Analysing the socio-economic potential of using green infrastructure in urban and metropolitan restructuring and improving sustainability and quality of life in cities, is the ambitious goal of “Socio-ecological reshaping of European Cities and Metropolitan Areas” project, recently selected by the Constructive Advanced Thinking (CAT) initiative, which aims to foster networks of excellent early-career researchers dedicated to devise new ideas in order to understand and tackle current or emerging societal challenges.
The project team includes Carlos Oliveira Cruz and Cristina Matos Silva (Instituto Superior Técnico), Jochen Hack (PI – TU Darmstadt), Rieke Hansen (Hochschule Geisenheim) and Andrea Nóblega Carriquiry (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).
Project funding will focus on workshops and work sessions in six institutions, across six different countries over the next three years. A set of public policy recommendations will result from these actions, based on the study in 3 metropolitan areas: Lisbon, Barcelona (Spain) and Rhine-Main (Germany). The Técnico researchers will be responsible for the Lisbon case study. “The approval of this project is another recognition of GIGroup work that will allow to strengthen international partnerships”, shares Carlos Oliveira Cruz, Técnico professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and researcher at CERIS – Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability. The Green Infrastructures Group (GiGroup), led by Cristina Matos Silva and Carlos Oliveira Cruz, is part of CERIS and focuses on the research of topics related to green infrastructure. “This group is currently one of the main international groups conducting research on the socio-economic impact of green infrastructure”, adds the Técnico professor.
The “Socio-ecological reshaping of European Cities and Metropolitan Areas” project is one of three projects selected by the CAT initiative and resulted from a collaboration under the European University alliance UNITE!, a network of European engineering universities, which includes Universidade de Lisboa. The meeting held last September “Roof, walls and open space – Green Infrastructures and Nature-based Solutions in urban areas”, promoted the exchange of thesis/projects underway in the interdisciplinary area of Green Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions.
CAT was incubated within NetIAS in 2019 and is supported by 11 European Institutes for Advanced (IAS) Study. The programme provides travel funds for an international and interdisciplinary teams of three to five early career researchers, possibly including a stakeholder, in order to advance constructive thinking and stimulate discussion.