Validated Lead Expert
B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development:
As an architect and researcher with a Masters qualification in urban regeneration, I have worked with several organizations providing strategic support to the public authorities in terms of planning and implementing inclusive, integrated and sustainable urban policies. Along the years, I have developed an international experience in relation to urban and territorial questions: first at INTA – the International Urban Development Association (FR), then at IFHP - the International Federation for Housing and Planning (DK). I designed, coordinated and delivered international exchanges, workshops and debates in Europe, Asia and Latin America, producing reports, policy documents, publications and presentations providing new understandings and benchmarking diverse and composite approaches to city-making. I am currently project leader at INTI – International New Town Institute where I am responsible for content development, programme management and transfer of knowledge (International New Town Day 2016 and 2017’s editions) and coordinator of the New Towns, Arrival Cities project (2017-2019) co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme. I was awarded the METREX Bernd Steinacher research Fellowship 2016-2018 to explore models of metropolitan governance in the European context in dialogue with local and regional representatives. I’m a co-founder of Urban Reports, an international collective that uses photography as a tool to increase awareness on contemporary landscapes’ changes.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level:
Connect, share experiences, co-produce knowledge and create the conditions for mutual learning, encouraging multidisciplinary and multi-level exchange, has been my primary activity in the last ten years and the core mission of the international associations I have worked for. Whether at IFHP (2014-2016), in charge of the IFHP activities agenda 2015 on housing & habitat, or at INTA (2011-2014) as coordinator of the Community of competence Metropolisation as well as at INTI (2016-present), my main tasks relate to the design, management and coordination of international activities (roundtables, workshops, panel debates, experts meetings, but also conferences and annual congresses) bringing together public and private actors, practitioners, decision-makers, citizens and academic partners. Main goal: the co-creation of knowledge and new learning, its capitalization and transfer. Having lived and worked in different countries (Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal) I am aware that there is not a “one fits all” methodology for sharing best practices and activate learning processes. Each case requires the understanding of the participants’ needs and goals, their way of working and their backgrounds, mediating between different parties. Mainly in long term partnerships and commitments, it also means efforts and time to create trust and confidence, meaning by this the creation of a comfort zone which can allow everybody to be open and resourceful.
B.3. Proficiency in English:
I have studied both English and French during all my school trajectory until I was 18, and later I have been involved in international networks and projects while I was working in Turin, Italy. However, it was only with the decision to move to The Netherlands in 2009 that English has become my primary language of communication. Since 2011, most of my professional work has been dealing with transnational exchanges and network activities in different countries (Latin America, Asia, Europe) involving a great variety of actors and urban players (researchers, professionals, decision-makers, associations, public and government representatives, business sectors, citizens) from all over the globe. I commonly use English for researches and presentations (Metrex research Fellowship and Urban Reports activities and researches and articles) planning and final reports, policy papers, as well as communication texts (for newsletters and social media) related to the activities I am coordinating. I have made presentations and moderated roundtables and experts’ meetings. Apart from being fluent in English, I also speak fluent French and Portuguese and I have a basic knowledge of Dutch, an ability that allows me to communicate with international colleagues and partners also in their own language. Italian is my mother tongue.
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
Having worked for many years with international organizations performing as platforms for knowledge exchange, I have acquired a certain experience in designing and delivering transnational exchanges and learning activities. With INTA (international urban development association) between 2011 and 2014 and then IFHP (International Federation for Housing and Planning) 2014-2016, I had the chance to travel around the globe and organize a wide variety of local, national and transnational learning, action-led and research-based activities. More recently with INTI (2016-present) and METREX (2016-2018), I could strengthen my expertise in relation to new town planning and European metropolitan dynamics. In my position, I have often collaborated with strategic and knowledge partners in the elaboration of the activities’ scope and concept design, being responsible for the selection of the thematic experts, the format of the sessions, the logistic and the practical aspects. What I have learned is that the decision on what is the right approach changes from time to time, depending on the context and the activities’ goals and requirements. Therefore, flexibility and an open-minded and positive attitude is always a good way to start.
