What are Integrated Territorial Investments?

Edited on 19/06/2019

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How it works

The city puts together an integrated strategy for all or part of its territory. This will have been produced by engaging with relevant stakeholders as well as the communities affected. Funding to implement the projects in the strategy, specifically those in the ‘implementation plan’ can then be drawn down from the relevant priorities of different programmes that have agreed to support the ITI. These can include the ERDF sectorial and ESF operational programmes as well as Interreg in its three different forms if these are available.

Types of ITI

First of all there are urban ITIs and non urban ones. This article will focus on urban ITIs because URBACT is a programme for cities. Secondly they can take different forms and to explore these, the European Commission is conducting a study to look at four different types:

  • City regional ITIs in which a metropolitan area is consolidated through being treated as a single ITI. Some of the proposed Polish ITIs follow this approach and have been designed to make up for the lack of a city-regional tier of government. In the case of Wrocław, the ITI will be managed at local level by the core city of Wrocław itself. Other municipalities will participate as partners in the ITI through a type of board made up of the mayors;
  • Focus on deprived neighbourhoods: This was the way in which the integrated approach was developed at European level under the URBAN I and II programmes and was subsequently mainstreamed in the 2007-2013 period. ITIs offer the potential not only to address problems of deprivation but also to focus investment on opportunity areas from which local people can benefit. In particular the ITI can make it possible to coordinate ERDF and ESF resources more effectively than through mono-fund programmes. The Rotterdam Article 7 will focus on deprived neighbourhoods. Rotterdam is in a unique position of being a managing authority for the most populous region of the Netherlands and has a lot of experience of managing the funds;
  • Urban rural ITIs. As well as being used in a city region context, the ITI can be used to strengthen urban rural linkages within a functional urban area. The Gothenburg ITI will work with the city of Gothenburg and neighbouring authorities;
  • Cross border ITIs are likely to be rare because of the difficulties of operating in different member states. Well-known examples in Europe include Basel, Frankfurt Oder, Lille, and Geneva. ITIs offer the potential to finance cross border projects and also to link the Interreg A type cross-border activity with projects from mainstream ERDF and ESF programmes. 

How will URBACT support ITIs

 The new URBACT III Operational Programme opens up potential to support ITI alongside the other Article 7 approaches as well as other territorial tools such as the Community Led Local Development. At this stage it looks unlikely that there will be specific calls for cities doing ITI but the new programme contains two new types of network that might be relevant alongside the continuation of Action Planning networks which build on the experience of URBACT II.

Transfer networks will enable cities to learn from a ‘giving city’ about how to carry out a specific activity. There are currently six transfer networks being tested as pilots covering topics as varied as using empty buildings in a city (TUTUR), to making the city a gastronomic destination (GASTRONOMY).

However, it is the implementation networks that will be especially interesting for all the Article 7 cities because these networks will enable cities that have resources from their Operational Programmes to learn from each other during the first years of implementing their action plans and strategies. Although these implementation networks will be open to all cities which have a resource plan in place, they are likely to be especially interesting for those planning the Integrated Territorial Investments because there is likely to be considerable European added value in sharing the early experiences. The first calls are expected to take place it the second half of 2015.

Alongside the network activity which is where most of URBACT’s resource is spent there will also be capacity building for cities involved in networks so that they can build their skills at local level with other stakeholders. Capitalisation and dissemination will allow cities that didn’t directly participated in networks to benefit from the know-how and knowledge that has been exchanged.

Issues for the cities

The key to success with the new territorial tools such as ITI will be to carry the spirit of the Leipzig Charter through the implementation. This means that the packages of projects should be based on a sound analysis of the problems being addressed, that there should have been the coproduction of strategies and plans with a wide range of stakeholders and that the emphasis on integration solutions must be maintained in the phase when delivery of projects is taking place. Cities that wish to deepen participation can combine an ITI with Community Led Local Development and take a bottom-up approach to develop strategies and actions. This is likely to be particularly important in developing new solutions for disadvantaged areas which have often lost out during the crisis.

The period until 2020 will see considerable experimentation in how to use the programme resources to best effect in cities. URBACT will be working with cities to help ensure that the lessons learnt are understood across Europe.

Submitted by admin_import on 04/12/2014
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