City / Town / Village: Alcalá de Henares
Region: Europe & Former Soviet Union States
Summary: Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability (Plataforma de Sostenibilidad Urbana y Territorial) is a work space, dialogue, information, and knowledge management about cities and territory, within the web portal of Observatory on Sustainability in Spain (Observatoriode laSostenibilidad enEspaña - OSE), and a line of research that promotes a new urban and territorial culture.
Reason to Be Selected
Highlights:In the last three years of development, the Platform has worked in the transfer of best practices and research through networking, and it has initiated two lines of own research.
March 1st, 2007: Starting of the work of data collection and networking, following the signing of the Collaboration Agreement, between partners. - July 2nd, 2008: Launch Platform Web. - 6th and 7th November 2008: Seminar on “Heritage, Landscape and Territorial Sustainability” ("Patrimonio, paisaje y sostenibilidad territorial".) - January 20th, 2009: Signing of the Cooperation Protocol between the Ministry of Housing, University of Alcalá and Observatory on Sustainability in Spain (Observatorio de la Sostenibilidad en España - OSE) to promote sustainable urban and territorial development. - October 16th, 2009: Launching of the first case study of the Platform: Natural, cultural and landscape heritage: keys for territorial sustainability (Patrimonio natural, cultural y paisajístico: claves de sostenibilidad territorial). - November 26th and 27th, 2009: Seminar "Urban Planning and Climate Change", held by Spanish Federation of Towns and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias - FEMP), the Network of Cities for Climate, Climate Change Office, Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs and the Ministry of Housing. - November 30th, 2009: Presentation of report Global Change Spain 2020/50. Cities Program: Towards a pact of Spanish cities to global change (Cambio Global España 2020/50. Programa Ciudades: Hacia un pacto de las ciudades españolas ante el Cambio Global), which the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability like the operational instrument of diffusion.
Name of Organization: Spanish Habitat Committee
SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN
In Spain,there are obstacles to sustainable urban and territorial development and the lack of diffusion of research in this field, which sometimes causes duplication of them. There is also, in some cases, lack of networking, with the loss of synergies that this implies, and impact on the private sector. There is a deficit of information for the elaboration of local indicators.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES
Platform of Communication of Urban and Territorial Sustainability has since its creation three priorities:
- Looking for the dissemination of information and knowledge on sustainable urban and territorial development.
- Serving as a vehicle for exchanging information, ideas and experiences.
- Encouraging the change towards a new policy and management culture based on the sustainability of regional processes, involving both private and public institutions.
These priorities were established through dialogue with the original partners of the Platform and supported by each new member who is incorporated under the leadership of Observatory on Sustainability in Spain (Observatorio de laSostenibilidad enEspaña - OSE).
FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
The main objective of the Platform is a change towards a new urban and territorial culture based on sustainability, to promote the projection and extension of positive demonstration effect of best practices that adds value,experience and applied knowledge.
The Platform proposes the following strategies for achieving the main goal:
- Promoting technologies of environmental economic and social competitivity.
- Working in an open structure with initiatives, networks and existing structures.
- Developing a strategic research agenda to increase the efficiency of research in this area.
- Having the participation of companies and financial institutions.
- Encouraging public-private partnership to improve technology transfer to developing countries.
- Supporting development strategies and educational programs.
The objectives and strategies of the platform of urban and territorial sustainability were established through the dialogue of the original partners of the platform and supported by each new member who incorporates with the leadership of Observatory on Sustainability in Spain (Observatorio de laSostenibilidad enEspaña - OSE).
MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
The Observatory on Sustainability in Spain (Observatorio de laSostenibilidad enEspaña - OSE) has promoted the mobilization of resources and it is responsible for managing them.
The Observatory on Sustainability in Spain has had the leading collaboration of two companies, Ferrovial, from the private sector, and Red Eléctrica de España, a parastatal organism, which have provided financial resources to create a job for the coordination and management of the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability (Plataformade sostenibilidad Urbana y Territorial), in the team of Observatory on Sustainability in Spain.
