Professor Steffen Lehmann, Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities, recently organised, together with Edoardo Croci from Bocconi University, an international researcher meeting in Milan (Italy) to develop and refine the joint Horizon 2020 project proposal:
‘RESTORE: Co-producing resilience by restoring urban ecosystems using nature-based solutions’, which will be submitted end of February 2018 to the EU Commission.
The topic is sustainable urbanisation and how to transform cities in the EU and in China to become healthier, more sustainable and resilient. The RESTORE project proposal is part of the EU-China Flagship Initiative and consists of 24 EU partners and 14 Chinese partners. This large interdisciplinary consortium includes 11 city partners, including: London, Palermo, Istanbul-Pendik, Mannheim and Ljubljana; and in China, the cities of Xi’an, Huangshi-Wuhan, Laiwu, Zhongshan, Andhan and Hong Kong.
RESTORE aims to develop an integrated decision support tool (IDST) and cost-effective strategies for cities to better approach the design, construction, deployment and monitoring of nature-based solutions (NBS) in order to restore and rehabilitate polluted and damaged urban ecosystems.
RESTORE will demonstrate how the co-production of NBS can be deployed to deliver rehabilitation of damaged ecosystems and strengthen urban resilience (adaptive capacity) and environmental quality through sustainable regeneration strategies.
The 11 participating cities vary from small-scale to large-scale, and are located in different climatic zones, with very different policy contexts. The researchers acknowledged the fact that there are different context realities, development speeds and scales between China and the EU and this will be taken fully into account.
Professor Steffen Lehmann said “Despite all the communication through the internet, it is still essential and very productive to meet face-to- face with other researchers before finalising and submitting such a large and important research proposal”.