The overarching aim of this research project (EcoDA) is to create an open-source platform for enhancing urban resilience. Specifically, the project involves the prototyping of open-source digital tools and processes for shared knowledge production that can enable civic practices of resilience to emerge and multiply.
We use the term ‘civic practices of resilience’ to define practices of experimenting with alternative socially, culturally and/or economically productive ways of using urban resources. Resources are broadly understood to be both material (natural resources, land, physical infrastructure) and intangible (skills, know-how, culture, scientific knowledge, digital infrastructure). Such practices can result from bringing together the initiatives of local organisations or groups of citizens, addressing specific local conditions and involving, for example: urban food production, food recovery, reuse or recycling of building materials and urban waste, reuse of vacant land and buildings, civic and ecological education, citizen participation in neighbourhood development, social enterprise or sharing economy.
The project has three main objectives:
- To co-define urban resilience and map existing local initiatives concerned with aspects of resilience in three case study cities (London, Paris and Bucharest).
- To co-design and prototype digital tools that could support local groups in their efforts to generate or expand existing civic practices of resilience.
- To co-evaluate the three case studies and propose a set of open-source tools and processes for shared knowledge production that could enable strategic connections between local resilience initiatives across scales and locations.
The project is conducted by Dr Corelia Baibarac and Prof Doina Petrescu from Sheffield School of Architecture. Our specific research approach is to engage with local contexts and communities through the mediation of local practitioners who are initiators (or facilitators) of civic practices of resilience in their cities. We intervene in the local context through them, tapping into their local networks and using, as experimentation sites, physical spaces hosting resilience practices that they have mediated and/or initiated.
EcoDA (Experimental co-Design Approaches: Investigating possibilities for creating networks of resilient citizens and civic actions of urban resilience through hybrid platforms) is funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research grant (Individual Fellowship), part of Horizon 2020 – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – and has an initial duration of two years (October 2015 – September 2017).