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  • Conoce las nuevas Action Planning Networks del programa URBACT IV

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    Tras el comité de seguimiento de URBACT IV del 31 de mayo, se aprobaron las nuevas redes APN.

    En las 30 redes seleccionadas, España cuenta con 27 beneficiarios , incluyendo 3 líderes de sus respectivas redes.

    From urbact

    Enhorabuena a las 27 ciudades españolas beneficiarias del programa: Vic, Mollet del Vallés, Avilés (cómo líderes de la red), Quart de Poblet, Bétera, Cieza, Jumilla, Granada, Vilanova i la Geltrù, Málaga, Coruña, Valencia, Villena, Orihuela, Alcoy, Cehegín, Onda, Sabadell, Granada, Viladecans, Cartagena, Benissa, Albacete, Murcia, Plasencia y Guía de Isora.

  • DIGI-INCLUSION Network 1st Transnational Meeting in Mollet del Vallès

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    The DIGI-INCLUSION Consortium in the First Transnational Meeting in Mollet del Vallès

    The 1st Transnational meeting of the DIGI-INCLUSION network was held in Mollet del Vallès on November 13th, 14th and 15th and was attended by delegations from all the network partners:

    - Mollet del Vallès (Lead Partner).

    - Jelgava Local Municipality (Latvia).

    - Alexandroupolis (Greece).

    - Municipality of Torres Vedras (Portugal).

    - Gdansk Entrepreneurship Foundation (Poland).

    - Iași (Romania).

    - Boulogne sur mer Développement Côte d'Opale (France).

    - Lepida ScpA (Italy).

    - Department for Development and International Projects of Zenica- Doboj Canton (DDIP ZDC) (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    As well as the participation of URBACT Secretariat Director, Teofil Gherca.

    A group of people standing on a podium.

    The DIGI-INCLUSION Consortium gathered in the 1st Transnational Meeting in Mollet del Vallès. 

    From urbact

    The mayor of Mollet del Vallès, Mireia Dionisio, officially received them in the plenary hall, where the event was attended by all members of the municipal government.

    The working sessions were led by the network's expert, Ian Graham, who helped all partners to carry out productive workshops that were well oriented towards identifying their challenges, how to overcome them and the ultimate goal of creating a more inclusive society in which citizens can equally benefit from the existing digital opportunities.

    Those attending the conference have worked intensively to understand the negative effects of digital exclusion, such as social isolation, loss of job opportunities and less democratic participation. The objective of the network is to ensure that all citizens can benefit from the opportunities offered by the digital world. In order to achieve this, the project partners have been working to identify all those factors that are key to bridge the digital divide, such as training, volunteering or the accompaniment and motivation of citizens to ensure that they can take advantage of the available digital opportunities.

    During these days, good practices in digitization were also shared. On the one hand, the Department of seniors of Mollet del Vallès shared the program of digital volunteers, where the volunteer in digitization, Antonio Miravalls, shared his very positive experience with this service.

    On the other hand, the partner from Lepida (Bologna) also shared a good practice of intergenerational digital volunteering.

    To conclude, the network members have also agreed on the roadmap that will guide the work of the network until the end of 2025. The next meeting of the DIGI-INCLUSION network will be held in April 2024 in the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras.

    Find out more about the project at


  • Falling in love with downtown: the URBACT Cities@Heart network is here!

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    As a part of the URBACT IV European Programme, ten European urban areas come together to form Cities@Heart, a network dedicated to sharing best practices and innovations for improving city centre management.
    City of Osijek


