Interfase-UAB team has participated in the ESPON seminar ‘Transforming Territorial Thinking Through Digitalisation”

Interfase-UAB team has participated in the ESPON seminar focused on ‘Transforming Territorial Thinking Through Digitalisation”, representing two ongoing projects: ESPON 2020 Database Portal and ESPON GRETA. The seminar was held on the 6th and 7th of December in Tallinn, and was organised in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the European Union in the framework of the ESPON2020 Cooperation programme.

The seminar was a meeting point for policy-makers, stakeholders, practitioners, scientists and other experts who provided new insights and discussions on territorial evidence in policy-making addressing key topics  regarding demographic development, labour market, economic diversification and resilience, urban-rural linkages, governance and strategy building, territorial cooperation, spatial planning and governance. The seminar started with an open discussion on the Territorial development in the digital era with Paul Timmers, Anna Piperal, Jonas Onland and Martin Brynskov as panelists. Several questions raised like:

  • Which  mechanisms will work for everyone to facilitate the digital transition? Are there global standards applicable at any place?
  • Is the combination of front-runners and capacity-building a solution? Should this be the basis for the cohesion foundations?
  • Is digitalisation part of the solution? We don’t have the right policies yet for digital transition, we need the instruments. This requires proactive policies and a new public governance to provide opportunities to co-create. We need to build networks that favour cascading capabilities.

Hy Dao (University of Geneva)

Later, Hy Dao (lead partner from the University of Geneve) had the chance to present the ESPON 2020 Database Portal which aims to provide data and the structure that can be used by ESPON projects but also by other end-users. The main idea is to provide relevant and accessible data produced by ESPON projects or used in the building of indicators.



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In the afternoon, the new ESPON Applied Research  projects were briefly introduced. Here, Gemma García-Blanco (from project leader Tecnalia) presented the  general overview of ESPON GRETA‘s approach to address the key policy questions.

Roughly, GRETA aims to develop a comprehensive knowledge base for enhancing green infrastructure to benefit territorial development in different types of European regions and cities.


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Key policies addressed by GRETA

Key policy questions

We also had time for meeting partners of ongoing projects and to exchange experiences, especially those based on developing evidence-based policy recommendations.

It was nice and inspiring meeting new and already well-known faces!

Health and Quality of Life in Urban Areas

The second in a series of Synthesis Reports (SR) produced by FP7 URBAN-NEXUS project addresses the importance and urgency of integrating health and quality of life in urban areas. The Synthesis Report considers research, mainly European, background material from a variety of sources including existing research evidence, and case studies from cities and projects results undertaken at EU level. The information was collected from the URBAN-NEXUS consortium, the strategic partners and a wider network of contacts. The SR on Health and Quality of Life was shaped by the SGR INTERFASE, research group of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and member of the FP7 URBAN-NEXUS consortium.

This report should serve as basis to inform an evolving dialogue, fostering integrated approaches to urban sustainability that become intrinsic to all decision-making processes and partnership activities related to health and quality of life , and linking it with the other priority research areas being addressed in the URBAN-NEXUS project (http://www.urban-nexus.eu/).

Urban-Nexus added value

The resulting analysis of state of the art on Health and Quality of Life is described in the Synthesis Report, mainly focused on health aspects in cities, considering quality of air and green areas, noise and social aspects. This speech was enriched along the Dialogue Café, stressing the focus to the society and the public space, as well as highlighting the importance of sharing knowledge, in particular in local planning.

Urban Nexus Workflow

 

The challenge

The challenge of urban health and quality of life is to find solutions tackling environment and health problems together; it is essential to meet a balance between all policies and developments, and integrate the solutions into future urban planning.

A holistic approach of urban health and quality of life should consider the analysis of:

A holistic approach of urban health and quality of life

Project Reports

- Synthesis Report

- Follow-Up Report

Europe is losing seasonal sea ice faster than perennial

Walruses, belugas and narwhals are the most affected marine mammal species

Credit: National Geographic 1) Sergey Gorshkov, 2) Nansen Weber, 3) and 7) Paul Nicklen, 4) Florian Schulz, 5) Kaido Haagen, 8) Brian Skerry; IUCN 6) Morten Joergensen; 9) IFAW.

According to the preliminary results of an ongoing research where Joan Parera and Raquel Ubach are developing a new indicator for monitoring sea ice extent, seasonal sea ice is declining faster than perennial Parera proposes to adapt the IceMap250 algorithm to European sea regions. The use of MODIS optical and infrared imagery allows sea ice extent mapping at a higher resolution (250 m at nadir) than that of the commonly used satellite data, thus enabling a finer vulnerability mapping in the European sea regions to determine where conservation measures should be prioritized.

The continued loss of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere due to global warming poses a threat on biota and human activities, evidencing the necessity of efficient sea ice monitoring tools. To prove the indicator’s utility and applicability, a vulnerability assessment has been carried out for nine sea ice associated marine mammal species, following the cumulative impact mapping methodology. Same preliminary results rank species vulnerability, being walruses, belugas and narwhals the most affected by the loss of sea ice.

Impact has been found to be larger north of Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, and in the central Barents Sea, highlighting the need for conservation measures in these areas.

Key messages from the preliminary results

1) Seasonal sea ice is declining faster than perennial sea ice in the European sea regions. Perennial sea ice refers to the extent of the ice cover which is stable all year long, i.e. the minimum extent (September), while seasonal sea ice is the variable portion of the ice cover, i.e. the difference between the maximum extent (March) and the minimum. Contrary to the observed tendencies, sea ice in the whole Northern Hemisphere is declining faster in September.

 2) walruses, belugas and narwhals are the most affected by the loss of sea ice FROM the nine analysed marine mammal species. The impact caused by this loss is especially severe in the northern coast of Svalbard and the central Barents Sea.

 3) A new map synthesis approach has allowed the minimization of classification errors and the effects of atmospheric conditions. Together with other changes concerning the classification method, the modified algorithm has achieved systematically better total accuracies than the original IceMap250.

Flows

CumulativeImpact_MapSeaIce_PresenceLikelihood_Map