Project

proGIreg - productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration

Goal: The Horizon 2020 Innovation Action „Productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration (proGIreg) will create Living Labs in urban areas which face the challenge of post-industrial regeneration. This European Commission-funded project, coordinated by the Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University RWTH Aachen together with 34 partner organisations, runs from 2018 until 2023. It brings together the ‘front-runner’ cities of Dortmund (Germany), Torino (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), and Ningbo (China), where different types of nature-based solutions will be tested and developed. Local communities of the Living Labs - the specific areas where the nature-based solutions will be tested and developed in a real-life environment - are central to this project and will be involved at all stages of the project from the design to implementation. The ‘follower’ cities of Cascais (Portugal), Piraeus (Greece), Cluj Napoca (Romania) and Zenica (Bosnia Herzegovina) will co-steer the process since they will replicate and continue to develop the NBS models in their cities. All involved will have the opportunities to learn from each other through training sessions – both in-person at conferences as well as in on-line courses.
http://www.progireg.eu/

Date: 1 June 2018

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Project log

Axel Timpe
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If soil isn't suitable for urban agriculture on post-industrial sites, aquaponics can be a solution. Discover the proGIreg video on aquaponics produced at RWTH on the project website https://progireg.eu/nature-based-solutions/aquaponics/ and on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1kGGTWgLz4&t=1s
Visuals by Katja Gadziak, aquaponics consultant Rolf Morgenstern
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
Watch the introduction videos to some of our most important NBS in proGIreg! The videos produced at RWTH Institute of Landscape Architecture and RWTH medien für die Lehre can be found on the project website now.
With "New Soil" in the Turing Living Lab we are developing an NBS which helps to avoid consuming natural soil resources for urban greening. A first contribution to the Horizon Europe mission on healthy soils.
Thanks to all contributing proGIreg partners and Katja Gadziak for support on visuals.
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
The MOOC "Nature-based urban regenration" now started with more than 500 learners on edX!
Upgrading to the verified track for receiving a certificate is still possible until November 22:
 
Axel Timpe
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Axel Timpe
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How can we use nature to improve life in our cities? This course shares knowledge generated in proGIreg urban Living Labs in Europe and China and will introduce you to co-designing, co-implementing and evaluating nature-based solutions for urban renewal with local communities.
The proGIreg Nature-based Urban Regeneration MOOC starts on 1st of of November on edX, one of the foremost massive open online course (MOOC) providers created by Harvard and MIT. Students will be introduced to the basics of NbS followed by a deep dive into NbS that contribute to circular economy, urban food production and climate change adaptation will be presented in detail. Students will learn about the impacts of NbS on the environment, health, wellbeing and social dynamics and how to apply scientifics methods to monitor and assess these. Further participants will get to explore business models for NbS implementation and management, to help inspire setting up their own nature-based urban renewal projects!
The course runs over five weeks and will be instructed by proGIreg experts with contributions from leading universities, research institutions, practitioners, municipalities, NGOs and industry.
Explore the syllabus attached here and sign up for the course on edX:
 
