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News from our cities and networks

Edited on

12 May 2022
Read time: 5 minutes

Latest updates from URBACT cities tackling local challenges: gender-sensitive planning, sustainable mobility, and more.

How to tackle gender imbalances in our cities?

A step towards making cities more open, accessible and safer for women is to raise awareness of gender power structures around us, says the GenderedLandscape network. See what the network’s cities are doing to tackle inequality in urban planning, business and more. Also, Barcelona opens its first workspace for women’s organisations that work for equal opportunities in entrepreneurship and the business sector.


Practical solutions for inclusive urban spaces

URBACT experts Wessel Badenhorst and Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse share useful tools for planning and re-inventing urban spaces that take into account play and placemaking, inclusion and a gender-sensitive approach. Thanks to the Playful Paradigm network.


Green city investment

“Foresting is investing for a better city”. Big tree-planting and responsible business actions sparking positive changes in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, where the CITIES4CSR network is helping the city gain valuable support among diverse stakeholders.


Call for proximity projects

“Vilvoorde is a front-runner of climate policy in Flanders” (BE), but they need to work with all local stakeholders if the municipality is to reach its high aspirations. Their solution? A ‘Proximity competition campaign’, trialed with support from the Zero Carbon Cities network.


Net-zero industry?

Rouen Normandie Métropole (FR) explores why and how to conciliate industry and energy transition in a traditionally industrial territory. Insights from the Urb-En Pact network – working ‘together towards net-zero energy cities’.


Major development agency

The RiConnect network brings together eight metropolises, all rethinking, transforming and integrating their mobility infrastructures to reconnect people, neighbourhoods, cities and natural spaces. Here, discover the Greek partner – Thessaloniki Major Development Agency (EL).


Young cyclists

How one municipality is testing out sustainability workshops for schoolchildren, to “start the change with the next generation”. Thanks to the Space4People network promoting sustainable mobility in attractive public space for diverse user groups.


Participative democracy in action

“Thanks to the ActiveCitizens network, we managed to prepare activities that methodically enabled the public to participate…”. Be inspired by actions in these towns and cities to balance representative democracy with participatory democracy: Saint-Quentin’s (FR) thriving ‘citizen space’ where residents and groups can meet and get involved in the city’s projects; Hradec Králové’s (CZ) Local Government Committees and public input to the new Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and Strategic Plan; and Agen’s (FR) activities putting citizens back at the heart of city decisions, including a drive to involve young people in political life.


Binge watch a sustainable future

Want to understand the Global Goals for Cities network in a nutshell? Try this four-minute video from Gävle in Sweden, a country aiming to be a leader in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Also, if you have a few minutes, settle down and take in this series of short, ‘visioning’ videos from Global Goals for Cities partners Mouscron (BE), Solingen (DE), and Manresa (ES).


Local group updates Rome’s urban garden regulation

Get a sight of this, “yet another confirmation of the outstanding role of cities’ ULGs in the co-creation of sustainable urban development policies and measures in collaboration with local authorities.” Participative policymaking in action, thanks to the RU:RBAN network on ‘urban agriculture for resilient cities’.
Meanwhile, Irish partner Carlow
surveyed people’s hopes for the future of the County’s Community Garden and Allotment Policy, feeding the results into work on developing the policy itself. Among their new initiatives is mentoring to support the development of community gardens.


Face-to-face in Budafok

Here’s a quick glimpse of what happens when partner cities in an URBACT network get together. Highlights of the Find Your Greatness network’s transnational meeting in Budafok (HU).



Cultural heritage good news

Did you know, in a recent Eurobarometer survey 71% of people said living close to European cultural heritage cities improves their quality of life considerably? This and many more fascinating facts and updates make a KAIRÓS’ network meeting report well worth a read.


Circular revitalisation

A case study from the URGE network promoting recycling and re-use of building materials. Granada (ES) describes the renewal of its Santa Adela quarter, where “social circularity has contributed massively to a successful revitalisation”. Next step: environmental circularity. Also, meet Janus Christoffersen, new head of the Building Renewal Unit in URGE partner city Copenhagen (DK).


AS TRANSFER newsletter

Do you know about AS TRANSFER and Bilbao’s AS FABRIK model? Get the latest news on the digital transformation of industry – and strategic alliances based on knowledge and innovation.


Local Sustainable Development Goals

The Global Goals for Cities network highlights sustainable development work in Solingen (DE), ranging from tree planting to ‘Gläserne Werkstatt’ a place for companies, citizens and science to meet and cooperate on boosting sustainability in goods and production. Also in this meeting report, ideas for SDG actions in any EU city and insights from co-host Heraklion (EL).




Read our publication for stories from cities understanding, adapting and re-using URBACT Good Practices: Good Practice Transfer – Why Not in my City?



We hope you enjoy this URBACT city news round-up. If you have any news to share from URBACT cities, or ideas for more stories on sustainable urban development, get in touch!


URBACT promotes sustainable, integrated urban development, supporting exchange and learning between EU towns and cities. Since its launch URBACT III has enabled the creation of 83 networks involving 454 cities from 28 countries. Almost half of these cities have populations of under 100 000. Ongoing projects include Action Planning Networks, Transfer Networks, and National Practice Transfer Initiatives. Meanwhile five networks are transferring urban solutions from UIA projects, and another is localising the Sustainable Development Goals.