In the MediAree co-working space, ISINNOVA’s Stefano Proietti explained the achievements of the CIVITAS projects for the development of sustainable and people-friendly cities.

Missione Italia was the event dedicated to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which took stock of European perspectives for the sustainable development of Italian cities and municipalities. Organised by the ANCI, the event, held on 5 and 6 July at the ‘La Nuvola’ convention centre in Rome, was an opportunity to actively discuss how investment and the necessary reforms can make a difference to the country’s growth process.

The two-day workshop, facilitated by ANCI and led by the main organisations and institutions involved in the urban development of the European territory under the banner of sustainability, covered a wide range of topics. The debate focused on the development of the territory, the innovation paths of cities, the education of citizens, welfare, the ability to attract talent, inclusion and the prospects for combining attractiveness and sustainability in the cultural and tourism sector. This series of workshops was an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of culture for quality of life and competitiveness, and to show how cultural heritage and creative industries can be a driving force for urban and territorial development.

Sustainable Mobility and Placemaking: Successful Projects and Opportunities for Medium-sized Cities

ISINNOVA, represented by Senior Researcher Stefano Proietti, was invited to participate in the workshopLab03. Sustainable Mobility and Placemaking: Successful Projects and Opportunities for Medium-sized Cities‘, where topics such as sustainable mobility and placemaking were discussed in order to define successful projects and seize new opportunities for medium-sized cities. The development of medium-sized cities was at the centre of the debate in the MediAree co-working space, a place to share experiences and perspectives offered by the European Next Generation Cities programmes.

ISINNOVA’s Role in the Pursuit of European Goals for Sustainable Mobility

It is certainly no coincidence that ISINNOVA was asked to participate in the workshop on the development of sustainable cities. For more than 30 years, ISINNOVA has been working with national and international public and private institutions and has actively launched 120 European projects in the fields of sustainable mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energies, smart cities and public health. By applying methodologies such as analysing and forecasting long-term scenarios, setting up and managing inter-institutional and community governance, analysing the costs and benefits of public and private policies and investments, and assessing and monitoring the impact of policies, ISINNOVA has contributed to building sustainable planning and promoting public participation in decision-making.

CIVITAS Group of Projects: the Results

Starting from the assumption that mobility shapes the kind of city we want to live in, Stefano Proietti presented the results achieved by ISINNOVA within the CIVITAS project group. A series of experiments carried out in Northern Europe and other positive experiences in Italy have demonstrated the fundamental role of sustainable mobility.

The CIVITAS initiative is one of the European programmes designed to help the European Commission achieve sustainable mobility and transport goals by networking cities, living labs and research projects that integrate mobility into broader development goals and cross-cutting policy commitments. Currently, 340 local authorities in 43 European countries are involved in CIVITAS. The initiative is co-funded by the European Union and managed by its Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility (DG MOVE). Its implementation is overseen by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).

Within the CIVITAS initiative, ISINNOVA has already realised different types of projects, ranging from Living Labs (MODERN, MIMOSA, PORTIS, DESTINATIONS) to research projects (HANDSHAKE, PARK4SUMP) and support projects (METEOR, CATALIST, CAPITAL). In his speech, Stefano Proietti also mentioned the Italian network CIVINET Italia, which was created in 2009 and now has 73 members, 40 cities, 10 mobility agencies, 6 associations, an association of 5 cities, 8 private organisations working in the field of sustainable mobility and 8 universities. The objective of CIVINET Italia is to promote the exchange of experiences and good practices in the development and implementation of sustainable mobility strategies, policies and measures among the network of Italian member cities. Membership of CIVINET Italia and CIVITAS is free of charge.

An Exemplary Model of Cooperation: the HANDSHAKE Project

Stefano Proietti gave the example of the HANDSHAKE project, implemented under CIVITAS, as a model of peer-to-peer cooperation between the 9 cities involved: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Krakow, Dublin, Manchester, Riga, Rome, Turin and Munich. The success of this project is demonstrated not only by the results obtained, but also by the fact that the cities involved have asked for it to be continued after the end of its funding, scheduled for autumn 2022. In fact, the European Commission itself has decided to grant access to the Horizon Results Booster, a market approach currently underway that will lead to funding at the end of 2023.

The HANDSHAKE project has highlighted the different needs of cities, which require daily dialogue in a trusted and stimulating environment. This is done through structured pathways and unstructured moments, both online and through participation in face-to-face events, cultivating relationships and seizing new opportunities, validating the strategic direction taken and stimulating the gradual growth of theoretical and practical skills in a discursive and participatory rather than top-down manner.

In fact, this model takes the form of a real “community of practice”, rich in opportunities, lively and professionally facilitated by a group of experts who promote interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation between the cities themselves. The advantages of this collaborative model are many, and have emerged in particular from the results of the HANDSHAKE project, which in a practical way allows successful mobility models and sustainable policies to be shared with transparency and trust, as well as fears and failures that are instead a source of common learning. Furthermore, the collaborative model promoted by the European Union allows all cities to communicate openly and share their good practices across an international network, breaking down cultural and linguistic barriers for the sake of common and shared growth.

Upcoming Events: October 2023 in Seville

A major event will take place in Seville from 4 to 6 October with the ‘Urban Mobility Days’. This year the event will have a special focus on ‘transport skills’ to celebrate 2023 as the European Year of Skills 2023. For more information, please click here to visit the website.