Theme / Policy:
Urban Strategic Planning
Summary Thematic expertise:
My experience in relation to this theme has grown along the year fed by professional practice and research work. I have been coordinating transnational and local projects, events, city to city cooperation and panel of experts on strategic urban planning. I have designed and delivered activities, organized meetings, moderated workshops, drafted concise and thematic content reports. I have also conducted research on urban sustainable development (Metropolitan antenna for Torino third Strategic Plan - http://www.torinostrategica.it/) and my recent research fellowship at Metrex exploring the factors that create the conditions for successful models of metropolitan and regional governance (http://www.eurometrex.org/activities/bernd-steinacher-fellowship/). In the international fora and learning exchange activities of INTA, I was responsible for the thematic community of competence Metropolisation (https://inta-aivn.org/en/812-community-of-competences-on-metropolisation-defining-the-metropolis), for which I have designed, coordinated and delivered a wide variety of activities all based on the activation of the membership and network's expertise. INTI itself works as a platform of knowledge exchange and this is where I have built up a specific knowledge on the New Towns: what we can learn from the existing ones to improve the quality and sustainability of future new cities by bringing together multidisciplinary expertise in collaboration with public, private and academic partners.
Theme / Policy:
Integrated Urban Renewal
Summary Thematic expertise:
My experience in relation to this theme has grown along the year fed by professional practice and research work. After my master’s degree in urban regeneration, I had the chance to work to the integrated urban regeneration programme of one of the most colorful multi-ethnic neighbourhoods in Turin, Porta Palazzo. I coordinated projects supporting the renewal of the housing stock and enhancing the improvement of the living conditions in the district involving inhabitants, community leaders and local actors in permanent dialogue with the different departments of the public administrations and in line with city’s urban policies agenda. In the international fora and learning exchange activities of INTA, IFHP and INTI (as concerns new town regeneration and development), or at Metrex (addressing the metropolitan dimension), we have always encouraged integrated, multi-actor and multidisciplinary approach as a starting point to help our members to master the complexity of the present urban dynamics. INTA’s thematic communities of competence, IFHP and Metrex working groups, are all based on the activation of their networks’ resources. INTI itself works as a platform of knowledge exchange and this is where I had the chance to build up a specific knowledge on New Towns: what we can learn from the existing ones to improve the quality and sustainability of future new cities by bringing together multidisciplinary expertise in collaboration with public, private and academic partners.
Theme / Policy:
Summary Thematic expertise:
After my master’s degree in urban regeneration, I had the chance to work to the integrated urban regeneration programme of one of the most colorful multi-ethnic neighbourhoods in Turin, Porta Palazzo. I coordinated projects supporting the renewal of the housing stock and enhancing the improvement of the living conditions in the district involving inhabitants, community leaders and local actors in permanent dialogue with the different departments of the public administrations and in line with city’s urban policies agenda. The core of our activity was the elaboration of Sustainable housing projects/actions providing support to the public policies implementation. Among the projects: Abitare Porta Palazzo, Ri-abitare and Abitare a 360*, research-based and place-specific programmes gathering institutional and non-institutional actors to foster sustainable housing renewal and the improvement of the quality living conditions in the neighbourhood. In the international fora and learning exchange activities of IFHP (roadmap of activities programme 2015 with a specific focus on Housing&Habitat (https://www.ifhp.org/roadmap-ifhp-activities-2015) and INTI (as concerns new towns regeneration and development), I had the chance to design and develop projects whose main goal was to build up a specific knowledge to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment seeking for innovative solutions which can respond to the new emerging and pressing housing needs.
Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies
E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices :
While working at the local development Agency The gate, In Turin, I was responsible for the design and implementation of projects aiming at the urban renewal of the neighbourhood. The Urban Recovery Plans for Porta Palazzo was the major project (http://www.comune.torino.it/portapalazzo/ambienti/costruito/pdr/) imposed by the City Council on the area to foster urban renewal dynamics. The agency, working closely with the urban planning and housing department of the public authority, was in charge of the city strategy’s implementation and provided assistance throughout the overall process: from mapping the conditions of the built environment to the creation of ad hoc services and projects to accompany the regeneration programme. As an agency working on the process of integrated urban regeneration, the office was organized in thematic areas, and so my work on the built environment (housing and public space) was strongly supported by the colleagues of the social and cultural offices. Also, we could count on the cooperation of social and cultural mediators (Arabic, Chinese and Romanian) helping during the meetings with the inhabitants. We also organized public cultural activities in the main square of the district, like the world football tournament (2003-2006), one day of sport to recognize the value of the area’s diverse population and fight against discrimination and the image of decay associated to this place.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies:
Within the EU Europe For Citizens (E4C ) New Towns Arrival Cities programme (website: http://www.newtowninstitute.org/spip.php?rubrique149) we have created a series of questionnaires (one at the beginning, one half-way and one on the closing phase) which have been sent to the partners mainly to collect feedbacks and remarks with the hope to improve the programme effectiveness but also to capture the impact of the activities on the local policies and tools. Finally, we wanted to measure the interest of the city partners to look beyond the end of the project and imagine possible follow-up to move to the implementation of factual actions and policy tools responding to the needs registered during the project’s development.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level:
I often check the website, and follow the social media of the European Commission on the pages dedicated to “Cities and Urban Development”, as well as the agency for the territorial cohesion of the Italian government, ANCI, URBACT, Eurocities, EUKN, ICLEI. I participate to conferences, events and workshops in The Netherlands and abroad. As Metrex Bernd Steinacher research Fellow 2016-2018 I have given presentations and participated in the Metropolitan governance working group sessions during the following conferences: > Metrex Spring conference held in Stockholm, Sweden (June 2017) > Metrex Autumn conference “Living in the Future Metropolis” held in Helsinki, Finland (October 2017) > Metrex Spring conference “Sustainable Mobility - An Integrated Metropolitan Approach” held in San Sebastian, Spain (May 2018) > Metrex Autumn conference ”Metropolitan Solutions - Translating policies into Actions on a Regional Level” held in Brussels, Belgium (October 2018) Recent events to which I was invited: >> “Investire in innovazione sociale una sfida per le città metropolitane” organised by Città metropolitana di Milano (15 November 2018). Link: http://www.cittametropolitana.mi.it/welfare_metropolitano/notizie/Investire-in-innovazione-sociale-una-sfida-per-le-citta-metropolitane/ >> “Le aree interne nelle città metropolitane”, organized in the framework of the XVI International Architecture Biennale of Venice (2018) organized by Arcipelago Italia -http://www.arcipelagoitalia.it
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities:
Design flexible frameworks capable of accommodating the local and place-specific requirements is an important point to consider when designing a programme of activities which differ one from another and take place in different countries. The “New Towns, Arrival Cities” project (http://www.newtowninstitute.org/spip.php?rubrique149) has gathered together 5 New Town Labs along one thematic mainstream: migration. Each Lab must have included one day of site visits and a second day of public event, including the participation and contribution of the local migrant communities. Each town had to define the context’s limits (neighbourhood, town, agglomeration), the sub-theme and the questions, the network of local partners and stakeholders which could contribute to give consistence to the analysis and development of the discussion. We have agreed to live quite a substantial freedom to the city partner in deciding the format that could have better suited the local context, decision which has led to the production of a wide variety of activities. As coordinator of the overall programme, the first step was to design a model of structure which could have been replicated/adapted/interpreted in each Lab according to the local needs. Then, lab after lab, I have supervised and discussed with the local partner the format and the questions in order to secure consistency and coherence of the outcomes.
The promotion of collaborative processes between public authorities and other stakeholders has been the focus of my professional activity for many years. Since my collaboration with the Local development agency - The gate, in Turin, then at INTA, IFHP and more recently at INTI, I have developed a significant experience in developing and delivering activities where public and private policy-makers and urban practitioners come together to share knowledge, experience and performing tools for integrated urban development through a wide range of activities: workshops, panel sessions, conferences, experts’ meetings, site visits, as well as interviews and video-documentaries.
Italian - Mother tongue