• Mobility

    The Walk'n'Roll lessons were drawn from the following Action Planning Networks (2019 - 2022):


    URBACT RiConnect logoURBACT Space4People logoURBACT Thriving Streets logo





    The URBACT Knowledge Hub brings together good practices from across the EU, with the latest urban trends, to fill the gaps and make sure that the learning is within everyone's reach. Despite of their size and number of inhabitants, cities have often been designed to make room for cars. Three URBACT Networks have reflected on how we can shift the mobility paradigm in Europe to create more inclusive spaces. Together under the Walk'n'Roll initiative, 28 cities -- from towns to metropolises -- have explored common visions and practical interventions through different workshops, events and a series of guidance. Take a ride with us and discover why streets belong to people!

    • Climate action
    • Urban planning
    • Social cohesion
    • Public space
    Taking the necessary steps towards Walk'n'Roll

    Latest stories

    Is the compact city model endangered?

    The recent pandemic was an important episode in the history of urban development. Much can be learnt from the immediate reactions to the health crisis, especially in dense cities. There were many brilliant examples about innovative tactical interventions in public space, inclusive housing policies, new types of economic support and social protection mechanisms, from which we can take stock.

    Is the compact city model endangered? Article COVER

    URBACT Walk'n'Roll Guidebook

    Guidance for cities of all sizes


    URBACT Walk'n'Roll who is it for?

    Check out all booklets


    Intro and challenges
    Visions and interventions
    Implementation issues
    This booklet delves into the mobility challenges and the roots of the problems. To face adversities, readers are invited to consider new ways of thinking urban planning. The second booklet showcases principles and visions that can lead the way forward. Specific interventions are also described,so cities can adapt them to their needs. The final booklet looks at how cities can make change happen in the long run. It introduces methodological and policy recommendations, alongside interviews from the Action Planning Networks' cities.
    Booklet 1 CTA Booklet 2 CTA


    Booklet 3 CTA


  • UrbSecurity


    LEAD PARTNER : Leiria - Portugal
    • Mechelen - Belgium
    • Pella - Greece
    • Madrid - Spain
    • Szabolcs - Hungary
    • Longford - Ireland
    • Parma - Italy
    • Union of Bassa Romagna Municipalities - Italy
    • Michalovce - Slovakia

    Leiria City Council CONTACT US


    • September 10-11 : Phase 1 Kick-off Meeting in Paris (FR)
    • October 16-17 : Phase 1 Kick-off Meeting in Leiria (PT)
    • November 05 : Phase 2 Approval





    • February 04-05 : Phase 1 Transnational Meeting in Faenza, Unione della Romagna Faentina (IT), Italy
    • June 30 : Phase 2 Activation Meeting
    • September 18 : Phase 2 Symbolic Launch of Phase 2
    • November 19-20 : Transnational Meeting nº1 (online), Leiria (PT), Portugal




    • February : Partnership Meeting with Urban Agenda for UE "Security in Public Spaces" and Transnational Meeting nº2 (online), Mechelen (BE)
    • April 21-22 : Transnational Meeting nº3 (online), Madrid (ES)
    • May : Partnership Meeting with Urban Agenda for the UE (online) and Transnational Meeting nº4 (online), Longford (IE)
    • July 07-08 : Transnational Meeting nº5 (online), Szabolcs 05 Regional Development Association of Municipalities (SZRDA) - Mátészalka (HU)
    • October : Webinar - Urban Agenda for the EU "Just City Dimension" (online), Partnership Meeting with IMPETUS project, Intelligent Management of Processes, Ethics and Technology for Urban Safety (Horizon 2020) and Transnational Meeting nº6 + Mid-Term Review (online), Michalovce (SK)
    • January 20-21 : Transnational Meeeting nº7 (online), Pella (EL)
    • February 1-3 : URBACT e-University 2022 (online)
    • March 21 : Partnership Meeting with TONITE project - Urban Inovation Action (online)
    • April 20 : URBACT III National Meeting in Coimbra (PT)
    • May : Masterclass in CPTED - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Leiria (PT) and Transnational Meeting nº8 in Parma (IT)
    • June : UrbSecurity Final Conference in Parma (IT) and Showcase the results of IAP and closing event in Leiria (PT)
    • August 18 : Partnership Meeting with IMPETUS project & Community of Safe and Secure Cities(COSSEC) in Oslo, Normay


    Integrated Action Plans

    Leiria Integrated Action Plan

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    Leiria - Portugal
    Romagna Faentina Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Romagna Faentina - Italy
    Longford Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Longford - Ireland
    Parma Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Szabolcs Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Szabolcs - Hungary
    Design for security: Creating safer cities

    Read more here!