Axel Timpe
added 4 research items
This report provides an overview of the programme and contents of the proGIreg kick-off conference which took place in Dortmund from September 25 to 26, 2018 and was attended by 110 participants from within the proGIreg project consortium and external participants.
This document aims to support proGIreg’s Front Runner Cities (FRC) to gain a deeper understanding of realizing their Living Labs (LL) and to support NBS implementation and monitoring. In addition, the results of the Implementation Plan (IP) will provide the Follower Cities (FC) and other NBS projects with suggestions, advice and practical experience on implementing NBS in the framework of an urban regeneration plan. This deliverable report shows a common methodology and structure to be used for planning the implementation of NBS in post-industrial cities participating in proGIreg. These cities are engaged on retrofitting and converting already existing urban areas to deal with new challenges and needs (climate change, gentrification, urban sprawl, etc.). In this context, proGIreg will cocreate and test a set of different types of NBS with different stakeholders including citizens. Methodologically, proGIreg applies an integrated approach in order to foster sustainable urban development plans based on nature and green infrastructure (GI). The IP contains a comprehensive set of information related to the different implementation stages (from preimplementation to management and maintenance to handover and long term sustainability). It focusses on specific proGIreg features: inclusiveness and citizen engagement, budgetary and economic issues (related to new green business models and market readiness), multiple benefits of NBS. The great variety of the NBS to be implemented highlights the large knowledge base and experience which will be produced during the implementation processes in diverse local contexts. Thus, the challenge is to gather and use this information not only to produce innovative, inclusive, sustainable and marketable NBS but also to embed them in urban policy plans, by valorizing the positive effects produced on all domains considered in proGIreg. The implementation activity is managed mostly by Municipalities, so it is extremely important to well understand the procedures that allowed to realize the NBS in order to overcome administrative and bureaucratic obstacles and hurdles. The IP provides ample information on the local context (the city and Living Lab area) in regard to local needs and challenges and thus helps to contextualize and better understand difficulties and achievements. The document introduces the IP by explaining the general framework, the logic of intervention in proGIreg and how it is structured. Instructions on how to complete each cell/row and each section are described. The IP template is enclosed in Annex 1. The IP will include Living Lab Maps of each FRC that build on the LL maps developed in WP2 during the spatial analysis and co-design phases. They graphically display the Living Lab area of each FRC and basic information on the status of each NBS. The combination of the IP and the Living Lab Map serve as working documents in support of planning the NBS interventions and explain what has been done to the wide array of stakeholders. In addition, it demonstrates a great source of knowledge and methodological tools to learn about and replicate proGIreg interventions, feeding into almost every work package, notably WP4 (NBS benefit assessment and monitoring), WP5 (NBS Market readiness, barriers and upscaling), WP6 (Communication and Dissemination, Concepts of replication and exchange of knowledge, approaches, practices) as well as beyond the project’s duration or replication in any given city.
Co-design of nature-based solutions (NBS) lies at the core of the proGIreg project. It means systematically involving all relevant stakeholders from the very start of the project and engaging them as equal co-creators. The aim of co-design is to achieve mutually valued outcomes, a joint ownership of the NBS implemented as well as a good fit between the NBS and the local context. To establish and steer the co-design process in the Frontrunner Cities (FRC), ICLEI is organising three rounds of workshops bringing together locally relevant project partners and stakeholders and engage them in the local co-design process of the selected NBS. The target audience is the core group in each FRC, composed of the different local project partners involved in the design and implementation of the selected NBS and further key stakeholders, considered relevant for the successful implementation of the respective NBS. This report summarizes and highlights key outcomes of the second round of co-design workshops, held in Dortmund, Turin and Zagreb mid of 2019. This second round of workshops focused on the theme of “innovation and transformation” and had the goal of clarifying the links between innovation and transformation as well as exploring in more detail the key technical and social innovations in the FRCs. The question it set out to answer was: how do we employ technical and social innovations and design the experimentation process to bring about the desired transformation? Already the preparation of the third round of workshops with FRC revealed how diverse and context-specific the different agendas, approaches and progress in stakeholder engagement and the design of NBS is. In Dortmund, major challenges in the co-design process were assuming responsibilities, gaining commitment to the process as well as the timely fulfilment of tasks on behalf of some of the project partners. The process needed practical, outcome-oriented issues introducing and visually pinning down a structured planning and management process with clear, laid down tasks and commitments. Turin had a particular interest in establishing a shared understanding of the transformation to be achieved by the LL, and get insight into how the envisaged social and technological innovations are expected to contribute. Also risks and mitigation measures were raised. Zagreb sought to explore the transformation potential of the LL and upscaling it to the whole district, thus combining proGIreg activities with other planned projects in the area as an integrated urban development strategy. Despite the FRC’s different requirements and needs, the following building blocks formed the core of all three workshops with varying focus and intensity: management structure and definition of roles and responsibilities, review of the co-design principles, risks and implications, transformation potential, work and time plan for 2019. The review of the co-design principles had two main purposes. First, to explore which ones are already being addressed in the LL of the FRC, need further improvement or pose challenges. Second, to test the checklist of self-assessment questions developed by ICLEI that matches each principle with a set of questions with the intention of turning it into a tool that can be independently used by practitioners. The principles openness and inclusion and transparency raised key questions across all FRC: At what point and to what extent can inclusion be realised? When and how do we know if everyone is reached? Therefore, it is essential that co-design is transparent and information widely available so that, in principle, anyone has the opportunity to be involved. As a consequence (and as raised in workshop round 1), co-design should be perceived as gradients that differentiate stakeholder group engagement on a spectrum from consult, involve, partner, to empower.. A cornerstone of LL and key to transformation is the process of real-world experimentation within proGIreg for co-designing, implementing and testing various NBS to evaluate their possible contribution to nature-based urban regeneration. The LL experiments with develop-ing and deploying NBS, aiming to answer the question of “how do we get there? In order to realise the transformative potential of LL, the participants in all three cities noted the need to link the goals of the individual LL to broader district/city visions and strategies, integrating the experimentation process into district urban planning, and scaling up through public ad-ministration tools, plans and procurement activities to ensure long-term sustainability. In fact, linking up the vision/overall narrative of the LL with higher level governance is as critical as consolidating it downstream with those that benefit from the implemented NBS. Any long-term vision created by core group during the workshops should therefore not be considered final, but put up for discussion and revision with citizens. Especially in the context of moving co-creation beyond the core group and triggering the communication with the broader public in the LL district, as a natural next step. The cities overwhelmingly identified societal risks. Proposed mitigation measures included: improved communication measures, systematic stakeholder involvement, the creation of an overarching LL narrative, and the cultivation of a sense of ownership and a local identity within the LL. Overthrowing the proposed workshop program as requested by different project partners due to the core group’s lock-in situation before the workshop in Dortmund represents an illustration of the co-design principles “be experimental and reflective” and “be flexible”, meaning co-design is a non-linear, iterative process. As mentioned in workshop round report 1, the clear division of leadership and ownership of the individual NBS between the project partners had hindered the integration of the different NBS in a joint vision and objective for the LL. Also, the search for suitable spaces for the majority of the NBS was still ongoing by the time of the second workshop round, which delayed the NBS planning and local engagement process. An adjusted version of a Theory of Change helped facing up to reality and opening up to alternative solutions for urban farming and pollinator biodiversity activities by integrating the different NBS to a joint vision. This illustrates the importance of such workshops as a neutral platform where the participants are able to discuss their differences and resolve arising conflicts with ICLEI playing the impartial mediator. Three main issues emerged in workshop round 2 that will be addressed in the final workshop round. All three cities agreed that achieving a broad involvement of the local communities – including marginalised groups – is a critical open issue to be addressed in the final workshop round. Also, ensuring the long-term commitment of stakeholders, which is key for maintaining the NBS in the long run, deserve more attention. A logical follow-up for Dortmund, after defining the spaces for the NBS, is to define and plan the participation process, including who needs to be involved in what way and to what intensity (with support of the stakeholder mapping conducted in the first round). Deliverable D2.10 “Guidelines for co-designing and co-implementing green infrastructure in urban regeneration processes” will distil the experiences and lessons learnt from the co-design processes in the European FRC and provide a roadmap for establishing stakeholder engagement with clear roles and responsibilities as well as suited organizational and management structures, thus supporting the FC in developing urban regeneration plans (T2.3). They will also support and direct FRC and other non-proGIreg cities’ replication processes of NBS (WP6) through the integration into a series of replication workshops.
