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URBACT Markets project draws to a close as partners look to build on know-how and future collaboration

11 March 2015
  • The final wrap-up meeting is this March 25th in Barcelona after two intensive years of collaborative working processes and mutual learning around the theme of how to use markets to boost urban regeneration, local economies and sustainable living.
  • Results include a practitioners’ handbook designed for local authorities and markets operators to leverage knowledge developed during the project.
  • Other success stories from the project include the organisation of an internationally held markets celebration, the development of Local Action Plans by each partner, and overall the desire to make markets a key driver of urban development. 
Encants flea market Barcelona

Over 30 representatives from the nine participating URBACT Markets partners (Attica, Barcelona, Dublin, Pècs, Suceava, Torino, Toulouse, Wroclaw, and Westminster) will gather in Barcelona this March 25th for the final project conference, as the two-year-long process draws to an end.

Partner city representatives will be joined by dignitaries, including URBACT Secretariat Director Emmanuel Moulin, Steven Davies, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Project for Public Spaces (PPS), New York, Marton Matko, Policy Head at Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and responsible for the URBACT programme, and representatives from UNHabitat, the UN’s Human Settlements agency, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and other cities including The Hague and New York.

The wrap-up  event, which will take place at LEAD partner Barcelona’s magnificent downtown Santa Caterina market, is designed to highlight the project’s main results. It will also address the very important topic of next moves. The agenda includes an open discussion for partners to talk about their next steps and how the association can cooperate and collaborate to strengthen the position of markets in support of sustainable urban development.

Raimond Blasi, Barcelona’s Councillor for Commerce, Consumption and Markets, will open the conference, with an introduction by the director of Barcelona Institute of Municipal Markets (IMMB), Jordi Torrades.

A summary of the main URBACT Market network partnership objectives and activities will be presented by Núria Costa, representing the LEAD Partner (IMMB) and Lead Expert in the URBACT Markets project, Nils Scheffler, who will discuss the network’s results, especially concentrating on ideas and inspirations to make city markets into successful drivers of sustainable urban development.

One of the key outputs from the project will also be presented: the URBACT Markets Handbook titled Urban Markets: heart, soul and motor of cities. Making city markets the drivers of sustainable urban development. The handbook includes case studies, key findings and inputs from the thematic experts and LEAD partner and expert and knowledge generated during the project. The Handbook is conceived as a one-stop guide to best-practise in the area of urban markets.

Looking to the future

One of the key activities programmed for the morning session is titled ‘The future of markets: What can be done together?’ The session, led by Nils Scheffler, addresses the main issues affecting the future of markets and any future collaboration between URBACT Markets partners. Cooperation ideas about how to move forward and harness the potential of the network and especially how to go about engaging with financing bodies in the European Union and external participants will be discussed.

Finally, the partner representatives of the nine URBACT Markets partner cities and regions will give their feedback on the final declaration of the 9th International Conference on Market, which will be held in Barcelona from March 26-28, with many URBACT members set to participate in what is one of the premiere events on the world’s markets calendar.

Further information on the 9th International Conference on Markets: http://www.pps.org/publicmarkets15/.