• EuRegionsWeek: le connessioni tra Pon metro Plus e Urbact nel workshop Anci e Agenzia coesione

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    01/11/2022


    Individuare con gli attori locali, nazionali ed europei possibili interazioni e connessioni tra i piani operativi nazionali e i programmi di cooperazione territoriale come Urbact è stato il punto da cui è partita la riflessione e il dibattito nell’ambito del workshop di oggi organizzato dall’Agenzia per la coesione e Anci, in qualità di National URBACT Point, all’interno della cornice della European Week of Regions and Cities 2022.

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    A prendere parte all’incontro sono stati: Giovanni Pineschi e Sandra Gizdulich esperti di politiche urbane dell’Agenzia di Coesione Territoriale e Simone d’Antonio, del National URBACT Point di ANCI.
    In particolare, i partecipanti hanno discusso della relazione tra il prossimo programma Pon metro Plus e le reti del programma europeo Urbact che vertono sui temi dell’economia circolare, della cultura, della sostenibilità, della transizione energetica e innovazione sociale, tutte questioni anche al centro del Pon metro Plus. In questa direzione le esperienze delle città italiane, di grandi e medie dimensioni, possono dare un importante contributo attraverso il metodo Urbact per l’attuazione dell’Agenda urbana europea sviluppando politiche urbane in una dimensione multilivello.
    Molte delle iniziative e dei progetti delle città Urbact si ricollegano ai temi del Pon Metro, – come ha ricordato Simone d’Antonio, responsabile Urbact per Anci – una rete, quella italiana, che è tra le più attive e numerose a livello europeo con oltre cinquanta città impegnate nei progetti Urbact.
    Nel corso del confronto si è evidenziata anche la necessità di seguire e replicare modelli di altre reti di città europee come nel caso del Portogallo che ha focalizzato la sua azione sui temi dell’economia circolare oltre al necessario collegamento tra Pon metro e Urbact. Una connessione che potrà svilupparsi a partire dai prossimi mesi includendo anche una quarantina di città medie del Mezzogiorno nel Pon metro Plus.

  • The power of arts and green

    Germany
    Pforzheim

    Using art, green and citizens in the transformation of urban areas

    Reinhard Maier
    Responsible for urban renewal
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    118 000

    Summary

    With a concentration of problems like lack of social cohesion, littering and damage to property in its 3 000-person multicultural district of Kaiser-Friedrich-Street (KEF),  the city of Pforzheim (DE) followed an integrated and participative approach to revitalise the district. In order to make the living environment more pleasant and to improve cohesion, the idea of an artistic project and greener spaces emerged from the population. At the initiative of  inhabitants, a sculpture mile with 100 new trees was created with the help of a local artist.  The sculptures with the trees improved the quality of time spent in the public spaces. Meeting points arose and contributed to intergenerational and intercultural exchanges. The new urban green space provides a significant contribution to the fight against climate change and the inhabitants have taken responsibility for their environment as tree sponsors. Likewise, the district has gained a new image through art.  The project is consciously designed on a long-term basis in which the existing works of art are replaced by new ones every three years.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Within the framework of the integrated urban development, a survey of strengths and weaknesses was carried out. Many problems in the neighbourhood, such as lack of cohesion, litter and damage to property, were due to the fact that many residents did not identify with their neighbourhood, and the district had a bad image within the whole city. The good practice offered the following solution: inhabitants strongly involved in the shaping of the previously disadvantaged neighbourhood and by the realisation of a renowned sculpture mile. The identification the citizens have with their quarter has been significantly strengthened. The sculptures along with more than 100 new trees improved the quality of time spent in the public spaces. Meeting points arose, contributing to the activation of urban life and to intergenerational and intercultural exchange. New networks or productive neighbourhoods lead to the emergence of solutions from the district for other challenges, such as unemployment or the increase of anonymity. The new urban green space provides a significant contribution to the fight against climate change, and the inhabitants have taken responsibility for their environment as tree sponsors. The emergence of ownership through “Urban Nature” thus represents a formidable solution and has helped to strengthen the identity and self-confidence of the inhabitants. Likewise, the district has gained a new image through art.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    In 2007, urban renewal began in the district of KEF. The starting point was a survey of existing strengths and weaknesses in the quarter within the framework of the Integrated Urban Development Approach. The overall goal is to create the best possible conditions for sustainable urban living in a deprived quarter involving all relevant stakeholders as civil society, practitioners, elected representatives, city and district managers or the private sector. Within the framework of the integrated and sustainable urban development concept, the following tasks were defined as relevant: housing/residential environment; social and cultural infrastructure; identification, coexistence, active citizens; public space/transport; local supply/local economy; climate and the environment. Progress and difficulties are summarised in an annual factual report. To make the living environment more comfortable and to improve identification, the idea of an artistic project, together with a local artist, emerged from the population in addition to the streets being made greener. The project Urban Nature was born. It is a sustainable and affordable practice bringing together social, cultural, economic and environmental actions. The project is consciously designed for the long term, in which the existing works of art are replaced by new ones every three years. Thus, the project is constantly being given new momentum.

