynamics and land cover change for three TURAS cities: Belgrade, Rome and Sofia). The work package leaders featured on a Bulgarian TV news feature on the workings of the TURAS project and benefits of EU research projects. It is clear that the participation of Varna Free University as a work package leader of the TURAS project has led to a building of capacity to participate in Horizon 2020.

Work Package 6
Work package 6 was designed to address the question: how can we help businesses to help urban communities become more resilient? It was aimed at researching, developing and demonstrating the impact of different approaches to supporting short-circuit economies and increased reliance on local goods and services and to integrate these different approaches into a holistic approach to the development of short-circuit economies at local level. Following an early re-evaluation to the DoW the package partners consulted experts and rethought the design of the work package. During this process it appeared that the term ‘Short Circuit Economies’ was not sufficiently relevant to reflect the projects led by each local authority partners, because it covers only activities linked to food systems. The term ‘Sustainable and Resilient Economic Activity Locally’ (SREAL) was coined as more appropriate to encompass the different initiatives that were developed by the public authority partners in the work package, with the aim of transitioning towards economic resilience and the local challenges that this entails. The term was proposed in Deliverable 6.7. This enabled resources to be strategically reallocated away from the previous tasks that were no longer addressing the state of the art in this area (e.g. Ecodesign, Cleantechs and Product Service Systems). The new description of tasks was reshaped for the local authorities and the academic partners to operate within a coherent framework of collaboration. The work package academic partners were given a new task of conducting research on two new topics that could enlighten the case studies. These topics are ‘Adaptive Governance’, addressed by UEL, and ‘Economic Resilience’. A new academic partner from the Department of Applied Economics (Dulbea) of the Free University of Brussels (VULB) was added to work on the second topic of ‘economic resilience’. Work package 6 produced a database of inspiring Product-Service-Systems (PSS) business models. Case studies areas and sectors were identified in Rome and another TURAS partner, BicLazio, developed incubator model to support urban agriculture businesses and creative/cultural industries (iAgri). The different outputs of work package 6 are described in Deliverable 6.9 and Deliverable 6.8. An important development that grew out of the methodologies created and tested during the work package 6 research has become a spin-off company. Called OSMOS, it will tap into the knowledge built during the TURAS research to offer an empowerment service for communities and local authorities that want to engage in the transition towards a place-based economy system. It has already helped community actors - local administrations, civil society organisations, elected officials, members of a local business community - to apply system thinking in order to develop a common vision of what a local sustainable economy could look like in their specific socio-economic, geographical and cultural context. TURAS created a video to illustrate the OSMOS process.

Work package 7
As a cross-cutting package, the aim of work package 7 was the preparation of an integrated transition approach combining the outcomes of the work packages 2 to 6, and the development of a methodology for guiding European cities through the creation of their own transition strategies based on TURAS outcomes. The package 7 did not officially kick off until year three of the project, but during the first three years a lot of conceptual planning and general discussions took place, especially with devoted time during all steering committee meetings as well as at all AGMs. Numerous bilateral meetings were also convened. This has resulted in the identification of potential barriers to achieving an integrated transition strategy and some new and unique thinking for bridging these barriers. This consultation process was facilitated by the TURAS local authorities and public institution partners, in close co-operation and consultation with the work package lead team in the University of Stuttgart, resulting in several draft ITS documents. These documents were circulated through the TURAS office site and all partners were asked for, and many provided, feedback and constructive criticism. The work package leaders, working closely with the entire steering committee and especially work package 8, produced Deliverable 7.10 as a draft ITS. This was then superseded by Deliverable 7.11 where the ITS is fully explained. This strategy is now the main outward-facing aspect of the TURAS legacy website and will be moved to the Oppla platform in the coming weeks.

Work Package 8
Work package 8 was dedicated to dissemination and outward communication. The main activities of this work package and the impact generated are summarised in the next section on Potential Impact: and main dissemination activities and exploitation of results.

