Gonçalo Canto Moniz, URBiNAT Project Coordinator
Gonçalo Canto Moniz
Principal Researcher / Associate Professor, Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra
An architect by profession and Principal Coordinator of the EU H2020-funded URBiNAT project. Professor at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, where he leads WP4 dedicated to the NBS catalogue and the Healthy Corridor implementation in Frontrunner and Follower Cities. Co-creating Healthy Corridors with communities is his big challenge.
Main Research Focus / Area of Expertise
Inclusive urban regeneration and co-creation of healthy corridors
[Scientific Paper] Rassegna di Architettura e Urbanistica - ITALY - "Healthy Corridors for Inclusive Urban Regeneration"
Canto Moniz, Gonçalo &Ferreira, Isabel. Healthy Corridors for Inclusive Urban Regeneration. in Rassegna di Architettura e Urbanistica No. 158, May - August 2019
The European Commission is promoting an inclusive urban regeneration, in the frame of the Smart and Sustainable cities, that should integrate the environmental approach, through the nature-based solutions (nbs), and the social approach, through the co-creation process. More than research projects, the financing programs, as H2020, are supporting innovation actions that move the research from the universities to the communities, creating living labs. These laboratories are holders, municipality technicians, companies and researchers in order to develop together solutions for new urban challenges.
[Conference Paper] An inclusive urban project for healthy cities
With the advent and rapid dissemination of the COVID 19 corona virus the world has found itself living in a new reality, one which has, to a great extent, revealed a different face of globalization, in which we are all connected by a network that goes far beyond that of the virtual world. Dealing with the current pandemic therefore requires a strategy that is universal and embraced by and for all, one that asserts the right to a more sustainable planet, containing territories that are more inclusive, co-creative and healthy. The city was, is, and always will be, for a variety of reasons, the place where these common purposes can be investigated and disentangled. Recent history shows, with rare exceptions, that urban territories have always found it difficult to conciliate the intransigent economic and financial needs imposed by the wider world with the policies of social and cultural cohesion desired by local populations, especially by those who live in conditions of greater vulnerability. The aspiration is towards a collective lifestyle which respects the management of natural resources. Our survival and that of the planet depends on this. Faced with this challenge it is up to us as inhabitants of this planet to participate in the change we know to be inevitable. URBiNAT-Urban Innovative and Inclusive Nature-is a European project promoting inclusive urban regeneration in seven European cities, aiming to prove that the practice of a process of co-creation, one that involves politicians, technicians and citizens, can create a pathway towards a space in which all are valued: a space that is both public and healthy.
[PDF Download] Cycling and Pedestrian Path
Luminescent paths NBS is a mesh of designed ways for cycling and pedestrian walking.
For its character, given by the luminophore coated stones, it can be implemented as an enlightened promenade, made of walls, pavements and other luminescent elements.
Built as a resin/cement fixed aggregated stone pavement or a concrete support wall, these luminescent elements include also luminophore coated quartz pebbles, which absorbs the sunlight during the day, and emanate light during the evening.
[NBS Card] Adaptive Reuse of Urban Network
Urban network space can be defined as the urban public domain, generally facilitated as transport infrastructure and/or pedestrian space and its ambiguous residual spaces (e.g. streets, pavements, bridges, tunnels, underground car parks). The NBS ‘adaptive reuse of urban network space’ implies alternative - nature inspired - uses and/or spatial adaptations of urban network space (e.g. unsealing surfaces, creating linear parks, redesigning for active mobility, [re]programming under bridge vaults or underground parking lots) or a time management of various temporary uses in these spaces (e.g. Ciclovia Bogota, temporary marketplaces, street festivals). The main goals of this NBS contain revitalisation of neighbourhoods, eliminating existing physical/social/cultural barriers, reducing emissions, increasing active mobility and solidarity economy.
[PDF Download] Renaturalization of Brownfields
Renaturalization of neglected and abandoned urban areas through green space development and conscious planting design, to restore important ecologic and social functions. In some remarkable sites they can be an important cultural manifesto: an opportunity to promote historical continuity between its past and the new layer of occupation. Promoting its character is an important step for a truthful relation with the site’s cultural identity, creating an opportunity to reflect on the damage inflicted by its previous occupation or, on the other hand, to celebrate the relevance of its past social and technological achievements. By recovering former abandoned spaces, this NBS creates opportunities for human use and wellbeing, while achieving ecological benefits such as treatment of polluted areas, habitat restoration and increase of local biodiversity.
[PDF Download] Community Based Arts Projects
A community-based arts project is where an artist works with a community to facilitate a creative process that enables participants to express their needs, aspirations, inspirations, identity or sense of place. Such activities are also referred to as community arts, artists in the community or community cultural development (CCD). Community- based arts projects are increasingly being used because they are able to reach people more deeply, to create bounds between all stakeholders and have a meaningful impact on their lives. This method allows the co-creation and participatory processes participants to “build” objects together and helps people to better understand their common values, system to beliefs and their collective sense of belonging to the places / communities.
[PDF Download] Community Workshops
Open meetings facilitated and organized in small groups in which participants are invited to debate a specific thematic. This method allows to explore and develop bottom-up and grassroots community development skills for people within their own communities. Participants can identify their most pressing social determinants, with positive and negative aspects of their environment, bringing social justice and environmental sustainability. The method also assists people to gain a clearer understanding of the principles of community development and community capacity building, increasing awareness and understanding of the main themes, terms and definitions.
[PDF Download] Walkthrough
Walkthrough is a method of analysis that combines observation in situ with an interview simultaneously. It creates an accepting environment that puts a small number of participants at ease allowing then to thoughtfully answer questions in their own words and add meaning to their answers. It also identifies the negative and positive aspects of the analyzed environments.
