The Participatory Incremental Urban Planning (PIUP) Toolbox by UN-Habitat is a step-by-step methodology to assess, design, operationalize and implement urban planning processes. A roadmap is proposed to facilitate the understanding and the accomplishment of all the steps.
New paper: COVID, CITIES and CLIMATE: Historical Precedents and Potential Transitions for the New Economy
According to the author, the 2020 collapse of the global economy due to Covid-19 pandemic has enabled us to think about long term trends and what the future could hold for our cities and regions, especially due to the climate agenda. Having as a starting point the current pandemic, this paper sets out the historical precedents for economic transitions after collapses that unleash new technologically based innovation waves. These are shown to be associated with different energy and infrastructure priorities and their transport and resulting urban forms.
REFLOW is an EU H2020 project, from 2019 to 2022, that seeks to understand and transform urban material flows and to co-create and test circular and regenerative solutions in urban and peri-urban areas across Europe. The vision of REFLOW is to develop circular and regenerative cities through the re-localisation of production and the reconfiguration of material flows at different scales, leveraging Fab Labs and makerspaces as catalysts for wide-scale collaboration and co-creation conducive to systemic, sustainable change. The project operates at the international level, mobilising existing networks and movements that are working towards a new productive model for cities such as Circular Cities, C40 Cities and Fab City Global Initiative.
New paper: An Investigation on the Feasibility of Near-Zero and Positive Energy Communities in the Greek Context
This paper is following the EU target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Near Zero Energy and Positive Energy communities are expected to play a significant part of the strategy that will be followed. Within this context, the authors aim to investigate the feasibility of a new-built positive energy neighborhood and the retrofit of an existing neighborhood to near zero energy performance in the city of Alexandroupolis, Greece. The study may act as a roadmap for the uptake and development of positive energy and near-zero energy communities in Greek Cities, similar to Alexandroupolis. Furthermore, it can be used as a decision support tool for policy makers, when assessing alternative options towards the path of decarbonization of EU economy by 2050.
The rise of the online economy is based on the opportunities to extract value from data that is produced by digital technologies. As opposed to data brokers that gain value buying and selling personal information, this report argues for radically new ideas about how the value of our personal information can be returned back to citizens. Rather than focusing on how making money from data, it focuses on how data can benefit society as a whole, exploring the idea of ‘data commons’. The report is entitled “Common Knowledge: Citizen-led data governance for better cities” and is part of the decode H2020 project.
Sidewalk Toronto project, developed by Sidewalk Labs, was suspended earlier this month. The company claimed “unprecedented economic uncertainty” caused by the current pandemic.
The project consists of a highly controversial topic, due to privacy concerns. Sidewalk Labs, a Google affiliate, designed a large-scale project towards the transformation of the Waterfront of Toronto into a smart city.
What can be said about Covid-19 that hasn’t been said already? Rather than simply talking and writing about the pandemic, Gehl staff wants to share the lived experience of it. With the support of Realdania and the City of Copenhagen, they worked with 60 surveyors in 4 cities in Denmark to observe and understand how streets and public spaces, parks and playgrounds are serving the very unique needs of the communities during this pandemic. The first results are listed in this report, both in terms of snapshots of public life during the “lock-down” as well as highlights of the collected data.