Israa Hanafi Mahmoud

Israa Hanafi Mahmoud
Politecnico di Milano | Polimi · Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DASTU)

PhD Urban Regeneration and Sociability MSc in Urban design and architecture,
Collaborating on #urban #governance #ULLs #NBS #Co-creation Assistant Professor #nature-based solutions #placemaking

About

41
Publications
29,685
Reads
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132
Citations
Citations since 2017
36 Research Items
128 Citations
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Introduction
Israa is a Polyglot Urban planner and architect, she speaks English, Italian, French Fluently and Arabic is her mother tongue. She holds a Ph.D. in “Sociability of Public spaces and Placemaking approach as key drivers for Cultural-Based Urban Regeneration processes.” Learning case study: Northend Park, Boston Massachusetts, USA.” She is passionate about Public Spaces . she currently works on CLEVER Cities project on the use of co-creation of Nature-based solutions for social inclusiveness
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - April 2020
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2018 - present
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • CLEVER CITIES research project
July 2017 - April 2018
Northeastern University
Position
  • Faculty Adjunct
Education
January 2017 - July 2017
San Diego State University
Field of study
  • urban planning
December 2015 - December 2016
Northeastern University
Field of study
  • Urban regeneration and economic development

Publications

Publications (41)
Chapter
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBS) implementation in urban contexts has proven outcoming multiple benefits to reverse the current trend of natural resources' degradation adversely affecting biodiversity, human health, and wellbeing. Yet, the current urban-planning policy frameworks present a rigid structure to integrate NBS definitions, and their co-bene...
Article
Full-text available
Over recent decades Urban Living Labs (ULLs) have become a common space for co-creation processes' experimentation, whereby new approaches for sustainable urban development are highly connected to support evidence-based policy generation. Europe seems a particular 'hotspot' for this approach whenever it comes to public policy and specifically plann...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Mahmoud, I.H.; Morello, E.; Vona, C.; Benciolini, M.; Sejdullahu, I.; Trentin, M.; Pascual, K.H. Setting the Social Monitoring Framework for Nature-Based Solutions Impact: Methodological Approach and Pre-Greening Measurements in the Case Study from CLEVER Cities Milan. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9672. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179672
Chapter
Working DefinitionsNature-based SolutionsAccording to the European Commission’sdefini-tion (See alsohttps://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/environment/nature-based-solutions_en) (2015), nature-basedsolutions (NBS) are solutions that are“inspiredand supported by nature, which are cost-effective,simultaneously provide environ...
Book
Full-text available
This book investigates the dynamics and the role of green urban regeneration using nature-based solutions (NBS) in contributing to the cultural aspects of public spaces. In the first part of the book, insights on analytical methods, planning strategies and shared governance examples are given, as well as, an assessment tool, namely public space ind...
Article
Full-text available
Within the framework of CLEVER Cities Horizon 2020, London, Milan, and Hamburg are putting in place nine Urban Living Labs in order to implement Nature-based Solutions that address urban challenges in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods. In this article, the means by which co-creation processes and pathways may lead to innovation in governance str...
Chapter
This chapter explains in detail the methodological analysis conducted on the main case study in this book: The North End Park in Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, Massachusetts. The multi-methods evaluation framework, known as the Public Space Index (PSI), implemented encompasses visual observation analysis, behavioural pattern tracing, the measuremen...
Chapter
In this chapter, public life/public space metrics—as introduced by Gehl (Gehl Institute, The public life diversity toolkit 2.0., 2016) are used to identify different sets of and/or methods for collecting both qualitative and quantitative data on people’s usage, behaviour, frequency, age, and gender, as well as physical site observations in the firs...
Chapter
This chapter contains a general discussion of the findings and conclusions based on literature, the methodological framework, and implementation of the case study of North End Park. It gives a general path for implementation of the Public Space Index in reality, establishing common ground between the theory and practice of placemaking on the ground...
Chapter
The focus of this chapter is to identify the definitions of public spaces and the role they play in daily life, whether cultural or social. In addition to that, the chapter aims to analyse placemaking as an approach “in practice” to better regenerate public spaces in contemporary cities, and how the different implementation techniques and strategie...