It allows identifying the perception of the residents in the place where they live. In this technique, they are invited to appropriate the neighbourhood and evaluate the territory, its inadequacies, surplus or missing furniture, barriers and potentialities, among other important elements.
Walkthrough is a participatory method and solution (NBS) that creates awareness while participants walk and discuss what they feel, see and know.
[PDF Download] Community-Based Monitoring
Tool for participatory decision-making improvement. It promotes an organized way of collecting ongoing or recurring information by residents, to be used by local governments and civil society, for planning, budgeting, and implementing local development programs, as well as for monitoring and evaluating their performance. Its activities cover community mapping, mobilization, capacity building, and information dissemination. Its benefits include:
- identification of problems and solutions in areas with fragmentation of needs and different vulnerable groups, which make it difficult to provide standardized solutions
- collective elaboration of simple and intuitive indicators
- contrast to lack of transparency and clientelism
- creation of relations of mutual trust between citizens and public officials
- awareness about policy-making helping citizens to understand the constraints of public action.
[PDF Download] Empowerment Evaluation
Empowerment evaluation is the use of evaluation concepts, techniques, and findings to foster improvement and self- determination.
Program participants conduct their own evaluations, with the support of an outside evaluator and an additional facilitator, in workshops to complete the following steps: a) developing a mission; b) taking stock where the program stands; c) planning for the future.
Participants determine the type of evidence required to document and monitor progress. Subsequent evaluations, such as interviews and surveys, test whether strategies are working to allow mid-course corrections. Another formal assessment of activities allows comparison with the previous ratings of key activities. All results are recorded in accessible documents to be used as references, baseline and data point for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the co-creation process.
[PDF Download] Motivational Interviewing
Extending from the experience of psychology focusing on addressing behavioural risk factors, such as drinking, smoking or other forms of substance abuse, Motivational Interviewing (MI) has evolved to form a methodology and technique for wider efforts to promote behavior- change in extended communities. MI starts out with collaborative, person-centred communication method and form of guiding to understand needs and to elicit and strengthen motivation for changed behaviours. MI is particularly devised to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. It integrates features of human, face-to-face interaction and mechanisms for establishment of trust, to build incentives for positive changes.
[PDF Download] Design Thinking
Design Thinking is founded on the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in generating ideas, insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and match solutions to the context. Design Thinking processes are at the same time analytical and empathic, rational and emotional, methodical and intuitive, often tackle ill-defined problems where the use of creative thinking abilities is fundamental to first a correct problem finding.
Design Thinking is human centered and is based on understanding the needs and motivations of people. And it is optimistic; it believes that there is always a solution to be found. From problem finding to problem solving.
By using Gamification, Serious Games, Senses and Dreams, the Design thinking tools allows people to give first- hand deeper information that it is crucial to complement and simultaneously cross-validate other sources of co- diagnostic gathered through other methods and tools.
[Download PDF] 3D Model Thinking
Model thinking is a collaborative design tool to develop urban and architectural projects with experts and citizens, in the frame of participatory processes.
Architects, landscape architects and urban planners don’t lose their role as experts but engage citizens in the design process in order to explore common visions/ideas/ proposals.
The models are co-designed and co-build in workshops by participants with materials and objects that were collected by all of them. These materials can be the traditional ones, has wood or paper, or the improbable ones, has metal or plastic objects taken from everyday life.
The construction of the model can be the first step for creating consensus, by the common effort of representing the existing urban context in a small scale. Around the 3D physical models, participants can easily make strategic proposals and integrate other inputs.
[PDF Download] Photovoice
Photovoice NBS uses photos to make people aware of a reality or topic, as nature-based solutions or inclusive urban regeneration. It’s is a human-centered solution to engage citizens in the transformation of their territory. It’s also a tool to collect data related with people’s memories and perceptions. Photos allows a co- construction of the reality through the interaction of 3 elements: the researcher, the photos and the interviewee. It is a technique (called photo voice) that works well to engage children and young people in research, but also adults with advanced age that want to share their life stories. The photo voice aims to give voice, through photography, to those who are usually silenced or not involved in urban planning process.
It is also known as “participatory photography” and it has a correlation with “photo elicitation”.
[NBS Card] Cultural Mapping
Methodological tool in participatory planning and community development, it makes visible the ways that local cultural assets, stories, practices, relationships, memories, and rituals constitute places as meaningful locations.
Process of collecting, recording, analyzing and synthesizing information to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of usage of a given community or group, also strategically used to bring stakeholders into conversation.
Flexible according to the objectives, purpose and what one wants to map. E.g. facilities, organizations, stories of places, historical sites, for the past (memories and landmarks) or for the future (aspirational mapping), for the community or for outsiders.
It can be combined with approaches such as footprint of women (gender), forbidden cities (safety), asset-based community development (community assets), arts.
[NBS Card] Solidarity Markets and Fairs
In these spaces of conviviality products, knowledge and services manufactured by the own participants are exchanged using or not social currencies as intermediary mechanisms. These markets intensify the social dynamics through valuing the knowledge diversity from the community and creating a circuit of integration and economic autonomy. The markets/fairs contribute to a broader movement focused on rediscovery of the local and popular economy. It innovates by combining three distinct elements in the same space in society: the social ties of proximity, solidarity consumption and the use / occupation of public spaces. Into the markets we find the figure of the “prosumer” who refers to the person who is both consumer and producer. For the continued participation of community members, the markets can be implemented through a local residents’ committee and through activities beyond market spaces.