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REPAiR - REsource Management in Peri-urban AReas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - REPAiR (REPAiR - REsource Management in Peri-urban AReas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-12-31

A shift towards a more circular economy is crucial to achieve more sustainable and inclusive growth. The core objective of REPAiR is to provide local and regional authorities with an innovative transdisciplinary open source geodesign decision support environment (GDSE) developed and implemented in living labs in six metropolitan areas. The GDSE allows creating integrated, place-based eco-innovative spatial development strategies aiming at a quantitative reduction of waste flows in the strategic interface of peri-urban areas. These strategies will promote the use of waste as a resource, thus support the on-going initiatives of the European Commission towards establishing a strong circular economy. The identification of such eco-innovative strategies will be based as much as possible on the integration of life cycle thinking and geodesign in order to operationalise de concept of urban metabolism. Our approach differs from previous UM as we introduce an activity based spatial flow accounting in order to collect data accurate and detailed enough to allow for the design of a variety of solutions to place-based challenges. The developed impact and decision models allow quantification and validation of alternative solution paths and therefore promote sustainable urban development built upon near-field synergies between the built and natural environments. This will be achieved by quantifying and tracking essential resource flows, mapping and quantification of negative and positive effects of present and future resource flows, and the determination of a set of indicators to inform decision makers concerning the optimization of (re-)use of resources. The GDSE will be made available on an open source platform. With a budget of 5.1 million euro, REPAiR funds a consortium rich in experience in waste and resource management, spatial decision support, territorial governance, spatial planning and urban design, and has deep knowledge of the six case study areas. REPAiR is supported by a user board, of key stakeholders of the six peri-urban living lab areas across Europe for the development of CE as well as local authorities, who are heavily involved in the GDSE testing.
REPAiR developed the first geodesign software that includes flows, other than traffic and water. In order to do so, modules for data entry and visualisation that include waste and resource flows had to be developed.
To further extend the concept of urban metabolism and make it applicable to support the development of place-based eco-innovative solutions, REPAiR developed an activity-based material flow analysis (AS-MFA), which follows the so-called ‘network model of urban metabolism’ and includes activities and value change.
REPAiR explored, through interviews, questionnaires and the co-exploration phase of the PULLs the roles of governance settings and territorial and socio-cultural characteristics of different (peri-) urban areas. Next, these were taken as factors, which constrain or support the capacity to devise place-tailored solutions to promote the use of waste as a resource.
The AS-MFA was applied in an integrated socio-spatial analysis together with further developed understanding and mapping of wastescapes to define the so-called ‘enabling contexts’, which are locations or subsystems within the area of interest that are specifically suitable for developing and implementing eco-innovative solutions.
In order to be able to assess eco-innovative solutions a sustainability framework was developed, that is holistic and comprehensive in the sense that it covers social, economic and environmental aspects, and considers local to global impacts, based on a life cycle perspective.

The change models have been finalised using eco-innovative solutions developed in the follow-up cases and combined to strategies, supported by the GDSE. WP2 developed and extended D2.4 Handbook for Geodesign Workshops with a workshop script and supportive video material to enable the PULL leaders to organise online GDSE workshops. In June 2020 the “online way” of GDSE workshops was tested with the REPAiR user board and allowed in the following all cases to finalise the living lab process. Furthermore, the technical and nontechnical documentation of the GDSE software and its applications are available to the public online.
In parallel in a long and intensive collaborative process, WP4 performed the sustainability assessment of the eco-innovative strategies in all cases which are presented in D4.7 and D4.8. With this, the comprehensive sustainability assessment framework has proven its applicability, usefulness for decision-makers but also its predominantly data related limitations.
While organising the PULL process, WP5 also delivered D5.9 Final Updated Handbook: How to run a PULLs an online handbook that not only describes the living lab and-co-creation methods developed in REPAiR but also includes an easily searchable online catalogue of the around 100 eco-innovative solutions developed during REPAiR.
A further highlight of the third reporting period is the online handbook for knowledge transfer (WP7). It provides, in six languages, regional and local policy actors with hands-on guidance and ideas on how to engage in knowledge co-creation in a way that helps to avoid the typical pitfalls of learning from foreign best practices.
WP3 and WP6 delivered cross-cutting deliverables comparing results across cases. D3.9 compared the six representation and process models and elaborated on the findings with the aim to provide recommendations for decision/policymakers. D6.5 analysed the decision process in all six cases. The main focus is on the decision processes and the used methods that were taken within the PULL processes of all six cases. This includes decisions taken with the support of the GDSE and decisions taken without this tool.

Dissemination and exploitation were one of the major focus points of the last project period. The REPAiR Final Event took place on the 13th of October 2020. There were 268 attendees present: 157 representing the scientific community, 30 policymakers, 23 industry, 11 civil society, 11 general public, and 36 others. Attendees joined from at least 27 countries, all over the World. The Final Event was recorded, and these videos together with the full programme, short biographies of the speakers, and links to the presentations are available for download on the REPAiR website. The REPAiR Team also produced an online exhibition to present the results of the REPAiR project in an appealing and easily accessible way. In this next-generation experience, visitors can learn all about the CE contexts and solutions coming out of the REPAiR project.
REPAiR generated five exploitable products of REPAiR described in D8.9 which are:

● The Geodesign Decision Support Environment(GDSE) as whole or specific modules and manuals on installation, adaptation, and use;
● The sustainability assessment framework and the related open LCA module;
● The co-creation methodology implemented in Peri-Urban Living Labs and the related online handbook.
● The developed Eco-innovative solutions and the related online handbook;
● The knowledge transfer methodology and the related online handbook;
All of them were either used or further developed in the case study cities of REPAiR, while further developing their circular economy policies or by other national and international research projects.
Figure 2: The 6 questions and 3 iterations of Steinitz’s geodesign framework and key deliverables
Figure1: REPAiR WP-structure.
Figure 3: A Peri-urban Living Lab Workshop in Amsterdam