Chapter
The North End Park is part of what is known as Boston’s ribbon of contemporary parks. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile and a half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston city. The Greenway is a roof garden topping a highway tunnel that connects people, cityscape, and fun. The Greenway connects a series of parks, in which there are public ar...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the definition of the social dimension of public places; it sheds light on the two poles of the influence of the physical environment on human behaviour as well as the human agency and social influences on urban spaces. Moreover, it brings sociability to the fore as one identifiable attribute of successful public places as d...
Chapter
This chapter introduces similar case studies to the placemaking implementation case, whereas the similarities and differences are presented either in terms of the stakeholders’ engagement processes—represented in a Public–Private Partnership through which the urban regeneration project was implemented—or of the urban scale on which implementation t...
Book
Full-text available
The topic of pinpointing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the urban context has been cultivating interests lately from different scholars, urban planning practitioners and policymakers. This Special Issue originates from the Greening Cities Shaping Cities Symposium held at the Politecnico di Milano (12–13 October 2020), aiming at bridging the gap be...
Article
Full-text available
The topic of pinpointing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the urban context has been cultivating interests lately from different scholars, urban planning practitioners and policy- makers. This Special Issue originates from the Greening Cities Shaping Cities Symposium held at the Politecnico di Milano (12–13 October 2020), aiming at bridging the gap...
Book
Full-text available
Urban greening policies and measures have recently shown a high potential impact on the design and reshaping of the built environment, especially in urban regeneration processes. This book provides insights on analytical methods, planning strategies and shared governance tools for successfully integrating Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the urban p...
Chapter
Urban greening initiatives have taken many innovative forms over time, from large urban parks planning and preservation to ecosystem-based approaches such as Nature-based Solutions (NBS). Even though implementing NBS and vegetation are accompanied mainly by positive impacts, a considerable body of scientific evidence demonstrates the negative conse...
Chapter
This chapter explains the importance for nature-based solutions as resilience infrastructure of cities. It sets the scene for the challenges and opportunities presented by a city-wide uptake and implementation of nature-based solutions as integrative and systemic solutions to planning for urban resilience and sustainability. We present not only the...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen’s engagement in NBS and urban biodiversity observations in Milan: Experience from CLEVER Cities project: The European strategy for Biodiversity 2030 recognizes the fundamental role of urban green infrastructures in maintaining biodiversity and ecological connection in our cities. The Nature based Solutions (NBS) should be systematically int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Through a shared governance approach, the city of Milan is adopting a co-design process that involves citizens and their preferences in designing green roofs and walls throughout the city. This process is supported by the CLEVER Cities project co-creation pathway that fosters the engagement of inhabitants and local stakeholders in leading the Urban...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions' (NBS) relevance for tackling environmental challenges has been on the frontiers of urban regeneration mechanisms since the beginning of the 2010s. There is an increasing interest in applying NBS in urban planning and design to build support and engagement for sustainable urban development. However, NBS's operational use as d...
Chapter
Climate Change (CC) is having a progressively negative impact on natural resources management. It, indeed, worsens existing environmental challenges, placing socio-ecological systems in a situation of new risks. This process invites to reflect about the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach, which combines concepts of sustainable land use and c...
Chapter
Full-text available
Summary What is this chapter about? In this chapter, you will learn the main principles guiding NBS performance and impact evaluation. Good evaluation can be the basis for effective NBS implementation, enable evidence-based policymaking, support policy learning and facilitate flexible decision-making, via adaptive management, to ensure the sustaina...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Air pollution is a worldwide issue and is considered one of the biggest urban challenges and the single largest environmental health risk in Europe. Exposure to Air pollution causes serious health problems and even mortality. In recent decades, cities recognise that nature can be part of the solution to air pollution reduction. By focusin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In 2013, the European Commission passed out the EU Adaptation strategy to increase knowledge-based framework related to resilience impacts on climate change adaptation actions. This study addresses the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in three urban living labs in Milan as an experimental co-creation process. The ideation is mainly ba...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster Presented at ECCA 2019 | Lisbon | 28–31 May European Climate Change Adaptation conference
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper investigates the role of public spaces in spurring innovation and promoting entrepreneurial activities in Downtown San Diego urban context as a distinguished “cultural district”. The idea that in creative cities, flourishing human capital, when coupled with incremental quality of life, could be the driving vehicle to social innovation an...
