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productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - proGIreg (productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30

For proGIreg, four front-runner cities (Dortmund DE; Turin IT; Zagreb HR; Ningbo CN) will create Living Labs (LLs) in urban areas which face the challenge of post-industrial regeneration. These areas suffer from social and economic disadvantages, inequality and related crime and security problems. They lack quality greenspaces, have a negative impact on human health and wellbeing and are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The proGIreg LLs will develop Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) which are citizen owned and co-developed by state, market and civil society stakeholders. Innovation will take place on the technical level through the NBS deployments, on the social level through co-designing, co-creating and co-implementing NBS with local communities and on the economic level through combining NBS with market-ready business models. Four follower cities (Cascais PT, Cluj-Napoca RO, Piraeus GR, Zenica BA) will be co-steering the research process to assure replicability and adaptability to their local context resulting in urban plans for NBS deployment. The NBS to be tested i.a. include: regenerating soils with biotic compounds, creating community-based urban agriculture and aquaponics and making river corridors accessible. Scientific assessment and monitoring results from the LLs will be made available on the EU NBS platform OPPLA and will contribute to the European reference framework for NBS. Global impact will be achieved by a training program for cooperative planning, implementation and management of NBS. It will be provided by partners from the cities, SMEs and universities involved. Replication events will be organized in cooperation with the partner ICLEI. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be distributed via EdX, the most renowned MOOCs platform worldwide.
The work during the first reporting period has laid the foundations for a successful implementation of the project. The consortium has established efficient cooperation in a sense of community, the kick-off meeting in Aachen, kick-off conference in Dortmund and cities workshop in Cluj-Napoca have supported this team-building. All work packages (WPs) have established the methodologies for fulfilling theirs tasks and objectives throughout the project duration.
As a first step towards the implementation of NBS in the different LLs, WP 2 analysed the local context and regeneration challenges and carried out the co-design processes. Based on the quad helix model, local partnerships including government, universities, citizen organisations and enterprises have been established. These partnerships have developed first ideas for implementing NBS into LL vision maps representing the planned transformation of the urban regeneration areas. Translating these co-designed visions into the implementation plans is an ongoing process. WP 3 has established the methodology for this process allowing the local partners to take the next steps towards implementation efficiently. To prepare the urban planning for NBS to be elaborated by the follower cities in the final phase of the project, the spatial analysis has also been carried out in these cities.

To assess the impact of NBS on the urban regeneration, WP 4 has established the assessment methodology to be applied. Ten assessment tools have been defined to measure the impact within the four assessment domains: socio-cultural inclusiveness, human health and wellbeing, ecological and environmental restoration and economic and labour market benefits. To allow comparison against a baseline, WPs 2 and 4 have jointly collected data for a baseline assessment on the level of the front-runner city, the LL and the intervention sites.
The process of co-designing NBS and preparing them for implementation is also informing the methodology of WP 5, which is currently developing tools for identifying and tackling technical and non-technical barriers to NBS.

A number of supporting tasks completed or started guarantees that the project will be carried out responsibly and will impact research and practise.
WP 6 has defined the project’s corporate design and set up a communication and dissemination plan. It also installed an Intellectual Property Rights management and a Scientific Committee that manages the scientific publication strategy. Open access to research data will be granted by applying the Data Management Plan elaborated in WP 4. It will use an online platform for storage and exchange of research data.
Responsible research and innovation are ensured by risk mitigation measures in response to ethical issues raised by the proposal assessment. This has been a joint effort of all relevant consortium partners within WP 7 and will be applied throughout the entire research process.
The first reporting period was dedicated to laying the foundations for innovation within the project, so proGIreg has not yet shown progress beyond the state of the art. First innovative results can be expected once the experience of the co-design phases in the front-runner cities will be summed up in co-design guidelines by May 2020. These guidelines for stakeholder engagement are expected to allow better investment of European funds in the member states. They will create a leverage effect on EU funding schemes through better adaptation to local needs.
In the long run, the project expects impact in the following fields:
1) A community of practice in NBS will be forged through project networking between FRC and FC, especially through replication events. Scientific evidence of the advantages of will increase awareness of the potential of NBS. The business model catalogue will ensure that the NBS are market ready and can be adapted to local policy goals.
2) citizen ownership: A new understanding of GI as an urban common resource is at the core of proGIreg. The transdisciplinary LLs will be the source of new participatory processes. Actors from state, market and civil society will receive advice on how to join forces to implement NBS.
3) global market opportunities: The training offered within the project, especially the MOOCs, will have a global outreach and will address stakeholders who engage in NBS implementation as well as representatives from academia and vocational education.
4) EU policies: The results of proGIreg will help to implement EU programmes and strategies:
- the EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy will be addressed through the reduction of heat island effects, the attenuation of heat stress through the creation of greenspaces and through the creation of retention and infiltration areas for stormwater;
- the COP21 Paris Agreement will be supported by NBS for augmented carbon storage in urban soils;
- the EU Environment Action Programme will profit from the improved knowledge base on NBS, the guidelines for investing in NBS business models and through the creation of new circular economies;
- the EU Biodiversity Strategy will be supported through creating new habitats and enhancing biodiversity in urban environments.
5) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Finding new ways to the implementation of SDG 11, especially the targets 11.6 11.7 11.a and 11.b is the most important motivation for the project.
Besides contributing to SDG 11, NBS business models developed will be a unique combination of SDGs 1 and 10: they will contribute to environmental justice by improving the living conditions in deprived urban areas (SDG 10) and open routes out of poverty.
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Fieldtrip in the Living Lab, Hansa Coking Plant
Cities Workshop in Cluj-Napoca: NBS World Café
First NBS implementations: creating urban gardens in Dortmund Living Lab
First NBS implementations: three planting with schools in Zagreb Living Lab
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Fieldtrip to implemented post-industrial NBS in Dortmund-Hörde
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Fieldtrip in the Living Lab, Hansa Coking Plant
First NBS implementations: urban gardens in Turin Living Lab
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Fieldtrip to implemented post-industrial NBS in Dortmund-Hörde
Cities Workshop in Cluj-Napoca: NBS World Café
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Fieldtrip to implemented post-industrial NBS in Dortmund-Hörde
Experiments for building green walls in Turin Living Lab
Kick-off Conference Dortmund: Discussions on the Marketplace for proGIreg cities
Cities Workshop in Cluj-Napoca: NBS World Café
Chinese partners visit aquaponics test installation of die urbanisten in Dortmund
Co-Design Workshop in Turin Living Lab