Integrating NBS in cities through co-creation: a practical guidance for CLEVER Cities

18:00 Tuesday 28 May




Israa Mahmoud (Italy) 1; Giuseppe Salvia (Italy) 2; Eugenio Morello (Italy) 1

1 - Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani Politecnico di Milano; 2 - Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano

Lately, the European Commission forged in the framework of Research and Innovation of Horizon 2020 the policy of Re-Naturing cities and Green Infrastructure aiming towards positioning the EU as leader in ‘Innovating with nature’ and pushing forward systematic urban governance for social cohesion. CLEVER Cities project came to life within that framework with two main objectives: fostering the implementation of nature-based solutions in urban context as well as embedding the complete co-creation concept in Front-runner cities urban regeneration strategies.

Complete co-creation is a novel approach of entrenched co-design, co-implementation, co-monitoring and co-development with fully engaged stakeholders and local communities. It aims at achieving social cohesion, inclusive participatory co-design processes and goes beyond towards changing the facets of environmental adaptation and mitigation environmental policies. In other words, successful solutions to environmental problems in a co-creation process require the combined efforts of different scientific disciplines and active dialogue between stakeholders from policy and society actors.

This research paper exploits the originality of using Co-Creation as Pathway for cities to better implement NBS, and achieve flexible, open, equitable urban resilience, and adapt climate change strategies. Co-Creation dynamic processes build on involving stakeholders and engaging local community at every stage; moreover, account on collective governance for outputting social, economic and environmental ‘Co-benefits’.

CLEVER Cities developed two main concepts: Urban Innovation Partnership (UIP) and CLEVER Action Labs (CALs) as main representation of the powerful mechanisms to implement nature-based solutions in urban fabrics. Three cities are on the forefront of the experimental processes: London, Hamburg, and Milan. Running on different scales, CALs work as an urban living lab of co-creative solutions to get implemented. The guidance provides indications for cities to experimental use; and to verify the guidance feasibility and doability.

In addition, the city of Milan served as a test-bed for this research study. An Urban Innovation Partnership (UIP) was established and three CALs are under further investigation and potential development starting June 2019. 16 steps are envisioned to support cities to accomplish successful implementation of NBS. Each step is composed by one or more activities, which can be freely adjusted by each city, depending on their local contexts. For each Step it is important to achieve an outcome. Each city has its own geography, geology, climate conditions, as well as social, economic and cultural structures. Hence, the content is merely flexible to be translated and transferred in each city local setting.