Axel Timpe
added a research item
This report is part of the Task 2.1, Work Package 2 – Planning, design and participation processes for nature-based solutions (NBS) coordination providing an overview of the state of art of the development in the proGIreg project Front Runner Cities (FRC) and Follower Cities (FC) concerning the project’s four key assessment domains: socio-cultural inclusiveness, human health and wellbeing, ecological and environmental restoration, and economic and labour market. The analysis covers the four FRC (Dortmund, Turin, Zagreb and Ningbo) and the four FC (Cascais, Cluj Metropolitan Area, Piraeus, and Zenica) at city level and Living Lab level (LL, in FRC) or Urban Regeneration Areas (in FC), where this assessment was possible. The report follows the methodology developed in Deliverable 2.1 – Methodology on Spatial Analysis in front-runner and follower cities (Elisei and Leopa, 2020), and represents the collaborative work of city partners, aimed at grounding the future implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) in FRC, as well as their embedding in Urban Regeneration Plans in FC. The structure has been elaborated according to the above-mentioned methodology, which proposes six steps: 1) Data availability check, 2) Analysis of existing plan and policy framework, 3) Basic data collection and area-base stakeholder identification, 4) Quantitative data collection and interpretation, 5) Data synthesis and spatialization, 6) Formulation of conclusions. The report covers the second step of the methodology by collecting information about the existing local planning framework for each FRC and FC to give a general idea of the actions / projects / plans either foreseen, under development or under implementation until the start of the project that support GI and NBS investments and allowing an assessment of possible connections and synergies between proGIreg project and different other projects and initiatives insisting on the same territory. Ultimately, this paves the way to demonstrate how NBS can be embedded in local level spatial planning and decision-making; new forms of planning and implementation with citizens in real-life contexts in LL (WP2 co-design, WP3 co-implementation etc.), and to upscale, translate and adapt solutions to long-term local needs (WP4 and WP5). The analysis continues with setting up the local context, the spatial analysis territorial scale for each of the eight ProGIreg cities, the levels of analysis and the NBS to be implemented (FRC), or those identified for potential implementation at this stage (FC). Each FRC tests a number of NBS in clearly defined post-industrial neighbourhoods with related socio-economic challenges (Huckarde, Mirafiori, Sesvete), while for FC, Urban Regeneration Areas have been defined, ranging from neighbourhoods (Cascais) to river corridors across the whole city (Cluj-Napoca) as well as dispersed locations in specific city districts (Piraeus). By drawing a well-defined local stakeholder landscape at this incipient stage, the project provides a more comprehensive idea of local priorities and design more "local rooted" solutions, boosting the sustainability potential of the planned actions. An initial stakeholder list compiled cooperatively by the partner groups involved in the implementation of each FRC Living-Lab and each FC Urban Regeneration Plan identified and described four types of stakeholders according to proGIreg’s quadruple helix approach for FRC and generally represent well-rounded, robust groups for the co-design process in Task 2.2 to build and expand on in order to include all necessary stakeholders for successful implementation in WP3 and NBS benefit assessment in WP4. Stakeholder lists of the FC represent a first draft, leveraging on the „usual suspects” of local participatory processes, and will need to be refined as the project progresses and the cities clarify their approach to developing the Urban Regeneration Plans.
Chiara Baldacchini
added 4 research items
Selecting appropriate indicators of NBS performance and impact can be challenging, and is context-dependent. In this chapter, we present case studies from a variety of NBS demonstrations across Europe and Asia that illustrate the application of the NBS indicators and methods presented in Chapter 4 and thoroughly described in Evaluating the Impact of Nature-Based Solutions: Appendix of Methods. Each case study presents a brief NBS description, reasons for the selection of specific indicators for that particular NBS and a brief overview of the ways the indicators are applied and/or monitored. The case studies describe the stakeholders involved in co-design and co-monitoring of NBS and discuss the barriers and lessons learned during or after the process. Each case study provides key references for further reading.
This chapter introduces 12 categories of societal challenges that NBS can address (Section 4.1). These are conceptually mapped against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For each of the 12 societal challenge areas, Section 4.2 outlines and lists indicators to evaluate the performance and impact of NBS. It reviews the different types of NBS, gives examples of each NBS type, and lists the indicators related to the particular societal challenge in a series of tables. Associated methodologies are compiled in the related Appendix of Methods. To help navigate, the indicators are classified as structural, process-based or outcome-oriented. Structural indicators are particularly useful during the NBS planning process and can help identify where resources may be lacking or highlight policy and/or procedural gaps that require attention. Process-based indicators can provide information about the value or impacts of the collaborative processes that underpin NBS (co-creation, co-implementation and comanagement). The outcome-oriented indicators are useful to understand NBS performance by establishing an understanding of baseline (pre-NBS) conditions and following changes to these conditions after NBS implementation. We distinguish between recommended and additional indicators. Recommended indicators are considered the most important ones to monitor NBS impact. Additional indicators can provide highly valuable information, depending on local context and particular data needs. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the importance of critical thinking to select the right indicators for a holistic assessment of NBS.
Chapter 7 provides an overview of data types, sources and techniques for the generation of data to monitor and assess the impacts of NBS. An understanding of different types of data, their sources and use is core to the development of robust monitoring and evaluation plans.
Sabina Dimitriu
added a research item
This deliverable presents the proposed methodology for developing Spatial Analyses in the four front-runner (FRC) and four follower cities (FC) within the proGIreg project. The Spatial Analysis in FRC and FC aims to develop a common spatial framework based on data produced at city and LL / Regeneration analysis area level from existing administrative databases, completed with relevant qualitative information on the enabling policy and stakeholder environment, provided by each city. The methodology is constructed as a two-part document, with a research design and methodological part addressed specifically to the proGIreg partnership and potential external scientific interest, followed by a guidance section assisting cities and their local partners involved in T.2.1 to perform Spatial Analyses. The guidelines support a number of subsequent activities and processes in the project, including the local processes of co-design, the NBS benefit assessment and monitoring as well as communication activities. This approach can be useful for any given city interested in assessing existing conditions for either implementing NBS in Living Labs (LL), or for developing Urban Regeneration Plans in order to adapt NBS within their own urban context and respond to post-industrial development challenges.
Axel Timpe
added an update
On September 22-25, 2020 proGIreg will organise its mid-term conference hosted by the City of Turin and the partners of the Turin Living Lab. This will be an event open to all who want to see the first results of co-designing and co-implementing nature-based solutions in a post-industrial neighborhood.
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
Official job offers for collaboration in proGIreg at RWTH are now online. Application deadline has been extended to July 31.
Find the job offer:
in English here:
in German here:
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
ProGIreg will monitor the benefits of nature-based solutions by collecting questionnaires before and after NBS implementation in Living Labs and control districts.
In proGIreg front-runner city Turin, Giuseppina Spano has trained the interviewers conducting the pre-implementation questionnaires: https://youtu.be/I-Nnu1FfxmI
Training for the front-runner cities Dortmund, Ningbo and Zagreb will follow.
For more Information on proGIreg monitoring of nature-based solutions see
 
