The alliance between TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht has awarded five grants between 30,000 and 60,000 euros each for research that shapes and facilitates the long-term partnership between the institutions within the field of Circular Inclusive Cities. The research projects are innovative and multi-disciplinary, and aim to contribute to our understanding of the transition to a circular society.
Our priority area Circular Society aims to connect researchers working on enhancing the circularity and sustainability of cities with research that concentrates on inclusiveness. Inclusiveness can be seen as a prerequisite for any successful transition process to a more sustainable city and society. With this money, 27 researchers from TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht will be collaborating in five projects.
From hassle to asset: planning rainwater reuse in cities for adapting climate change
Many cities around the world are experiencing water scarcity periods, and this is expected to worsen in the future. Rainwater can be seen as a resource that could help to alleviate a water scarce future if we start planning rainwater reuse systems from now. Besides, these systems can help to ease the pressure on drainage systems. However, what elements need to be considered when planning these systems? What are the barriers for their implementation? What is needed to encourage different users to adopt these systems and to collaborate in their implementation? How to allocate these systems in the urban space, where there is little space available and planned infrastructures should be designed in harmony with the urban environment? This research aims to understand the transition pathways needed to achieve the implementation of sustainable and holistic infrastructure in cities, overcoming existent barriers and encouraging stakeholder collaboration.
Researchers: Wei-Shan Chen (WUR, lead), Joeri Willet (WUR), Alida Alves Beloqui (WUR), Sanda Lenzholzer (WUR), Dr. Christian Nolf (WUR), Laura Piscicelli (UU). TU/e to be confirmed
Building a community-based participatory approach to explore how urban planning influences citizens access to circular and inclusive food systems
The creation of circular and inclusive urban food systems could help significantly reduce the negative environmental and social consequences of the production, consumption and disposal of food. However, for a successful implementation in city-regions, it is pivotal that all urban citizens have access to these circular foodsystems. This project introduces a community-based participatory research approach to explore how urban planning shapes the physical and social environments of different city-regions and how, in turn, the latter influence food choices and food and packaging recycling opportunities of different groups of citizens.
Researchers: Pauline van den Berg (TUe), Joana Wensing (WUR, lead), Francesca Rubiconto (WUR), Eveline Van Leeuwen (WUR), Choolwe Muzyamba (UU) (Assistant Professor)
The Last Supper? Enhancing circularity and inclusivity in urban food transitions
Circularity cannot be an exclusive practice. To achieve a ‘waste-free economy’, all levels of society need to be included in the transformative processes. Circularity depends on drastically reconfiguring the practices and processes of production and consumption by rethinking how people make use of and relate to environmental resources in their daily practices. This underlines that circularity and achieving zero-waste cannot be achieved without highly inclusive processes.
Little attention has so far been paid to the question of who is involved in bringing forward these processes. As such, we need to reflect upon how gaining societal support for circularity is being approached. This consortium recognizes the vast diversity of those living in the city with limited capacities, heterogeneous perspectives and needs that are often not being met or considered. We need better understanding of who is might be left behind and whose needs and influences are not being considered in the design of circular foodsystems.
Researchers: Jonas Colen Ladeia Torrens (TU/e), Jillian Student (WUR, lead), Judith Klostermann (WUR), Meghann Ormond (WUR), Sigrid Wertheim-Heck (WUR), Karlijn van den Broek (UU), Julia Tschersich (UU)
Deep Dive Inclusive Circular Cities part 2
To guarantee inclusion, diversity and social equity in urban development projects, essential tools are needed. Landscape and urban planners, designers, as well as architects, can take up inclusive planning and design processes that acknowledge human needs and dignity, and foster participation in shared decision-making. This project provides a deeper understanding of the different dimensions of an inclusive green city and how social equity is an integral part of any design effort. The project contributes towards a canvas, a research agenda, lecture series and keynotes.
Researchers: Rianne Valkenburg (TU/e), Shahryar Sarabi (TU/e, UU), Marian Stuiver (WUR, lead), Tutku Yuksel (Thuis Wageningen), Margreet Takken, Stef Petiet (WUR), Line Rondard (WUR)
Nature-inclusive and socially-inclusive real estate development
Urban planners, policy makers, architects and financiers are faced with a wicked challenge in European cities: increasing the availability of housing while at the same time integrating nature into cities for climate adaptation purposes and other urban sustainability goals. While on the one hand real estate and urban nature ‘compete’ for the same space, real estate development is increasingly also viewed as a potential lever for realizing nature-inclusive cities. Previous studies have highlighted successful examples of integrating urban nature-based solutions (NBS) into the real estate business case. However this approach often compromises affordability and inclusivity goals of cities. Furthermore, nature-inclusive design is innovative and therefore expensive, making it more an ‘elite’ product than an inclusive, mainstream housing solution. To tackle this challenge this project brings together real estate developers, investors, urban planners and architects to explore how urban NBS as part of real estate developments can help create not only green, but also inclusive cities, providing guidance for policy and practice.
Researchers: Juliette Bekkering (TU/e), Helen Toxopeus (UU, Lead), Katrin Merfeld (UU)