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TURAS: Transition towards urban resilience and sustainability

For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and it is estimated that by 2050 this percentage will rise to 70% compared to almost 30% in 1950 (United Nations Population Division, 2010). Together with the impact of climate change, this period of unprecedented urban growth is creating numerous environmental challenges for European cities due to the loss of urban biodiversity.

With the existing growth forecast, the demand for increasingly scarce natural resources does not stop growing. Cities consume 75% of the world’s natural resources and 80% of the global energy supply and produce approximately 75% of global carbon emissions.

In this scenario, the TURAS project was born in 2011 with the aim of making European cities and surrounding rural areas more resilient and sustainable in the face of the different challenges they face. TURAS brought together urban communities and businesses with local authorities and researchers to facilitate adaptive governance based on collaborative decision-making and behavioral change to facilitate the transition process. To ensure maximum impact and achieve significant results, project partners from 16 countries researched, developed, demonstrated and disseminated transition strategies and scenarios to help European cities and nearby rural areas achieve resilience.

11 European cities (Brussels, Dublin, London, Rome, Sofia, Ljubljana, Nottingham, Malaga, Rotterdam, Stuttgart and Aalborg) were involved in the TURAS pilot studies. These studies were focused on different fields, such as the adaptation and mitigation of climate change, the scarcity of natural resources and their sustainable use, urban sprawl and planning, green infrastructure, the development of a sustainable local economy (circuit economies short) and citizen participation in areas such as the use of marginal areas (abandoned lots and buildings) to increase urban biodiversity. Each city was focused on one of these aspects and after five years of project work they generated an integrated approach to urban resilience and sustainability. In Malaga, for example, BIOAZUL evaluated the city’s urban solid waste management practices from the point of view of the concept of “Integrated and Sustainable Solid Waste Management” (ISSWM).

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RESULTS OBTAINED

Project partners developed, shared and tested new ideas to build urban resilience. The consortium created various planning tools, documented case studies including experiments in urban green spaces, and defined adaptive management mechanisms. In total, eighty-five solutions were presented, falling into four categories: tools, integrated transition projects, pilot initiatives and environment-based strategies. The focus was on adaptation to climate change, migration, the creation of environmentally friendly infrastructure and urban growth.

TURAS tools were combined, adapted, implemented and tested in ten selected urban areas. These included the implementation of an interactive platform for sharing resources at the local level, the use of smart grids for energy and resources to promote the sustainability and resilience of communities. To make cities more environmentally friendly and reduce the level of abandonment, solutions based on the use of natural elements were included for buildings located in urban hot spots, the reuse of old buildings and nurseries for peri-urban agriculture.

The pilot initiatives consisted of exemplary projects that were implemented in participating urban areas in different European countries – Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom – covering a wide range of issues: from riverbank design and management in Barking (United Kingdom) to the identification of community resources in Dublin (Ireland).

Localized energy programs, organic waste management and the development of a «Twitter Dashboard» to promote collaboration between groups interested in environmentally friendly infrastructure are just a few examples of the other initiatives undertaken.

Different sets of practical and analytical tools, process methodologies, community engagement tools, and implementation guidelines facilitated cities’ response to a myriad of challenges. This includes adaptation to climate change through flood management, tools for environmentally friendly infrastructure, as well as guidelines to control urban sprawl in order to deal with unprecedented urban growth.

TURAS brought together a great diversity of groups related to urban planning to collaborate very closely. These key players will facilitate the application of the developed solutions in various urban and regional settings across Europe.

IMAGES GALLERY

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03Turas_detalle1
04Turas_humano
05Vertedero_Los-Ruices-70
06DSC_0001
07Greencities-2013-53
08Evento-Pompidou
09Jornada-TURAS_-OMAU-3
01Turas_general1
03Turas_detalle1
04Turas_humano
05Vertedero_Los-Ruices-70
06DSC_0001
07Greencities-2013-53
08Evento-Pompidou
09Jornada-TURAS_-OMAU-3

NUID-UCD (IE)
UEL (UK)
VU-IVM (NL)
IAUS (SRB)
AAU (DK)
STUTT (DE)
VFU (BG)
UL (SI)
SAPIENZA (IT)

IBGE/BIM (BE)
DCC (IE)
LBBD (UK)
BRL (UK)
ROME (IT)
NDE (UK)
PROMALAGA (ES)
ROTTERDAM (NL)
VRS (DE)

RDA-LUR (SI)
SOFIA (BG)
DFLA (IE)
BIOAZUL (ES)
IFS (UK)
EBN (BE)
CLIM (DE)
PRACSIS (BE)
HELIX (DE)

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Initial sheet:

Status: Active

Financing programme: 7th Framework Program

Contract nº: 282834

Duratión: 1 Octubre, 2011 – 30 Septiembre, 2016 (60)

Presupuesto: 8.905.844,40 € (financiación de la CE: 6.813.819,30€)