S_06 – SUPPORTING THE TRANSITION TOWARDS ECOLOGICALLY-ORIENTED URBAN PLANNING: WHAT’S THE ROLE OF EARLY-CAREER RESEARCHERS*? INNOVATIVE FINDINGS, EXPERIENCES, AND WAYS FORWARD
De Luca Claudia (University of Bologna), Ronchi Silvia (Polytechnic university of Milan) and Cortinovis Chiara (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
The increasing negative consequences of climate change and multiple crises such as biodiversity, social and health-related crises urgently call for ecologically-oriented urban planning.
Ecologically-oriented urban planning acknowledges the role of natural capital in supporting health and wellbeing, and promotes the integration of ecologically-sound measures/strategies that benefit humans and other species, also in the face of current and future climate impacts. Several policies and initiatives at multiple levels promote the transition to a more ecologically-oriented urban planning. The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 marked a clear step forward in mainstreaming ecologically-oriented urban planning, which should become a consolidated practice through preparing Urban Greening plans. Also, the EU’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Law is working in the same direction defining objectives for the long-term recovery of nature.
However, innovations in planning meet several barriers that limit this paradigm shift and ecological transition, including low awareness and commitment of decision-makers and other stakeholders involved in the process, silo mentality, inertia and lock-in mechanisms associated with consolidated approaches, and rigid rules, among others.
In the last few years, several scientific disciplines have developed a growing interest in concepts and tools that can promote the transition towards ecologically-oriented urban planning. This is demonstrated by the increasing popularity of topics related to ecosystem services, urban climate adaptation, performance-based planning & design, nature-based solutions, and environmental and climate justice. Mainstreaming these topics into urban planning is one of the main challenges of contemporary territories. Theoretical approaches, methods, and indicators developed within these contexts can play a key role in promoting ecologically-oriented planning by supporting the definition of ambitious but realistic goals, assessing strategies and actions, analysing alternative scenarios, and monitoring their implementation. The new generation of researchers trained in these fields, who often have a multidisciplinary background and international experiences, can contribute to scientific and academic development, the science-policy interface, and the wider societal debate around ecologically-oriented urban planning and practices.
In this session, we aim to collect, showcase, and discuss the recent scientific advancements related to ecologically-oriented urban planning promoted by early-career researchers, as well as their experiences with planning support. We especially welcome contributions around the topic that embraces a multidisciplinary and transectoral approach. Follow-up activities, which might include further meetings and common publications, also in view of future funding applications, will be proposed to the participants and discussed during the session.
(*) early-career researchers (ECR within 8 years since the award of the PhD)
Ecological transition; urban planning; multidisciplinary; knowledge exchange; networking; early-career