    Madrid - Spain
    Mechelen Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Mechelen - Belgium
    Michalovce Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Michalovce - Slovakia
    Municipality of Pella Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Pella - Greece

    This Action Planning Network analyses strategies and projective concepts of cities’ design that could contribute to prevent segregation and anti-social behavior, and consecutively to improve citizen’s quality of life and their perception of urban security and safety. The main objective is to implement an integrated and participatory approach to urban security by involving all relevant stakeholders in the process.

    Planning safer cities
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    LEAD PARTNER : Mula - Spain
    • Belene - Bulgaria
    • Heraklion - Greece
    • Sibenik - Croatia
    • Cesena - Italy
    • Ukmergė - Lithuania
    • Malbork - Poland

    Ayuntamiento de Mula - Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 8 - 30170 Mula Tel.: 968 637 510


    • KAIRÓS Baseline Study
    • Thematic Warm-ups
    • Integrated Action Plan Roadmaps



    • Thematic workshop on Economy: Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation
    • Thematic Workshop on Space: Valorisation and Adaptive Reuse in the Heritage City
    • Thematic Workshop on Attractiveness: Re-imagining the heritage city: from local identity to destination marketing
    • Thematic Workshop on Social Cohesion: Accessibility and inclusiveness in historic quarters
    • Peer-Review and study visit to Bologna
    • Re-thinking Malbork as a heritage city. On-site peer review. Malbork [PL] May 25-26 2022
    • The KAIRÓS journey on heritage-driven urban regeneration. KAIRÓS final conference. Mula [ES], 27-28 April 2022




    Integrated Action Plans

    Heraklion IAP From research ... TO ACTION

    Read more here

    Heraklion - Greece
    Taking Mula to new heights

    Read more here !

    Mula - Spain
    Revitalizing Ukmergė old town by giving voice to the local community

    Read more here !

    Ukmergė - Lithuania
    Converting Belene into a desirable place to live

    Read more here !

    Belene - Bulgaria
    Reinforcing a city perspective to heritage

    Read more here !

    Malbork - Poland
    IAP Šibenik Green, smart and inclusive Old Town

    Read more here !

    Šibenik - Croatia
    The City Gate

    Read more here !

    Cesena - Italy

    KAIRÓS is an URBACT Action Planning Network focused on cultural heritage as a driver for sustainable urban development and regeneration. In ancient Greek KAIRÓS means the propitious moment, and this is the moment to test an innovative policy framework, combining a sound integrated approach with a real transformation purpose. To meet this challenge, the KAIRÓS model pursues the proper assemblage of five key dimensions, namely: space, economy, social accessibility, attractiveness and governance.

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  • Space4People

    Lead Partner : Bielefeld - Germany
    • Arad - Romania
    • Badalona - Spain
    • Guía de Isora - Spain
    • Nazaré - Portugal
    • Panevėžys - Lithuania
    • Saint-Germain-en-Laye - France
    • Serres - Greece
    • Turku - Finland
    • Valga - Estonia

    City of Bielefeld - Head of Transport Department



    • Kick-Off Meeting Phase 1
    • Final Meeting Phase 1
    • Web-Kick-Off Phase 2
    • Web Meeting June 2020
    • Transnational Meeting October 2020
    • Webinar Dealing with sceptical business communities September 2021
    • Webinar Vision and measure selection September 2021
    • Webinar Dealing with a lack of support from decision makers September 2021
    • Webinar on Car-free livability programme Oslo and Spaces for People Scotland October 2021
    • Webinar Parking Management December 2021
    • Webinar Tactical Urbanism December 2021
    • Webinar Alternative Road Use January 2022
    • IAP Peer Review Session March 2022
    • Webinar Use of indicators and objectives in IAP March 2022
    • Webinar Tools and Methods to measure public space use April 2022
    • Site Visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye June 2022
    • Final Event Barcelona with RiConnect and Thriving Streets July 2022

    Integrated Action Plan

    Bielefeld Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Bielefeld - Germany
    Serres: walkable, sustainable, inclusive and accessible city for all

    Read more here !