    From urbact
    Having a chat with your neighbourhood baker, running into an old friend, finding all you need in one place: these are just some of the reasons why we feel so attached to our city centres. However, today in the 21st century, city centres are facing more than just a little competition. From the rise of big-box stores and franchises to the omnipresence of online commerce, downtown areas have lost some of their edge. A result of urban sprawl and rising property values, the spatial fragmentation of our cities further strains the resilience of the high street. Amid all these challenges, city centres are well worth understanding, defending and improving. That’s where the URBACT Cities@Heart Action Planning network comes in.
    A market in Celje, Slovenia
    A programme supported by ERDF funds from the European Union, URBACT promotes sustainable urban development in Europe’s cities, both big and small. This year marks the beginning of URBACT IV, the fourth iteration of the programme with the launch of 30 Action Planning Networks throughout Europe and IPA countries. Harnessing an understanding of governance and recognizing the transverse coordination between the public, private and civic sectors as a driver for change, Cities@Heart partners will work together with a data-driven approach to plan, monitor and evaluate the implemented policies in the urban core. For the next 2.5 years, Cities@Heart will mobilise ten European urban areas. Network partners will work together to understand the way city centres function and create new monitoring tools to be used in city centre improvement initiatives.
    The Greater Paris Metropolis (Métropole du Grand Paris, France) coordinates the network in the role of Lead Partner. With a strong track record in downtown revitalisation policy, The Greater Paris Metropolis is a public entity representing 131 cities in the French capital region including the city of Paris. Endowed with extensive experience in local economy, architecture and urban planning, Barcelona-based Mar Santamaria Varas will assist the network as Lead Expert. The ten network partners include :
    Each partner in the network is facing their own challenges: loss of inhabitants to the peripheries or the metropolitan areas, underdeveloped local commerce networks, conflicts generated by the intensive use of public space, the transition to walkable and carless environments, gentrification and over-tourism, gender equality and inclusion... Yet, all partners can agree on one thing: city centres are unique places and not just because they hold a certain affective charm: they truly are the lifeforce of our urban societies. Keeping the heart of downtown healthy is key to ensuring the vibrancy of local economies and the well-being of inhabitants.
    A mural commissioned by the City of Fleurus, Belgium
    During the network’s lifespan, project partners will have the opportunity to travel throughout the European Union to see first-hand examples of city solutions driving change for better cities as they take part in transnational meetings hosted by the different project partners. To kick things off, the URBACT Secretariat hosted Summer University in Malmö, Sweden this past 28-30 August. Here, project partners met for the first time to discuss the framework of their networks, building capacity and learning more about the URBACT methodology for better cities.  
    A visit to the Krakow Metropolis
    Over the course of the autumn months, Lead Expert Mar Santamaria-Varas has travelled with the Greater Paris Metropolis to visit the ten project partners spread out across the European Union. From Poland to Greece, from Croatia to Portugal, the recent mobilities have provided a wealth of insight for this network of urban areas. The first transnational meeting of the network is planned for 6-7 December in Sligo, Ireland. After completing the Baseline Study Visit with Project Partners, the findings will allow the network to go from knowledge to action, laying out the roadmap for the next two years.
    Granada, Spain
    With activities well underway, Cities@Heart is off to an exciting start. Check in regularly with the LinkedIn Page and the URBACT network webpage to stay up to date on project mobilities and findings!
  • The EU City Labs: New tools for challenging times

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    Group of people on top of a mountain with a sunset in the background.

    As we gear up for the next EU City Lab, URBACT Expert Eddy Adams recaps the challenges and priorities for cities on the path to climate neutrality.

    Group of people on top of a mountain with a sunset in the background.
    From urbact

    The (bumpy) road to climate neutrality


    What do we know about Europe’s journey to climate neutrality? Well, most of us are aware of the headline commitment: through the European Green Deal, the EU is committed to becoming the world’s first climate-neutral bloc by 2050. Ahead of that, the Climate Mission’s 100 front-runners, the NetZeroCities, will hit this target by 2023.

    But we also know that this transition to climate neutrality won’t be smooth sailing. The scale of the challenge is as undeniable as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclusions about the planet’s current level of danger. Despite this, we can see that the mood may be shifting in the wrong direction. Pushback and resistance are rising, as climate change sceptics seek to hinder the transition to net zero. For example, misinformation about the 15-minute city model has been circulated to stoke citizens’ concerns about their civil liberties, capitalising on post-pandemic anxieties.

    We also know that the scale and complexity of the climate-neutral transition creates particular challenges for small and medium-sized cities. Earlier this year, URBACT investigated exactly what this means, through a research project involving 68 cities.


    Where are cities going to struggle?


