Platform Talk: Platforms as a mediator for urban development

Categorized as News from Asia & Australasia

On 23 July 2021, the “New Green Possibilities” International Forum hosted its second session, the Platform Talk, bringing speakers from Rome, Milan, Penang and Bangkok to share their experiences as think tanks, or platforms, and as city government working with these organisations on urban development. The Platform Talk was the 2nd session of the “New Green Possibilities” series, which dealt with urban policyurban design and urban business.

Daniela Patti, Managing Director of Eutropian, an organisation based between Rome, Vienna and Budapest that promotes collaborative urban practices, presented a project in Rome that resulted in a policy brief on markets as public spaces. Daniela noted that markets nowadays are having an identity crisis as they have to compete with supermarkets. In this project, abandoned markets were mapped and workshops organised to come up with suggestions on how markets should be managed. These suggestions include encouraging markets to deliver services beyond food, such as culture, education and entertainment, promoting circular local flows in which local farmers have better market access, and providing training to people working in the markets.

On behalf of the invited speaker Piero Pelizzaro, Elisa Torricelli, Project Officer at the Environmental Transition Department of Milan Municipality, presented Milan’s nature-based solutions to urban issues. The city’s plans and projects for a greener Milan include City Masterplan 2030 and the FORESTAMI forestation programme. She also mentioned EU programmes that Milan has been involved in, including CLEVER Cities, which promotes the uptake of nature-based solutions in urban planning, and Sharing Cities, which focuses on smart city solutions.

Sofia Castelo, Lead Environmental Resilience and Climate Change, Think City, made a presentation on Penang’s climate adaptation programme, which uses nature-based solutions in its approach. The programme consists of four goals: 1) reduce temperatures and urban heat island effects by strategically planting trees and introducing green spaces in the city; 2) reduce and, if possible, eliminate the number of flooding events by using upstream retention; 3) strengthen social resilience and empower vulnerable communities and women and girls; and 4) reinforce institutional capacity in public health. Think City was awarded the Climathon Global Cities Award for the Penang Climate Adaption Plan in 2020.

Last but not least, Yossapon Boonsom, founder of we!park, presented his platform’s mission to create more green public spaces in Bangkok by transforming vacant areas into pocket parks. Funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and supported by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Thai Association of Landscape Architects, the platform acts as a mediator or facilitator between the government, the private sector and the community in pooling resources to co-develop green areas. The way we!park works is all about co-creation. This means all the stakeholders are involved in identifying available areas, designing and building the park, crowd-funding and co-managing the park. Yossopon stressed the importance of people empowerment in this process and knowledge sharing for development of green urban space.

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For a video recording of the forum, please visit