Selected Projects 2020

In the second call for applications, three innovative, young ideas have been selected:

1. Socio-ecological Reshaping of European Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Maria Manso (Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal), Carlos Oliveira Cruz (Universidade de Lisboa), Rieke Hansen (Geisenheim University, Germany); Andrea Nóblega Carriquiry (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Manuel Beißler (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)

Our early-career network addresses pressing societal challenges of living and ecology in urban agglomerations.  Societies in European cities are faced with environmental problems related to the quality of air and water, biodiversity loss, and advancing climate change, but at the same time need to tackle social-economic issues such as social cohesion and justice or the need to develop sustainable economic and mobility systems. All these challenges place complex demands on the use and functionality of urban space and infrastructures. Nature-based Solutions (NbS), such as Green Infrastructures (GI), are expected to play a major role in solving these issues through a redefinition and amplification of its functionality in urban areas. Based on our broad experience from case studies of NbS and together with stakeholders outside academia, we will cross current frontiers of knowledge regarding key issues of upscaling and mainstreaming of NbS by developing highly innovative ideas for improved multi-functionality, integral cost-benefit sharing and diverse stakeholder engagement. By connecting various schools of thought with individual research foci of the team members and applying it in an integrated manner to different case study cities at different spatial scales, new knowledge in terms of Technical knowledge (evidence base for NbS functionality / efficiency), Policy knowledge (governance tools and strategies for upscaling green infrastructure), and Transformative knowledge (leverage points, transformative actions and methods) will be generated. The integration and transferability of these knowledge dimensions across case studies (e.g. with different climatological, political, social contexts) and spatial scales (building - neighborhood - city-wide-level) will be conceptually addressed and then applied to develop policy recommendations regarding upscaling and mainstreaming of urban GI in European cities. Stakeholders will be interactively integrated at the network meetings through video conferences and interviews. A web page disseminating outputs from research and stakeholder involvement will be a central deliverable.

Project web-site

2. Reconstituting Publics through Remembering Transitions: Facilitating Critical Engagement with the 1980-90s on Local and Transnational Scales

Ksenia ROBBE (PI -Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts, the University of Groningen), Agnieszka Mrozik (Associate Professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences), Andrei Zavadski (Research Associate at the Institute of Art and Material Culture, TU Dortmund University), Nora Korte (and formerly Alexander Formozov)

Three decades after the radical transformations of the USSR and its satellites began in the 1980s – 1990s, the topic of ‘transitioning’ from socialist states to liberal democracies remains highly contentious in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the last decade, the transitional past has been increasingly instrumentalized, by national-populist actors and in the counter-memories of their opponents. In the context of heated contestations of memory, with high political stakes, spaces for dialogue are rapidly shrinking and public spheres are becoming increasingly ‘disconnected.’The project addresses this societal issue by engaging with memory practices of the ‘transitional period’ beyond the polarized versions. Drawing on approaches of cultural analysis of discourse and affect, critical memory studies, public history, (digital) ethnography, and intersectional study of gender and generations, we aim to develop strategies for facilitating more cohesive and at the same time more critical practices of remembering that have the potential to lead to dialogue and form reflective communities. The comparative approach will allow for developing strategies and policies on a transnational (European) level based on trans-local resonances rather than top-down scripts.The participation of the network ‘Transition Dialogue’ (Berlin) and close collaboration with four museums – the European Solidarity Center (Gdańsk), the Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum (Berlin), the Central Museum of Textiles (Łódź), and the Museum of Utopia and the Everyday (Eisenhüttenstadt) – facilitate the execution of empirical research and its translation into comparative and theoretical studies as well as recommendations for public history and memory institutions.

Project description

3. Light as a Key Predictor of Human Health and Well-being: Robust Evidence and Translation to Public Health

Manuel SPITSCHAN (PI - University of Oxford), Laura Kervezee (Leiden University), Renske Lok (Stanford University), Ray Najjar (Duke-NUS Medical School) & Elise McGlashan (Monash University)

Light exposure is a key driver for synchronising rhythms in our bodies and brains with the external 24-hour light-dark cycle. In turn, light exposure at the wrong biological time of day can disrupt our inner clock and lead to sleep loss, which has knock-on effects on our physical and mental health and well-being. Additionally, light is important for normal development of the eye, with low levels of light exposure being associated with myopia. With increasing knowledge from basic laboratory findings on the wide-reaching effects of light exposure on human health and well-being, it is time to apply this knowledge to the real world, guiding policymakers and other stakeholders. In this interdisciplinary NETIAS CAT project, five internationally recognised early-career scientists come together to address these topics, with a view to (1) develop a unified scientific framework for understanding effects of light exposure on human health and well-being, (2) develop strategies for making the existing and future scientific evidence base as robust as possible and (3) will develop strategies to communicate the complex scientific knowledge to different audiences.

Project web-site