Following the URBACT Programme Monitoring Committee meeting at the end of May, we learned that Irish local authorities will be party to six of the 30 new Action Planning Networks (APNs) which formally began on the 1st of June 2023.
In Ireland, we have some "firsts"!
We are excited to announce that Fingal County Council is Ireland's first URBACT Lead Partner, having been a past URBACT partner, most recently as part of iPlace and the Playful Towns’ National Practice Transfer Initiative (NPTI).
Sligo County Council became an URBACT transnational partner for the first time, having recently been a partner in the NPTI.
Clare County Council also became an URBACT partner for the very first time.
As well as these exciting "firsts", it gives us great pleasure to report the return of Limerick City and County Council (as party to two new APNs) & Longford County Council as URBACT project partners. Both have been successful URBACT participants in the past.We are excited to have them all on board!
Below is a brief description of the exciting projects our Irish partners will tackle alongside their European counterparts!
EcoCore: led by Balbriggan, Fingal (IE) and including partners from Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain, EcoCore will focus on green growth and transition in small cities along the respective transport corridors, particularly in relation to the use of energy and transportation. BiodiverCITY: led by Hungary, the network includes Limerick and partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain, BiodiverCITY will focus on measuring urban biodiversity and related ecosystem services by exploring community-based approaches for valorisation and measurement of nature-based solutions, greening plans and pro-environmental behaviours. C@H (Cities at Heart) led by France, the network includes Sligo and partners from Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain, C@H will focus on helping different sized cities and towns of different backgrounds reverse a loss of attractivity. Ecconnecting: led by Italy, the network includes Clare (Ennis) and partners from Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain, Ecconnecting seeks to help create strong links and the involvement of citizens in developing proximity strategies for rural-urban functional areas. GreenPlace: led by Poland, the network includes Limerick and partners from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain (2), GreenPlace seeks to help restore forgotten urban spaces and making such places welcoming to residents, and in an environmentally-friendly way using existing resources. UR-IMPACT: led by Italy, the network includes Longford, partners from Albania, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Romania (2), Slovenia, & Spain, UR-IMPACT seeks to ensure social inclusion and community development during times of urban renewal.
The next call under URBACT IV is for Innovation Transfer Mechanism networks (ITMs)-seeing collaboration between URBACT and the European Urban Initiative. The ITMs will see cities adapt the experience of a successful past Urban Innovative Actions' project in order to develop an investment plan for implementation. More information will follow but this Call is envisaged for early 2024 while a Call for Good Practices is anticipated in the final quarter of 2024, ahead of the new Transfer Networks Call in early 2025. The work to identify Good Practices in Ireland will begin soon!
It is never too early to begin thinking about how your locality could participate in URBACT so do reach out anytime for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org