San Sebastian - Basque Country | World Urban Development Congress | “Rethinking your urban region” O cTober ’10 innovation is not only technology ! Social initiatives in urban neighbourhoodsFernando Nunes da Silva | Full Professor of Urbanism and Transports - IST Deputy Mayor of Mobility at Lisbon Municipality Renata Lajas | Member of Staff for Mobility Mayor Office at Lisbon Municipality
The current mainstream on innovation is usually centred in technological development.It’s a comprehensive preoccupation, taking in account the need to improve the role of European Union in the global economy. At the same time, the objective to attract creative people and high qualified technicians to support that innovation, is something that only growing and powerful economies could successfully pursuit.
However, in a small economy in seriousfinancial difficulties – as the case of Portugal – to restrict innovation to this technological perspective, is an enormous limitation to the development of innovative approaches to numerous problems of urban development and social life.
This presentation adopts a different perspective, based onreal life experiences and on the evidence that there is animportant field to be explored in what respectsinnovation in the social domain, namely: ► In processes of identification of social and urban needs; ► In the pursuit of soft technological solutions for these kind of problems; ► In the mobilisation of stakeholders to find and develop more realistic and feasible solutions.
The examples chosen to illustrate this perspective arefocused in two main domains: ► The identification of people’s needs and their possible solutions. ► The development of new urban policies and feasible improvements for everyday problems of urban life.
social support [SS] socialmobility p cohesion [SC] [M] eople public participation [PP]
for people : looking for people needs & finding flexible solutions social support [SS] social mobility p cohesion [SC] [M] eople public participation [PP] defining new policies & goals: with people
for people looking for [M1] electric bus as urban transportpeople needs [M2] flexible neighbourhood transport & finding [M3] safe routes to school & elderly flexible solutions [SS1] young students elderly support [SS2] elderly residential support with people [SC1] local community association defining [SC2] financed renovation neighbourhood program new [SC3] cosmopolitan festival policies & goals [PP1] city budget based on public participation [PP2] local pedestrian accessibility plan
electric Bus as urban public transport [M1] What ? “Serpentina” Where : Serpa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality Facts: fixed route with direct access to schools & elderly facilities – prices range from 0,5 € - 1 € (free for people aged above 65)Goals: • Integrated in the sustainable mobility city strategy to develop a better urban environment for all and decreasing at the same time CO2 emissions, this transport stands as one alternative to commute to the historical center • but it also gives a direct support to the mobility of children and elderly people, by its fixed route that provides access to schools & elderly facilities as well as to the historical centerInnovative aspects: • What could be just an alternative to commute to the historical center turned out as an opportunity to help out children and elderly with their mobility needs
Flexible neighbourhood transport [M2] What ? “Lx Porta-a-Porta” – Free flexible urban neighbourhood transport with fixed route & flexible stops Where : Lisboa, Portugal (82 km2) Iniciative : Municipality Facts: (2009) 8 different routes – total 45km 600 000 km/year ; 160 000 pax/yearGoals: • potentiate the mobility in the old city center • help mostly elderly displacements to different facilities: market, day center, supermarket, health neighbourhood units, etcInnovative aspects: • continuously the itinerary suffers changes, when requested by people and urban districts and analyzed by municipal technicians • due to the target group that was aimed for, the van is equipped with an elevator for wheel chairs and an electric step to ease the climbing up movement of its users
safe routes to school & elderly [M3] What ? “Verdinhos” Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality, Districts and elderly associations Facts : pilot project involving 7 schoolsGoals: • promote a safer access for children on their way to school, by helping them to crossing streets safely • promote road safety awareness for the children and respect for the elderlyInnovative aspects: • one can promote a safer access to school and at the same time integrate the elderly in community having them participating in several relevant tasks in the peak hours of school access
young students elderly support [SS1] What ? Project: “Jovens alerta em Paranhos” Where : Porto, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality districts & Gabinete da Acção Social from Paranhos Municipal DistrictGoals: • help the elderly in their daily routines, shop, grocery, pharmacy and providing company are the main goals of this specific volunteer projectInnovative aspects: • with a higher number of elderly people living in Paranho’s District and a great university campus, the opportunity to set up a volunteer program with university students and young professionals seemed very strong • the recruitment was specially announced at university campus and student cafes to have a higher impact