Work Package 9
Work package 9 was responsible for the management and reporting to the European Commission. UCD invited key thinkers and activists worldwide to participate in steering TURAS along its journey. Members of his High Level Advisory Board (HLAB) gave TURAS external advice and, in some cases, working with individual work packages to overcome difficult areas of research. UCD was awarded first place in the Champions of European Research Award, by Enterprise Ireland, presented by the President of Ireland for the TURAS project. UCD consulted widely with companion and complimentary FP7 projects (e.g. ARTS, GLAMOURS, GreenSurge, OPERAs, OpenNess to name but a few), and was involved in disseminating to the wider academic and public arena. The highlight was the sponsorship by TURAS of the AESOP/ACSP global conference in July 2013. The management of the consortium was arranged around monthly steering committee conference calls, 6 monthly steering committee meetings and annual consortium meetings. The project did not always run smoothly. Having commenced at the height of the collapse of the economies of several European countries, and progressing through a period of austerity (which placed restrictions on the activities of some partners and well as additional expense on others), the project lost three partners due to liquidation. Additional partners were recruited and all tasks were performed on time and within budget. Many of the annual meetings were co-located with other events, and in the last years of the project all events coincided with a TURAS public dissemination event.

TURAS has created a decision-maker toolkit for assisting in transitioning in city-making. This toolkit is located on the main website, which has now been adapted (in its legacy format) to be a one-stop show for all stakeholders. There are four locations, each ‘tagged’ with key words to interface with the other three. The first location consists of integrated transition strategies. This is a step-by-stem “how to” process giving examples from the TURAS case studies and research projects, from start to ‘achieving transition’ status. The second location contains the TURAS tools. This section has 33 tools for achieving the transition towards resilience. Each of these 33 tools has the potential for scaling into stand-alone endeavours, and as such two have become companies. It is possible for some of these tools to be conflated into one offering and so other companies may arise over time. To give examples of how transitioning has been tested in the TURAS cities, the third website location shows the TURAS place-based strategies. Within these cities, some pilots demonstrations (pilots) are offered as part of the fourth website location. In this report it is not appropriate to go through each of the TURAS pages, rather it is best to experience the interconnectedness of the website in real time.

Potential Impact: The potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results (not more than 10 pages)

Potential impact
As part of the preparations for the final partner meeting of the TURAS project in September 2016, partners were asked to prepare an impact statement reflecting on the project outcomes and longer term benefits and impacts. A summary of these impacts is presented in a final impact video available here.

The original call text of ENV.2011.2.1.5-1 Sustainable and Resilient Green Cities stated the expected impact as follows: “Provision of visions, feasible strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools that would enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities. The results of research in this topic should clearly be of interest and potential benefit to SMEs, and will create a beneficial economic impact to the sector concerned. A strong participation of SMEs in the project itself should help contribute to the realisation of that impact.”

Visions, feasible strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools that would enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities.
As detailed in the previous section, TURAS has delivered strongly at both individual work package level (work packages 1 to 6) and in terms of the Integrated Transition Strategies (work package 7) on the development of strategies and tools to support cities in using collaborative new approaches to develop and implement strategies to build more resilient and sustainable European cities. The unique ‘twinning’ approach of TURAS has ensured a higher impact and sustainability of results: the outcomes of work packages 1 to 7 were not developed by academics and piloted on a once off basis by local authority partners. The solutions emerging from TURAS were co-designed from the outset by academic partners working on a collaborative basis with local authorities and wider stakeholder communities. This approach ensured the higher relevancy of results, the development of guidance documents and tools in a format easily understood and useable by end-users and most importantly the ownership and sustainability of these outcomes by end users leading to their seamless integration into the policies and practices of all local authority partners involved in TURAS. The exploitation and dissemination activities undertaken by all partners ensured the wider impact of this project and the ongoing collaboration with Oppla ensures the continued dissemination of project results into the future.

The potential benefit to SMEs, creating a beneficial economic impact to the sector concerned.

TURAS has had a strong impact on the SME involved in the project and has also led to the emergence of two new spin-off companies thus creating significant beneficial economic impact. The impact of the project for SMEs involved and the new emerging SMEs is summarised hereafter:

Osmos
Osmos is a new spin-off SME that exploits the results of the collaborative processes devised, tested and validated in TURAS in particular those developed in work package 3 and work package 6. This SME provides meaningful stakeholder based vision creation services on the design and implementation of a range of themes such as nature-based solutions, the circular economy, transitional use of urban development and local economy. Osmos uses a dialogue process that brings participants together in a constructive way an example of which can be seen in their video of one of the events. This SME has attracted interest from many cities, and has been instrumental in the establishment of new urban resilience projects in Brussels (BE), Manziana (IT), Rome (IT). Having received validation from clients, Osmos is now a full SME and a partner on the recently successful CONNECTING Horizon 2020 project (SCC-02-2016) where they will support more than 20 other cities in Europe and globally to use collaborative approaches (emerging from TURAS) to plan nature based strategies. TURAS created a promotional video for Osmos here.