    Based on a participatory approach

    From the start, the urban renewal process has followed an integrated and participatory approach. Urban Nature is a project of local citizens. The idea arose in the district council, consisting of 25 citizens and traders who meet once a month. Not all ideas and proposals can be implemented, but it is positive to note that citizens have a strong sense of cost-consciousness. In addition, great importance is attached to the fact that the district council is involved in the implementation of the measures themselves. This clarifies that the body can express wishes, but they can only be implemented if citizens contribute. Due to the close cooperation among different stakeholders in the district council, the idea of the sculpture mile and the greenery quickly resulted in concrete plans. The city administration was responsible for setting the foundations for the sculptures, planting the trees, lighting etc. René Dantes, a local artist, created five sculptures. Citizens assume responsibility for the care of the trees and the sculptures. Companies from the district and the entire city committed themselves to sponsoring. The good practice Urban Nature is a real example for community-based peacemaking with, and not for, communities. It is a project which demonstrates the strong commitment of local stakeholders in the development and implementation of the practice, which has led to a high level of acceptance and sustainability.

    What difference has it made?

    The concentration of numerous negative factors had resulted in a depreciation process with missing cohesion, misuse, damage to property. The sculpture mile Urban Nature has significantly contributed to the improvement of the situation in the district. The most important impacts are: Residents identify more strongly with their neighbourhood and with the sculpture closest to their home. They talk about the developments in the district and discuss the change, which was rarely the case before. The sculptures have also become important places for identification and encounter. The image of the neighbourhood has changed. In addition, the trees contribute to the fight against climate change. The inhabitants take responsibility for their environment as tree mentors. There is no other district which provides such an abundance of possibilities for participation. Results achieved are: • Creation of meeting points for the activation of the urban life as well as for intergenerational and intercultural exchange, • Strengthening private retailers, service and commercial enterprises, • Creating a new environment for sustainable urban living As statistical data is not yet available for 2016, it is difficult to give evidence of impact. However, the stakeholders have the impression that the project resulted in a stabilisation of the social structure, mixed population and active neighbourhoods and overall improved the quality of the housing environment.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The Urban Nature project demonstrates how large numbers of citizens have been able to make major changes in a neighbourhood through the participation of numerous stakeholders. It shows that it does not always require large projects or large sums of money to achieve sustainable change and to positively change a neighbourhood. The project is certainly of great interest to other European cities. The importance of art and the environment is often underestimated in urban development projects. Urban Nature offers solutions to challenges faced by other European cities, such as demographic change, integration as well as climate change, by identifying a sustainable and affordable practice which cities can transfer to their local context. It should be emphasised that the project originated from the district and thus the identification is particularly large. This gives other European cities the opportunity to transfer the knowledge, but still develop their own projects - adapted to the context on site. Due to the great reach and enthusiasm that the project has created in the region, there is certainly interest in Urban Nature in other cities.

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    9510
  • On Stage! Music and arts for social change

    Spain
    L'Hospitalet de Llobregat

    The sound of education: how music and performing art can bolster social inclusion

    Raül Brenchat
    Project Coordinator
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    254 804
    • Adapted by the ONSTAGE Transfer Network

