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  • URBinclusion

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting at Paris URBACT secretariat (Phase I)
    Thematic Seminar in February (Trikala), Transnational Meeting and Final Conference “Networking for social inclusion in Europe” in March (Barcelona), URBinclusion Manifesto, partners Operational Implementation Frameworks (OIF), Partners Solution Stories
    Transnational Meeting in February (Barcelona), Project Phase I closure, Project Phase II launch, Transnational Meeting in September (Copenhagen - Kick-off meeting Phase II)
    Thematic Seminar in January (Lyon), June (Glasgow), December (Naples), Transnational Meeting in April (Krakow), October (Turin), URBinclusion partners Implementation Plans

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    AYUNTAMIENTO DE BAENA

    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain

    CONTACT US

    Artur Katai
    City of Újbuda

    CONTACT US

    Barcelona City Council - Social Rights Area

    Lluis Torrens: ltorrens@bcn.cat

    Sebastià Riutort: sriutort@ext.bcn.cat

    Socioeconomic disparities and other forms of inequalities are a major issue in European cities which are threatened by social polarisation increase. Poverty does not only create social differences between people and groups; it also leads to spatial differences.
    URBinclusion implementation network focused on the co-creation of new solutions to reduce poverty in deprived urban areas, focusing on some key challenges to be tackled when going from the strategic to the implementation dimension: integrated approach and inter-departmental coordination, involvement of local stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation and financial innovation.
    Partners cities interchange showed that this requires integrated, cyclical and monitored processes made of recursive actions and feedbacks that produces stable conditions of engagement for continuous improvement.

    Combating poverty in deprived urban areas
    Ref nid
    8718
  • BoostInno

    The Intercultural cities programme (ICC) supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage.

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in July (Wroclaw). Transnational meeting in November (Barcelona).
    Transnational meetings in March (Baia Mare) and November (Paris).
    Transnational meeting in January (Milan). Final event in April (Gdansk).

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

    Via Palazzo di Città, 1 - 10121 Turin (Italy)

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

    Edifício Municipal, Campo Grande nº25, 6ºE | 1749 -099 Lisboa

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

    City of Loulé
    Praça da República, 8104-001 Loulé
    Phone +351 289 400 600

    CONTACT US

    City of Igualada
    Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 1, 08700 Igualada, Barcelona

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

    City of Genoa
    Via di Francia, 1 - XI floor. 16149 Genova

    CONTACT US

    City of San Donà di Piave Piazza Indipendenza, 13 – 30027

    CONTACT US

    City of Naples
    Urban Planning Department 
    Phone +39 081 7958932 - 34 - 17 

    CONTACT US

    The Barnsley Digital Media  County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
    Phone +44 01226 720700 

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

    City of Piacenza
    piazza Cavalli 2 - 29121 Piacenza - Italia
    tel centralino 
    Phone +39 0523 492 111 

    City of Bilbao
    Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka nº1. 48007 Bilbao. Phone +32 944 204 200 

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań

    CONTACT US

    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    City of Gdańsk
    5 prof. Witolda Andruszkiewicza St.
    80-601 Gdańsk

    The work developed by the cities of this Action Planning network has proven that social innovation is not just a trend, but it could also be qualified as a fundamental change in the management of cities, in the management of impact and in the relations cities uphold and develop with their inhabitants. Some would describe this change as an equivalent of the industrial or the IT revolution: up until now, one of the basic assumptions of urban policy was that citizens were to accept what is decided, planned and built. Recent years have shown that it is often the citizens who make the city, in a collaborative perspective.

    Boosting social innovation
    Ref nid
    7368
  • In Focus

    The Intercultural cities programme (ICC) supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage.

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (Ostrava). Transnational meeting in November (Frankfurt).
    Transnational meetings in September (Torino) and October (Bordeaux).
    Transnational meeting in January (Grenoble). Final event in April (Bilbao).

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

    Via Palazzo di Città, 1 - 10121 Turin (Italy)

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

    Edifício Municipal, Campo Grande nº25, 6ºE | 1749 -099 Lisboa

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

    City of Loulé
    Praça da República, 8104-001 Loulé
    Phone +351 289 400 600

    CONTACT US

    City of Igualada
    Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 1, 08700 Igualada, Barcelona

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

    City of Genoa
    Via di Francia, 1 - XI floor. 16149 Genova

    CONTACT US

    City of San Donà di Piave Piazza Indipendenza, 13 – 30027

    CONTACT US

    City of Naples
    Urban Planning Department 
    Phone +39 081 7958932 - 34 - 17 

    CONTACT US

    The Barnsley Digital Media  County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
    Phone +44 01226 720700 

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

    City of Piacenza
    piazza Cavalli 2 - 29121 Piacenza - Italia
    tel centralino 
    Phone +39 0523 492 111 

    City of Bilbao
    Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka nº1. 48007 Bilbao. Phone +32 944 204 200 

    By mobilising a significant number of stakeholders, this Action Planning network had the mission to rethink the stakeholders’ agendas on business-led economic development and test how the smart specialisation concept might work as a driver. The network pioneered on how the policy concept of smart specialisation applies to the urban environment, more precisely the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).

