The POCACITO project -foresight study for sustainable pathways towards liveable, affordable and prospering cities in a world context – was a research project funded by EU’s FP7 programme. Its objective was to facilitate the transition of EU cities to a forecasted sustainable or “post‐carbon” economic model, eventually leading to an evidence‐based EU 2050 post-carbon city roadmap.
At the core of the project was a series of participatory stakeholder workshops in the case study cities of Barcelona, Copenhagen/Malmö, Istanbul, Lisbon, Litoměřice, Milan/Turin, Rostock and Zagreb. The purpose of these workshops was to bring together local stakeholders to construct a common post-carbon vision for 2050 and roadmap, or action plan, to reach the vision. The workshops have highlighted the successes and challenges faced by each city, and supported a discussion of city-specific innovative measures based on lessons learned from local experience and best practices. The project also included the development of a typology of post-carbon cities, which formed the basis of the EU 2050 post-carbon city roadmap. Additionally, the project had established an online “market place of ideas” that supported an international knowledge exchange of urban best practices between cities in the EU and worldwide. The project also organised two study tours that enabled city representatives to visit EU best practices in person as well as to connect and exchange experiences with representatives from other cities.
During the project, a wide use of methods and tools were undertaken, among which:
• Data collection: entailed the use of quantitative and qualitative data collection methodologies. As primary data collection, the project used fieldwork, interviews, targeted stakeholder consultation, online surveys and workshops
• Analysis: economic analysis, policy analysis, quantitative statistical analysis, modelling
• Desk research: literature review and secondary data collection
• Economic modelling
• Reporting: evaluation, communication and dissemination, data visualization, policy recommendations, scientific publications, roadmaps
• Events and webinars
• Stakeholder coordination
• Scenario-building, back-casting
POCACITO developed an evidence-based 2050 roadmap for EU post-carbon cities by focusing on towns, cities, megacities, metropolitan areas and urban clusters larger than 1 million people as well as small and medium-sized cities. POCACITO’s approach used participatory scenario development as a mutual learning and living lab environment strategy. The project recognised that post-carbon city transitions should improve urban resilience to fluctuating environmental and socio-economic pressure. Pressure in this context included long-term changes in urban resident demographics, city and rural migration patterns, and potential city health concerns. The project’s research supported the sustainable development objective of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Innovation Union flagship initiative.