Chapter
Full-text available
The case study presented in this paper is a manifestation for an urban regeneration project that transformed a Highway into a Greenway. The first part aims to understand the contextual background of the highway regeneration Project, and it analyses the key factors of the long-debated land use and how the public authorities mandated the development...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBSs) have been on the forefront of the urban regeneration processes in a later fashion; that direction fundamentally intertwines with the European Commission framework of Research and Innovation policy on “Re-Naturing cities and Green Infrastructure” aiming towards positioning the EU as leader in ‘Innovating with nature’. T...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBSs) have been on the forefront of the urban regeneration processes in a later fashion; that direction fundamentally intertwines with the European Commission framework of Research and Innovation policy on “Re-Naturing cities and Green Infrastructure” aiming towards positioning the EU as leader in ‘Innovating with nature’. T...
Article
Full-text available
The case study presented in this paper is a manifestation for an urban regeneration project that transformed a highway to a greenway; the first part draws on the understanding of the contextual background of the highway regeneration Project, it analyses the key factors of the debated land use and how the public authorities mandated the development...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Public spaces are the places where people meet, to exchange ideas, trade or simply relax and enjoy themselves. The shape of a certain spaces is determined by its surfaces, ratio of width and height, typology: linear, central etc… these shaping factors can be guidance for how to use the space; what kind of activities these spaces can afford and thus...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are like books; they can be read, and we have to understand their language. The street, the footpath, the square, and the parks are the grammar of the city; they provide the structure that enables cities to come to life, and to encourage and accommodate diverse activities. A humane city creates pleasure for visitors and passers-by, as well a...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are like books; they can be read, and we have to understand their language. The street, the footpath, the square, and the parks are the grammar of the city; they provide the structure that enables cities to come to life, and to encourage and accommodate diverse activities. A humane city creates pleasure for visitors and passers-by, as well a...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
Guest Editors:
Prof. Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira, Associate Professor in Urbanism, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano - Email: fabiano.lemes@polimi.it
Dr. Israa H. Mahmoud , Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano – Email: israa.mahmoud@polimi.it
The concept:
This Special Issue focuses on the futures of the relationships between humans and nature in urban and environmental planning, design and practice.
The climate crisis challenges the continuation of life on the planet as it is, of the existing and future ecosystems and poses the need for fundamental reconsiderations of possible, probable and preferable futures (Bell, 2003) for human-nature relations. It has been argued that solutions to many contemporary urban challenges can be found in nature. Nature-based solutions (NBS), defined by the European Commission (2015) as solutions inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience, have emerged to address the effects of climate change for both humans and non-humans and became an umbrella concept for other ecosystem-based approaches. The number of publications and implemented NBS cases has significantly grown in the last years, bringing forward increased evidence on how they can be integrated into urban and environmental planning and design (Mahmoud, Morello, Lemes de Oliveira, & Geneletti, 2022). Nature-based solutions are at the forefront of the intersection between environmental sciences and planning. Yet, there is an open debate regarding the concept’s positioning and effectiveness. First, the operationalisation of nature seen in traditional ecosystem-based approaches is increasingly contraposed to claims about the intrinsic values of nature as discussed in propositions such as nature-based thinking (Randrup, Buijs, Konijnendijk, & Wild, 2020), biophilic design (Andreucci, Loder, Brown, & Brajković, 2021), more-than-human approaches and multispecies justice (Celermajer et al., 2021). Second, there is a question of where the focus of attention should lie, as critics argue that nature-based solutions alone cannot tackle climate change if a fundamental reconsideration of human beings’ exploitative approach to the planet do not take place (Dooley, Nicholls, & Meinshausen, 2022). Moreover, greenwashing practices (Nemes et al., 2022) and the unexpected side effects of indiscriminate ‘greening’ of cities and of the countryside (Lewis, Wheeler, Mitchard, & Koch, 2019) suggest the need to rethink how artificiality, ‘human-made nature’ and forms of wilderness may coexist in planning. New approaches have sought reconciliation of culture and nature, such as co-evolution (Herrmann-Pillath, Hiedanpää, & Soini, 2022), and between technology and nature, such as those based on virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Despite such advances, there is a lack of dialogue across the emerging field of nature-based solutions and that of futures studies. Future studies can provide novel, critical and reflective questions about the sorts of futures humankind and nature might have and who has a voice in the processes of imagining and implementing these futures.