    Sérres - Greece

    Read more here !

    Nazaré - Portugal
    City of Turku's developement programme for pedestrian and leisure areas 2029

    Read more here !

    Turku - Finland
    Valga Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Valga - Estonia
    Saint-Germain-en-Laye Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
    Panevėžys City Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Panevėžys - Lithuania
    Integrated Action Plan for the enhancement of public space

    Read more here !

    Guía de Isora - Spain
    Municipality of Arad Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Arad - Romania

    Space4People dealt with public space use in its cities and worked with its main use function: transport. Our focus was on walkability, quality of stay, mix of functions to achieve attractive public space for diverse user groups and a sustainable urban mobility scheme supporting such public spaces. Space4People has placed a user-centric approach at the core of its work that to assessed qualities and deficiencies, developed future visions and tested possible solutions to public space in our cities.

    Space4People - mobility solutions for attractive public space
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  • The lost art of play: a healthy solution for small cities in crisis?

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    URBACT cities are promoting health, wellbeing and community connections as coronavirus spikes again.

    Public space

    As Europe faces a second wave of Covid-19, towns and cities are looking for ways to encourage people of all ages to stay healthy, happy and connected – an increasingly tough challenge with winter approaching, budgets dwindling and ‘coronavirus fatigue’ creeping in.  

    Thanks to URBACT networking, the value of outdoor and cultural activities, and simply ‘play’ as a tool within communities under varying degrees of lockdown, has received some timely attention in several of Europe’s smaller cities. In this article, we explore what inspiration we can take from ideas that have been tried so far in some small-but-resourceful URBACT towns and cities.

    But first… why talk about play during a crisis?

    For Ileana Toscano, Lead Expert of the URBACT Playful Paradigm network, play is a fundamental part of a healthy life, all the more important during the coronavirus pandemic: “For individuals, families, the elderly, working people, we all get so stressed and anxious, but it’s important to have a break, spend quality moments together!”

    “I think that the philosophy to promote play is to promote better relationships between people,” says Toscano. “Playing can foster much better participation in civic life, but above all it helps us forget our problems for a moment.”

    We all know that measures are needed to address people’s physical needs during the pandemic, particularly to protect their health and incomes. But cities also have other ‘softer’ tools at their disposal to support their communities in other ways. So, when Europe’s first Covid-19 lockdowns started, Playful Paradigm’s international network of cities reacted immediately, sharing practical advice for supporting mental wellbeing in their communities and developing together an online collection of practical play tools for local residents in their own languages.

    The Playful Paradigm network put together an online collection of practical play tools for local residents in the languages of the network’s cities.

    “We’re grateful to Playful Paradigm for inspiring us to think about the community and how to try to make them relax in a totally new and scary situation,” said Corinne Pozzecco, City Project officer for Novigrad-Cittanova. “We learned that play is a useful tool and can be used not only in the classical way to entertain children but even for adults to learn, relax and connect.”

    In a context where many are warning of the mental health risks associated with Covid-19, one of the many roles that cities can play is in supporting their communities to find safe and healthy ways to enjoy time together.

    Broadening our sense of play

    Related topics have also arisen in URBACT networks beyond Playful Paradigm. For example, in the C-Change network, towns and cities have been exploring the arts and culture as community tools, which also proved relevant as part of discussions on local Covid responses involving community activities and play. (See example from Mantua (IT) below.)

    The URBACT Health&Greenspace network is exploring how to improve urban greenspaces to promote mental and physical health for local communities. It recently highlighted that under Covid impacts and stay-at-home measures “citizens became more aware than ever about the need for equal access to greenspaces and their enormous value regarding physical and mental health. It is not a coincidence that one of our partner cities, Breda registered more than 100 interested participants to its July 1st ULG meeting.”

    The Health&Greenspace network works to improve urban greenspaces, a great asset to local communities’ mental and physical health, especially during Covid-19 lockdowns.

