Back in 2015, when Baltic Urban Lab project was kicked off in Turku, a fellow INTERREG Central Baltic project "INSURE" was also launched. Both projects have gotten funding from the same INTERREG programme yet emerged from different specific objective categories - INSURE belongs under the "Reduced nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflow in the Baltic Sea", whereas Baltic Urban Lab categorises under the objective called "Better urban planning in the Central Baltic region".
Even though Baltic Urban Lab focuses mostly on finding the common ground in the land-use planning processes regarding brownfield sites and finding ways of how to manage conflicts with stakeholders - INSURE deals with finding common strategies for managing the contaminated sites and the remediation processes in a more sustainable and innovative manner. The project's name - INSURE - stands for INnovative SUstainable REmediation. INSURE tests different sustainable soil remediation methods, strategic management methods for contaminated sites, technical tools for visualisation of contaminated sites.
The project has been active already for almost three years, the overall duration being four years (2015-2019), meaning that INSURE will continue for one more year after Baltic Urban Lab ends. Project's seven partners come from Sweden, Finland and Latvia, with lead partner being County Administrative Board of Östergötland in Sweden. Other partners are Motala Municipality (Sweden), University of Helsinki and Populus Group Oy from Finland and Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, Vidzeme Planning Region and Valmiera City Council from Latvia.
But what kind of synergies can be found between the two INTERREG Central Baltic projects?
Both projects deal with similar issues – even though many aspects differ. For example, INSURE project aims to develop and test cost effective and sustainable methods in order to contribute to more sustainable remediation processes, whereas in Baltic Urban Lab, sustainable remediation comes along with the topic of brownfield land and getting the areas into better shape for redevelopment. In this sense, the knowledge and know-how of INSURE project is highly useful for urban planners dealing with brownfield issues in Baltic Urban Lab and vice versa. Yet again, in Baltic Urban Lab, new tools and models promoting integrated management and co-creative urban planning are developed and tested, whereas in INSURE, the project focuses on finding more efficient management methods and solutions for prioritization, visualization, registration and information of contaminated sites. Synergies can be found from there as well – as conflict management, finding consensus among different stakeholder involved in remediation and regeneration processes, is apparent in both projects. Visualisation is also important in both projects – in Inner Harbour, Baltic Urban Lab project’s Pilot Site in Norrköping, a visualization tool called Earth Autopsy has been created in order to show stakeholders the scope of contamination under brownfields. Therefore, sharing project results and learnings with each other can be seen as a fruitful endeavour - maybe that kind of collaborations should be taken into account already when planning the projects?
Get to know more about the INSURE project here: www.insureproject.se