    Smart specialisation at city level
    Ref nid
    7442
  • ALT/BAU

    ALT/BAU on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ALT_BAU
    The YouTube channel of the ALT/BAU network: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9cnqLy5ZLM9vBTrve1bvFw

    Timeline

    Phase 1 Kick-off meeting, Rybnik (PL). Phase 1 Final Meeting, Chemnitz (DE).
    Phase 2: Kick-off meeting, Seraing (BE), 1st Transnational Thematic Meeting, Vilafranca del Penedès (ES), 2nd Transnational Thematic Meeting, Riga (LV), 3rd Transsnational Thematic Meeting, Constanta (RO)
    Phase 2 Mid-Term Review Meeting, Chemnitz (DE)
    Phase 2 Network Final Meeting, Turin (IT)
    Capacity Building Webinar "How to Reactivate vacant residential Buildings"

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

    Via Palazzo di Città, 1 - 10121 Turin (Italy)

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

    Edifício Municipal, Campo Grande nº25, 6ºE | 1749 -099 Lisboa

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    The ALT/BAU Transfer Network focuses on alternative strategies in central and historic districts of European cities to activate unused and decaying housing stock resulting from demographic, economic and social change. Based on the experiences from Chemnitz’ URBACT Good Practice “Housing Agency for Shrinking Cities” (Agentur StadtWohnen Chemnitz), the network transfers experiences that proved successful to proactively connect administrations, owners, investors and users to initiate sustainable and resource saving development.

    Alternative Building Activation Units
    Ref nid
    12118
  • Innovato-R

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting phase 1 - Turin
    Kick-off meeting phase 2 - Paris / Transfer Period
    Transfer Period
    Final meeting

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

    Via Palazzo di Città, 1 - 10121 Turin (Italy)

     

    CONTACT US

    The Innovato-R Transfer network builds upon the Innova.TO project, which is a competition open to Municipality employees aimed at developing innovative projects improving the Administration performances, reducing wastes and/or valuing resources. Proposals can be focused on service quality, goods/services acquisition, costs rationalization, energetic optimization, bureaucratic impact reduction and increase in data and in digital tools management.

    Everyone's an Innovator
    Ref nid
    12128
  • Co-City

    Italy
    Turin

    The collaborative management of urban commons to counteract poverty and socio-spatial polarisation

    Giovanni Ferrero
    Comune di Torino
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    886 837

    Summary

    CO-CITY addresses the challenge of poverty in distressed neighbourhoods through the regeneration of under-utilised public spaces and assets, turned into places able to trigger a process of sustainable development. The regeneration projects are co-designed by the City and residents. Co-City counteracts social-spatial polarisation through spaces/assets’ regeneration, creating public-community partnerships, mutual trust, cooperation at the neighbourhood level.

     

    CO-CITY implements “pacts of collaboration” according to the Regulation for the Governance of urban commons, co-designed with city inhabitants’ organisations. They stimulate organisation and define co-governance schemes for the regeneration of spaces hosting activities varying from community gardens; creative placemaking; capacity building processes; community hubs. These pacts are one of the most important co-governance tools increasingly adopted by Italian cities since 2014 to promote and enable the urban commons.

     

    CUMIANA15 pact foresees the transformation of a former car-manufacturing factory requiring significant physical renovation into a hybrid indoor-outdoor space functioning as a cultural-creative activities community hub. The implementation of a new administrative model rooted in the “pacts of collaboration” and the “Regulation for the Governance of Urban Commons” aiming at empowering inhabitants in the care of urban spaces fostering reciprocal commitment to urban justice.

    The innovative solution

    CO-CITY addresses urban poverty turning dismissed infrastructures and public land into hubs of neighbourhoods inhabitants’ collective action. It turns them into “urban commons”, contributing to the establishment of civic and entrepreneurial activities leveraging inhabitants’ participation stimulated by the City and facilitated by the Neighbourhood Houses acting as local co-governance units.