    Meanwhile, the URBACT Healthy Cities network is similarly continuing to promote the value of outdoor activities and accessible green spaces. In a recent article, it highlighted how the pandemic had reinforced the urgency of these issues for their communities and how ongoing exchanges between partner cities had focused on measures “to help people stay fit and active while following social distancing regulations”.

    What specific ideas can we take from URBACT towns and cities?

    Fom Cork (IE) where a cross-sectoral ‘Let’s Play Cork’ initiative enticed families out to play, to Viana do Castelo (PT) whose Teatro do Noroeste - Centro Dramático de Viana was the first national company to broadcast live theatre to 100 000 online spectators, URBACT cities across the EU have found practical solutions for promoting social inclusion and wellbeing through play and the arts as part of their broad Covid-19 response so far. Here, for inspiration, are three examples.

    1. Novigrad-Cittanova, Croatia (population 4 345)

    Novigrad is a tourist and fishing town on the Adriatic coast and a partner city of Playful Paradigm. During their March and April 2020 lockdown, while banners around the town promoted the slogan “I'mstayinghome” in Croatian and Italian (#ostajemdoma and #iorestoacasa), the City and local library websites shared tips for playing at home – with board games and activities using everyday objects.

    In the summer, a socially-distanced cultural programme kept tourists and locals entertained while keeping crowds dispersed. ‘Music on every corner’, featured local bands in twice-weekly concerts around parks, squares and streets from June till September 2020. Another event was already Covid-adapted. Stretching from the main square to the port, the annual ‘Street Wizards Evening’ for all ages combined music, dancing, juggling, acrobatics and other circus skills. “Every corner came alive!” says City Project officer Corinne Pozzecco. 

    Every corner in Novigrad-Cittanova, Croatia, came alive with music and Covid-adapted events between July and September 2020.

    Meanwhile, certain educational activities were moved outside. One that the City of Novigrad had originally planned indoors with the nearby Buie Center for inclusion, in collaboration with environment experts, became a workshop collecting plastic from the beach and turning it into art.

    Corinne Pozzecco had been very worried. She was conscious that “being a small city, one bad decision could jeopardise all the community.” But there were also reasons to be thankful. “As a small community we’re very harmonious and connected, so the level of discipline during the lockdown was extremely high.” In the end, though the sector did suffer, tourism was higher than expected in July and August, reaching 50% of 2019 figures.

    2. Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain (population 46 000)

    This city lies within the Barcelona Metropolitan area and is another partner city of Playful Paradigm. “During the Covid restrictions, we wanted to keep people motivated and also show that culture, activities with games, art, music… are very good to help people be OK,” says the URBACT Local Group (ULG) coordinator Guadalupe Penas.

    Esplugues knew that it had to address the urgent physical needs of its citizens. It launched a Covid-19 reconstruction plan with 1 million euros for families and businesses and provided extra help for schools and vulnerable people, including food delivery and help with online access, mobilising 300 volunteers.

    But, as Guadalupe Penas points out: “The city technicians also worried a lot about psychological health… There was a big worry about isolation for elderly people, troubles for parents balancing work with children indoors…” This required a range of responses.

    As well as targeted psychological support to vulnerable people, the city organised diverse social activities, including a ‘play at home’ campaign with online activities for families, children, young adults and the elderly. Each week there were new virtual games, board games, game creation tips – such as a personalised ‘Guess Who?’ with family members – and more.

    Thanks to the URBACT Local Group (ULG), the city worked closely with the local hospital and 15 associations including afterschool clubs, a Spanish and Catalan language centre and an organisation for people with disabilities. Their actions included a week of activities online and out in the parks, to coincide with the ‘International day of play’, with live cooking, yoga lessons for children, and movement games for elderly people. And when Covid restrictions were lifted on the last day, the local Red Cross proposed a photo-rally around interesting points in the city.

    Cultural events brought the area’s “everything will be OK” slogan alive. While local museums shared content and activities, Esplugues joined neighbouring towns in producing an online cultural festival in May 2020 with local musicians, poets and other artists.

    3. Mantua, Italy (population 50 000)

    Mantua (Mantova in Italian) is a small city in Lombardy, northern Italy and partner in the URBACT C-Change network. It has found creative, healthy ways to boost cultural tourism, promote social inclusion, and keep children playing.