    URBACT’s analysis of cities’ needs provides helpful insights into the specific areas where they might struggle. Respondents, most of whom were from small and medium-sized cities, identified the headline challenges as:

    1. urgency
    2. complexity
    3. low awareness levels
    4. finance
    5. mixed quality data
    6. behaviour

    For participating cities, energy transition emerged as the highest priority under the broad banner of ‘green transitions’, followed by housing, then education, the latter most likely linked to mindset shifts and reskilling. When it comes to the types of capacity-building needed, energy and energy policy were most frequently cited, specifically in relation to implementation.


    How can URBACT help?


    URBACT’s core focus is transnational city networks. The programme provides a framework for city authorities – and their thematic stakeholders – to collaborate on addressing their most pressing priorities. Not surprisingly, the most recently approved set of 30 Action Planning Networks (APNs) featured a high proportion of broadly ‘green’ themes. These include:

    1. Circular Economy
    2. Sustainable Land Use
    3. Climate Adaptation
    4. Energy Transition

    In this new programming period, URBACT also has three cross-cutting themes, which will run through all networks, regardless of their thematic focus. These are: Green Cities, Gender Equal Cities and Digital Cities. At the recent URBACT Summer University, an intensive capacity-building experience for new networks, these transversal themes were highly visible, and the programme plans to further support network activity under them in the months ahead.

    In light of the above, an important instrument will be the EU City Labs, the first of which will take place in Viladecans, Spain, on 23-24 November 2023.


    City Lab 2 Sustainable Urban Development


    Where do the EU City Labs come in?


    Starting this month, the EU City Labs will showcase leading-edge activities related to selected themes. These events are co-hosted by URBACT and the European Urban Initiative (EUI), who collaborate on supporting sustainable urban development across the EU. The City Labs will provide a trusted space to identify challenges, examine effective methodology and explore the potential for future city-to-city collaboration. Most importantly, they will demonstrate what works, giving participants first-hand experience of the most advanced urban practices in Europe.

    In this respect, Viladecans is the perfect host for the first EU City Lab. This Catalan municipality provides an inspiring example of how a smaller city, with big ambitions, can punch above its weight. Its innovative, inclusive approach to tackling energy transition has already been the subject of much attention and acknowledgment. Earlier this year, the city was given the EU Green Leaf award, together with the city of Treviso (IT), in recognition of its efforts towards climate neutrality. Viladecans was also a lead partner in the pilot URBACT Innovation Transfer Networks (ITNs), where it sought to transfer its Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) project on local energy communities to three other EU cities.

    Two of those cities, Trikala (EL) and Nagykanizsa (HU), will join the November City Lab to share their own stories of that replication journey. Other UIA cities, such as Getafe, will also share the stage, which is appropriate at an event jointly supported by URBACT and the EUI.


    EU City Lab Viladecans 23-24 November 2023


    Beyond Viladecans


    The City Labs are, in essence, experimental spaces. To reiterate, each EU City Lab will have a thematic focus. The first shines a light on the energy transition, with two related events taking place within a period of months. The second, launching in early 2024, will focus on food, a theme around which the programme has an established body of experience.

    Starting with Viladecans, the City Labs should provide an important platform for leading stakeholders, focused on the energy transition and other themes, to consider future collaborative options through URBACT and EUI channels.


    URBACT City Lab 3


    For example, the upcoming URBACT ITN call (January 2024) will fund completed UIA city projects to transfer their innovation experiences across Europe, as Viladecans did in the pilot. The programme will also deliver a series of capacity-building activities under each of its three cross-cutting themes.

    From the EUI side, it is worth mentioning other collaborative opportunities:

    1. Cities can participate in EUI capacity-building events such as the Green Transition capacity-building event that took place recently in Tourcoing.
    2. They can apply for EUI Innovative Actions call, the last one included the Greening Cities theme.
    3. The EUI City Exchange provides a way for cities to follow up bilaterally to deepen their knowledge of others’ experience first-hand.
    4. Through the Peer Review channel, cities can collaborate on improving their sustainable urban development strategies, which can of course include interventions linked to energy transition.


    As you’re reading this, you might be asking yourself if it’s too late to join us in Viladecans. You can check the event page. If you can’t make it this time, you can surely sign up for future City Labs, so stay tuned!


  • Crónica del encuentro URBACT España en el II Foro Urbano en Granada

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    El día 17 de octubre, un grupo de ciudades participantes en las APN del programa URBACT se dieron cita junto con el Punto Nacional para compartir sus experiencias en el II Foro Urbano de España celebrado en Granada. En este artículo se puede encontrar una crónica de dicho encuentro.


