Collaboration in planning nature-based solutions: Replication tools towards place-based ecologic urban regeneration

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Submission Summary
The report is presenting part of the results and ongoing work of the EU Horizon2020 project proGIreg (productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration: Nature for Renewal). ProGIreg project aims to demonstrate the integration of nature-based solutions (NBS) into business models that are economically self-sustaining and provide multiple benefits for the economic, ecological and social regeneration of deprived urban areas suffering from the consequences of de-industrialisation. More specifically, the case-study report will focus on the use of methodological tools for the replication process of the proGIreg initiative from Front Runner Cities (FRC) (Dortmund, Turin, Zagreb, Ningbo) to Follower Cities (FC) (Cascais, Cluj-Napoca, Piraeus, Zenica). The tools have been created starting from the outcomes of experiences and lessons learnt from the FRC implementation process. The Replication Toolkit and the Roadmap, the two replication tools, are being tested for the first time by FC, being potentially replicable by other worldwide cities that struggle with post-industrial areas regeneration. The tools were created to ease the development of Regeneration Urban plans, a transformation strategy focused on generating structural environmental and socio-economic changes through NBS. The Replication Toolkit captures insights, reflections and lessons learnt from the experience of FRC, presented in the forms of recommendations on two levels:(a) Strategic Level - helping in the decision-making process; (b) Operational level - collecting good practices for the transformation of the area and replicable NBS-specific information. The Roadmap is a step by step process (that leverages on the Replication Toolkit), showing potential replicators how to build a coherent strategy towards the integration of NBS in the local context. It is constructed in three distinct stages: (a)Preparatory work;(b) Planning the Urban Regeneration Area Transformation;(c) From co-design to co-implementation. Each stage is divided into blocks, collecting specific steps that help acquire the information to be further used for the elaboration of the tailor-made strategies. The two tools work together, accompanying cities in their journey toward NBS integration and sustainable transformation. The key aspect of this specific replication methodology is that the process is designed as a community-oriented approach, COLLABORATION being the central aspect of delivering meaningful and effective urban regeneration/transformation solutions. The process of urban regeneration through NBS promoted by proGIreg strongly relies on the participatory and co-creation and co-implementation approach, considering the benefits for both the community and the successful implementation of the project. NBS and Regeneration Plans are co-created in multi-stakeholder partnerships, following the quadruple-helix approach: academia (universities and research institutions), governmental institutions (local governments and other public authorities), the private sector and civil society (NGOs and individual citizens). The tools follow four fundamental approaches: (1) Retrospective approach - a critical look at past initiatives, building a coherent set of recommendations to solve concrete problems identified; (2) Iterative approach - the possibility of having multiple throwbacks, iterations, and changes during the path to find a good match between the local needs and the proposed solutions; (3) Incremental approach - a step by step approach that is ensuring a comprehensive and efficient assessment of problems, necessities, solutions towards the creation of the final design; (4) Adaptation - the roadmap and the toolkit have been constructed to be adaptable to each specific context and to allow setting-up tailor-made paths towards Regeneration Urban Plans. The report aims at describing how FC are approaching the constructed replication methodology and how they are being supported throughout the overall process, in order to build a coherent, local-based strategy for the replication and integration of the NBS within the local urban planning context.
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3: Smartness and development. Al-Souq: innovating for performance and management
Urban Planner
Urban Planner, Project Manager of EU projects
Research Associate
RWTH Aachen University

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