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Stories on the projects’ side #5

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Stories from the UIA projects
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In this article, stay updated with our latest projects' news!

Energy Transition

The FED project is testing local marketplace where energy can be traded between buildings at the campus of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Automated software agents developed by project partner Ericsson will buy and sell energy in a digital marketplace. The entire marketplace will be cloud-based and automated. 

A key step of the CoRDEES project in Paris has also just started: the deployment of sensors in buildings. The sensors, placed in 118 appartments in the new buildings, will allow the project to gather data in order to build the energy platform of the district. 

 

Integration of Migrants and Refugees

In Antwerp, more and more co-housing duos are getting to know each other as part of the CURANT project. Wouter, 22, a Belgian student in applied IT, and Farzad, 18, from Afghanistan, have been sharing a flat for 6 months. You can find out more about their daily life and what they learnt from each other in this video!

In March, CURANT and U-RLP, from Utrecht, joined forces to organise a joint workshop during the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum which took place in Utrecht on 7-8 March. 

In Athens, the Curing the Limbo project, which addresses the challenge of long-term inactivity of the refugee population, has inaugurated the headquarters of their pilot social exchange programme, the Limbo Exit lab. In this Lab, the beneficiaries will be given access to training and affordable housing in exchange for their participation in local activities for the benefit of the City, along with active citizen groups. 

In Bologna, several meetings took place to collect and organise all the ideas and suggestions of partners for the creation of the model of economic sustainability of Salus Space. These meetings included not only the project partners but also the various professionals working in many Municipal Departments. The socio-economic sustainability model will be presented publicly at the end of May. 

At the beginning of March, the MiFriendly Cities project was officially launched in Coventry. The project takes an innovative approach to making cities more migrant-friendly by recognising the skills, passions and voice of those migrants living in the region. The launch event taking place at the end of May will be a major milestone, as the project moves towards engaging with the wider public, media and potential Stakeholders

To prepare refugees for a career in the IT industry, a special programme was developed within the framework of the CORE project in Vienna. The programme “DevelopMe_” is for refugees who want to work independently and to be self-employed. Within a 12 week programme, 11 participants were trained on the five core digital skills necessary to be self-employed in the IT industry: “Web Development”, “Media Making”, “Digital Communication, Collaboration and Cooperation”, “LinkedIn & Personal Branding” and “Security”. 

 

Jobs & Skills In the local economy

After an initial tender phase of four months, the City of Milan, with its OpenAgri project, launched in February 2018 an Urban Agriculture Lab within the area of Cascina Nosedo. Out of 50 proposals received to the call for innovation, 18 were selected to enter the Lab. They are clustered in three main subjects: production and other agro-economic services, innovation and ICT, social innovation and sharing economy. 

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Innovative projects entered the Urban Lab in Milan

In Rotterdam, the BRIDGE project has started to recruit young people to join the Career Start Guarantee programme with an innovative communication campaign relying on ambassadors. Young ambassadors visited several schools in Rotterdam South, in order to explain the programme in more detail in a playful and engaging way. 

 

Urban poverty

In Barcelona, the B-MINCOME project has launched REC, their digital social currency, a pilot that will be tested in 10 areas of the Besos district. 1 000 families in the area are receiving a subsidy as Municipal Inclusion Support, combined with active social policies. From May, 25% of this subsidy will be paid in social currency to be spent locally.

In Birmingham, the USE-IT project partner Co-operatives Futures, along with iSE and Smethwick CAN, hosted an open workshop to talk about food within local communities. The themes that were addressed included food relief, education, waste, growing, and community. Participants shared ideas on how to address food poverty, unnecessary food waste, poor nutrition and cooking skills, and underutilised resources within the USE-IT! community. 

In Turin, the UIA project CO-CITY has approved 54 proposals from citizens to collectively design and manage abandoned spaces. Urban farms, music laboratories… discover all the ideas in their news article! 

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Co-designing abandoned spaces with citizens in Turin

 

Circular Economy

In Antwerp, the Circular South project wants to raise awareness of the New South residents with regards to their individual waste sorting behaviour. In order to motivate residents to keep materials in the cycle, they have initiated a series of waste challenges. The first challenge was about green waste and took place in April. 

On 23 February 2018 the Municipality of Kerkrade organised a Launch event for the UIA project Super Circular Estate. In their interview, Tim Weijers, responsible for social planning and housing in Kerkrade, explains why they decided to start a neighbourhood restructuring project based on circular economy, and how they will combine existing methods with new forms of collaboration: "We realised that we cannot just go on endlessly demolishing and rebuilding homes. Mother Earth’s material supplies are not limitless." 

In Maribor, Slovenia, the Urban Soil 4 Food project is introducing an innovative horizontal systemic approach to circular economy, using its own City waste to produce its own products (soil, food). "We believe that circular economy can be successful only through an integrated approach", says Igor Kos from the project team. Read the full interview to learn more. 

In Ljubljana, the APPLAUSE project kicked-off in January 2018 at a joint event with Urban Soil 4 Food. The first phase of the projects focused on localising and harvesting alien plant species. All collected samples were analysed and tested to check if they could be used to produce wooden and paper products. 

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Collecting samples in Ljubljana

The BRICK-BEACH project in Velez-Malaga intend to regenerate 800 meters of beach with an innovative environment-friendly process. "Artificial beach regeneration is one of the most aggressive activities affecting the coastal environment”, says Maria Jose Roberto Serrano, a member of the project team, in this interview

In Sevran, all partners of Earth Cycle project met on 4th April for a special workshop: through a series of lectures and practical workshops, the participants could dive in, experiment and explore the knowledge, the know-how and the process of the transformation of earth.  The UIA Secretariat also interviewed Silvia Devescovi, from the MUA project team, who tells us about their ambition to create a new economic sector based on earth raw materials and to transform the building sector! 

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Workshop with Earth Cycle partners in Sevran

 

Urban mobility

In Albertslund, Denmark, a driverless bus ran its very first test-drive as part of the TUPPAC project, which addresses future challenges of urban transport related to the introduction of driverless technology. It was a first chance for project participants to try the bus and to tell the press about the project. The actual tests with passengers in the TUPPAC project will begin early 2019, but the pre-testing gave valuable insights on how to plan future routes and program the bus. 

In Szeged, Hungary, the SASMob project, aiming to achieve a sustainable mobility system, has showcased their project in various Stakeholder groups and forums across the country, like the 21st European Forum on Eco-innovation. The project aims at developing sustainable commuting toolkits and other similar smart mobility management tools as part of their “Employer’s mobility pledge”. 

COMMUTE project in Toulouse kicked-off on 13 April. This kick-off was a success with over 100 participants. Round tables were organised around the themes of collective intelligence, public-private governance, and the different COMMUTE experiments.

In Ghent, the TmAAS project launched an online call for citizens to participate in the first TMaaS citizen research project that focused on the mobility behaviour of people from the City of Ghent as well as visitors. Throughout April and the first half of May, researchers carried out a mobility diary study including mobility tracking and interviews. The goal is to put the citizens and their needs in the spotlight of developers according to the principles of user-centred design.

The CitiCAP project concentrates on enabling and enhancing sustainable mobility in the City of Lahti. Among other measures such as open mobility data platform and sustainable urban mobility plan, the project will develop a real-time tracking and visualisation of individual carbon footprint, based on their travel mode choices. Designing the personal carbon trading (PCT) scheme has been the main focus so far, and research on smart bicycle lanes has also been conducted, benchmarking cities like Copenhagen, Barcelona and Amsterdam. 

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CitiCAP project in Lahti conducted research on smart bicycle lanes