URBACT Projects

The projects are the core of the URBACT Programme. They enable cities to work together, and to develop effective and sustainable solutions to key urban challenges.


2 types of project:





Every URBACT project:

  • Shares experience to develop new, pragmatic, sustainable solutions that can be used by other city practitioners and policy makers in Europe. Each project is joined with others under one or more of URBACT's 9 thematic areas of expertise in order to contribute to cross-disciplinary discussions on this theme.

    Examples: case studies, final reports etc.
  • Enables its partners to benefit from the experience of all the involved cities in order to develop a Local Action Plan that provides an effective solution to real local issues. This plan is developed with the help of a Local Support Groups, which includes key stakeholders on the ground.

    Examples: In the Netherlands, the city of Arnhem prepared a Local Action Plan (URBAMECO) related to development of a fashion quarter. 


URBACT projects primarily assemble cities—practitioners and elected officials—but also include local authorities, universities, research institutions and other public authorities from at least 3 Member or Partner States. They include a number of Operationnal Programmes Managing Authorities (Regions, Länder, etc), whose involvement alongside the cities is often decisive in carrying urban development projects to term.

Each URBACT project has a Lead Partner, who is responsible for the project's implementation and its administrative and financial management.

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Every URBACT project chooses a Lead Expert who accompanies the project for its entire duration. Experts are chosen for their high-level knowledge and real experience related to the project’s key issues. They provide the project with support in terms of both content and methodology, and contribute to programme level thematic discussions on behalf of the project. As they advance, projects can also call on a limited number of thematic Experts for contributions on specific topics.

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URBACT projects have two phases:

1.    The Development phase is the period used to design and set up key aspects of the project, such as finalising the partnership, completing a baseline study of the situation in the cities, developing a detailed work programme, setting up a Local Support Group, etc.

At the end of this phase, a panel of independent experts evaluates the project, and they are examined by URBACT’s Monitoring Committee which determines whether funding will be continued into the Implementation phase. Projects that do not demonstrate the ability to produce effective and high quality results are stopped.

2.    During the Implementation Phase  partners exchange and work together in workshops, seminars, site visits, etc. Locally, partners meet and get contributions from their Local Support Group to produce Local Action Plans and develop useful recommendations for other cities.

Examples: The partners of the MILE project, which focused on migration and integration at a local level, met 10 times between June 2007 and April 2009: 3 meetings on getting to know each other and methodology, 2 exchange and mutual evaluation workshops, 3 meetings about Local Action Plans, a workshop on social inclusion, and the final conference.

At the end of this phase, project conclusions are disseminated in the form of good practices, recommendations, etc.



The Fast Track Label allows certain URBACT projects to benefit from the active support and participation of the European Commission.

This label was created as part of the European initiative "Regions for Economic Change" to promote interregional cooperation and encourage innovative regional development strategies.

The European Commission grants the Fast Track Label to Thematic Networks that give a large role to Operational Porgramme Managing Authorities and that focus on one of the seven priority themes of the "Regions for Economic Change" initiative.

Seven URBACT II Thematic Networks have received the Fast Track Label: UNIC, Open Cities, HerO, RegGov, Building Healthy Communities, CASH, Roma-Net and the two pilot networks MILE and URBAMECO (which ended in June 2009).

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