As such, this Special Issue brings together environmental sciences, urban planning and future studies, and aims to advance studies on the future conceptualisations of human-nature relationships, co-existence, and their implications for planning in cities. It seeks to explore topics such as, but not exclusively:
  • Human-nature relationships in visions of possible, probable and preferable urban futures
  • Possible futures of the biodiversity, climate and urban crises and their implications for cities and other habitats
  • Co-evolutionary scenarios between nature and humans in cities
  • Explorations of how more-than-human approaches could lead to plural, democratic and more sustainable cities
  • Futures of multispecies justice and ethics, and their implications to planning
  • Futures of radical ecology, nature-based solutions and artificial nature in cities
  • Foresight, methods and practices of anticipation and advanced scenario building in human-nature relationships applied to urban adaptation planning with nature in the medium-long term
  • The question of nature in counterfactual, past futures and alternative futures in cities
  • Anticipatory assumptions in co-designing resilient and sustainable futures with nature
  • Alternative path dependence, indeterminism and complexity in planning future cities
  • Future perspectives of human-nature relationships from indigenous and non-western traditions
  • Historical methods for the study of the future roles of nature in cities
  • New pathways for backcasting and forecasting models in urban sustainability towards regenerative changes in urban futures
  • The future of urban ecologies in cities
  • The roles of speculative and radical urban design exploring the future of human-nature relations
  • Multiple voices and agencies in envisaging and implementing urban futures with nature
  • The question of more-than-human participation in the design of urban futures – how can ‘nature’ itself play a role in informing speculation and planning?
Keywords:
Nature, futures, nature-based solutions, more-than-human, counterfactualism, scenarios, ecosystem services, climate change, adaptation, speculative design
References
Andreucci, M. B., Loder, A., Brown, M., & Brajković, J. (2021). Exploring challenges and opportunities of biophilic urban design: Evidence from research and experimentation. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13(8). doi:10.3390/su13084323
Bell, W. (2003). Foundations of Future Studies: Volume 1: History, Purposes, and Knowledge. London: Routledge.
Celermajer, D., Schlosberg, D., Rickards, L., Stewart-Harawira, M., Thaler, M., Tschakert, P., Winter, C. (2021). Multispecies justice: theories, challenges, and a research agenda for environmental politics. Environmental Politics, 30(1-2), 119-140. doi:10.1080/09644016.2020.1827608
Dooley, K., Nicholls, Z., & Meinshausen, M. (2022). Carbon removals from nature restoration are no substitute for steep emission reductions. One Earth. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2022.06.002
European Commission. (2015). Towards an EU Research and Innovation policy agenda for Nature-Based Solutions & Re-Naturing Cities - Final Report of the Horizon 2020 Expert Group on ‘Nature Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities’. Retrieved from Luxembourg:
Herrmann-Pillath, C., Hiedanpää, J., & Soini, K. (2022). The co-evolutionary approach to nature-based solutions: A conceptual framework. Nature-Based Solutions, 2, 100011. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbsj.2022.100011
Lewis, S. L., Wheeler, C. E., Mitchard, E. T. A., & Koch, A. (2019). Restoring natural forests is the best way to remove atmospheric carbon. Nature, 568, 25-28. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-01026-8
Mahmoud, I. H., Morello, E., Lemes de Oliveira, F., & Geneletti, D. (Eds.). (2022). Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Urban Planning: Greening Cities, Shaping Cities. Cham: Springer.
Nemes, N., Scanlan, S. J., Smith, P., Smith, T., Aronczyk, M., Hill, S., Stabinsky, D. (2022). An Integrated Framework to Assess Greenwashing. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14(8). doi:10.3390/su14084431
Randrup, T. B., Buijs, A., Konijnendijk, C. C., & Wild, T. (2020). Moving beyond the nature-based solutions discourse: introducing nature-based thinking. Urban Ecosystems, 23(4), 919-926. doi:10.1007/s11252-020-00964-w
Deadlines and submission instructions:
Articles submitted for publication in this Special Issue need to be concerned with pushing forward thinking about the futures of human-nature relationships in cities (as opposed to perspectives focusing on the present), show awareness of the futures field and make a substantive contribution to futures studies. Articles must be explicit about the theories and methods employed, present claims that are put forward on the basis of clearly structured arguments and inquiry on the implications or consequences of explored futures.
