Making the business case for Blue Green Infrastructure through Social Innovation and city to city learning at IFoU

11 December 2018 - Published by Ellen Kelder

During the 11th International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), BEGIN will host a panel discussion relating to the topics Climate Resilience Governance and Planning and Community Resilience. Led by the chair Ellen Kelder from the City of Dordrecht, different partners of the BEGIN consortium will share their expertise and lessons-learned within BEGIN on Blue Green Infrastructure (BGI), Social Innovation (SI), city to city learning and overcoming implementation barriers related to BGI. This article will give short introductions to each topic presented at IFoU.

Design for Social Innovation in the context of Urban Resilience

Qian Sun from the Royal College of Art presents two design projects as case studies where service design thinking and practice is employed in addressing the challenges of engaging communities in the maintenance of BGI. The involvement of communities in city strategy is considered crucial to the success of any resilience initiatives and services.

BEGIN: experiences, methods and guidelines to accelerate effective city-to-city learning to reach transformational change

City-to city (C2C) learning (learning from peers and their best practices) is of crucial importance regarding topics (i.e. urban resilience, sustainability) in which cities do not have time to re-invent the wheel. Sebastiaan van Herk and Max Berkelmans from Bax & Company will discuss their developed tools and methods based on experiences within BEGIN to show how C2C learning can be done in an effective way of accelerating learning leading to transformational change.

BEGIN: Blue Green Infrastructure through Social Innovation

Sara Ali from the Bradford City Council will present on the BEGIN focus areas of overcoming implementation barriers to BGI via Social Innovation (SI) and city to city learning. SI empowers multiple stakeholders to contribute (in kind, funds) to the design, construction and maintenance of BGIs. Transnational collaboration within BEGIN is done via a unique transnational city-to-city learning exchange programme with transnational expert teams that facilitate joint implementation of BGI projects.

The governance of Blue Green Infrastructure Funding: A case study comparison from the UK and the Netherlands

It is well understood that BGI can deliver benefit beyond water management to wider societal matters such as social, aesthetic, health and biodiversity. Funding such boundary spanning projects is complex and pathways vary between projects. The University of Sheffield and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam compare two case studies which will enable practitioners and policy makers to gain insight into the funding process, thereby helping to bridge the gap between theory and implementation of BGI.

From rhetoric to practice: getting to new governance forms for urban blue-green infrastructures

Jannes Willems from the Erasmus University Rotterdam presents the preliminary findings based on ten case studies, demonstrating an “implementation gap” between what is being said on paper and what can be seen in practice. Although public officials indicated to be welcoming to allocating responsibilities to citizens, in practice public governments remain risk-averse and want to remain in charge. The resilience of urban systems is hindered by public governments, because they adhere to more traditional styles of public management.