elderly residential support [SS2] What ? “AmaSenior” – free access to medical assistance for the elderly Where : Amadora, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality, Medical Assistance Association & volunteersGoals: • provide free access to medical assistance at home, when the neighbourhood healthcare units are closed • special phone number created to support elderly with second-hand physiotherapy equipmentInnovative aspects: • taking into account the schedule limitations of the neighbourhood healthcare units, the municipality took the lead, developing a system that could help the elderly accessing medical care at home out the regular working time of health units and for free
local community association [SC1] What ? “Renovar a Mouraria Association” Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Local CommunityGoals: • create political awareness for the existent problems in Mouraria Urban District • promote social inclusion and intercultural inclusion • promote artistic and educative actions, as well as cultural exchange experiences with visitors to open up a stigamtized neighbourhood to all and to the cityInnovative aspects: • Partners in a financed rehabilitation project (QREN), with the main field of expertise being community involvment in cultural, artistical actions as well as integration activities (ex: Portuguese course classes to foreign people - right photo)
Financed renovation neighbourhood program [SC2] What ? “Viver Marvila” Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality, Gebalis & local communityGoals: • Create an integrated program that would coordinate public investment applied to the renovation of Marvila Urban District in several domains: housing, social renovation, social cohesion, etc. • Listen and involve residents with other public/private partners in the creation of different projects/program for them: “job shop”, “time bank”, etc.Innovative aspects: • Involving people in direct investment programs, listening to their sensibilities in what concerns vital aspects of their neighbourhood live, ex: “color study with residents for their neighbourhood buildings”
• Conceive signage system for Marvila Urban District, Lisbon • Promote participated urban design • Contribute to enhance local identity
Cosmopolitan festival [SC3] What ? City cultural Program: “LEM – Lisboa encruzilhada de mundos” produces “TODOS festival – cultural walks” Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality & CommunityGoals: • “TODOS (= ALL) Festival” invites tourists and Lisbon users & residents to dive in the cultural hotspot of Lisbon: Mouraria • the festival lasts 4 days and it’s composed by different initiatives along the main squares, public space and private houses in Mouraria neighbourhood: Music, Gastronomy, Dance festival, workshops, cinema & art. • Mouraria its the most international neighbourhood from Lisbon: 11.000 emigrants from 25 different nationalitiesInnovative aspects: • create awareness opening a stigmatized neighbourhood to all citizens and to the city, promoting the exchange of sensorial experiences at all levels
City budget based on public participation [PP1] What ? “Orçamento participativo – Lisboa” 5 Million € (1% of the total city budget) Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality [ www.cm-lisboa.pt/op ]Goals: • the main goal of the participatory budget, is to involve people proposing and deciding what’s best for their city.Innovative aspects: • the deliberative aspect of this public participation process • with “vote assemblies” supported by city districts and a “voting bus”, it’s possible to reach people that don’t use internet to vote for projects for their city
Local pedestrian acessibility plan [PP1] What ? “Plano de Acessibilidade de Lisboa” Where : Lisboa, Portugal Iniciative : Municipality [ http://acessibilidade.cm-lisboa.pt ]Goals: • the main goal is to potentiate an accessible city, avoiding the creation of new barriers, adapt the existing buildings to the actual accessible legal demands and mobilizing community to participate in this processInnovative aspects: • The plan relies a great part on a wide public consultation process • The outcomes of this participation process are integrated and taken into account in the making of the plan and policies that are subjacent
On the sidewalk: • 54% already fallen • 88% usually has afraid to fall • 65% need more benches
Main conclusions: 1 To reduce innovation to their technological aspects is, above all in a context of financial and economic crisis, to introduce external limitations to social and political creativity. 2 It also favours the emergence of a deviation of the innovation concept, creating technological dependence in the search of new solutions for old and emerging problems in the urban scene.
3 The improvement of public participation, engagement of stakeholders and a more open mind in the functioning of local administrations - namely in what respects inputs andsuggestions of individuals and organisations of the society - can clearly contribute to the development of innovative and feasible solutions for a good number of problems of our urban areas. 4 The combination of affordable technology and technological innovations – namely in the area of TIC and urban mobility – with social mobilisation and decentralised processes and solutions, is an important domain to be explored and developed. Certainly in countries and municipalities with scarce financial and technical resources.