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Annual Meeting Report 2020 (Deliverable 1.5)

Karlsson, Anneli; Pachova, Nevelina; Comas, Joaquim; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Kristin; Manderscheid, Maximilian; Metselaar, Klaas; Curtis, Adam; Wachtel, Thomas; Säumel, Ina; Urioste-Buschmann, Martina

The EdiCitNet annual conference for the year 2020 was held on 5-6th October as a virtual meeting, due to the Corona pandemic.

The participants discussed the status of the Work Packages (WPs), updated each other on progress since the last meeting in 2019, and discussed plans for the coming months. In general, most deliverables have been submitted on time. The deliverables, which have to be revised with improvements, are due within the next two months.

WP 1 “Urban Governance and Network Infrastructure” has completed all deliverables except for the conference report, due every year. The concept of the EdiCitNet awards was discussed during the annual meeting to agree on the set up of the two-step selection process and prepare for the launch of the awards in 2021.

WP 2 “Toolbox for enhancing Edible City Solutions (ECS) learning and implementation” operates with the search & find options in an open-access environment. The interconnection between other working packages is difficult but is necessary to improve the function of the toolbox as a whole. A test measuring the progress of the serious game will be conducted in Sant Feliu de Llobregat to improve storylines and rules.

The interconnection between the WPs and demand for enhanced communication and support became evident in this meeting.

WP 3 “Living Labs (LLs) in Front-Runner Cities (FRCs): Demonstrating innovative ECS for replication and up-scaling” is undergoing a big transition due to the withdrawal of Rotterdam, which was also the lead of WP 3, as well as the change of the City Coordinator in Andernach. Furthermore, Berlin became an FRC recently and has to establish itself as such, while continuing work as Follower City (FC). All these changes have caused delays not only for WP 3, but also for WP 5, regarding monitoring, and WP 2, which needs inputs from the FRCs for the toolbox.

In WP 4 “Transition Pathway – Planning for ECS in FCs”, deliverables 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 have been submitted and the latter is awaiting review. The FCs are making progress and are in close contact with their HUBs to improve methods and strategies and adapt to COVID-19 circumstances. The Transition Pathway Methodology (TPM) has proven to be an important tool for the FCs, also attracting attention from WP 3 after the annual meeting.

The WP “Documentation and Monitoring” (WP 5) focused on the process of defining ECS and establishing indicators for the ECS and LLs. With input data from WP 3, the process of selecting indicators can begin now and future monitoring can be planned accordingly. The handling of data, such as collection and usage of sensitive indicators (social and economic), is still to be elaborated. WP 5 is supporting data collection and storage along with WP 2.

In WP 6 “Consultancy, Business Development and Market Uptake”, the Marketplace has been established; it is working towards creating a network of ECS that will become part of a tailor-made business consulting service by the subcontractor Borderstep. The Marketplace works as a platform for ECS initiatives to learn doing business with their ECS.

WP 7 “Education, Knowledge Transfer and Dissemination” has enhanced dissemination in different languages on several levels by translating the following objects: analogue and digital access of consent sheets, city flyers, and global flyers. The Data Management Plan (DMP) will be adapted to the needs of consortium members, e.g. for precise data use (first authorship and secondary use of data) and long-term storage conditions at the city level.

WP 8 “Coordination and Management” is undergoing several personnel changes with the appointment of Martina Urioste-Buschmann as grant manager, Julia Marchetti as project assistant, and three student assistants. Currently, the team is working on the necessary modifications regarding the withdrawal of Rotterdam (FRC, lead WP 3) and the FC Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (GCHF) and the onboarding of the Fundamental Research Institute of Tropical Agriculture “Alejandro de Humboldt” (INIFAT) in Havana/ Cuba (FRC) and the Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute (GZPI) in Guangzhou/ China (FC) in the project. It has been suggested to transfer the lead of WP 3 from Rotterdam to the project partner HIOA.

In conclusion, the Corona pandemic has changed the working strategies of different WPs and cities on several levels. While some WPs could transfer their workload to a digital format, LLs, monitoring, participation, and management of FRCs and FCs are still extremely dependent on a face-to-face exchange. Yet, efforts are being made in different areas to promote online communication. In 2021, members of EdiCitNet plan to further adapt to the working conditions under the restrictive regulations.

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