Osmos infographic on their transversal planning methodology.

Space Engagers
This new start up is a spin-off built upon the success of the Reusing Dublin crowd sourced web mapping platform. Reusing Dublin stemmed from the integration of the research from work package 1 and work package 3. This platform, which enables citizens to map underused and vacant spaces highlighted large numbers of vacant sites in addition to the official records. The platform facilitated the generation of crowd sourced data and citizen engagement on the issue of underutilised spaces. Reusing Dublin is currently being operated by the Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT) – an NGO who assist homeless people with accommodation and support. They are using the platform to raise awareness of and gather data on vacant properties in private ownership with potential to address the housing crisis.
Space Engagers has received support from the EU Common Booster programme and has just been awarded significant seed funding and technical mentoring from Social Innovation Fund Ireland, the Irish Government and Google.org (€100,000). It was also awarded funding by the Horizon 2020 project Organicity (€45,000), to engage citizens in mapping underused spaces and instigating co-creation / co-design processes on those spaces in Aarhus, Denmark. Space Engagers supports more informed and effective decisions for social and environmental change, by engaging citizens in building awareness of local issues and generating distributed knowledge through online mapping platforms. Currently it is an SME on two Horizon 2020 bids (SCC-02-2017, CULT-COOP-) and an Interreg proposal.
Helix
Expanding their business to encompass the emerging field of providing nature-based solutions for building urban resilience, Helix has grown it’s business and changed its business model in the light of new orders and requests in different green infrastructure projects. Currently, Helix is exploring offers of interest from cities in Asia and in USA. In addition to the scaling up of the SME, Helix also devised, in conjunction with several TURAS partners, the mobile green living room road show, a scaled-down version of the green living room in Ludwigsburg. The mobile green living room roadshow toured Europe in the summer of 2016 having been invited by 9 cites to be co-located with local sustainability events. Helix is planning an even larger tour in 2017 and the first dates are already confirmed. There is also interest from cities to buy several of the Mobile Green Livingroom as the ‘mascot’ for their own urban green infrastructure activities and to make them more visible on city markets and squares. More information can be seen in this video, and in visiting the popular Mobile Green Living Room Facebook page that accompanied the tour, as well as here. As a result of their innovation activities, Helix is now a partner on the ‘innovating cities through nature-based solutions’ Horizon 2020 project CONNECTING.

Dermot Foley Landscape Architects
DFLA is an established SME that has been successful in international bids for new nature-based solutions and co-creation processes in the last few years. DFLA have drawn upon their experiences on working in work package 6 and on the collaborative processes in the Pelletstown case study area on a project in Kingstown University, London. Here they established, with the participation of the client, a full cradle-to-cradle approach to the demolishing of an old building and its replacement with a new library that has nature-based solutions and fully recycle materials as a core design concept (see here for more information). Dermot Foley also used his experiences with TURAS case studies, as well as the opportunities that TURAS offered for learning and student engagement, to create a student project, exhibition and book.

Bioazul
This SME specialising in waste management, has scaled up their client offering by drawing on ideas and examples from work package 4 and the use of nature-based solutions for wastewater management. The project has had a significant impact for this SME enabling them to collaborate with the main actors in the waste management sectors in the city of Malaga. Furthermore it led directly to collaboration with Promalaga, another TURAS partners focused on fostering the economic development of Malaga city and supporting entrepreneurs, technological innovation and international investment. Together Bioazul and Promalaga made an analysis of the city from the economical point of view and to develop an integrated strategy for the local transition production model. Outside Spain, Bioazul has worked with TURAS spin-off Osmos in the urban metabolism analysis of Brussels Crown Barracks using the transversal planning approach and the two SMES plan to collaborate further in similar projects in the future. This SME is also participating in the CONNECTING project and has signalled that the TURAS project has greatly assisted them in scaling up their business (see here)
Pracsis, Zotoi and Cicio
Originally part of the SME Pracsis, several smaller ICT SMEs (Zotoi and Cicio) have spun-off from Pracsis using the back office element of the TURAS site as a basis for new business development. The innovative TURAS website structure has now been further developed and subsequent iterations are being used in several Horizon 2020 projects. In the final year of the project, Zotoi collaborated on a mutually beneficial software testing project with TURAS whereby Zotoi tested new event management software concept with several urban cities partnering in the TURAS project. TURAS benefited by having free access to new event management software. Zotoi benefited from end user feedback on early versions of new software. These practical collaborations will contribute to improved innovation and growth of new ICT companies.

