Living labs for decarbonisation

The Municipality of Braga has established as one of its strategic objectives the promotion of the change in the life of the city, investing in the construction of a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative environment.

The mobility and environmental policy outlined, provides for mitigation and measures of control against the harmful effects of air pollution, in order to safeguard the quality of life of its citizens and, therefore, hoping to reduce the environmental impact and the risks of traffic and other sources of pollution to public health.

In this context, the Municipality follows a pattern of action plan for Mobility and Environment, based on three strategic vectors (sustainability of resources, valorization of natural resources and use of urban space) that are associated with the objectives established in the agenda of Living Laboratories For Decarbonization.

The sustainability of the resources is succeeded through a strong commitment to raise awareness of the population, directed mainly at children and young people, as they are publics with greater capacity to change behaviors and habits.

The valorization of natural resources arises within the context of the strategic and Sustainable Development Plan that the Municipality is developing with strategies to support integrated and sustainable mobility, due to the growth of the road traffic in the municipality.

The third strategic vector is intended to reflect the contribution of the use of urban spaces to the health and well-being of citizens, to improve their quality of life and to attract new residents.

The Municipality of Braga is also developing a Municipal Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change, which materializes the promotion in the municipal territory of a coherent response to the multiple problems linked to the climate changes. It is a strategic instrument, focused on promoting an integrated set of actions, able to respond to the future climate and to the different climatic impacts that can already be observed.

For all that has been explained, it is clear that the Municipality recognizes the need to adopt mitigation actions that promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Thus, it is in the phase of implementation of a live laboratory for the decarbonization called Braga Urban Innovation Laboratory Demonstrator (BUILD).

BUILD results from a successful application to the Environmental Fund and, as a living laboratory for decarbonization, will be established as an urban space for innovation in which public authorities, businesses, universities, R&D centers, citizens and established local communities promote the development, prototyping, testing and validation of new technologies, services and applications, with low environmental impact and in real context.

Based on this general objective, the BUILD Implementation Plan and the adaptation operations of this urban area will achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. Develop and operationalize an information management, monitoring, communication and interaction system that, through ICT, enables interaction among the many stakeholders of BUILD ("Smart City Server");
  2. Promote the active participation and citizenship of the resident population and the user population of BUILD, as well as the adoption of more sustainable behaviors and of less environmental impact ("Conexão Mais Cidadania " and " Aproveitamento de Águas e Resíduos");
  3. To create a living innovation laboratory, as a space for conceptualization, development and follow-up of BUILD (“Laboratório de Inovação Urbana”)
  4. Involve the residents and the BUILD user population in the design, experimentation / testing and evaluation of experimental measures of urban space use ("Conexão Mais Cidadania" and "Smart City Server");
  5. Establish an intelligent public transport network, connected with soft modes of mobility, that optimize the trips to the schools of this area (“School Bus”);
  6. Promote the adoption of sustainable modes of transport and the safety of users of the area, facilitating mobility within BUILD and in the surrounding areas ("Conexão Mais Cidadania” and "School Bus");
  7. Contribute to reduce the environmental impact of human activities in this space, namely through Greenhouse Gas emitted (All Operations).

The BUILD implementation area is mainly located in the parish of São Vicente, northeast of the city of Braga, and is integrated in the Urban Rehabilitation Area (ARU) Braga Nascente and, in a small area, in the Historical Centre.


Submitted by Olaf Lewald on 13/03/2018
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Olaf Lewald

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