    Summary

    On Stage! is a model to democratise the access to and the production of music and art with an integrated, cohesive and participative approach. The Transferred Practice is based on EMMCA (Escola Municipal de Música-Centre de les Arts) a public Municipal Arts Centre and Music, Drama and Dance School in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Ordinary arts practice and training programmes are usually out of reach for most disadvantaged groups. The objective of EMMCA is inclusion and uptake for all in Hospitalet, not just for one homogenous group or income bracket. With a population of over one-quarter million, the highest rate of population density in Europe and almost 30% of its population with a migrant background, L’Hospitalet faces several challenges in social, economic, physical and cultural terms. A twist happens in 2004 when people in the street, picketing the city hall, demand a public music school. While the model initially though was that of a traditional music conservatory, the socio-economic condition in the city demanded an innovative approach which could tackle the cultural divides. In 2005 the EMMCA school was opened as a new school for participative cultural and artistic expression. EMMCA offers group classes to all citizens, carries out curricular performing arts activities in primary schools, borrows instruments to its students, grants special prices to those who cannot afford to pay full fees. Since its opening, over 50.000 people participated in school’s activities. This is also the yearly average audience of the performances. An average of 4500 students take part to the EMMCA’s activities each year. The Symphony Orchestra of the EMMCA is honoured to count 29% of performers with a migrant background, the same rate of people from non-EU origin living in the entire city.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Projects such as On Stage! (EMMCA) allow culture to be placed at the centre of cities’ social change, to bolster links between their citizens, boosting cohesion and tackling urban segregation. This practice responds to the Sustainable Development Goal 11 by measures that aim to recognise and promote cultural diversity for cities, to integrate culture to counter urban violence, and to ensure investment to enhance culture, cultural heritage and creativity in urban planning. On Stage! practice also approaches issues included in the European Urban Agenda such as inclusion of migrants and refugees and Culture and Cultural heritage. It responds to various priorities of the ERDF esp. 9-10) and it is an excellent practice enriching the debated in the New European Bauhaus and related initiatives. Regarding cross-cutting basic objectives, this good practice promotes equal opportunities, equal treatment and equality between men and women. Of the EMMCA’s pupils as a whole, 46.46% are women and 53.55% are men. The principle of equal treatment is applied to the group from childhood to adolescence, in relation to academic underachievement and possible isolation in the job market. The value and sustainability of this practice is also documented by its results: according to the 2015-2016 data, students involved in the EMMCA program had better results in 7th grade exams than those in similar schools not participating in the programs. Higher grades were recorded in most statutory subjects, and especially math. Regarding cross-cutting basic objectives, the most important aim is to promote equal opportunities founded on two principles: equal treatment and equality between men and women. Of the EMCA’s pupils as a whole, 46.46% are women and 53.55% are men. The principle of equal treatment is applied to the group from childhood to adolescence, in relation to academic underachievement and possible isolation in the job market.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The participatory approach is central to allow people who visit EMMCA every week to play, sing, dance, rehearse and learn come from all backgrounds and origins. In order to achieve that everyone has to be involved from social workers, the families, teachers, students. The main players involved in the process are the eight primary schools where the project is developed, and where the educational community of parents and teachers work together. The project has managed to promote the creation of parents’ associations in the eight schools where it is developed. At an institutional level, also participating as project partners alongside with the L’Hospitalet Local Authority are the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona Council and the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso and other UlG members.

    What difference has it made?

    Taking on the leadership of the URBACT transfer network brought new improvements to the EMMCA approach. In particular the exchange of knowledge among cities in On Stage network, the dialogues created among ULG members, especially teachers, across Europe prompted fresh understanding of the EMMCA work. The core objective of a two-year improvement plan resulted in further investing in the engagement between the school and the population of L’Hospitalet. In order to achieve this goal the Lead Partner acted on three levels of actions in terms of skills, involvement of specific target groups, and reaching out the wider community strengthening local networks. The concrete actions focused on: 1. Extending the EMMCA offer to children aged 0-3, young people and those experiencing mental health issues. 2. Improving EMMCA projects in primary schools. 3. Commissioning a research study on the impact of EMMCA within the community with an external impact assessment by ESMUC, the Catalan College of Music. The study focuses on how to a)increase the number of people that practice arts in L’Hospitalet, b) reach all social sectors, including those more likely to be excluded for arts practise, c)use arts as a means to social cohesion d)To use arts as a means to school attainment Notably, the coordination of the Onstage network has improved the collaboration among the school team and EMMCA approach has consolidated its centrality in local government.

    Transferring the practice

    Transferring the practices has had a tremendous impact both in creating seeds of transformation and social change in the partner cities and in re-evaluating the works done so far in EMMCA. The quantitative results show that through On Stage 28 schools have been directly and indirectly involved in the transfer, through the work of 120 people active in ULG across the ON Stage cities. 735 people have been involved in the demo-action ( such as studies, new pilot projects for children and youth) including students, families, stand, teachers, researchers, experts and municipal staff. Despite the pandemic impeded most of the exchanges, the visit of the teachers of L’Hospitalet to Katowice has been crucial to reflecting, reimagining and innovating the Lead Partner role and to rethink EMMCA knowledge of primary school projects with new initiatives.

    Is a transfer practice
    1
    Ref nid
    9524
  • Improving the social dimension in the process of urban regeneration

    Poland
    Lodz

    A collaborative city model that increases the participation of city residents, promotes their equal involvement and strengthens relations between the main stakeholders in urban regeneration processes.

