Cities are increasing in size and complexity. Urban development increasingly needs to be sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially, and to achieve this, adequate and flexible solutions are required. The focus of this multi-disciplinary research project "Learning Flexibility: Complexity, Innovation & Inter-Urban Knowledge Transfer" is on identifying novel lessons and knowledge from cities facing complexity, crisis or limited resources.
This project focuses on cities and neighbourhoods where public utilities are challenged. It examines infrastructure in a broad sense, encompassing social, spatial, energy-technical and institutional infrastructure, and the different ways residents and/or public authorities have developed creative and flexible solutions to urban challenges. Our approach considers that cities facing different challenges may possess sustainable strategies and solutions that Norwegian urban environments can learn from. Through case studies of cities in the USA, Asia and Latin America, we will identify strategies and solutions that may have relevance for Norwegian cities, drawing on novel approaches and inputs that may encourage new thinking and new models to address current and future urban challenges. SINTEF's focus in the project will be to develop methods and tools to promote knowledge transfer between different urban contexts.
The project is funded by The Research Council of Norway (RCN), and is a 3 year project with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Inland Norway Energy Agency, University of Oslo (UiO), Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) and SINTEF Technology and Society.