    With the whole town centre classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the cultural tourism that keeps the local economy afloat has been “very, very badly affected by the Covid emergency”, says Mantua’s Deputy Mayor Adriana Nepote. The Covid response plan included actions to help save businesses and jobs, such as cutting taxes for the use of public space.

    But the response also emphasised social and cultural support, taking into account the reality set out by Adriana Nepote: “Small cities not having much money, we have really needed to think and find innovative solutions that are not that expensive…” Here are two examples of such solutions… Volunteers were connected with older residents. Unemployed people were recruited to disinfect outdoor play areas so they could be kept open for children.

    A cultural programme of twice-weekly open-air concerts, shows and films, dubbed ‘Bike-In’ was also organised in a lake-side setting only accessible by bicycle – attracting an estimated 5 000 people over the course of the summer. And, thanks to connections in the URBACT local group, associations provided new outdoor activities for children, such as investigating how to repair a bicycle, or exploring the city.

    Twice-weekly open-air concerts, shows and films, dubbed ‘Bike-In’, attracted around 5 000 people over the summer in Mantua, Italy.

    Nepote concludes, “I think this terrible period gave a very good sense of community and people tried to help. In Mantova the people were feeling: we’ll all work together to get through this!”

    Further information

    Interested in more ideas for cultural and play-based activities, both outdoors and indoors? Check out some of the following resources:

    Know of any more? Share them with us on Twitter @URBACT or by writing to e.thorpe@urbact.eu.

    The eight partner cities of the Playful Paradigm network are already investigating new approaches to encourage community activity and play for the next wave of Covid-related restrictions. So, keep checking their network page for updates, as well as those of C-Change, HealthyCities, Health&Greenspace and more…

    From urbact
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  • A new era


    Managing a city's sustainable development focusing on economic, environmental, social and cultural revival

    Corallia Zachariou Massoura
    Senior Engineer Limassol Municipality
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    101 000


    Limassol (CY) has had new life breathed into it as a result of several major urban regeneration projects to improve the city's historic centre, seafront, and other areas. Over 15 years, the environment and quality of life have been improved and the city's marketability and competitiveness boosted. As a result, new businesses have opened and new jobs created. The regeneration projects have improved the attractiveness and air quality of commercial and residential areas. The local economy has been boosted as the city's new look attracts more visitors. Residents of the city - and the wider metropolitan area - have also benefited. As the city became more attractive, its public places increasingly became meeting places for social activities. The projects have helped preserve the cultural identity of Limassol's historic centre by highlighting its traditional architecture: old buildings have been restored and are now used for cultural, educational and residential purposes.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Τoday’s European approach towards cities’ design supports the principle of utilising the existing building and environmental inventory and returning to the centres to deal with the crisis and urban development problems. Initiatives and actions are not confined to the narrow context of physical development and the urban environment but extend to economic and social issues. A sustainable city is characterised by a robust environment, economy and social welfare system. Based on the above, the Area Plan for Limassol City Centre determined the functional structures, permitted land use and pedestrian modules and creation of open spaces, all within an existing and structurally defined area, and all were converted to opportunities for successful sustainable urban development. Among the objectives leading to the exploitation of opportunities were the following: • The completion and modernisation of the basic infrastructure to respond to the enhanced requirements for the safety, health and comfort of citizens; • The creation of areas of special interest characterizing the city; • The implementation of traffic management measures with an emphasis on pedestrian, bicycle and bus transport and the simultaneous discouraging of vehicular traffic; • Exploitation of the urban free spaces/squares and their contribution to the city’s social life by using them as gathering places for events, activities and rest and relaxation; • The identification and promotion of monuments; • A combination of old and new.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Limassol’s practice contributes to the sustainable and integrated approach as it applies horizontal integration for interventions that combine physical, economic, social and environmental dimensions and vertical integration in terms of cooperation among all levels of government and local and EU actors. An initial stage of the preparation and adoption of the Strategic Plan for an Integrated Sustainable Urban Development to solve problems like abandoned spaces, city planning, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, urban mobility, culture and heritage, strategic planning and urban renewal was crucial, because it led to a strategic and also to a cooperative and participatory approach. Based on the above, the practice implemented in Limassol changed the city into a more sustainable urban living space as the development was accompanied by measures designed to reduce poverty, social exclusion and environmental problems. This integrated approach brought together social and economic actors to implement physical, economic, social and environmental actions, and the integrated development thus promoted a genuine solution to complex urban problems. The overall city planning strategy was followed and the objectives of the Plan were achieved: the redevelopment, upgrading and sustainable evolution of the centre of Limassol by maintaining its own symbolism and character. The implementation of the Plan contributed to the urban make-up and revival of the city centre.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The Local Authority was financially unable to undertake this huge restructuring intervention consisting of large infrastructure projects, due to its limited budget. State involvement, semi-government organisations and private sector initiatives were essential. Methods such as ΒΟΤ, ΡΡΡ and others proved to be particularly efficient. Additionally, co-financing from the European Union was also crucial, wherever feasible. Specifically, in the projects development and implementation, there was a significant and undisputed participation on the part of: • The Town Planning and Housing Department, for the preparation of the Area Plan for Limassol Centre; • Limassol Municipality, which undertook the responsibility of building the main infrastructure projects in the city centre and on the seafront; • The private sector, which promoted Limassol Marina; • The Cyprus Ports Authority, which was responsible for the regeneration of the old port; • The state, which contributed to the financing of some of the projects; • Building owners, for the restoration of their buildings; • The Archaeological Department, which contributed to the restoration of archaeological buildings and sites; • The Cyprus University of Technology, which undertook the restoration of buildings to accommodate the university faculties; • The bus company, which renewed its fleet; • The Chamber of Commerce and the public, who expressed their opinions on the plans and designs during public presentations.