     

    Main solutions implemented include: co-design and co-governance innovative process. The city created an integrated administrative structure to ensure an integrated approach; building and management of the pact of collaboration to accelerate inhabitants’ organisations empowerment in turning public spaces into engines of neighbourhood revitalisation; diversified tools, no one size fits all solution. Resources allocated through a call for proposal foreseeing three measures: a) peripheries and urban cultures; b) under-utilised infrastructure, with a focus on schools; c) civic care of public spaces. 
     

    A collaborative and participative work

    The project partnership is composed by: the network of Neighbourhood Houses, local community hubs that took care of community building activities; the University of Turin, contributing to the project’s research and theoretical framework; the National Association of Italian Municipalities, in charge of communication and networking.

     

    50 pacts of collaboration between the City Administration and citizens’ organisations have been signed. The pacts regulate caring for public spaces and many socio-cultural activities. The participative process is focused on two moments:

    1. Co-design. All the feasibility issues are fine tuned and finalised.
    2. Co-management. The City and the involved organisations share decision-making and responsibilities. 

    The impact and results

    The most important project challenge has been the use of a totally new juridical tool (the pact of collaboration) that resulted in a collective learning effort by all the stakeholders involved. This relied on a solid local background and tradition of community engagement which is mainly represented by the local network of Neighbourhood Houses. 
    The project’s implementation has contributed to the development of mutual trust and social inclusion.

     

    Both public officers (24 city departments, 90 officers) and active citizens (more than 214 organisations) involved in the project implementation consider positively the enabling role of CO-CITY as a way to innovate policies and practices, unlocking the potential of urban development.
    Among the different pacts, the one of CUMIANA15 can be mentioned - a hybrid space (half renewed industrial building, half covered square), now co-managed to become a new socio-cultural hub. 

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities ?

    Cities and citizens play a pivotal role in the EU policy framework tackling climate change and mission-oriented innovation. The European Green Deal and the linked H2020 EGD call both stress the importance of public-community cooperation. The Horizon Europe cities mission foresees a climate neutral city contract. The JRC City Science Initiative considers public-community partnerships a cross-cutting policy tool.

     

    CO-CITY pacts enable inhabitants’ organisations to work closely together and with City officials, reinforcing trust in institutions, social cohesion, long-term commitment of the entire administrative machine. They were critical in keeping urban spaces safe and alive during the pandemic. Social bonds created by the pacts helped preserve the social interaction. 
    CO-CITY pacts are able to bring together city communities, governments, knowledge institutions, social and private operators. The so-called quintuple helix urban co-governance approach aims at stimulating neighbourhood cooperation. CO-CITY is a good guidance for policymakers and social actors wishing to build public-community cooperation.
    Each civic deal sanctioned in the CO-CITY pacts could be implemented in every neighbourhood. Several EU cities are already building on similar institutional design principles and co-design methodologies their own urban co-governance policy. Regenerated spaces like CUMIANA15 show how these forms of self-organisation could be self-sustainable.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
  • CO-CITY

    Italy
    Turin

    The collaborative management of urban commons to counteract poverty and socio-spatial polarisation

    Giovanni Ferrero
    Comune di Torino
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    886 837

    SUMMARY

    <p>CO-CITY addresses the challenge of poverty in distressed neighbourhoods through the regeneration of under-utilised public spaces and assets, turned into places able to trigger a process of sustainable development. The regeneration projects are co-designed by the City and residents. Co-City counteracts social-spatial polarisation through spaces/assets’ regeneration, creating public-community partnerships, mutual trust, cooperation at the neighbourhood level.</p><p>CO-CITY implements “pacts of collaboration” according to the Regulation for the Governance of urban commons, co-designed with city inhabitants’ organisations. They stimulate organisation and define co-governance schemes for the regeneration of spaces hosting activities varying from community gardens; creative placemaking; capacity building processes; community hubs. These pacts are one of the most important co-governance tools increasingly adopted by Italian cities since 2014 to promote and enable the urban commons.</p><p>CUMIANA15 pact foresees the transformation of a former car-manufacturing factory requiring significant physical renovation into a hybrid indoor-outdoor space functioning as a cultural-creative activities community hub. The implementation of a new administrative model rooted in the “pacts of collaboration” and the “Regulation for the Governance of Urban Commons” aiming at empowering inhabitants in the care of urban spaces fostering reciprocal commitment to urban justice.</p>