Axel Timpe
added 3 research items
The project entitled “productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration (proGIreg)” aims at implementing eight distinct types of nature-based solutions (NBS) in specific post-industrial sites of four different cities (called front runner cities - FRC). One of the main goals of the project is to assess the benefits produced by the implemented NBS with respect to four different domains: 1) socio-cultural inclusiveness; 2) increased health and wellbeing; 3) ecological and environmental restoration; and 4) economic and labour market, corresponding to the four tasks of proGIreg Work Package 4 (WP4 – “NBS benefit assessment and monitoring”). The experimental approaches that will be adopted are described in detail in deliverable 4.1 (D4.1 – “Monitoring and Assessment Plan”), together with the case studies developed within proGIreg. After a preliminary recall of the data types that will be used for the assessment, this document will present the detailed protocols of measuraments per each selected NBS implementation. Lastly, the specific indicators that are expected to be produced by the benefit assessment analysis are presented. This document is a key deliverable for WP4, since the indicators provided, whose methodology have been developed in compliance with the guidelines of the EKLIPSE – Expert Working Group (EWG) of the European Commission (EC), will be further used to compare the proGIreg results with those of sister projects within EC Taskforce 2 “NBS Impact Evaluation Framework 2.0”. This manual will be reviewed and updated when necessary.
This document is the Data Management Plan (DMP) of the proGIreg project. The DMP describes in detail what data will be collected during the project and how the collected data will be managed during and after the end of the research project. The following sections are presented in the document: - A short description of the proGIreg project; - A data summary with a description of the different kinds of data to be produced (Spatial data, Survey data, Systematic Observation data, Environmental data); - A description of all the data platforms and repositories used in the proGIreg (Basecamp, Sciebo, proGIreg platform, Zenodo); - A description of the FAIR data principles adopted by proGIreg; - A description of the Ethical aspects of the produced data.
The project entitled “productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration (proGIreg)” aims at implementing eight different types of nature-based solutions (NBS) in specific post-industrial sites of four different cities (called front runner cities - FRC). One of the main goals of the project is to assess the benefits produced by the implemented NBS and the present document describes the monitoring and assessment plan adopted within proGIreg consortium. The experimental approaches that will be adopted are here described, together with expected results and the case studies selected. The document also serves as a guide for the future assessment of benefits from similar NBS implemented in the follower cities (FC) involved in the project. It represents a key deliverable for the Work Package 4 (“NBS benefit assessment and monitoring”). This manual will be reviewed and updated when necessary.
Axel Timpe
added an update
...and get some impression on Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration and the project kick-off at the proGIreg partner City Dortmund:
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
We're looking for a new collaborator in proGIreg starting from October 2019. Please find the draft job offer attached, the official version with full information will soon be published here:
 