    What difference has it made?

    A New Era: Limassol flourishes again as a coastal city. The positive results have already materialised as, despite the economic crisis plaguing the country, the centre of the city is one of the very few areas in Cyprus exhibiting growth and development. The reason is that, in addition to the areas of recreation and entertainment that were created for a young population, a large number of residential units have also been developed, attracting many residents to the centre of Limassol – a trend that would have seemed far removed 10 years ago. The active city planning aim of qualitative social improvement and round-the-clock activity in the centre of the city – in essence revitalising it both socially and economically – has been achieved. A number of quality comforts, facilities and installations for public recreation and relaxation included in the projects have made the centre a unique area whose reputation has spread across Cyprus. The local character and colour of Limassol was also conserved and promoted. The city now offers greater hospitality, freshness and an open-hearted atmosphere, which is mainly felt during the warm Mediterranean summer and autumn days and nights. It is relaxing and offers peace of mind. Beyond the social parameters, the city centre has been enhanced through the restoration of old and abandoned buildings, providing a higher standard of built environment.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    We strongly believe that Limassol’s good practice is interesting for other European cities as many of them face similar problems. Limassol’s good practice has achieved the desired results and can be recommended as a model. With the reuse of good practice, other cities will improve their own integrated urban policies and the delivery of these policies on the ground. Limassol’s good practice addresses issues widely faced by cities, offers practical and result-oriented solutions and applies a sustainable and integrated approach to tackling urban challenges. It is a participatory approach in both project development and implementation, involving all relevant stakeholders, is well-documented and has made a visible and measurable difference to the city and in the wider metropolitan area. The practice can easily be adopted and amended by any other European city. Details for comparison and adoption are available concerning the cost and the financing methods. It is a long-term practice that is still operating in Limassol. Our experience is conditional upon certain prerequisites that are valid not only for European coastal cities that are experiencing similar fiscal and climatic conditions to Cyprus but for every European city with a significant cultural background.

    Is a transfer practice
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  • Public utility park


    Sustainable growth and social cohesion through the creation of a multifunctional public park

    Cristina Preda
    Head of Department Cooperation and Territorial Cohesion
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    2 106 144


