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Just, Productive, Creative and Climate-Neutral cities: R&I approaches towards sustainable urban transformation

date June 29, 2022 | 17:30 - 19:00
Multifunction Hall Room 7
Fab City Foundation
Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures
NE 147


The session (1.5h) focuses on how novel R&I approaches can help cities in developing new urban, economic, social, cultural, and industrial models that relocalise production to the city and its bioregional context, promoting decarbonisation, reduction of emissions, healthy lifestyles and contributing to climate neutrality. The challenge is to transform how we produce and consume, increasing urban resilience to treats including climate events and pandemics.

The event will host three EU R&I projects funded by Horizon 2020 Programme. These projects focus on the regeneration of urban places through hubs or ‘creative space’ that hold a potential as cultural, social, economic, and environmental innovation drivers, facilitating bottom-up and top-down action.

Stemming from the Fab City Full Stack strategy for cities, - Fab City being a global initiative and cities network of 41 cities and regions that aim to produce (almost) everything they consume by 2050 – the session is organised in cooperation with both DGR&I and REA.

The first Session focuses on urban regeneration and will be structured around 3 main questions:

  1. How can we use the ‘meanwhile’ of urban regeneration to create Just and sustainable Cities? led by T-Factor project, focusing on the key role that temporary and creative uses can play in unleashing inclusive and thriving urban areas that promote the right to cities while supporting the SDGs targets.
  2. How can we guide collective action towards circular and productive cities? led by CENTRINNO project that focuses on leveraging the potential of underutilised historic spaces to become creative production and manufacturing human-centred hubs, part of a new industrial revolution that puts citizens at the core of a sustainable transformation.
  3. How can we foster creative and heritage driven cities balancing forward-moving innovation and preservation of cultural heritage? led by HUB-IN project that promotes the regeneration of historic urban areas (HUA) using as main catalyst innovation and entrepreneurship, while preserving the unique identity of historic areas and their cultural and social values.

The 3 projects have devised a Manifesto to position their collective approach.

The Second Session focuses on the contribution of the above challenges to climate neutrality

To this aim the session will discuss how best practices in the previous thematics (e.g. delivered by the above projects) will help to face the challenge of climate change and contribute to the implementation of the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission.  The session will be introduced by the second moderator and international renowned discussants. The audience will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers in the Q&A both in the room and by Zoom or Teams.

*A programme of the European Commission events at the World Urban Forum, as part of the European Track, has been compiled. This session is included in the WUF website at :


16:30 Opening of the event

(European Commission, DG R&I, Rosalinde Van Der Vlies, Director of Directorate Clean Planet -DiR RTD.C and Tomas Diez, Executive Director of the Fab City Foundation)

*Fab CIty Foundation will have support on the Zoom chat, Tomas Diez Fab Lab Bali (

16:45 First Session:

Moderator: Maria Yeroyanni, European Commission, Senior Expert Innovating Cities RTD.C2 “Future Urban and Mobility Systems”

“How can we regenerate urban places through hubs and ‘creative space’”?

Pitches by 3 H2020 projects T-Factor - CENTRINNO - HUB-IN projects

  1. CENTRINNO-Pietro L. Verga, Municipality of Milan - Urban Economy, Fashion and Design Project Directorate
  2. T-FACTOR-Alejandra Castro-Giron, TU Dortmund University, Germany
  3. HUB-INVera Gregório, Lisboa E-Nova- Agenzia di Energia e Ambiente, Lisbon, Portugal.

Presentation of the Manifesto (Emanuela De Menna, project adviser, REA-European Research Executive Agency)

17:15 Round of comments by the invited discussants:

“What are the potential R&I activities in the above projects from the perspective of UNESCO and ICLEI”?

-Mrs Huong Thanh Thi Pham (Culture Specialist UNESCO Viet Nam Office)

- Mr Matthew Bach (coordinator of just transition in ICLEI regional office)

  Moderator concludes with 2-3 messages

                                      17:30 Second Session:

Moderator: Philippe Froissard, European Commission, DG R&I, Head of Unit RTD.C2” Future Urban and mobility systems” introduces the:

Horizon Europe Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030

and opens the discussion with the floor.


“How creative and productive spaces in cities can contribute to climate neutrality and to the Climate Neutral Cities Mission objectives”?

17:35 Open discussion with H2020 projects, Fab city Foundation, the discussants, and the audience


17:55 Conclusions / Overall messages by Philippe FROISSARD

18: 00 Closure of the event


- Share the experience of the Fab City Network and 3 Horizon projects to co-create R&I agendas for and with cities as a means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SGD 11 and SDG 8, 10 and 13.

- Present concrete innovation methods and solutions that use heritage, local human and social capitals and local values as a driver for forward-looking urban transformation and climate neutrality.

- assess opportunities to scale-up such innovative solutions and explore how they can also close the loop and contribute to climate neutrality, making urban regeneration sustainable, circular and inclusive

- Contribute to an International dialogue on the role of bottom-up, top-down approaches for resilient and climate neutral future cities. More specifically, the event will serve to create new partnerships between EU R&I funded cities and cities from Latin America, Africa/Asia and global networks

- Linked to the latter, a long-term objective is to build a global community of cities sharing a R&I agenda. This networking session indeed will give continuity to the broader co-creation strategy launched by the European Commission, DG R&I, in Habitat III Forum Networking Session on ‘EU Open to the World: Cities as actors of open innovation’ and monitor the results of the Networking actions promoted in the event ‘Social and cultural innovation for sustainable cities: a myth or reality?’ in the WUF 10 in Abu Dhabi (organised always by DG R&I).

Session speakers

Programme Assistant/ Culture Sector
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)