Main dissemination activities and exploitation of results
A plan for dissemination and exploitation (Deliverable 8.14) was developed at the start of the project and updated regularly throughout the project to reflect the evolving messages, activities and outcomes of the project. Dissemination and exploitation activities were planned at multiple levels from local to international and extensive activities were undertaken throughout the project at all levels as shown in the figure below from Deliverable 8.14.

In summary, the main dissemination activities included the development of an interactive web platform (Task 8.2) which supported both internal collaboration between partners (work package discussions, information gathering and storage, reporting) and communication about the project to the general public in particular in the case study cities. Initially, the package saw the completion of interactive ‘mini-sites’ the TURAS European cities (which are also linked to the web GIS from work package 1). These were accessible from the home page of the TURAS site which was regularly updated with partner editorials, news and event items. As the project progressed more and more information was produced and disseminated. In order to communicate and report in a more informal manner the many community and city level events which were taking place in partner cities as part of T8.3 and T8.4, a highly popular blogging mechanism was added in the demonstration phase of the TURAS project and to date there have been nearly 80 blogs. These blogs made the website content more appealing and accessible to a range of target audiences in particular community stakeholders and helped to keep the content continually up to date. Social media such as Twitter was used extensively during the demonstration phase to highlight dissemination activities as they happened – for example the Mobile Green Living room roadshow moving from city to city. A large number of short videos were created for individual partners to speak about their work and how TURAS has impacted their fields of expertise as well as their institution.

Figure 7 Route map and photos of community engagement with Mobile Green Living Room

In the final months of the project, WP7 and WP8 partners collaborated closely on the design and implementation of a web interface presenting the 83 project outcomes (Integrated Transition Strategies, tools, Place based strategies and pilots) in a user-friendly format for uptake and exploitation by non-partner cities. These project results are highly visible on the home page of the TURAS website which has been revised into a static website format to be maintained for at least 2 years after the project ends. Work is ongoing to transition the 83 TURAS outcomes to the Oppla marketplace and case study database to ensure the ongoing sustainability and exploitation of project outcomes.
While the web platform was important as a communication tool, the TURAS dissemination strategy placed even more emphasis on offline communication activities – engaging various stakeholders directly in a wide range of community and city-wide dissemination events captured and reported in the online blogs (T8.3 and T8.4). T8.5 and T8.6 sought to disseminate and engage non partner cities in exploiting TURAS results through a coordinated programme of events. Three highlights from T8.5 and T8.6 were as follows:
1. the TURAS sponsorship of AESOP/ACSP conference July 2013 the theme of which was “Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions” addressing both the implications for research and practice.
2. the “Green Living Room” dissemination activities including the opening of the green living room showcase in Ludwigsburg in April 2014, the 2015 Deauville award for the Green Living Room video and finally the extensive media (tv, press and online) coverage of the Green Living Room mobile roadshow which captured public interest as it visited 8 European cities in the summer of 2016 (starting in Bonn (ICLEI Resilient Cities Conference), Frankfurt, London, Antwerp, Brussels (Mobility Week), Ljubljana (Mobility Week), Zagreb, Krems (Climate Alliance Annual Conferences) before returning home to permanent residency in Stuttgart .
3. The local authority dissemination and outreach activities (presented in Deliverable 8.15) which constructively leveraged local authority experience to communicate to peers the lessons learnt from TURAS, the benefits of participation and the opportunities for other cities to exploit the results. Novel presentation formats such as ‘pitch battles’ were introduced at these events to engage target audiences in better understanding project outcomes.

Conclusion
In keeping with the rest of the project, TURAS adopted an innovative approach to dissemination, communication and exploitation of results which evolved continually throughout the project. In addition to traditional communications via publications, conferences and websites, TURAS embraced social media and blogging to present up to date information in an easily accessible format for all audiences. When it came to communities, which from the outset were at the heart of the TURAS approach, TURAS went further still – going offline and off road and engaging everyone from children to the elderly in community centred dissemination activities. In quantitative terms, it is difficult to measure the impact of such activities but in qualitative terms, the pictures from these events speak for themselves.

