Resilient Historic Communities

16:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S1


Annalisa Spalazzi (Italy) 1; Ellie Tonks (United Kingdom) 1; Maria Julia Seixas (Portugal)

1 - Climate-KIC; 2 - FCT Nova

Historic districts in cities have peculiar characteristics that make them unique for those who live there and for tourism. Common features as urban fabric made of medieval structures, narrow streets with few green public spaces and ancient and degraded heritage buildings, populated by elderly inhabitants and massive tourism fluxes, are at the origin of problems hampering the well-being and development of such districts.

These districts generally suffer a general lack of climate resilient public spaces, low presence of green areas, severe limitations to implement energy efficiency measures and the utilization of RES in the historical buildings, very congested streets with excessive use of private cars, loss of the sense of community spirit and an usual limited citizens’ engagement in local development plans. On the other hand, communities living in these areas need to be part of the transformation needed to build long-term sustainable districts. As for that, this science to practice session aims to explore and work with participants on the use of nature-based solutions for community engagement to build communities acceptance in historic districts in order to cope with adaptation measures and historic beauty preservation.

This session is based the EIT Climate-KIC’s work in Portugal through the EIT Climate-KIC Hub and our partner located in Lisbon (FCT Nova). The session builds on 2 ongoing projects involving Lisbon, in particular the Alfama historic district of Lisbon, and the EIT Climate-KIC Smart Sustainable districts programme. Our Smart Sustainable Districts programme is transforming cities one district at a time by supporting municipalities and other city stakeholders to develop and deliver transformative sustainability projects at a city-district scale. We work with all stakeholders, pursuing a collaborative approach, to design new innovation experiments to address climate change. A summary of the two projects is given below:

SSD Alfama – In 2017, we have applied the EIT Climate-KIC Smart Sustainable Districts methods in Alfama, the historic district in Lisbon, to achieve a validated list of problems around six key challenges as well as a long list of innovative conceptual solutions. More than 30 stakeholders have been engaged and continued working in 2018 in integrated sustainable and smart projects and initiatives, around clean mobility, friendly buildings and climate resilient public spaces. The result is a ‘Detailed Smart and Sustainable Agenda for Alfama’, designing new solutions for the appropriate targets and with the active participation and engagement of all stakeholders.

Sustainable Historic Districts – Lisboa (PT), Valletta (MT), Savona (IT), Ptuj (SI), Nicosia (CY), and Sassari (IT), 6 cities spread all over Southern Europe are working closely with EIT Climate-KIC to transform their historic districts towards more sustainable, climate resilient and inclusive communities, taking a holistic approach to addressing common challenges in historical cities of the Mediterranean.

Target audience

This session is targeted towards key local stakeholders, within a city or district, that demonstrate a strong commitment to building a process of transformative change in their community. It is expected that the local stakeholders range from academia, business and the public sector following the EIT Knowledge Triangle Integration (KTI) model. By attending this session individuals will learn practically, based on science and real-world practices, how to transform their historic districts into resilient societies. We target 30-40 participants to this session.

Proposed format for the session

Inspire (30 min):

  • Annalisa Spalazzi & Ellie Tonks > Nature based solutions and citizens engagement: Climate-KIC role in enhancing system transformation in cities
  • Vera Gregorio , Lisboa eNova > Alfama for all
  • Maria Achilleos, Cyrpus Energy Agency > Community engagement for an inclusive, accessible & urban regenerated ‘Nicosia within the walls’
  • Valentina Bacciu, CMCC > Co-designing green pathways: tools and approaches in Sassari.
  • Pietro Pera, IRE Liguria > a low carbon, resilient Savona to enhance citizens quality of life

Practise (45 min):

Through Climate-KIC team facilitation, each city will guide the table with a specific challenge in the local context on community engagement side in adaptation. Participants, using system innovation design tools provided by Climate-KIC team in each table will help cities to work on their challenge.

  • How to build communities acceptance in historic districts in order to cope with adaptation measures and historic beauty preservation?
  • How should community contribute to adaptation?
  • How should they be part of adaptation plans?
  • How to engage communities in being part of the solution through Nature Based Solutions?
  • What can communities do to reduce risks connected to climate change? i.e. Citizens and roof-gardens in their houses, rainwater collection, etc.

There will be 4 tables with maximum 10 participants per each table. The challenge will be disclosed during the session.

Harvest (15 min):

System change for the future of historic districts community’ engagement.

Contributing Authors abstracts

Climate-KIC SSD team + FCT Nova , Lisboa eNova, IRE Liguria, Cyprus Energy Agency and CMCC.