Ferrovialhas also collaborated in the financing of development tools, and Red Eléctricade España has created a scholarship to support the Platform, which is the second job of the project.
Moreover, the institutions should be highlighted that the working platform for the development of work:
Institutions and Authorities: Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (patron of Observatory on Sustainability in Spain), Ministry of Housing,Spanish Federation of Towns and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias - FEMP), Network of Cities for Climate, Comunidad de Madrid (Regional Authority), Ayuntamiento de Madrid (City Council).
Companies: Ferrovial and Red Eléctrica de España.
Foundations: General Foundation of University of Alcalá (patron of Spanish Observatory for Sustainability), Biodiversity foundation (Patron of Spanish Observatory for Sustainability), Mobility Foundation, Foundation for the Study of Quality in Construction of Asturias(Foundación de Estudios para laCalidad en laEdificación deAsturias - FECEA), Interprofessional Association of Territorial Planning(FUNDICOT), Aranjuez Cultural Landscape Foundation, SumA, iiSBE Spain,Green Building Council Spain, World Green Building Council.
Research groups: Group of Energy and Building, University of Zaragoza.
Participation innetworks: A group of indicators of urban information systems, ESPON (European Observatory Network on Territorial Development and Cohesion).
The initiative has not had problems in the implementation in its beginning because it is originated from an agreement and the need to cooperate for mutual learning and dissemination on urban and regional sustainability. All collaboration is based on voluntary action by partners (organizations and institutions) and the Platform users (citizens and experts).
The Platform has initiated several lines of investigation described below highlighting the social and civic participation in each phase:
- Heritage, landscape and territorial sustainability. Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability has developed a seminar, which has had different stakeholders. There has been a case study in which keys are searched for urban and territorial sustainability under the title Natural, cultural and landscape heritage.This study has included the lectures (23 speakers) and research network with over 50 experts in this area. The main consideration for action that emerges from the study is the need for a model based on the intelligent management of natural resources and the refurbishment of built heritage.
- City and global change.Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability has collaborated in preparing the report Global Change Program Spain 2020/2050. Towards a pact of Spanish cities (Cambio Global España 2020/2050, Programa Ciuidades. Hacia un pacto de las ciudades españolasante el cambio global) being part of the Management Committee. The Platform has been operating tool of this Programme, encouraging discussion and the incorporation of diverse opinions during the process of preparation. It has also set up an Advisory Committee with representatives of cities and experts in various subjects that were addressed. About global change, the Platform have also organized the conference “Urban planning and climate change” ("Urbanismo ycambio climático") to show local practitioners how to contribute from urban planning to the mitigation of climate change.
- Building: Refurbishment energy efficiency criteria. Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability has prepared a session of the Permanent Forum on Refurbishment Sustainability with energy efficiency criteria. The assistance was over 200 people and the speakers were political representatives, companies and experts. Work is currently in the analysis of the conversion of construction to refurbishment and energy efficiency in terms of employment for the Green Jobs report to be published in April 2010, with networking with researchers around the country.
Improvements to a change towards a new urban and territorial culture are the main objectives of the Platform, which can be observed, are:
- Creating a network of experts and citizens interested in promoting urban and territorial sustainability.
- Providing of rigorous research from networking on issues of importance to the information society and decision making.
- Appearance of news about published research.
There are a constant and renewed information in the website, and especially the network of users and contacts of the Platform, through subscribing to a mailing list, which are included citizens, professionals,experts, government and companies.
Leadership and community empowerment has a great importance in this project which is the key for change and the Platform has a role of connector for spreading the proposals and existing networks.
In a simple view, some results have been:
- 700 users and subscribers to the journal of the Platform for Urban andTerritorial Sustainability, from Spain, but also from othercountries, mainly in Latin America.
- 100 reports, 40 indicators, 100 links and 30 laws to download and over80 pages of content.
- 1000 reports of natural, cultural and landscape Patrimony: key tosustainability planning.