Project Results:
A plan for dissemination and exploitation (Deliverable 8.14) was developed at the start of the project and updated regularly throughout the project to reflect the evolving messages, activities and outcomes of the project. Dissemination and exploitation activities were planned at multiple levels from local to international and extensive activities were undertaken throughout the project at all levels as shown in the figure below from Deliverable 8.14.

In summary, the main dissemination activities included the development of an interactive web platform (Task 8.2) which supported both internal collaboration between partners (work package discussions, information gathering and storage, reporting) and communication about the project to the general public in particular in the case study cities. Initially, the package saw the completion of interactive ‘mini-sites’ the TURAS European cities (which are also linked to the web GIS from work package 1). These were accessible from the home page of the TURAS site which was regularly updated with partner editorials, news and event items. As the project progressed more and more information was produced and disseminated. In order to communicate and report in a more informal manner the many community and city level events which were taking place in partner cities as part of T8.3 and T8.4, a highly popular blogging mechanism was added in the demonstration phase of the TURAS project and to date there have been nearly 80 blogs. These blogs made the website content more appealing and accessible to a range of target audiences in particular community stakeholders and helped to keep the content continually up to date. Social media such as Twitter was used extensively during the demonstration phase to highlight dissemination activities as they happened – for example the Mobile Green Living room roadshow moving from city to city. A large number of short videos were created for individual partners to speak about their work and how TURAS has impacted their fields of expertise as well as their institution.

Figure 7 Route map and photos of community engagement with Mobile Green Living Room

In the final months of the project, WP7 and WP8 partners collaborated closely on the design and implementation of a web interface presenting the 83 project outcomes (Integrated Transition Strategies, tools, Place based strategies and pilots) in a user-friendly format for uptake and exploitation by non-partner cities. These project results are highly visible on the home page of the TURAS website which has been revised into a static website format to be maintained for at least 2 years after the project ends. Work is ongoing to transition the 83 TURAS outcomes to the Oppla marketplace and case study database to ensure the ongoing sustainability and exploitation of project outcomes.
While the web platform was important as a communication tool, the TURAS dissemination strategy placed even more emphasis on offline communication activities – engaging various stakeholders directly in a wide range of community and city-wide dissemination events captured and reported in the online blogs (T8.3 and T8.4). T8.5 and T8.6 sought to disseminate and engage non partner cities in exploiting TURAS results through a coordinated programme of events. Three highlights from T8.5 and T8.6 were as follows:
1. the TURAS sponsorship of AESOP/ACSP conference July 2013 the theme of which was “Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions” addressing both the implications for research and practice.
2. the “Green Living Room” dissemination activities including the opening of the green living room showcase in Ludwigsburg in April 2014, the 2015 Deauville award for the Green Living Room video and finally the extensive media (tv, press and online) coverage of the Green Living Room mobile roadshow which captured public interest as it visited 8 European cities in the summer of 2016 (starting in Bonn (ICLEI Resilient Cities Conference), Frankfurt, London, Antwerp, Brussels (Mobility Week), Ljubljana (Mobility Week), Zagreb, Krems (Climate Alliance Annual Conferences) before returning home to permanent residency in Stuttgart .
3. The local authority dissemination and outreach activities (presented in Deliverable 8.15) which constructively leveraged local authority experience to communicate to peers the lessons learnt from TURAS, the benefits of participation and the opportunities for other cities to exploit the results. Novel presentation formats such as ‘pitch battles’ were introduced at these events to engage target audiences in better understanding project outcomes.

Conclusion
In keeping with the rest of the project, TURAS adopted an innovative approach to dissemination, communication and exploitation of results which evolved continually throughout the project. In addition to traditional communications via publications, conferences and websites, TURAS embraced social media and blogging to present up to date information in an easily accessible format for all audiences. When it came to communities, which from the outset were at the heart of the TURAS approach, TURAS went further still – going offline and off road and engaging everyone from children to the elderly in community centred dissemination activities. In quantitative terms, it is difficult to measure the impact of such activities but in qualitative terms, the pictures from these events speak for themselves.

Potential Impact:
www.turas-cities.eu

List of Websites:
PDF of the Final report

Related information

Documents and Publications

Contact

Donal Doolan, (Head of Financial Management)
Tel.: +353 1 7161656
Fax: +353 1 7161216
E-mail
Record Number: 197882 / Last updated on: 2017-05-11