    THE INNOVATIVE SOLUTION

    <p>CO-CITY addresses urban poverty turning dismissed infrastructures and public land into hubs of neighbourhoods inhabitants’ collective action. It turns them into “urban commons”, contributing to the establishment of civic and entrepreneurial activities leveraging inhabitants’ participation stimulated by the City and facilitated by the Neighbourhood Houses acting as local co-governance units.</p><p>Main solutions implemented include: co-design and co-governance innovative process. The city created an integrated administrative structure to ensure an integrated approach; building and management of the pact of collaboration to accelerate inhabitants’ organisations empowerment in turning public spaces into engines of neighbourhood revitalisation; diversified tools, no one size fits all solution. Resources allocated through a call for proposal foreseeing three measures: a) peripheries and urban cultures; b) under-utilised infrastructure, with a focus on schools; c) civic care of public spaces.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>

    A COLLABORATIVE AND PARTICIPATIVE WORK

    <p>The project partnership is composed by: the network of Neighbourhood Houses, local community hubs that took care of community building activities; the University of Turin, contributing to the project’s research and theoretical framework; the National Association of Italian Municipalities, in charge of communication and networking.</p><p>50 pacts of collaboration between the City Administration and citizens’ organisations have been signed. The pacts regulate caring for public spaces and many socio-cultural activities. The participative process is focused on two moments:<br>1.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Co-design. All the feasibility issues are fine tuned and finalised.<br>2.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Co-management. The City and the involved organisations share decision-making and responsibilities.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>

    THE IMPACT AND RESULTS

    <p>The most important project challenge has been the use of a totally new juridical tool (the pact of collaboration) that resulted in a collective learning effort by all the stakeholders involved. This relied on a solid local background and tradition of community engagement which is mainly represented by the local network of Neighbourhood Houses.&nbsp;<br>The project’s implementation has contributed to the development of mutual trust and social inclusion.</p><p>Both public officers (24 city departments, 90 officers) and active citizens (more than 214 organisations) involved in the project implementation consider positively the enabling role of CO-CITY as a way to innovate policies and practices, unlocking the potential of urban development.<br>Among the different pacts, the one of CUMIANA15 can be mentioned - a hybrid space (half renewed industrial building, half covered square), now co-managed to become a new socio-cultural hub.&nbsp;</p>

    WHY THIS GOOD PRACTICES SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO OTHER CITIES?

    <p>Cities and citizens play a pivotal role in the EU policy framework tackling climate change and mission-oriented innovation. The European Green Deal and the linked H2020 EGD call both stress the importance of public-community cooperation. The Horizon Europe cities mission foresees a climate neutral city contract. The JRC City Science Initiative considers public-community partnerships a cross-cutting policy tool.</p><p>CO-CITY pacts enable inhabitants’ organisations to work closely together and with City officials, reinforcing trust in institutions, social cohesion, long-term commitment of the entire administrative machine. They were critical in keeping urban spaces safe and alive during the pandemic. Social bonds created by the pacts helped preserve the social interaction.&nbsp;<br>CO-CITY pacts are able to bring together city communities, governments, knowledge institutions, social and private operators. The so-called quintuple helix urban co-governance approach aims at stimulating neighbourhood cooperation. CO-CITY is a good guidance for policymakers and social actors wishing to build public-community cooperation.<br>Each civic deal sanctioned in the CO-CITY pacts could be implemented in every neighbourhood. Several EU cities are already building on similar institutional design principles and co-design methodologies their own urban co-governance policy. Regenerated spaces like CUMIANA15 show how these forms of self-organisation could be self-sustainable.<br>&nbsp;</p>

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17063
  • Resilience and communities: URBACT at the Venice Architecture Biennale

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    15/11/2022

    “How will we live together?” asks the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. URBACT has some answers.

    Articles

    Resilient communities can be defined as those where the effort of reacting to rapid changes is a collaborative exercise: in a few words, where collaboration among people contributes to finding solutions to the challenges of the cities we live in.

    ‘Resilient Communities’ is also the title of the Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The pavilion proposes an interesting reflection on the role of cities, and architecture in general, to respond to the ambitious question featured in the title of this year’s Exhibition: “How will we live together?”.

    The main elements of the URBACT programme – the active engagement of residents and stakeholders, definition of integrated action plans to be implemented in the medium and long term, and collaborative governance of challenges connected to the different dimensions of urban sustainability – can all be considered part of the answer to this question posed by the Exhibition’s curator, internationally renowned architect Hashim Sarkis.

    The relevance of the URBACT methodology as part of a wider reflection on future models of inhabiting urban spaces is particularly tangible in Italy. Not only considering the high number of cities involved in URBACT networks, but also due to the role that the programme is playing in the national urban debate and in fostering connections among local decision-makers, stakeholders, architects and practitioners.