    Foto de familia del encuentro de las APN en el II Foro Urbano de Granada

    La primera sesión fue una reunión interna, entre las 9:30 y las 11:00 h, donde participamos los beneficiarios españoles y el equipo que formamos el Punto Nacional de URBACT en España, junto a representantes de la Dirección General de Fondos Europeos del Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública. En estae encuentro participaron 18 representantes de los 27 beneficiarios procedentes de 15 municipios: Albacete, Alcoi, Avilés, Benissa, Cehegín, Cieza, Granada, Jumilla, Málaga, Mollet del Vallés, Murcia, Onda, Plasencia, Quart de Poblet y Vilanova i la Geltrú.


    Iniciamos el encuentro con una breve presentación de l@s asistentes que, de forma sintética, nos hablaron de la red de la que forma parte el municipio, así como del proyecto que están desarrollando. A continuación, se dio paso a un taller donde el grupo se dividió en tres mesas en torno a tres temas propuestos para la discusión: las expectativas de los beneficiarios sobre el proyecto y la red, las dificultades para redactar el Plan de Acción y las expectativas sobre el Punto Nacional y el Secretariado URBACT. Cada grupo conversó en torno a 20 minutos sobre la cuestión planteada en la mesa mientras el equipo NUP se encargaba de las labores de relatoría e incorporaba los comentarios a un panel resumen. Pasados los 20’, el grupo se movía a otra de las mesas para repetir la dinámica hasta completar el paso por las tres mesas. Para concluir la sesión, se realizó una breve puesta en común de las principales ideas que habían aparecido en cada una de las mesas.

    Paneles resumen de cada una de las mesas

    A modo de breve resumen podemos indicar que, en relación a la primera mesa, los beneficiarios esperan encontrar en la red ayuda para implementar propuestas innovadoras, compartir aprendizaje, abrirse a nuevas ideas, pero desde planteamientos realistas, posibilistas y de utilidad e incluso encontrar formas de financiación para asegurar su continuidad en el tiempo.


    En relación a las dificultades para redactar el Plan de Acción, aspecto discutido en la segunda mesa, los asistentes encontraban una importante dificultad en el calendario, así como para establecer objetivos comunes entre los miembros de la red dadas las diferencias de los contextos administrativos en cada país. Entendían que la gestión del plan era complicada e incluso la consolidación y mantenimiento, durante todo el proceso, de los grupos focales, uno de los instrumentos claves del Plan de acción.


    Por último y en relación a la tercera mesa, sobre las expectativas de los beneficiarios respecto al Punto Nacional  de Urbact, destacaron dos aspectos fundamentales: por un lado, relacionado con la continuidad del proyecto, esperaban el apoyo del Secretariado y el NUP (Punto nacional URBACT) en el proceso de consolidación del plan y su evaluación así como ayuda en la búsqueda de posible financiación posterior (mapa de fuentes y/o convocatorias de financiación); y por otro lado, fomentar el papel del NUP como facilitador de intercambio de experiencias, metodologías y acciones entre los beneficiarios españoles a la vista de la utilidad que podía suponer encontrarse en el mismo contexto nacional y con las mismas dificultades de gestión administrativa. Señalaban el interés por la iniciativa de reunirles presencialmente puesto que, en anteriores programas de URBACT, el intercambio había sido muy rico entre los miembros de la red, pero se desconocían las propuestas nacionales ya que apenas se había trabajado en ello.


    Los resultados de las mesas servirán para elaborar un informe específico que haremos público en breve.


    En general, se puede concluir que la experiencia del encuentro pareció ser necesaria y positiva para tod@s, tomaremos nota en lo que nos compete y lo transmitiremos al Secretariado.

    Una representante municipal presenta su proyecto al resto de asistentes durante el taller

    Posteriormente, en un acto abierto a todo el público del Foro Urbano, se desarrolló una segunda sesión, entre las 12:30 y las 14:00 h., a modo de Mesa Redonda bajo el título:  Las nuevas redes del programa URBACT IV: Un éxito de los municipios españoles.