    The creation of a public utility park in the Ion Creanga neighbourhood of Bucharest (RO) was one of the objectives of the 2nd District Integrated Urban Development Plan, financed under the 2007-13 Regional Operational Programme. In line with goals for sustainable growth, the park was designed to integrate the social needs of the community with environmental protection, increase accessibility and mobility, and reduce disparities between the Ion Creanga area and more developed parts of Bucharest.
    The project was inaugurated in 2012. The large green space now helps the local community by increasing quality of life, encouraging residents to take part in outdoor activities, and giving a chance for better connections between the Roma community and other residents. As for the area's public image, the park significantly improved the urban infrastructure and quality of the environment, including efficient energy use.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Sustainable development is the organising principle for meeting human development goals at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The problems the Ion Creanga area was facing before creating the green infrastructure, public utility park were: high percentage of petty crime, lack of facilities for people with disabilities, insufficient green space that contributed to the migration of young population to more developed areas, lack of recreational areas, air pollution, lack of awareness of environmental protection, a large amount of waste. The construction of the park in the Ion Creanga area offers a set of solutions to be implemented by EU member states: • Making inner-city neighbourhoods more liveable, recreational opportunities for low-income children and families, • Parks and recreational facilities have been strongly linked to reduced juvenile delinquency, • Increasing residents' sense of community ownership and stewardship, providing a focus for neighbourhood activities, expose inner-city youth to nature, connect people from diverse cultures, • Parks and open spaces make compact living attractive and feasible, every tree helps fight global warming by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases, parks and green infrastructure offset the warming effects on cities, making them cooler. • The park's value is calculated through cleaner air and water that improve public health.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The good practice presented was built on a sustainable and integrated approach as part of the 2nd District Integrated Urban Development Plan, which was considered the right solution for the area after various consultations between citizens in the area and local government representatives. The public utility park in the Ion Creanga area can be a significant part of urban sustainable development, from the integrative approaches such as: • Educational value - a public utility park is a valuable resource offering numerous educational programmes that bring together community members of diverse ages, ethnic backgrounds, and economic status to learn from one another. • Economic value - a public utility park supports public health, the economy, the environment, education, and community cohesion; high-quality public utility parks also spur economic development by attracting homebuyers and boosting residential property values by as much as 15 percent, meaning greater wealth for residents and increased revenues for cities. • Public Health value - urban public utility parks support public health by cleaning the air that the residents breathe, outdoor activities in open spaces lower stress, improve physical and emotional health, reduce hyperactivity, and build stronger immune systems. • Community value - residents’ sense of community ownership and stewardship is increased. • Environmental value - natural landscapes are vital, sustainable and rational management of waste, increasing energy efficiency.

    Based on a participatory approach

    To provide an efficient solution for the problems of the area in an integrated manner, the 2nd District Integrated Urban Development Plan was developed and financed under the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013. The vision was to work with local people to guide a major change in the way the land is managed and to give the local communities a better future. A series of measures were being undertaken within this framework in close collaboration with local stakeholders, authorities all working together. To better define and address the solution to the local community the 2nd District City Hall organised a series of debates and public consultations, advertised the project on its website and took all the active measures to integrate the community’s demands in the project.

    What difference has it made?

    The park's creation had positive impacts in terms of environment, health and community: * It made the Ion Creanga neighbourhood more liveable; it offered recreational opportunities for at-risk youth, low-income children, and low-income families; • It increased residents’ sense of community ownership and stewardship, provided a focus for neighbourhood activities, expose inner-city youth to nature, connect people from diverse cultures, improved the interaction and communication with the Roma residents in the • Provided a high quality environment for the community; • Provided sustainable and rational management of waste by installing compartmentalised bins to educate the population to collect garbage differently; • Increased energy efficiency through the automated installation of lighting and irrigation systems; • Increased outdoor activities in open spaces, connection through sports and games between Roma children and Romanian children; • Attracted homebuyers and boosted residential property values in the area by as much as 15 percent.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    Sustainable development is the organising principle for meeting human development goals while at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depends. The desirable end result is a state of society where living conditions and resource use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural systems. The good practice presented is relevant in the context of social, economic and environment challenges that Europe faces nowadays by encouraging a smarter, more integrated approach to development which ensures that Europe’s limited space is utilised in as efficient and coherent a way as possible and it can be transferred to smaller or larger areas, both at district level or broader territorial contexts. Therefore, the good practice could be implemented in other areas that face problems Ion Creanga area faces and where it is vital to create green area for increasing the quality of life of the community and for changing and improving the neighbourhood. In the context of a European Union that promotes sustainable growth and especially the protection of the environment, it is imperative to build more green areas in the cities that lead to pollution reduction, social improvement and especially better living conditions for the citizens.

    Is a transfer practice
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