    These aspects pushed the curator of the Italian Pavilion, Alessandro Melis, to invite the representative of the National URBACT Point for Italy to be part of the Pavilion’s Advisor Board. The objective was to include the experiences of the Italian and European cities of URBACT in the wider picture composed by different visions on the contemporary city.

     

    URBACT and the collaborative mapping of community resilience

    The Italian Pavillon, a true cultural laboratory for rethinking the role of architects and cities on how we live together, is showcasing the complexity of relations among urban spaces, nature and people, with a dense programme of activities and events from 22 May to 21 November 2021.

    The National URBACT Point for Italy was involved in mapping stories of community resilience, together with City Space Architecture and Unipolis Foundation. The main focus of this mapping, set to continue after the end of the Biennale Exhibition, was on stories carried out at different urban levels, from small municipalities to metropolitan areas. This highlighted the role of active residents’ participation in improving the capacity of cities to respond to rapid changes and hardships.

    The action of collaborative mapping, available online or accessible through a QR code at the Italian Pavilion, was based on a selection of some of the most interesting solutions developed in diverse URBACT networks. These include a participatory scheme for the creation of new green spaces in Potenza, shared in the Resilient Europe Action Planning Network, and the opening of new public parks and infrastructure in Casoria, co-designed with support from the Sub>Urban network.

    The mapping also explores practices adapted and transferred in URBACT Transfer Networks, such as the tools to tackle urban poverty implemented by Bari in the framework of Com.Unity.Lab or the models of urban co-governance transferred by Naples to other EU cities in the Civic eState network.

    Activities developed under the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) programme and then transferred with the UIA-URBACT Transfer Mechanism are also featured. Examples include Turin’s re-use of public spaces and underused structures developed with Co-City, and transferred to other cities in the CO4CITIES network, as well as Milan’s model promoting the agri-urban economy, which is being transferred to NEXT AGRI network partners.

    All these stories emerging from URBACT networks, narrated by the civic officials and elected representatives who implemented them at local level, have been making an important contribution to reflexions on the future of cities promoted by the Italian Pavillon. These practical experiences are presented alongside the principles of community resilience that were being studied by academics and experts well before Covid-19 raised the urgency of consolidating innovative urban solutions.

     

    Events at the Italian Pavillon

    These resilient city solutions were presented to national and international audiences in two seminars organised by the National URBACT Point for Italy in the arena of the Italian Pavillon on 21 and 22 September 2021. Representatives of Italian and European cities highlighted examples of community resilience, and showed how methodologies such as those promoted by URBACT are helping improve the governance of urban challenges.

    While the first meeting was mostly focused on an Italian perspective, the second enlarged the reflection to include the curators of the Slovenian Pavilion, National URBACT Points (Spain and Slovenia) and the cities of Madrid (ES) and Cluj Napoca (RO), which are testing similar methodologies of civic imagination and active involvement of residents and stakeholders on topics such as urban security or the future of work.

    The diversity of the experiences presented in Venice makes clear how different models of community resilience are shaping the future of public spaces, city services and urban infrastructures to respond to hardships and unexpected events.

     

    The Peccioli Charter and the legacy of the debate on community resilience

    The active contribution of cities and communities to reach the global goals on climate, a theme that re-emerged strongly from COP26, is one of the most relevant possible evolutions of the concept of community resilience in the years ahead.

    This approach was also shared by the Peccioli Charter, the document signed by all the members of the Italian Pavilion’s Steering Committee, which aims to be “a Constitution of the nation of the Italian resilient communities”. The document was officially launched in November 2019 in Peccioli, an Italian village which turned a wasteland site into a cultural and artwork space for all the community, a tangible example of resilient community. Meant as a legacy of the Pavilion, it defines the commitments that resilient communities need to put in practice in the medium and long terms. Among these, promoting knowledge and innovation, re-imagining cities and sharing urban spaces, being smart and anti-fragile.

    These are the sorts of actions being implemented by the cities and communities that are using the URBACT methodology to increase resilience, in the sense of “being brave communities, able to put in practice a permanent revolution, to adapt to rapid changes and to offer endless opportunities for reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” as stated in the conclusions of the Peccioli Charter.

     

    Find out more

    Photos by Simone d’Antonio

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  • Governing commons, is it even possible?