- 2000 reports of Global Change report Global Change Program Spain2020/2050. Towards a pact of Spanish cities (Cambio Global España 2020/2050, ProgramaCiuidades. Hacia un pacto de las ciudades españolas ante el cambio global).
-80 local practitioners attending the conference "Urban Planning and Climate Change" with 26experts from the social, academic and institutional, in collaboration with the FEMP, the Network of Cities for Climate, the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs.
Financial: The financial resources are obtained from theprincipal partners of the Platform, but there is no return from them, since alldocumentation is provided in the Platform or published is free. This is a Corporate Social Responsibility policy of these companies. On the other partners, provide work, but there is no compensation for them, only the dissemination of their work in a larger forum.
Culture: Culture is a key element in the Platform, as the main objective is to change the current territorial and urban culture towards a more sustainable one.
Environmental: Environmental issues are addressed through the development of a new urban and regional model based on endogenous resources, and reducing the ecological footprint.
Institutional: In Spain,in recent years have succeeded a large number of laws and strategies that recognizing the issues and problems. The following are the most representative,and can be accessed through the Platform:
. Directive 2002/91/EC on energy efficiency of buildings (in review).
. Royal Decree Law 2 / 2008 by approving the revised text of the Land Law.
. Royal Decree 47/2007 on Thermal Installations in Buildings
. Draft Royal Decree for the basic procedure for Existing Buildings Energy Certification
. Technical Building Code
. State Plan 2009-2012 Housing and Rehabilitation
. Plan E / Special Fund for Rehabilitation
. Spanish Strategy and Efficiency Savings 2004-2012 / 2008-2012 Action Plan
. Plan activation or the recruitment of ESEin buildings of public administration
. University Strategy 2015: International Campus of Excellence(Campus de Excelencia Internacional -CEI)
. Spanish Draft Strategy of Local and UrbanSustainability
. The National Housing Pact for Cataluña 2007-2016
. Proposal of the National Rehabilitation Plan 2009-2012
. Concerted Plan Housing and Land 2008-2012of Andalucía
. Law 42/2007 of Natural Patrimony andBiodiversity
. Law 45/2007 for rural sustainable development
. Spanish Sustainable Development Strategy
. The Draft Law on Sustainable Economy
. Strategy for Sustainability of the Coast
. Law 22/1988 of Costs
. Spanish Strategy for Climate Change and Clean Energy 2007-2112-2020
. Law 27/2006 which regulates the rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice inenvironmental matters
One of the main lessons learned from the experience of the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability is that synergies with existing knowledge networks and in relation to the decision centres, private sector, business associations on the subject, promote decision-making, and a big activity of network users.
Another lesson learned from the experience of the Platform is the importance of having the top experts in every field, but also with small best practices that are carried out, as it is so importance to take into account all the scales and processes.
Currently, in addition to the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability, the Observatory on Sustainability in Spain has a Platform of Water and Sustainability. Moreover, the experience of the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability is being incorporated into the development of new media platforms such as "Rural Sustainability and Biodiversity" and"Green Employment and Sustainable Economy." It is also trying new platforms that can interact and enhance synergies with the "Urban and Territorial Sustainability”.
The goal of the Platform is to transfer gradually the focused issues. The Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability was launched from the first moment four main topics: housing and building, city, territory and mobility. Focusing the work on one or two axes or topics and then adding single lines of work and research supports the work and favours the intensity of work at the time of launching the project.
The Platform has benefited from the experience of other practices, which has incorporated a large number of entities working in the same or related subjects, which has reversed positively in contents and networking.
The Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability could be easily replicated in some of its instruments, such as the website or the collection of contents, but also requires a technical equipment and networking for holding seminars and publishing reports. One of the most important for success is that the leading organization, as in this case the Observatory on Sustainability in Spain, is rigorous in the information available to society, and neutral as to its position to government, business,civil society, so that all partners and stakeholders want to participate on equal terms.
