Just, Productive, Creative and Climate-Neutral cities, World Urban Forum

R&I approaches towards sustainable urban transformation

 June 29 

On June 29, T-Factor will participate in  the session Just, Productive, Creative and Climate-Neutral cities: R&I approaches towards sustainable urban transformation, within the World Urban Forum, the premier global conference on sustainable urbanization.

The session focuses on how novel R&I approaches can help cities in developing new urban, economic, social, cultural, and industrial models that relocalise production to the city and its bioregional context, promoting decarbonisation, reduction of emissions, healthy lifestyles and contributing to climate neutrality. The challenge is to transform how we produce and consume, increasing urban resilience to treats including climate events and pandemics.

The event will host three EU R&I projects funded by Horizon 2020 Programme: CENTRINNO, T-Factor and HUB-IN. These projects focus on the regeneration of urban places through hubs or ‘creative space’ that hold a potential as cultural, social, economic, and environmental innovation drivers, facilitating bottom-up and top-down action.

Stemming from the Fab City Full Stack strategy for cities, – Fab City being a global initiative and cities network of 41 cities and regions that aim to produce (almost) everything they consume by 2050 – the session is organised in cooperation with both the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG R&I) and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Commission.

The first Session focuses on urban regeneration and will be structured around 3 main questions:

  1. How can we guide collective action towards circular and productive cities? led by CENTRINNO project that focuses on leveraging the potential of underutilised historic spaces to become creative production and manufacturing human-centred hubs, part of a new industrial revolution that puts citizens at the core of a sustainable transformation.
  2. How can we use the ‘meanwhile’ of urban regeneration to create Just and sustainable Cities? led by T-Factor project, focusing on the key role that temporary and creative uses can play in unleashing inclusive and thriving urban areas that promote the right to cities while supporting the SDGs targets.
  3. How can we foster creative and heritage driven cities balancing forward-moving innovation and preservation of cultural heritage? led by HUB-IN project that promotes the regeneration of historic urban areas (HUA) using as main catalyst innovation and entrepreneurship, while preserving the unique identity of historic areas and their cultural and social values.


The Second Session focuses on the contribution of the above challenges to climate neutrality

To this aim the session will discuss how best practices will help to face the challenge of climate change and contribute to the implementation of the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission.  The audience will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers in the Q&A both in the room and by Zoom or Teams.


  • 16:30 Opening of the event

Rosalinde Van Der Vlies, Director of Directorate Clean Planet, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

Tomas Diez, Executive Director of the Fab City Foundation. 

  • 16:45 First Session:

Moderator: Maria Yeroyanni, Senior Expert Innovating Cities Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

How can we regenerate urban places through hubs and ‘creative space?

Pitches by 3 Horizon 2020 projects CENTRINNO -T-Factor – HUB-IN projects:

  • CENTRINNOPietro L. Verga, Municipality of Milan – Urban Economy, Fashion and Design Project Directorate.
  • T-FACTORAlejandra Castro-Giron, TU Dortmund University, Germany.
  • HUB-INVera Gregório, Lisboa E-Nova- Agenzia di Energia e Ambiente, Lisbon, Portugal.

Presentation of the Manifesto: Emanuela De Menna, Project Adviser, REA-European Research Executive Agency by the European Commission

  • 17:15 Round of comments by the invited discussants:

What are the potential R&I activities in the above projects from the perspective of UNESCO and ICLEI?

Ms. Le Hoang Lien (Programme Assistant, Culture Sector, UNESCO Viet Nam)

Mr Matthew Bach (coordinator of Just transition in ICLEI regional office)

  • 17:30 Second Session:

Moderator: Philippe Froissard, Head of Unit RTD.C2 ”Future Urban and mobility systems”, General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

How creative and productive spaces in cities can contribute to climate neutrality and to the Climate Neutral Cities Mission objectives?

  • 17:35 Open discussion with H2020 projects, Fab city Foundation, invited speakers and the audience.
  • 17:55 Conclusions.