    En esa mesa contamos con la participación de Luis Pedro Arechederra Calderón de la Subdirección de Desarrollo Urbano de la Dirección General de Fondos Europeos, Ministerio de Hacienda; y con los representantes de cinco de los municipios beneficiarios:


    • Víctor Fernández, técnico de la Sección de Promoción Empresarial del Ayuntamiento de Avilés. Responsable del proyecto que lidera la Red In4Green
    • Marina Serrano, técnica del Ayuntamiento de Mollet del Vallés, municipio líder de la Red Digital Inclusion,
    • Ángel Pérez Sánchez, jefe del Servicio de Economía y Empleo del Ayuntamiento de Jumilla, municipio socio de la Red Breaking Isolation
    • Luis Manuel Rodríguez Romero, coordinador de juventud del Ayuntamiento de Plasencia, municipio socio de la Red Residents of future
    • Ángel Luis Benito Pérez, director técnico de Sostenibilidad, Agenda Urbana y Proyectos Estratégicos. Ayuntamiento de Granada, municipio socio de las Redes Let’s go circular y C@h


    El objetivo de esta sesión era informar y difundir los objetivos del programa y las próximas convocatorias, así como impulsar la participación de municipios y entidades con nuevas propuestas para las próximas convocatorias, a partir de la experiencia de los propios municipios beneficiaros. Algunos, con amplia experiencia en el Programa URBACT, por haber sido beneficiarios en convocatorias anteriores como Avilés, Mollet del Vallés, Granada y Plasencia y otros, como Jumilla, nuevos en esta convocatoria.


    Así, ante una sala llena de participantes, Avilés y Mollet del Vallés destacaron sus positivas experiencias previas que les habían impulsado a liderar una red, acompañados de municipios europeos con los que habían trabajado en las convocatorias anteriores. Tanto Plasencia como Granada resumieron, además, con muchísima solvencia y conocimiento, su trayectoria y confianza en el programa, del que ya son veteranos beneficiarios. El municipio de Jumilla señaló las interesantes sinergias que habían logrado encontrar entre URBACT y otra de sus más importantes iniciativas municipales: la Agenda Urbana. Todo@s l@s intervinientes destacaron la oportunidad que suponía URBACT para generar nuevas formas de trabajo más colaborativas desde una aproximación trasversal y coordinada entre los diferentes departamentos de la administración local y a la vez más horizontal, al incorporar la participación como herramienta clave de la transformación, a través de los grupos focales y las herramientas URBACT.


    Agradecemos a tod@s l@s intervinientes su participación activa y entusiasta que permitió generar una conversación sosegada, compartiendo experiencia y conocimiento entre ciudades.

    Parte de la mesa redonda charlando durante la sesión

    Por último, se invitó a los asistentes a seguirnos en redes y subscribirse a nuestro boletín. También aprovechamos para anunciar nuestra designación como Punto de Contacto Nacional de la European Urban Initiative (UCP_EUI), integrándose así los dos puntos nacionales en un único equipo con el objetivo de conseguir mayor operatividad y eficiencia. Un reto que asumimos con entusiasmo y responsabilidad.


    Para concluir esta crónica, queremos volver a agradecer a todos los municipios asistentes el esfuerzo realizado y su activa participación durante toda la jornada. Además, reiterar el agradecimiento a la Subdirección General de General de Políticas Urbanas del Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agencia Urbana (MITMA) y en especial a la actual Subdirectora, Sonia Hernández Partal y todo su equipo, por invitarnos al II Foro Urbano de España y reservarnos tan generosamente un espacio tanto para la reunión interna como para la mesa redonda. Y por supuesto, agradecer el continuo apoyo y la asistencia al evento de Beatriz Postigo Hidalgo, Luis Pedro Achederra (con una estupenda intervención en la mesa redonda, enmarcando el Programa URBACT entre las iniciativas europeas que se gestionan y financian a través de su departamento) y a Andrea Bautista Segovia de la Dirección General de Fondos Europeos de Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública.


    Seguimos trabajando para el cambio en las ciudades desde #URBACT_España.

    From urbact

    El pasado 17 de octubre celebramos un doble encuentro de los beneficiarios españoles de la última convocatoria de Action Planning Networks en el marco del II Foro Urbano de Granada.


