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Eurban Update

Vol. 12, November 2015
Dear reader,

This month's Newsflash highlights the Climate-KIC flagship project dubbed "Smart Sustainable Districts" and its contribution of 20+ Urban Innovations to the Eurbanlab library. In light of the UN Climate Summit in Paris (COP21), this month's Featured Article highlights the rise in global average temperatures. Not only is the year 2015 likely to become a record-breaker, a five-year analysis by the WMO shows the years 2011-2015 to have been the warmest five-year period on record, with many extreme weather events – especially heatwaves – influenced by climate change.

If you have something you would like to share with the community in our next Eurban Update, please feel free to send us an e-mail. Thank you for your interest in Eurbanlab!

Kind regards,

Roger Toussaint
In this version of our Eurban Update:

Newsflash Featured article


Please find below the latest news from the Eurbanlab community, current topics in sustainable urban development and other short updates.
Smart Sustainable Districts project:
20+ exemplar projects added to the Eurbanlab Library of Urban Innovations

The Smart Sustainable Districts (SSD) Climate-KIC flagship is a 5 year project, during which the business plan is revised once a year. The project will go on between 2014-2019. This new flagship project, will help turn some of Europe’s highest profile district-level developments in cities into model projects and test beds for replication of smart, sustainable city systems in other urban areas world-wide.
Initially, SSD is starting work in four districts, offering them the best innovations from across its network. The project demonstrates how to introduce these innovations at the local district level, enabling the testing and scaling-up of integrated innovations in a smart fashion securing measurable reductions in the greenhouse gas and carbon footprint of cities in the future.

In the first stage of the SSD programme, the SSD-team and district partners have worked together to identify and collect over 50 examples of sustainable solutions, with the aim to co-develop integrated / systemic solutions to be applied with measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. In collaboration with TNO and JCsolutions, 20+ large-scale Urban Innovations were added to the Eurbanlab library.
About Climate-KIC
Climate-KIC is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership, working together to address the challenge of climate change. Climate-KIC drives innovation in climate change through creative partnerships, between the private, public and academic sectors. (KIC stands for Knowledge, Innovation and Community.) The public-private partnership is partially funded by the European Commission through its European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) – which has confirmed an initial €63 million grant for 2014 – and receives financial and in-kind support from over 200 businesses, universities and public bodies across Europe.

Have a look at a selection of the newly added Urban Innovations below!
Amphibious homes - Taking residential construction to the water in Maasbommel.
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic
A European example of extreme green urban design. 
De DakAkker - The first large-scale rooftop cropland in Europe. 
Quartier Luciline - The redesign of an industrial area into an eco-district.
Eco-Cities: Creating a Common Language
Since the world woke up to the fact that the majority of the world’s population already lives in cities, it has been proclaimed that all cities should be built as eco-cities in order to improve the well-being and health of the whole world. In the past, cities have been planned, if at all, for all kinds of reasons: for military use, as marketplaces, for the glory of the rulers, or for the well-being of citizens. Now, with the concept of the eco- city, planners give priority to citizens’ quality of life, and that of future generations.

Cities are held responsible for a major part of climate change, and they are also regarded as the main problem-solvers. That’s a big responsibility, especially when you realize that most cities have already been built. Most of the time, when city planners try to transform a city into an eco- city, they can only rearrange, restore and/or steer developments.

> Read full article... (via SCC)

Stefano Boeri plans second 'Vertical Forest'

Italian architect Stefano Boeri wins competition to build a 117 meter-tall residential tower in Lausanne, Switzerland. The project, which bears many similarities with Boeri’s ‘Bosco Verticale’ in Milan, will be home to more than 100 trees as part of 3,000 square meters of greenery. Apartment units protrude from the structure offering views towards the adjacent lake Geneva.
Named ‘la tour des cedres’, work on the building is set to get underway in 2017, with a completion date yet to be established. Stefano Boeri’s Milan-based studio will develop the scheme in collaboration with studio laura gatti and burohappold engineering.

> Read full article...
Few meetings actually have the potential to affect everyone on the planet.
This one does.

What You Need to Know About the Paris Climate Talks
World leaders began assembling in Paris Monday to try to do what they haven't been able to for two decades: steer the world away from climate disaster. Here is what you need to know to understand two of the most important weeks in our planet's future.


Representatives from 195 countries and the European Union, including more than 130 heads of state, are gathering with a mission: Stabilize greenhouse gases before they cause dangerous, irreversible harm to the planet. Scientists warn that letting temperatures rise more than 2 degrees Celsius could spark devastating changes. Some argue that even 2 degrees is too risky, calling such a ceiling "dangerous and foolhardy." Others say reaching such a cap is all but impossible.

No problem, right?

> Read full article... (via NatGeo)

Planet's future hangs on Paris legacy
The gathering of 190 nations in Paris for the UN climate change summit – widely known as COP21 – may already have averted the most catastrophic predictions of climate change, but only if those nations that have pledged to reduce carbon emissions keep their pledges.

> Read full article...

Featured article

We aim to include a featured article in each newsletter. These articles provide in-depth information into current developments or interesting innovations. If you would like to contribute by sharing your insights, please send us an e-mail and submit your idea for the next newsletter!

Record Warming Rises Towards Danger Zone

Meteorologists say that a combination of human and natural causes will make 2015 temperatures the hottest ever – halfway to the 2°C safety threshold.
Nothing is certain until it happens, but the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is confident enough to say the gathering pace of climate change means that 2015 is likely to prove the warmest year on record.

Global average surface temperature, it says, is likely to be the warmest yet, and to reach “the symbolic and significant milestone of 1°C above the pre-industrial era” − halfway to the 2°C threshold that governments have agreed as the maximum warming tolerable if the Earth is to avert dangerously unpredictable climate change.

> Read the full article...
What is an Urban Innovation?
Eurbanlab defines Urban Innovations as "urban (re)development projects that incorporate systemic innovations, involving new or modified concepts, systems, products and/or techniques, that contribute to low-carbon, climate resilient development, on the scale of a street or upwards.
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