The Second Edition of the course “Transformation, Regeneration and Naturalisation of the Urban and Industrial Environment, directed by Naider, was held on 20 and 21 July as part of the summer courses of the University of the Basque Country. The course, which took place at the Miramar Palace in Donostia, focused on the renewed conception of the urban and offered viable responses to new social demands, more demanding environmental parameters, necessary processes of energy transformation and new models of economic and business activity in our cities. It was, without a doubt, a beneficial experience for all that would not have been possible without the contribution of each of the expert speakers and without the active participation of both on-site and virtual attendees, which included, among others, profiles from architecture, environmental sciences, economics, and public service. The programme was developed as follows:

First Day: 20 July 2023

9:15 – 9:25 · Presentation by the Management of the activity

Juan Iglesias Gutiérrez | NAIDER · Urban Ecology Coordinator | PRESENTATION

9:25 – 10:15 · “Urban regeneration and naturalisation instruments in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona” | PRESENTATION

Jacob Cirera Val | Área Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) · Metropolitan Urban Development Master Plan Drafting Service

Jacob presented the recently approved Urban Master Plan (PDU) of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, which will organise 36 municipalities in areas such as mobility, housing, green infrastructure and ecological transition, among others. In his presentation, Jacob stressed the need to adopt a metabolic approach when establishing urban development models, considering not only urban planning, but also issues such as the population’s consumption habits and technology. He stressed the need for a development model based on territorial capacities and urban recycling, promoting urban transformation and regeneration. In addition, he presented a series of opportunities for the regeneration of urban metabolism through environmental services, intermodality, the analysis of the energy behaviour of the residential fabric and the alternative resources of the urban water cycle.

10:15 – 11:00 · “Circular, restorative and regenerative urban planning criteria: new sustainability paradigm” | PRESENTATION

Haizea Aguirre Puértolas | NAIDER · Main Architect and Urban Planner

Haizea presented the twelve key concepts of circular, restorative and regenerative urban planning, such as sustainable mobility, air quality, health and well-being, sustainable mobility and climate change, among others. She then presented two examples of urban restoration, regeneration and renaturalisation – the Modification of the Sectorial Plan of Supramunicipal Incidence (MPSIS) of the Campus of the Public University of Navarre (UPNA), and the regeneration and renaturalisation of Polígono 27 in Donostia – where the practical application of these key criteria was demonstrated.

11:30 – 12:15 · “How to promote nature-based solutions to climate change: Urban Klima 2050 Euskadi” | PRESENTATION

Marimar Alonso Martín | IHOBE · Director of Climate Action

In her presentation, Marimar highlighted the value of collaborative and multi-agent projects to promote nature-based solutions to climate change, presenting the LIFE URBAN KLIMA 2050 climate action project. Through this project, various actions have been carried out both in urban-rural areas and in river basins and coastal areas of the Basque Country. The challenge, said Marimar, lies in reaching agents with the potential to intervene in the territory and providing them with simple tools to articulate knowledge and act.

13:15 – 13:30 · “Bilbao: the urban green paradox” | PRESENTATION

Mikel González Vara | Bilbao Council · Head of the Environment Area

Mikel gave a historical overview of the urban transformation in Bilbao through green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, presenting the process of elaboration of the Environment Strategy. In this sense, he stressed the need to recognise urban green infrastructure not only as an aesthetic and beautifying element, but as a priority and functional service for cities, their inhabitants and their adaptation to climate change.

Second Day: 21 July 2023

9:00 – 9:15 · Presentation of the second day by the Management of the activity

Juan Iglesias Gutiérrez | NAIDER · Urban Ecology Coordinator |PRESENTATION

9:15 – 10:45 · Round Table: “Good practices in urban transformation and regeneration”.

Haizea Aguirre Puertolas (Moderator) | NAIDER · Main Architect and Urban Planner

Under the moderation of Haizea Aguirre, the speakers shared with us the peculiarities and transformation processes in which they have worked:

Pilar Pardo presented different small-scale urban planning actions throughout the region of Navarre, from actions on paths in small towns to greening actions on the sides of pedestrian crossings in more populated cities. Pilar wanted to emphasise that when we talk about urban transformation we are talking about acting in spaces that are already being used in a certain way, therefore, in order to achieve a successful transformation of these spaces it is necessary to involve both users and owners of these spaces. In addition, and in line with the other three members of the Bureau, Pilar stressed the importance of going beyond urban planning techniques and combining them with other social, environmental and economic tools. Finally, she assured that these transformations must go towards greening, naturalisation and adaptation to climate change.

  • Joseba Aranzabal Iraeta | ENSANCHE 21 · Urban Regeneration and Rehabilitation Officer | PRESENTATION (Not available)

Joseba Aranzabal told us about the urban transformation of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the generational displacement that has been generated in the city, where priorities have changed and with it mobility. Joseba emphasised the importance of this urban transformation in terms of mobility, where the aim is to generate micro-cities within the city itself, with all the necessary services, and with access to the old part of the city and the town hall in 15-20 minutes, limiting unnecessary journeys and their consequent energy consumption and emissions.

Finally, Luiskar explained that the strong presence of large companies in Sestao attracted many people, generating a disorganised urban growth which, with the industrial reconversion and the disappearance of these large companies, generated a deterioration of the municipality and a great urban development challenge, especially in the neighbourhoods. To address this challenge, Luiskar remarked that it is not enough to tackle it unilaterally, but that it must be tackled from a cross-sectoral point of view, taking into account social, environmental and economic variables. He also remarked that there must be an integral accompaniment to the urban planning approach from a community development point of view, adapting this accompaniment based on whether the areas to act are more vulnerable or more structured.

11:15 – 12:15 · “Low Emission Zones and the challenge of the subversive transformation of cities” | PRESENTATION

Iván de Torres Suárez | NAIDER · Cities and Territories Intelligence Coordinator

Iván talked to us about Low Emission Zones (LEZ), how they work, their benefits and the challenges to be overcome. The LEZs are defined as zones where only vehicles that meet specific environmental requirements can enter. These zones are the response to an increase in air pollution in cities, mainly from road transport, and their aim is to reduce these pollution levels, improve road safety and reduce energy consumption and emissions. Finally, Ivan gave several examples, and ended his presentation with an important reflection: This energy transition cannot be achieved only by replacing some vehicles with more efficient ones, it is necessary to reduce the use of private vehicles, and beyond the ZBEs, it is necessary to promote pedestrian mobility, cycling and public transport.

12:15 – 13:15 · “Economic instruments for prioritising investments in nature-based solutions” | PRESENTATION

Jokin Echevarria Alvarez | NAIDER · Economy and Innovation Coordinator

The analysis of the benefits of Nature Based Solutions (NbS) has traditionally been based on environmental criteria, and many do not include social or economic criteria. This may be because there is no clear and simple methodology for estimating economic value, but it is no less important. This is why Jokin stressed the importance of this part of the analysis, focusing on the cost-benefit analysis methodology, and explained the step-by-step process for calculating it. Jokin mentioned that it is important to have several prior considerations when applying the cost-benefit methodology, named the advantages of the cost-benefit analysis and its limitations. As a final conclusion, Jokin remarked that it is important not to leave negative externalities aside, as they will be a cost to be taken into account in the future.

With the end of the second day, the 2nd edition of the UIK UPV/EHU Summer Course “Transformation, Regeneration and Naturalisation of the urban and industrial environment” came to an end. From Naider we would like to thank all the attendees, organizers and speakers for your time and dedication, mila esker!