Currently, in addition to the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability, the Observatory on Sustainability in Spain has a Platform for Water and Sustainability, single thematic and focused on disclosure. The experience of the Platform for Urban Sustainability and Territorial is being incorporated into the development of new platforms such as "Rural Sustainability and Biodiversity" and "Green Employment and Sustainable Economy." It is also trying new platforms that can interact and enhance synergies with the Platform of Urban and Territorial sustainability.
b) Transferred Best Practice:
Observatory on Sustainability in Spain,being the Executive Director, Luis M. Jiménez Herrero, developed the idea of communication platform as a meeting between stakeholders and the economic,social, civil society and government, in a participatory and creative approach,for the transfer of best practices in terms of sustainability.
In this line, the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability seeks to be a focal point for research and transfer sustainable development lines in urban and territorial scope. Therefore, this initiative seeks a tangible impact on the target to a new urban and regional culture, and is an optimal tool for exchange of best practices for policy change because it encourages innovation and its dissemination.
The transfer of best practices in urban and territorial involved the creation of a network.
This transfer has resulted in the funding of two jobs, coordination of the platform and scholarship support, computer development, and travel and stay in other cities in Spain and outside Spain (Santiago de Chile, Prague, Brussels,Amsterdam, Toulouse,etc.) for dissemination of it and incorporation of the research of other cities and countries. It has also developed a spatial data infrastructure for urban data project that has been developed in collaboration with the University of Castilla-LaMancha.
There are many users and institutions that have started their collaboration and knowledge transfer and research through the platform and have been contacted for collaborate, because of the ability to call meetings, research and work in these areas of the Platform. Thus, it has promoted research and conferences in collaboration with other entities. Some partners and projects are:
- Ministry of Housing, for the development of urban sustainability indicators within the Working Group Urban Information System. It has also signed a framework agreement for collaboration to advance awareness and dissemination of sustainable urban and territorial development.
- Fundation CONAMA and General Foundation of the Complutense University of Madrid, for the preparation of Cities Program(Programa ciudades)inside of Spain Global Change 2020/50 ( Cambio Global España 2020-50). The result of this work has produced a report, a gathering and disseminating the program through the Platform, the program's operational instrument. The project began in late 2008,the report was presented on 30th November, under the Local Meeting (30th November and 1st and 2nd December), and the Platform has spread throughout the project and it is the website for downloading the report.
- FEMP, the Network of Cities for Climate,the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs for the preparation of the workshop "Urban Planning and Climate Change" with 26 experts from the social, academic and institutional. These seminars were held on 26th and 27th November 2009, at the headquarters of the FEMP.
- Torroja Institute of Building Sciences for the dissemination of project RECONSOST they belong. The results of this research are being disseminated from 10th December 2009, and the results will be further expanded in subsequent months.
- The Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability assists in the role of the Observatory on Sustainability in Spain as the focal point of the ESPON in Spain,to transfer results and calls for proposals. The ESPON (European Observatory Network on Territorial Development and Cohesion) was formed to support development policies and to build a European scientific community in the fieldof territorial development. Its main objective is to contribute to knowledgeabout territorial structures, impacts and political trends in an enlarged European Union.
To improve and transfer the accumulated experience, it is remarkable that is of great interest to focus the issues at first, and then, gradually looking for expansion. The Platform for Urban and Territorial Sustainability were launched with four topics: housing and building, city, territory and mobility. Focusing the work on one or two lines of work and then adding single lines of work and research supports the work intensity at the time of launching the project.
This best practice has been developed by civil society through the involvement of parastatals, private sector and foundations as well as citizens, but it is not an instrument that has been defined through a policy or government legislation.
Until moment, it does not exist anymore data about changes in policies resulting from the work of the Platform of Urban and Territorial Sustainability, but it is working with state agencies in the reprocessing of the Urban and Local Spanish Strategy, and professional agencies for procedures for public information laws in the approval process.
Alcalá de Henares - (City IQ)
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