Rieke Hansen
added an update
Learn more about the spatial analysis in the proGIreg cities, the co-design processes and the NBS benefits assessments.
All public deliverables can be found on our website: http://www.progireg.eu/resources/
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
In 2019 the quarterly proGIreg newsletter will be launched. To receive updates on the project via email, please register here: http://www.progireg.eu/#newsletter
 
Axel Timpe
added an update
To learn more about the potential of nature-based solutions in urban regeneration you can join the public part of the proGIreg kick-off conference in Dortmund.
For more details see the attached file.
Please register on www.progireg.eu
We would be happy to meet you there!
(For project partners: you have received your invitation and the full programme and registration link via email already)
 
Rieke Hansen
added a project goal
The Horizon 2020 Innovation Action „Productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban regeneration (proGIreg) will create Living Labs in urban areas which face the challenge of post-industrial regeneration. This European Commission-funded project, coordinated by the Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University RWTH Aachen together with 34 partner organisations, runs from 2018 until 2023. It brings together the ‘front-runner’ cities of Dortmund (Germany), Torino (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), and Ningbo (China), where different types of nature-based solutions will be tested and developed. Local communities of the Living Labs - the specific areas where the nature-based solutions will be tested and developed in a real-life environment - are central to this project and will be involved at all stages of the project from the design to implementation. The ‘follower’ cities of Cascais (Portugal), Piraeus (Greece), Cluj Napoca (Romania) and Zenica (Bosnia Herzegovina) will co-steer the process since they will replicate and continue to develop the NBS models in their cities. All involved will have the opportunities to learn from each other through training sessions – both in-person at conferences as well as in on-line courses.