New project helps built-up areas become sustainable, inclusive, and aesthetically beautiful
Can built spaces be sustainable, inclusive, and beautiful all at the same time? The answer is yes. The EU-funded project Eyes Hearts Hands Urban Revolution (EHHUR) will make this possible by developing and testing a robust co-design methodology for 7 Lighthouses in Europe and Associated Countries (DK, EL, BE, PT, TK, HR, IT) that integrate the New European Bauhaus and EU Missions.
Climate change threatens to increase vulnerability of citizens, undermine economic gains, hinder social and economic development, and worsen access to essential services. Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion expected to increase to 68% by 2050, according to the United Nations. Therefore, cities play a key role in tackling climate change. Many cities have positively reacted on paper, but they often lack the skills to deploy their energy and sustainability plans effectively. The number of innovative technologies confuses city managers as they struggle to identify the right technological solutions and govern full-scale renovation processes.
The Eyes Hearts Hands project develops a methodology that builds on three pillars:
- EYES: an aesthetically sustainable urban transformation, socially accepted and respectful of cultural heritage and the local context, both in terms of traditional infrastructure and local resources but also of human capital and social skills;
- HEARTS: a socially equitable urban transformation, including “energy solidarity” approaches to energy poverty and reducing inequalities;
- HANDS: an urban transformation that aims to include tangible stakeholder and community engagement measures.
The project approach will be tested in 7 lighthouse districts experiencing different socio-economic and infrastructural challenges, culminating with the actual deployment of Urban Transformation Plans, to be operative by 2025. These heterogeneous experiences of the lighthouse demonstrators will provide a variety of good practices and guidelines for future replication.
The Eyes Hearts Hands principles intertwine with the New European Bauhaus that aims to bridge the worlds of art, culture, and education with science and technology. The project will also contribute to the EU Missions that have commonalities with the New European Bauhaus, with both initiatives aiming to tackle major challenges in health, climate, and the environment through closer engagement with citizens and harnessing the power of research and innovation.
ICONS will lead engagement and co-design activities representing the “backbone” of the project methodology, by deploying a set of tailored social innovation activities aimed not only to engage, but also to commit the participation of relevant urban players at multiple and multidisciplinary levels (technology co-design, co-financing, aesthetic co-creation).
Urban revolution needs concerted efforts. Eyes Hearts Hands relies on an EU-wide consortium that puts multidisciplinary approaches into action with its 28 partners and 4 third partners from 8 countries.
Do you want to join the urban revolution? For further information on Eyes Hearts Hands, contact Jelena Lazić– Project Manager