A shared mission at the core of higher education: boosting climate resilience in Zorrotzaurre

T-Factor starts the co-design pathway with students and professors of Deusto University, aimed at creating temporary prototypes in the island, as part of Zorrotzaurre’s pilot

How can temporary uses contribute to making Zorrotzaurre’s public space greener, more attractive and resilient to climate change? Students from the Industrial Design Engineering Degree of Deusto University, in Bilbao, will search for new responses to this pressing challenge with a transdisciplinary approach, through a process of collective research and the development of real prototypes based on temporary urbanism.

The learning module “Climate adaptation and resilience at neighborhood level” is one of the three training processes that will be developed during this academic year in three Universities located in the city of Bilbao, as part of T-Factor’s Zorrotzaurre pilot. The learning modules are focused on designing and developing prototypes that respond to urban challenges identified in the local context, through joint work with international experts and grassroots initiatives already active in  the island. In the case of the module steered by the University of Deusto, the students will devise and build innovative solutions that can contribute to move towards neighborhoods more resilient to climate change impacts.

Throughout the learning process, students will have the support of international experts from T-Factor partners, such as the italian landscape architecture studio LAND, the Technical University of Dortmund, the city’s economic development agency Bilbao Ekintza and the network of municipalities ANCI Toscana, as well as the design and construction studio Godot, located in Zorrotzaurre.

Lectures from international experts

The module has started with a first programme of lectures related to methodologies and tools linked to temporary urbanism strategies, with the aim of introducing students to new ways of designing public spaces. 

  • Keynote Introduction: Common Grounding – New Schools of Thought / New Forms of Collective Action, with the architect and strategic transformation designer professor Laura Lee. An interactive journey of principles, processes and practices for Cultural and Urban Regeneration.
  • Temporary Uses and Urban Regeneration, with Laura Martelloni, strategic designer and T-Factor project coordinator, and Alejandra Castro, sustainability researcher at TU Dortmund University. An introduction to the concept of temporary urbanism, why more and more cities across Europe and the world are using it as a tool for city-making, and how we’re transforming the future with the power of “The meantime”.
  • Nature-Based Solutions and Temporary Uses, with Andrea Balestrini, head of LAND Research Lab, and Julian Trotman, industrial designer and co-founder of GodotStudio. Nature-based solutions is a practice that tackles societal problems through the lens of nature. The lecture is aimed at presenting to the students how temporary urbanism can enable this methodologies to create more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive cities. 

Viable prototypes that can become scalable innovations

Prototypes will be developed through a critical approach informed by participatory and co-creative methods, and test solutions that are relevant to concrete problems, needs and risks (especially environmental-social risks) spotted in Zorrotzaurre, with a key focus on vulnerable and marginalised communities and people.  

These solutions can embrace multiple aspects related to public spaces, including social cohesion and food sovereignty through urban community farms, biodiversity protection thanks to co-created nature-based solutions, or health and wellbeing related to intelligent city infrastructures and slow mobility solutions, amongst many others.

In the development of the prototypes, students will be encouraged to find strategic synergies with the other groups of students involved, respectively, in the other two learning modules that will be developed within the pilot: Urban Design for Sociality and Wellbeing, with IED Kunsthal, and on Circular Economy, with Mondragon University. With these collaborations, the objective is to strengthen the innovativeness and viability of the prototypes and foster creative thinking between students.