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News: August 2014

Report published on LIFE Platform Meeting on Urban Resilience

Report on Urban Resilience

05 August 2014 The European Commission has published the report from the LIFE Platform Meeting ‘Urban Resilience: LIFE+ projects and European policies’. This meeting, held in Colombes, France, on 4-5 April 2014, provided the platform for discussions on urban resilience challenges, the sharing of experiences from completed and on-going LIFE projects, and the opportunity for experts to make recommendations on how the LIFE programme can best support future projects in this area.

Urban resilience is defined as the ability of an urban territory or community to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from hazards, such as natural disasters, the impacts of climate change and poverty. A resilient approach addresses, for example, reducing the environmental impacts of pollution and waste, mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change, and solutions to economic and social issues.

During presentation and workshop sessions, the Platform Meeting focused on three thematic areas: resilient infrastructure and urban planning; waste management, recycling and re-use; and natural resource management and renewable energy production. There was an emphasis on common methods and tools used in these different areas.

The discussion on green infrastructure and urban planning for large-scale resilience drew upon the experience of several LIFE Projects, including Urban Oases (LIFE11 ENV/FI/000911), a Finnish project aiming to treat stormwater as a resource rather than a problem through the creation of urban wetlands filled by rainwater runoff, and the Spanish Tereul Balance+Positivo project (LIFE11 ENV/ES/000515), which is turning disused clay quarries into leisure spaces that are integrated into the urban environmental through green axes with bicycle lanes.

LIFE projects sharing their experience of waste management included UP&FORWARD COMS (LIFE11 ENV/UK/000389), which is focussing on public participation to reduce waste and increase recycling rates in Greater Manchester (UK), and Life EWWR+ - European Week for Waste Reduction (LIFE12 INF/BE/000459).

Project teams from MAC EAU (LIFE11 ENV/FR/000745), reducing water consumption in Gironde (France), CLIMATE (LIFE09 ENV/FR/000598), developing a climate change action plan for the French department of Essonne, and EKO-LIFE (LIFE12 INF/AT/000369), communicating sustainable lifestyles to promote energy autonomy, led the discussions on resource management and closed circuits.

Thematic workshops were followed by a debate on cross-cutting issues, in particular, participatory approaches and local governance in resilience-building projects, and methods for enhancing resilient strategies in territories and communities.

The Platform Meeting was hosted by the R-URBAN project (LIFE10 ENV/FR/000215), whose keynote presentation showed how networks of active citizens and associations can create alternative models for sustainable collective environmental practises. It is implementing a participative strategy to increase the ecological resilience of the town of Colombes (83 000 inhabitants), in the north-western suburbs of Paris, using a bottom-up strategy based on the principles of recycle, re-use, repair and re-think. Participants visited the project’s RecycLab during the Platform Meeting. For further information, see the project’s website: http://r-urban.net

The report on the Platform Meeting 'Urban Resilience' is available below:

 

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