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Expectations of cities participating in CIA 7 Implementation Network

09 March 2017

The starting point for the “Cities in Article 7” (CIA 7) Implementation Network is to explore how 9 cities in 8 EU Member States benefiting from ERDF funding for the implementation of integrated urban strategies under Article 7 of the ERDF regulation are facing the mentioned challenges and potentials. Lead Partner is the European Metropole of Lille, France.

In a short overview the CIA 7 partners expressed why they chose to cooperate in this URBACT network. The following statements from the partnership show the broad range of experiences and fields to be explored, but also the common needs for exchange and learning about integrated implementation modes.

  • Muncipality of Bari, Italy – Dr Vitandrea Marzano, Mayor’s Staff

“The Municipality of Bari, through the CIA7 Project, is expected to participate in a network of European cities with qualified experience in the field of urban governance, to share organizational and territorial policies. Particularly, given the recent recognition by the Italian Government as Urban Authority, the Municipality of Bari intends to understand how other cities involve their stakeholders in decision-making processes.”

  • Dublin City Council, Ireland – Mary Taylor, Ass. Area Manager, local co-ordinator

“We expect exchange of knowledge with other cities undergoing urban regeneration processes that will inform and assist in the implementation of the Ballymun Local Area Plan.”

  • City of Duisburg, Germany – Brigitte Grandt, EG DU Development Agency

“The City of Duisburg is working under the priority axis of sustainable urban development. We expect an exchange of experiences dealing with the combination of structural funds for integrated projects, particularly of ERDF and ESF in a single project. In our case, the federal State NRW has delegated only the project decision to the municipalities with a model called ’intermediate body light’. In other countries the whole responsibility has been delegated to the local level. The analysis of advantages and disadvantages of the different models will be of interest to us.”

  • European Metropole of Lille, France – Perrine Ezelin, Partnership Department, Financial Unit

“The European Metropole of Lille is looking for concrete answers. The strategy regarding the ITI is now adopted. We are implementing the Strategy but this implementation is very challenging. In fact, we chose to implement the ITI through calls for proposals in order to develop equity between cities. The consequence is the huge amount of engineering that it requires. There might be other solutions. A lot of cities are facing the same challenges. The network could settle some guidelines regarding the implementation to help others – maybe 3 guidelines per challenge could be a good deliverable.”

  • Municipality of Larissa, Greece – Maria Nikolaidou, Department of Planning, European Programmes and Initiatives

“This is the first time that our city authority is asked to undertake the role of a type of ‘managing authority‘ in itself, implementing an integrated strategy, requesting more than just the implementation of technical works or actions, but also creating processes of controlling, objectively evaluating and managing different types of projects, actions and works. Our expectations are that by exchanging experiences within our network we’ll be able to determine the best way to organize our managing body and develop standard processes to better implement integrated strategies.”

  • Municipality of Lublin, Poland – Radosław Kasprzyk, Office of Integrated Territorial Investment

“By participating in the CIA 7 network, the City of Lublin expects to get acquainted with good practices of other functional areas involved in the project, first of all in fields such as: integrated transport between communities and revitalization of deprived areas. The knowledge acquired in this manner will be effectively used by creating the ITI Strategy of Lublin Functional Area (LFA) with the financial perspective 2021-27. The experiences gained will help to diagnose problems of the LFA properly and to plan their effective solution.”

  • City of Olomouc, Czech Republic – Vlastimil Mikulášek, Department of European Projects

“The City of Olomouc is implementing the integrated strategy from multiple EU funds (ERDF, ESF, CF) and combining financial resources from 6 different national operational programmes. It is quite a challenge not only at city level, but also at national level. What interests us are the different attitudes of other partner cities on implementation of their strategies in the frame of Article 7.”

  • Municipality of Pesaro, Italy – Marco Cardinaletti, External Expert

“The Municipality of Pesaro intends to strengthen the participatory approach in urban planning by means of a bottom-up process, to facilitate the implementation of the ITI Strategy through the exchange of good practice and experiences at European level and to improve the capacity of Pesaro to attract more investments and financial resources for increasing the rate of employment, mainly in new high-potential sectors such as tourism, culture and ICT.”

  • City of Sevilla, Spain – Modesta Hoyuela Díaz, EMASESA Metropolitan Water Supply and Treatment Company Sevilla

“The City of Sevilla wants to better implement the ESIF investment through new governance methodologies, as it could be the RIS3 (Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation) using Structural Funds and European investment more effectively and creating increased synergies between regional, national and EU policies, and public and private investment. RIS3 implies the need to ensure that the policy mix, the combination of the policy instruments available is effective in achieving the overall policy goals, helps business and allows to make better use of private investment. Sevilla intends to develop indicators and promote continuous policy evaluation. All partners participate in the development, implementation and monitoring of strategies working together with the different government levels. The URBACT Local Group and the URBACT tools could help in this process.”

Short conclusion

It is demanding for cities to take over “learning by doing” new administrative responsibilities and the lead for participative processes within innovative arrangements and often newly established functional areas, like required within Article 7. What remains to be explored is if and how cities can make best use of the new and ambitious tools at their disposal when at the same time they have to adopt new selection procedures and fulfil additional administrative responsibilities.

To summarise it briefly, the Implementation Network CIA 7 shares good integrated practices from planning to implementation and funding under Article 7 of ERDF regulation which gives cities the capacity to develop livable urban areas through integrated strategies: This is a very challenging quality shift and management innovation, but at the same time a huge opportunity strengthening and empowering cities.