1.1. Aims and Relevance
- Environmental challenges : in most of the cases they are polluted, compromised, consumed, or uncovered/empty/unproductive soils.
- Landscape-related challenges : they are territories not spatially connected or integrated into the surrounding landscape, resulting in isolated or disconnected fragments which are often perceived as ugly.
- Management challenges: lack of flexibility in policies/regulations and implementation of existing policies that often result in abandoned lands which nobody takes care of.
- Societal challenges: often wastescapes are related to conflicts—or of former conflicts—such as confiscated assets, illegal or informal constructions, and/or sites of illegal waste dumping.
- Economic challenges: lack of funding for their regeneration and a lack of economic business models that break through the state of abandonment or underuse of wastescapes, while opening up new ways to achieve profit (not necessarily being economical).
- Perception challenges: wastescapes represent inaccessible, abandoned, and often dangerously polluted areas for the inhabitants that encounter them in their daily routines. This is a problem from a perspective point of view due to the visual impact generated by the wastescapes. Moreover, they are perceived as unsafe areas that host criminal activities, negatively affecting life satisfaction of the inhabitants .
- Knowledge/awareness challenges: a shared knowledge and a common understanding of waste and wastescapes as actual resources for developing site-specific Eco-Innovative Solutions is absent at both political and institutional levels.
1.2. Contribution to Knowledge
2. Understanding Processes and Phenomena
2.1. When Does a Place Become a Wastescape?
2.2. Definitions of Wastescapes
- ‘Waste’, on one hand, is related to resources, which include unused objects, substances, and/or material flows that cross territories that define the urban metabolism.
- ‘Scape’, on the other hand, is based on spatial characteristics and the claim that such flows seize on territory and/or landscape. Using the concept of landscape makes it possible to start transition strategies towards a circular urban metabolism at a geographical location that helps create spatial proximity and (co)relations.
2.3. A Twofold Concept
- Degraded land, impoverished from the point of view of soil fertility, due to human activities;
- Degraded water, including both properly polluted or compromised water bodies, and territories under hydraulic pressures;
- Declining fields, consisting of on vacant/under-used and abandoned fields, vacant parcels, and vulnerable soils;
- Settlements and buildings in crisis, comprising vacant/underused, neglected, or obsolescent buildings and settlements, as well as the illegal/informal ones;
- “Dross” of facilities and infrastructures, including dismissed or underused infrastructures and facilities;
- Operational infrastructure of waste, related to waste management facilities, such as incinerators and landfills.
- The complexity of the topic asks to go beyond administrative boundaries: both in the governance and decision-making processes, as well as spatially. In the process of mapping wastescapes, there is a need to overcome municipal boundaries in order to understand the regional implications of their formation and potential regeneration.
- The governance of wastescapes is complex and complicated, due to the multiplicity of actors that affect(ed) and generate(d) them. Very often, these actors (have) only work(ed) in a sectorial way, therefore lacking the perspectives of integration and cooperation.
- The local scale is key. In particular, its role in larger contexts in relation to the previously mentioned ‘enabling contexts’  in which the processes of regeneration need to be realized, as well as the effective applications and developments of eco-innovative solutions and strategies.
- Looking at multiple and different scales will support the identification of transferable strategies and solutions, which will, in turn, enable the scale-up and transfer of methodology to other cases.
2.4. Circularity As Part of the Regeneration of Wastescapes
3. Eco-Innovative Solutions for Wastescapes in Peri-Urban Living Labs
3.1. Eco-Innovative Solutions for Wastescapes
- ensure value creation;
- meet stakeholders’ needs;
- be based on and inspired by nature;
- foresee resilient and sustainable settlements;
- increase individual and social well-being.
3.2. Peri-Urban Living Labs (PULLs) as Instruments for Developing Eco-Innovative Solutions
3.3. Case Studies
3.3.1. Wastescapes in the Metropolitan Area of Naples (MAN)
3.3.2. Wastescapes in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area
- Firstly, researchers need to identify and map wastescapes in accordance with their knowledge, due in part to information gained in fieldtrips.
- Secondly, the research team needs to meet relevant stakeholders and key actors within the PULLs to refine the wastescape maps. By doing so, their specific knowledge and familiarity with the focus area will enlighten specific problems and challenges that characterize the area. Different methodologies such as challenge and problem trees are used towards this purpose.
- Thirdly, the mapping exercise of wastescapes needs to be finalized by the researchers (desk research).
- Fourthly, local stakeholders are called yet again to identify what the strategies to regenerate wastescapes are, and who are the key actors that should be involved for the implementation of the eco-innovation. In this phase, Eco-Innovative Solutions (EIS) are co-created addressing the Political/organisational (P), Economic, Societal (E), Technical (T), Environmental (E), and Legal (L) dimensions of the PESTEL framework.
- The environmental challenges can contribute to the slowdown of the regeneration of wastescapes, which can be related to the high costs necessary for soil reclamation. During the time frame of the soil reclamation, several uses are not allowed by law, such as noise or odor contours, while some uses are incompatible by law.
- The governmental challenges can be related to the lack of regulations which could allow for temporary and flexible use of wastescapes. In addition, the regeneration of illegal/informal settlements or abandoned areas require costly and complex processes, including difficulties in the management of construction and demolition waste.
- Social challenges concern the abandonment of public/private spaces, combined with a lack of adequate services and infrastructures, leading to a lack of safety for the inhabitants, and therefore creating mistrust towards institutions.
Conflicts of Interest
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