Papers may be submitted from 1st November 2022
Deadline for submissions of new papers is 30th April 2023
Expected date of online publication of papers is 3 weeks from final acceptance
Expected publishing date of Special Issue is approximately 6 months after closing submission date
Please read the guidance to authors before submitting: http://www.elsevier.com/journals/futures/0016-3287/guide-for-authors
Click on “Submit Your Paper”
Log into the Elsevier online submission system ‘Editorial Manager’, registering if you are not already registered.
Click on: Submit New Manuscript
Select Article Type: VSI: special issue name Full Length Article (if the paper is full length article)
Question
During data cracking of my PhD case study, noticed the following results: there is a tendency of 60% female users to Public Spaces. in a sample size of 70 surveys with 95 % confidence and an average age between 30 and 37 ( in work force).
I was sure i've read somewhere about women sensitivity to PS, found that on whyte 1980, he states the following:
the most used places tend to have a higher than average proportion of women. the female-male ration is a plaza reflects the composition of work force... Women are discriminating than men as to where they will sit, more sensitive to annoyances, and women spend more time casting the various possibilities. if in a plaza, there is a higher than average proportion of women, the plaza is probably ya good one and has been chosen as such.

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
NATI00NS will assist the Mission during most of its first “induction and pilot” phase (2021 – 2025), acting as a messenger conveying the awareness-raising messages to national and regional stakeholders, providing access to capacity building materials and information, spurring the discussions on the best LL setups to address regional soil needs, and fostering early matchmaking for crossregional LL clusters. Eventually, the smooth execution of the project will be reflected in successful open calls receiving high-quality applications, funding the first two waves of LL networks, which can lead the way for the systemic change boosted by the Mission. The takeaways will be also useful to upcoming activities in the Mission’s second “expansion and innovation” phase (2025 – 2030) when the rest of the waves of LLs will be selected. NATI00NS’ consortium has been carefully selected and formed with the intention of gathering and covering all the necessary expertise needed to ensure the successful execution of the work plan and achievement of the project’s objectives. This will, in turn, allow the partners to deliver the Mission’s expected impact on society, following the Mission’s objectives and goals. On the one hand, the project is counting on top experts on soil science, the Soil Deal R&I Mission, and co-participatory place-based innovation approaches under Living Labs. On the other hand, NATI00NS is granting adequate national outreach in all EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries (44 in total) through its 14 partners, its 6 Advisory Board members, and all their networks (i.e., BIOEAST, European Network of Living Labs, Soil Health National Hubs, ERIAFF, etc.).
Project
Hamburg (DE), London (UK) and Milan (IT) have decided to create CLEVER Cities. Led by Hamburg, a well-balanced, competent partnership will position the EU as global leader in nature-based solution (NBS) innovation. CLEVER Cities applies a city centric approach, starting by key urban regeneration challenges and employing strong local partner clusters, to foster sustainable and socially inclusive urban regeneration locally, in Europe and globally. We will co-create, - implement, and -manage locally tailored NBS to deliver tangible social, environmental and economic improvements for urban regeneration. We are committed to make the interventions in front-runner cities (FR) cases for successful NBS and prepare robust replication roadmaps in fellow cities (FE), that also have NBS experience and expertise to offer. We will ensure long-term sustainability of actions in FR and FE by initiating urban innovation partnerships that will use SMART city principles to engage residents, establish new governance procedures, generate innovative financing and investment strategies. CLEVER Cities will employ partners’ large global networks to generate rapid and durable uptake of NBS by capacitating businesses and a CLEVER Solutions Basket with innovative technological, business, financing and governance solutions, in Europe and globally. The influential and committed FR will serve as role model for FE and global cities in East Asia and South America. All cities will actively engage in replication, thus, help to meet EU and UN sustainability goals and profile the EU as global leader in green innovation. CLEVER Cities materialises in strong local clusters around FR with partners, which can both support local co-creation as well as transversal activities with specific knowledge and expertise. This makes it a distinct, exciting project that will generate lasting results in cities and deliver a CLEVER Cities package with solutions, guidance and open-sourced data EU NBS reference framework.