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    15/11/2022
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    Creative communities have long been a vital element for city regeneration: groups of people helping to improve urban spaces, buildings, initiatives or services, opening them up for neighbourhood use in order to answer local needs. For city administrations seeking sustainable ways to develop their territories, one approach is to improve such community participation. Naples (IT), for example, introduced a governance model that allows communities to manage public assets as ‘common goods’ – a solution transferred to six other EU cities through the Civic eState network. This collective management of so-called ‘urban commons’ was the focus of a recent URBACT City Festival session entitled “Governing commons, is it even possible?”. URBACT Expert Liat Rogel reports.

    In the context of urban commons the city is seen as “a platform utilised and optimised by citizens from all backgrounds and social statuses”, explained Cristijan Iaione, URBACT Lead Expert for Civic eState and an expert on urban commons. To be a successful platform, the public administration first has to recognise the benefits that could come from such collaboration. Second, it should adopt new tools and governance policies that enable and empower citizens.

    Also, the involved parties, including NGOs, and formal and non-formal groups, need to recognise themselves as collaborators, part of a joint movement promoting commons. Governing commons means finding the right path to regulate something as dynamic, spontaneous and agile as a community. Can this even be possible? Can a city guarantee a good governance of commons without the risk of compromising the character of urban communities? These are some of the key questions Naples and their Civic eState partners Amsterdam (NL) and Gdansk (PL) tackled at the URBACT Festival, alongside Turin (IT) from the UIA – URBACT network CO4CITIES.

    Amsterdam: recognising the commons movement

    Very often, working on commons starts with recognition and identity, according to Nathalie van Loon, Commons coordinator for the City of Amsterdam. She said: “in Amsterdam, there is a real old tradition of commons in practice. Civic participation has been part of urban development and people are used to protest, offer different solutions or collect consensus. However, there is no recognition of the term ‘commons’ and no sense of larger identity between the different stakeholders that are actually commoners. We need to build a new narrative and adapt to a worldwide movement. People do not recognise themselves as part of the movement.”

    One of the ways to start the sense of identity and begin a collaborative conversation was the creation of a commons catalogue. “In Amsterdam, we asked artists to make a city catalogue for commons. It tells the story of Amsterdam commoners, of change in the city, and gives concrete examples from the local context. We have a network of commoners now and we look for ways to work on neighbourhoods rights, but we will work better on collaboration.” Nathalie van Loon described integrating the term ‘public-common partnership’ as a way to increase collaboration, build a set of tools to facilitate this partnership, and to ensure the movement is both recognised by all stakeholders and sustainable in the long term.

    Naples: a city forced to think outside the box

    Public-community governance has proven to be successful in Naples, which has seen a major development of tools and methods for urban commons over the past decade. Experience the city shared during the recent URBACT Transfer Network Civic eState. Nicola Massella, from the City of Naples, described how the city administration was put in the position of having to come up with new tools. Citizens and communities reclaimed public abandoned spaces, occupying them and then making them available to residents, with cultural activities and even social services.

    “Our administrative tools were developed after things already happened,” said Nicola Massella. “As public servants, we understood that we cannot programme the future of a neighbourhood without collaboration with the people living there. We were forced to take action. We were linked to the idea of the government and the people forced us to think out of the box.”

    In Naples, the recognition of formal and informal groups is based on constitutional values. The community must allow open access and be socially inclusive and non-discriminative. If those principles are in place, the administration recognises the collaboration and provides services like water, electricity and other affordable services. Eight spaces in eight neighbourhoods are now up and running in this way. Whether it’s a park, or a beach, these spaces are mainly used for cultural initiatives that preserve local traditions. As well as this ‘immaterial’ gain, social infrastructure and services are also being set up by communities. Examples include spaces for teenagers to study, social spaces for the elderly or administrative assistance for immigrants. These structures are relatively economically accessible and maintain their quality over time.  

    Turin: experimenting with and testing tools in different contexts

    Change of mindset is a main topic when talking about commons in Turin. “Through experimenting with new tools, it became clear that this change is needed not only inside the municipality, but also in the local, not-for-profit organisations that usually are involved in offering spaces or services to the community,” said Giovanni Ferrero, city of Turin. “With Co-City, we tested local regulation with the aim of governing commons. In our testing period, the city developed the pact of collaboration. It is oriented towards a collaborative governance model. It implies a change of mindset, change of approach both from the public and the third sector. On one side, the public has an authoritative role that needs to change; on the other hand, non-for-profit organisations – and the citizens they support – are used to making requests from the public. Both need to change their roles here.”