    Joanna Brzezinska
    Regeneration Office
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    671 000

    Summary

    The original Good Practice of Łódź was the revitalization of the historic 6.5-hectare area of Priest’s Mill (Księży Młyn). This revitalisation included physical modernization and conservation of 25 city-owned multi-family buildings, all built in the 1870s and 1880s for factory workers and their families. Besides physical upgrading attention was given to economic activities, transforming some of dwellings into commercial premises, and social activities, establishing social economy, artistic and cultural entities.
    In the second half of the 2010s the revitalization activities shifted towards the much larger rundown central area of the city, built in with old tenement houses. Lodz combined the practice of its pioneer project with the knowledge gained from the URBACT Transfer Network Urban Regeneration Mix (2019-2021). As a result, the role of mediators was further strengthened and extended with new tasks and responsibilities.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    In order to organize the work and keep contact with the residents, the original model of mediator was a kind of „sheriff” function, regarding his competences (mediations, conflict and change management) the attitude towards people, and position in the complicated structure of Lodz city management. In the course of time this role and function have been further developed, towards a new system, establishing a team of mediators: Social Lighthouse Keepers and Area Hosts, who take care of about 700 families in the area of eight priority revitalization projects of the city center. Their core activities at the beginning were to help to solve the inhabitants' housing and everyday life problems. This approach, dealing predominantly with difficulties, was extended (on the inspiration of Braga and Birmingham) towards broader socio-cultural animation, as a tool for involving and activating residents, looking at the revitalisation area from a more wide perspective. A further step towards new competences of mediators was taken on the example of Toulouse and Birmingham, extending their tasks to work also with other stakeholders in the revitalisation area. On the one hand this meant to bring together all entities, including private investors, in a given area, allowing for an integrated management of the entire investment process. On the other hand, a community connector role was introduced, motivating and inspiring small groups of inhabitants to take bottom-up actions, building in them a sense of community and responsibility for the space and the neighbors with whom they share it.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The most important element of the original practice was the presence of an official person responsible for revitalisation and the fact that the residents could always report problems and failures. On that basis the residents have started to react to acts of vandalism and violence. Besides the residents also other actors became better partners of the renewal process, e.g. administrators of infrastructure networks, artists, Police and Municipal Police. With the further development of the project, introducing the extended roles of the team of mediators, it became even easier to constantly adjusting to the residents’ requirements and opinions. Mediators now have also "managerial" skills, not only supporting the local community, but related also to the involvement of employees in other activities carried out in the area, such as: cross-financing, cooperation with entrepreneurs, communities, participation in local initiatives, creating a network of understanding between institutions, cooperation in projects implemented in the neighbourhood.

    Based on a participatory approach

    In this project, various forms of social consultations have been worked out. MEDIATOR: supporting the inhabitants in the process of change and relocation, focusing on problem solving. LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANISER who integrates, activates and works with the residents and institutions in the area to create an integrated neighbourhood. AREA MANAGER a representative of the residents and institutions from the territory under his care in the municipality, who monitors and actively participates in all meetings and activities affecting the people living and working in the area, as well as the organisations and enterprises operating there.

    What difference has it made?

    The historic housing estate built for factory workers in the 19th century had been neglected for decades. Now the buildings regain their residential function with 21st century standards, but they preserve their former functions as well and the public space layout designed 140 years ago is preserved, too. At the same time, dwellings in these buildings, most of which are city-owned and include communal flats, serve to meet one of the most basic social needs, which is to ensure shelter for people who cannot afford to rent an apartment on the open market. All activities are conducted in a way that makes it possible to preserve the original urban fabric of the site. The fact of great importance is that thanks to direct relations with people, help is given in the first place to those who need it most. This kind of approach helps to increase social trust in the authorities, in the city. The residents feel they really can influence the actions, and that the city strives to help them and understands their needs and problems. Also, activities aimed at including people in cultural life are conducted. Together, artists and the city organize events in which the residents participate. The project is a perfect example of how activities contributing to social inclusion should be performed. Some people have gotten jobs at companies renovating the area. Similar processes are under way in the ongoing city centre urban regeneration programme. At the end of the Urbact network, the city of Łódź will be able to present a comprehensive model of competence and activities of the Area Manager, i.e. a mediator working at an advanced stage of creating a social mix. The commissioning of the tenement houses after renovation in the city centre area started at the end of 2019, and time is needed to gain experiences to what extent it succeeded to create social mix in the renewed area. The development of the good practice and the improvement of the mediator's function will in the future influence the Housing Policy in Łódź also besides urban renewal, extending to the scope of spare flats, removals and contact with resident. Mediator is a unique function that is also part of the strategic project of Intelligent Social Policy - an integrated information system. Effective implementation of mediation may contribute to the introduction of strategic changes in the understanding of the contact between the Office and the resident.

    Transferring the practice

    After being awarded the URBACT Good Practice title, Lodz was able to create the Urban regeneration Mix Transfer Network to which six European cities (Baena, Birmingham, Bologna, Braga, Toulouse and Zagreb) were invited which were similarly facing the challenge of raising the level of participation in revitalised areas. Equipped by URBACT with a toolkit, the cities could learn from each other. The transfer process was not one-sided, during the transnational meetings the existing practices of some of the transfer cities inspired Lodz and contributed to the improvement of the Good Practice in the way described above. The area, which used to be considered not so safe and ill-famed, has become one of the most interesting spaces in the city for its atmosphere and unique historical characteristics.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9511