    A continuación, se incluye un vídeo resumen de la jornada:


    Available for Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:


    1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities


    2. Thematic expertise:
    > Culture
    > Energy transition
    > Food


    3. Methods and tools for integrated and participatory approaches:
    > Integrated and participatory design of strategies
    > Sustaining stakeholder engagement and translating strategies into actions


  • Laboratorul urban al UE privind Tranziția Energetică

    Descoperiți practicile comunităților locale de învățare, provocările de înființare a comunităților de energie și modul în care o abordare de guvernare pe mai multe niveluri poate contribui la modelarea unor orașe mai bune.


    Acest Laborator urban este co-organizat de URBACT și Inițiativa Urbană Europeană. Evenimentul se va desfășura începând cu dimineața zilei de 23 noiembrie și se va încheia în după-amiaza zilei următoare. Găzduit în Viladecans, un oraș spaniol situat la 20 de minute distanță de centrul orașului Barcelona prin transportul public, evenimentul este deschis participanților din întreaga Europă și va oferi traducere în timp real din limba spaniolă în limba engleză.

    În cadrul proiectului Acțiunilor Inițiativei Urbane VILAWATT, orașul Viladecans a avut o ocazie unică de a elabora o strategie energetică la nivelul întregului oraș, precum și de a explora soluții alternative pentru implicarea cetățenilor și modernizarea clădirilor. Prin intermediul Mecanismului de Transfer pilot URBACT, orașul ar putea să îmbunătățească și să perfecționeze acțiunile în continuare, în procesul de învățare și schimbul de experiență cu cei trei parteneri de proiect. De asemenea, activitatea întreprinsă în cadrul acestei rețele s-a concentrat asupra modalităților posibile de implementare a Pachetului "Energie Curată pentru Toți Europenii" al Comisiei Europene din 2020, care recunoaște drepturile cetățenilor și comunităților de a se implica direct în sectorul energetic.


    Alăturați-vă pentru a asculta perspectivele orașului Viladecans și ale multor alte orașe despre cum să facem saltul către tranziția energetică!


    Agenda pentru Laboratorul urban al UE va fi disponibilă în următoarele zile. Există un număr limitat de locuri disponibile, iar înregistrările vor fi aprobate în ordinea înregistrării.


    Alăturați-vă URBACT și IUE pentru primul lor laborator comun!

    URBACT Programme
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    Open to a wider public
  • Jon Aguirre-Such

    Spanish National URBACT Point coordinator  during 6 years (2017-23)

    Founding partner of the office of urban innovation Paisaje Transversal, a company created in 2011, specialized in sustainable urban development, urban and territorial planning processes from an ecological, innovative integrated and participatory perspective. Over 10 years of professional experience o sustainable Urban Development. Participation in over 50 projects: Practical experience on project design, management & implementation, linked to sustainable urban development such as: integrated urban planning, neighbourhood regeneration projects, city centre revitalization, community planning and participatory processes, collaborative design of public space, territorial planning, rural development, urban & retail revitalization, cultural activation, heritage, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban mobility, strategic urban planning, retail and local economy dynamization, etc.

    Associate Professor at the Urban Planning Department of the School of Architecture of the Basque Country University (UPV/EHU) in San Sebastian

    Available for Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:


    1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities


    2. Thematic expertise:
    > Strategic Urban Planning
    > Urban Design


    3. Methods and tools for integrated and participatory approaches:
    > Integrated and participatory design of strategies
    > Sustaining stakeholder engagement and translating strategies into actions


  • Alvaro Cerezo Ibarrondo

    I am a Ph.D. architect and urban planner, with over 25 years of experience in various topics related to Urban Planning and Integrated Sustainable Urban Development. These topics include public housing, residential and industrial regeneration interventions, urban renewal, waste management, energy efficiency, transition and renewable energies, the circular economy, economic viability and sustainability, urban legal frameworks, participation processes and Public-Private Partnerships.

    In the last 10 years, I have actively participated in collaborative projects within EU programs such as URBACT II and III, Interreg, Lifelong Learning and FP7 and have also been involved in urban knowledge transfer programs for the World Bank in LATAM. I have coordinated working groups and conducted academic research to contribute to the advancement of urban sustainability and public housing developments.