    Turin developed two experimental spaces during their UIA Co-City project, and now, as a way to continue and develop the collaborative governance tools, they are working with three other cities in the UIA-URBACT network CO4CITIES. “We will continue working on local regulation with the aim of governing commons and will benefit from this European exchange.” One of the cities involved in the project is Gdansk, where the issue of trust and roles is also very relevant.

    Gdansk: building trust and letting go

    Magdalena Skiba, from the municipality of Gdansk, explained how encouraging work on urban commons “demands even more from the administrations than the communities. Communities of active citizens are ready for taking responsibility, but the municipality is not necessarily ready to ‘lose control’. The administration must learn how to become an enabler and not a ruler.” This topic was carried ahead first with a previous URBACT project BoostInno, where the city was defined as a ‘broker’. Magdalena Skiba added: “we have worked with local communities for about 15 years in Gdansk. We were happy to be pushed by the opportunity of working on a specific building, towards a related work on our Neighbourhood houses.”

    Neighbourhood houses are given to local NGOs by the municipality in exchange for the support they provide through activities for local residents. The city also covers some maintenance and management costs. Working on those, it was clear, said Magdalena, that “also local NGOs need a change of mindset: they usually act as if they were the owners and lack collaboration with the neighbourhood. We would like to move towards community ownership.” In a country with low levels of public trust in government, the last point from Gdansk is crucial: “we trust only our close families. In my opinion, the most important thing is to build trust between communities and the administration. The broker role, not to force solutions, but to enable them.”

    The answer to the question in the title is indeed tricky. One way to frame it may be a change of paradigm and approach. We do not have to see commons as something to govern, but rather something to enable. Perhaps the main question is not how to govern, but how we can support commons and guarantee their long-term sustainability.

    Further reading

    While local stakeholder participation is at the heart of URBACT’s approach, the recent URBACT networks Civic eState and Co4Cities focused specifically on the co-management of urban commons. URBACT experts in this field include: Christian Iaione, Director of LabGov; Levente Polyak, Lead Expert of CO4CITIES; and Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse, who recently published a book on the topic.  

    URBACT articles include:

     

    This article is part of a series exploring the latest challenges in sustainable urban development, based on discussions with cities and experts at the 2021 URBACT City Festival. Topics range from community participation in urban renewal and gender in public procurement, to cities tackling climate change. View Festival highlights here.

     

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  • Nine solutions for more vibrant, productive cities

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    15/11/2022

    These local actions for community participation and productivity are inspiring cities across the EU. Could they work in yours too?

    Articles
    Education

    The New Leipzig Charter highlights three forms of the transformative city which can be harnessed in Europe to enhance people’s quality of life: the Just City, the Green City and the Productive City.

    URBACT’s latest publication is packed with sustainable solutions to address these three dimensions – all tried, tested and transferred between EU cities, with adaptations for each local context.

    To give a taste of the stories told in ‘Good Practice Transfer: Why not in my City?’, here are nine examples of local actions for Productive Cities. We hope towns and cities of all sizes will be inspired to ‘Understand, Adapt and Re-use’ participative solutions like this – from education and entrepreneurship to efficient governance and better use of urban spaces – improving everyday life for residents, and supporting a just transition to a green economy.

     

    1. Give citizens a card for local services

    To simplify everyday life in Aveiro (PT), the municipality got together with stakeholders to launch a card that will give citizens easy access to public services such as the library, museum, buses and shared bikes, as well as improved online and front desk support. A first step was to issue a student card to access school services across the city, from stationery and meals, to school trips. The idea is to promote a smarter, more open, resilient and inclusive society. Aveiro and four other URBACT partner cities are introducing their local versions of ‘CARD4ALL’ based on good practice from Gijón, a Spanish city that has provided citizen cards for nearly 20 years.

     

    2. Put residents’ wellbeing at the heart of urban regeneration

    In a project to bring an old playing field back into use, Birmingham (UK) gave local people the power to drive improvements themselves, thanks to a Community Economic Development Planning model, mirroring successful approaches already used in Łódź (PL). Building on this positive start, residents went on to co-produce an alternative Community-Led Master Plan for the wider area — where all council plans had previously been opposed. Council-appointed community ‘ambassadors’ now work with local residents, businesses, service providers and volunteers with a direct stake in the area’s economic health. And the approach is being rolled out across other areas of the city. Birmingham is one of six cities to learn from Łódź’ collaborative model as part of the URBAN REGENERATION MIX network.

