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What is a Good Practice?

URBACT has defined ‘Good Practice’ as a practice that has been proven to work well by ensuring desired results and could be recommended as a model. It is a successful experience, which has been tested and validated, and deserves to be shared so that a greater number of cities can adopt it. All the good practices labelled by URBACT have provided sufficient evidence of meeting objectives and indicated the key success criteria for transfer to another city.

URBACT Good Practice label

This label is awarded to cities that have implemented a practice that is on a topic relevant to cities across Europe, with evidence of results, and could be suitable for transfer to other cities. Practices labelled as ‘Good Practice’ by URBACT benefit from a European-wide communication campaign, a dedicated web page, and showcasing at the dedicated City Festival in Tallinn, 3-5 October 2017.

Why not ‘best practice’?

URBACT is not necessarily looking for the ‘best’, the ‘most innovative’ or the ‘grandest’ practices. We believe that cities are extremely creative in finding solutions in all shapes and sizes that respond to their challenges. What is ‘good’ or ‘innovative’ in one context may be less so in another. But in these difficult times when cities are facing ever greater challenges with fewer resources, there is a distinct advantage in learning from peers and adopting tried and tested measures without having to start from scratch. These can often be low or no-budget actions but with a high impact.

How were the good practices collected and validated?

URBACT launched a call for good practices in December 2016, which ran until March 2017. Cities of all sizes from across Europe were invited to submit their practice via a short application form, setting out how it matched with URBACT’s principles of:

- Integrated approach: bringing together social, economic and environmental actions to address policy challenges in a holistic manner
- Participatory approach: demonstrating strong involvement of local stakeholders in the development and implementation of the practice
- Transferability: how suitable the practice is for adapting to different contexts and transferring to other cities.

Almost 300 submissions were received, far exceeding URBACT expectations for this new type of call. An assessment panel made of URBACT experts in sustainable urban development, along with representatives of cities, examined each submission according to four criteria:
1. Fit with URBACT principles
2. Relevance
3. Evidence base
4. Transferability