    As a professional and public officer, I have been involved in various urban processes that have resulted in inner-city urban developments including public affordable housing, urban regeneration and planning, building energy retrofitting, nature-based solutions and social inclusion. I have also taken part in the implementation of different urban policies, particularly on public regulations and procurements. I can adapt my experiences and knowledge to any European city framework to address the challenges of urban integrated regeneration.

    As a professor and EU project expert, I have the ability to effectively communicate complex ideas to audiences with different levels of knowledge and understanding. I have delivered lectures at universities, professional board courses, undergraduate formation and advisory meetings. I have also participated in conferences with administration officers, neighbour associations, citizens´ juries and urban participatory processes. Additionally, I have taught summer and extension courses and participated in international meetings, such as URBACT III Implementation Networks, Focus groups and international workshops.

    Alvaro Cerezo
    Available for Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:

    1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities
    2. Thematic expertise:
      > Strategic Urban Planning
  • EU City Lab on Energy Transition

    EU City Lab on Energy Transition - Viladecans

    Discover local learning communities’ practices, the challenges to set up energy communities and how a multi-level governance approach can help to shape better cities.


    This City Lab is co-organised by URBACT and the European Urban Initiative. This event will take place from the morning of 23 November, until the afternoon of the following day. Hosted in Viladecans, a Spanish city that is 20 minutes away from the centre of Barcelona by public transportation, participants will be welcome from all over Europe and live translation Spanish-English will be provided. 


    Under the VILAWATT Urban Initiative Actions’ project, the municipality of Viladecans had the exquisite opportunity to develop an energy citywide strategy, as well as to explore alternatives for citizen engagement and retrofitting buildings. With the URBACT Transfer Mechanism pilot, the city could further refine actions, while learning and exchanging with three project partners. The work of this network also reflected on the possible ways to implement the European Commission's Clean Energy for All Europeans Package (2020), which recognises the rights of citizens and communities to engage directly in the energy sector.


    Come hear from the Viladecans' voices and many other cities on how to take the leap towards the energy transition! 



    23 November - DAY 1
    Timing (CEST) Session and activities
    9.00 Welcome breakfast

    Plugging in: introduction by the municipality of Viladecans, URBACT and EUI

    _Jordi Mazon, Viladecans' Deputy Mayor
    enny Koutsomarkou, URBACT


    Switching on the EU light: keynote speech about the context at EU level

    _Ganna Gladkykh, European Energy Research Alliance

    10.20 Demistifying the energy transition: key concepts, definitions and terminologies
    10.40 Coffee break
    11.00 Viladecans powerful story: an in-depth look at the citywide energy strategy and citizen engagement


    Good Practices across Europe: understanding how different levels have different roles to play

    _Nuri Palmada, Som Energia and REScoop.EU Board Member
    _Miklós Bárczi, Express Innovation Agency (HU)
    _Harry Kalliaras, Advisor to the Mayor of Trikala (EL)
    _Joaquín Villar, Junta de Andalucia (ES)
    _Fernando Gonzalez, Getafe Ayuntamiento (ES)

    13.00 Lunch break
    14.30 City study visits to:

    _Vilawatt office and district
    _Placa Europa municipal market
    Enxaneta School
    Municipal library

    18.00 Networking cocktail
    24 November - DAY 2
    Timing (CEST) Session and activities
    9.30 Re-plugging in: city study visits' debrief
    9.45 Sharing and learning communities: untapping the potential of citizen engagement

    Break out groups on how to face challenges

    _Getting people on board: how to motivate sceptical citizens and politicians

    _Setting up energy communities: how to create successful communities

    _Ensuring a just transition: how to tackle energy poverty

    _Finding green funds: how to finance renewable energy projects

    11.10 Coffee break
    11.30 Setting the path ahead: plenary session for future priority identification
    12.30 Wrap up and upcoming opportunities

    _Amélie Cousin, European Urban Initiative
    12.45 Farewell lunch






    The sessions for the EU City Lab are subject of change and speakers will be confirmed on the upcoming days. Seats are limited and registrations will be approved on a first come first served basis.


    Join URBACT and EUI for its first joint lab!

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    • Climate action
    • Participative governance
    Open to a wider public