     

    3. Create a digital business hub with a local twist 

    The Greek city of Piraeus founded a new ‘Blue Lab’ near its harbour — the first Blue Economy Innovation Centre in Greece. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, Blue Lab welcomes students and entrepreneurs, providing business mentoring, tech and entrepreneurship training. It has boosted cooperation with businesses and schools, and sparked an array of prototype technology solutions. Piraeus’ further plans now include a new larger co-working space, training facilities to upskill the workforce, and investment in more advanced technologies. Piraeus is one of six URBACT Tech Revolution network partner cities to set up their own start-up support schemes based on the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley (UK), an URBACT-listed Good Practice that has become a successful hub for local creative and digital business.

     

    4. Build local partnerships around education

    By involving parents, school staff, local clubs and council departments in ‘Educational Innovation Networks’ (EIN), the city of Halmstad (SE) is boosting local connections and sparking improvements in education. Thanks to the URBACT ON BOARD network, Halmstad learnt from Viladecans (ES) who originally formed an EIN to improve education as part of a drive to reverse rising unemployment and declining growth. Halmstad adopted new ideas, including ‘Positive Mindset and Emotions’ for better learning and methods for improving pupil participation. Communication within the municipality also improved thanks to cross-departmental clusters focusing on: Care and Support; Education and Learning; Growth and Attractiveness; and Infrastructure.

     

    5. Open a ‘living room’ for local clubs and residents

    Idrija (SI) transformed an empty shop into a ‘living room’ for the town, with free activities run by, and for, local associations and inhabitants. City administrators, social services and economic departments, local clubs and active citizens, are all involved in the project, as well as the regional development agency, library and retirement home. As a result, the site has become a meeting place open to all, with events focusing on topics as diverse as housing refurbishment, chess, and knitting. It also hosts a municipality-supported free transport service for elderly people and a book corner run by the local library. Idrija’s solution was modelled on the ‘Stellwerk’ NGO platform launched in Altena (DE) as a solution to help manage the town’s long-term decline.

     

    6. Turn unused buildings into homes

    Chemnitz’s (DE) ‘Housing Agency for Shrinking Cities’ helps transform empty buildings into valuable housing while reducing speculation, channeling grant money, and cutting future costs for both the owners of decaying buildings and the municipality. Initiated and funded by the city authorities, the project is carried out in the public interest by a long-standing private partner. This model inspired Vilafranca del Penedès (ES), partner in the URBACT ALT/BAU network, to review its housing policies and look for private partners with the technical capacity and financial solvency to help the city recover abandoned housing units. As a result, Vilafranca has signed an agreement with a social foundation whose main objective is to identify, obtain and rehabilitate low-priced rental housing in collaboration with job agencies.

     

    7. Launch a blue entrepreneurship competition (for cities near water!) 

    The port city of Mataró (ES) is boosting local entrepreneurship and jobs in the maritime economy – inspired by a BlueGrowth initiative in Piraeus (EL). Mataró encouraged diverse public and private stakeholders to get involved, including the City Promotion team, regional ‘Barcelona Nautic Cluster’, local port authority, and a technology park that hosts the University and a business incubator. The resulting Mataró Blue Growth Entrepreneurship competition provides cash prizes, mentoring and access to a business accelerator programme. So far winning projects include a boat repair franchise, a boat propulsion system, and an app linking up superyachts with relevant services.

     

    8. Help city employees become innovators

    When Turin (IT) teamed up with private sponsors to launch a competition inviting 10 000 municipal staff to submit innovative ideas for improving the administration's performance, winning proposals included solutions for improving community participation, smart procurement, and lighting in public buildings. This inspired Rotterdam (NL) and five other cities in the URBACT Innovato-R network to draw on Turin’s experience to boost innovation and process improvement in their own cities. As a result, Rotterdam took a fresh approach with its existing innovation network of over 1 800 civil servants and 500 external stakeholders, strengthening links with businesses and academics, introducing new online ‘inspiration sessions’, and co-designing a new innovation platform.

     

    9. Harness the power of public spending 

    Koszalin (PL) analysed the city’s procurement spending and is using the resulting evidence to shape public procurement practices in order to benefit the local economy, while taking into account social and environmental factors. To do so, they used a spend analysis tool that was originally developed by Preston (UK) and transferred to six EU cities via the URBACT Making Spend Matter network. Koszalin also started working more closely with key ‘anchor institutions’ in the city, such as the hospital and university, exploring how much they spend, and where that money goes geographically. Meanwhile, they improved support for local SME participation in public procurement.

     

    Find out more about these and many more sustainable city solutions – in the new URBACT publication ‘Good Practice Transfer: Why not in my City?’.

    Visit the Good Practice database for more inspiration.

     

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