The meeting started with a discussion on the idea of a circular city.
We have inherited cities that are obsolete, fragile, unable to respond to the needs of communities and to enhance urban spaces: we can define them as “linear cities”. There are many critical issues in this kind of city: inefficient transport; air pollution; underutilizes asset, spaces and products, …
How to move from a “linear city” to a “circular city”? We need to adopt a circular economy model, which aims to create a sustainable system that allows optimal use of the city’s goods and products through reuse, refurbishment, regeneration, recycling and other circular actions.
Circular cities will be oriented towards: sharing, recycling, refurbishing, re-using, replacing, digitizing.
One of the first steps in a process of urban regeneration must be land assessment. In Klaipeda (Lithuania), for example, a geographical assessment of derelict buildings and degraded areas provided a detailed picture of the situation.
The evaluation also made it possible to define some guidelines, such as: create a legislative framework that defines exactly what derelict buildings and degraded territories are; enable young people to contribute to urban planning; make more effective use of the European Union funding.
FUTURE means “From urban to human regeneration”: social innovation must be a key component of urban regeneration. Work needs to be done to engage communities, encourage participation, inform and empower. The importance of social innovation is told in the Innovate Communities contribution.
The urban and social dimensions must be interlinked. This is the case of the Mercato Sonato in Bologna: an indoor market in the San Donato district, renovated after years of disuse. In 2014, the “Orchestra Senzaspine” (a youth simphony orchestra) presented a project for the urban and cultural regeneration of this space. Today Mercato Sonato is a multi-functional space where culture is alive and accessible to everyone. The aim of the whole project is to give a new urban centrality to music, to young people, to creative expressions and experimentation, starting from the transformation of a public space in the suburbs, which wants to become an added value for the neighbourhood and for the whole city. During the third day, Luca Cantelli, the project manager, told us about the project.
The FUTURE LTTA took place in the Dumbo space in Bologna. Dumbo is an example of regeneration of abandoned urban spaces: an area of 40000 square metres, owned by the State Railways, near the centre of Bologna. In the last two years, thanks to the work of the social and cultural cooperative Open Group, the area has become a place available to the city for cultural projects, concerts, meetings and co-working activities. During the LTTA, Roberto Lippi (member of the management board Open Group) presented the project and talked about future developments.
The last day of the LTTA was dedicated to the elaboration of the training model and the planning of the next meetings, scheduled in Ireland and Lithuania.
The training model will be divided into different modules, dedicated to topics such as the circular city, the social innovation, funding and social economy models. The training will include classroom lessons, laboratory activities and a final project work. Partners are working to define the characteristics of the training model, which will be presented with the publication of output 2.
European projects such as FUTURE are essential to achieve common goals, but also to share experiences, cultures and… recreational moments!