The CENTRINNO exploratory mapping journey

The CENTRINNO Cartography is a platform for finding, mapping and connecting resources in local neighbourhoods into circular & regenerative local economies. It is an outcome of ongoing work with nine pilot teams working on neighbourhood regeneration strategies as part of the CENTRINNO Project. As an outcome of the cartographic journey, pilots facilitate the creation of industrial symbioses between local industries, or find opportunities and needs for commoning, pooling or sharing tools and equipment required for sustainable production. In a wider sense, mapping of expertise (or the lack thereof) to apply circularity thinking to the design, production, delivery and recovery of goods and services, allows pilots to feed training programs of the CENTRINNO School curriculum with content that is rooted in already existent local knowledge, while also addressing critical gaps to unleash a circular economy.

Former industrial areas give way to redevelopment projects that are set to extract maximum value from "underutilized" urban spaces. Often with profound consequences for local communities who currently live and work in these areas. We need better methods and strategies for regenerating neighbourhoods. Making neighbourhood regeneration truly regenerative means that we start considering locally available materials, skills, knowledge and human resources as the point of departure for the future vision of a circular, inclusive and sustainable city.

As remnants of an old, extractive economy, the nine historic industrial sites participating in the CENTRINNO project possess a broad range of resources and opportunities that can set us on track for building towards the city of the future. CENTRINNO envisions locally productive and circular cities in which everyone has a role to play. From local makers and recyclers to schools and public institutions.

Our partners at Metabolic are currently developing the Cartography Platform that includes the structured action plan developed in the project for community initiatives, innovation hubs or any other project to build a circular economy rooted in local urban ecosystems.

Every mapping journey is unique. Some parts will be more relevant to future Fab City Hubs, while others may be more useful for municipal governments. The Cartography includes a four steps methodology for cities, associating resources, tools and examples from the CENTRINNO cities to each stage:

  • Adopt a system-view on cities: The Urban Mapping Ecosystem Guidebook, also led by Metabolic, is the key CENTRINNO resource to support understanding cities ecosystems.

  • Map the local context: In CENTRINNO, cities are mapped through the flows of materials, socio-economic and environmental conditions, land use and cultural assets, amongst others.

  • Identify stakeholders and local resources: Long-established residents and newcomers, innovators and traditional craftsmen, old and young - all bring along different skillsets, practices, values and (im)material cultures.

  • Synergize, convene and connect: The resource inventory process forms the starting point to identify opportunities for more self-managed, locally productive and commons-based neighbourhoods.

The Cartography's main objective is connected to Urban Resource Mapping and the understanding of the local environment, but it may also be used for other purposes connected to the CENTRINNO Framework, including to:

  1. Enable pilots’ future innovation hubs and spaces to communicate and promote the value of locally productive urban ecosystems of citizen-driven innovators, makers and SMEs. The Cartography will support this objective by providing a platform that portrays these productive urban makers and the resources they can bring to the transition to a circular and inclusive economy. The Cartography will become the central resource that makes accessible the results of urban resource mapping to a wider audience.

  2. Build local capacity to spot opportunities for material symbioses, networking and learning. The platform provides the basis for pilot cities (and their communities) to identify opportunities for implementing circular and socially inclusive value chains. This objective is addressed by mapping stakeholders and their resources to identify materials, infrastructure and machinery that are candidates for “industrial symbioses”, and highlighting gaps that are needed to implement circular economy and inclusive production models.

  3. Support the implementation of activities in Fab City Hubs related to circularity, such as repair programs or recycling campaigns.

You may read an example about how the Paris is implementing its journey in mapping their local ecosystems in CENTRINNO in the blog post below:

The Cartography blueprint is available here:

A dedicated chapter in the CENTRINNO Handbook has been dedicated to Circular Economy and CENTRINNO Cartography

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