• Resourceful Cities

    LEAD PARTNER : The Hague - Netherlands
    • Mechelen - Belgium
    • Patras - Greece
    • Ciudad Real - Spain
    • Zagreb - Croatia
    • Oslo - Norway
    • Vila Nova de Famalicao - Portugal
    • Bucharest 3rd district - Romania
    • Cáceres - Spain
    • Opole - Poland


    • Phase 1: Kick-Off Meeting 1, The Hague 3-4 Oct 2019


    • Phase 1: Kick-Off Meeting 2, Mechelen 12-14 Feb 2020
    • Phase 2: Kick-Off Transnational meeting 1, online 7-8 Jul 2020
    • Phase 2: City-to-City Session *Scoping the eco system* 9 Sep 2020
    • URBACT e-University 15 Sep - 8 Oct 2020
    • Transnational meeting 2 *Stimulating Collaboration* 25-26 Nov 2020
    • City-to-City Session *Scaling up local circular economy* 14 Dec 2020
    • Transnational meeting 3 *The role of the city* 27-28 Jan 2021
    • City-to-City Session *Circular Economy and territorial food systems* 18 Feb 2021
    • Transnational meeting 4 *Education, Awareness & Engagement* 30-31 March 2021
    • Transnational meeting 5 *Funding, Monitoring & Risk Assessment * 29-30 June 2021

    RESOURCEFUL CITIES is an URBACT Action Planning Network of ten European cities. This project seeks to develop the next generation of urban resource centres, so they can serve as catalysts of the local circular economy, by adopting a participative and integrated approach. The resource centres strive to promote the positive economic, environmental and social impacts, notably for the circular economy. Thus, the network facilitates waste prevention, reuse, repair and recycling. The centres also work as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers and the public sector to co-create new ways to close resource loops at the local level. By bringing together interested actors to work alongside, the goal is to promote the change of values and mindset.

    Spaces for circular co-creation & action
  • BluAct

    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


    FEBRUARY / "Deep dive into the Piraeus BlueGrowth Initiative" meeting / Kick-off Phase 2 Piraeus, Greece 26-28 Feb 2019
    AUGUST / 1st BluAct partners meeting Phase 1 / Piraeus, Greece 25-26 Aug 2018
    MAY / "Preparing a Blue Economy Competition" meeting / Mataro, Spain 8-10 May 2019
    SEPTEMBER / "Incubation of Blue Economy Startups" meeting / Ostend, Belgium 17-19 Sep 2019
    JULY / "Blue Entrepreneurship Competition in a Flowchart" meeting / Galati, Romania 18 July 2019
    SEPTEMBER / #SeaZone Blue Entrepreneurship Competition is launched! / Ostend, Belgium 9 Sep 2019
    OCTOBER / Burgas Hackathon attracts 60 participants and generates 20 Blue Economy project ideas / Burgas, Bulgaria 15 Oct 2019
    JULY / BluAct Salerno is up and running, the first Blue Entrepreneurship competition of BluAct is now reality! / Salerno, Italy 25 Jul 2019
    DECEMBER / Salerno organized a successful Hackathon / Salerno, Italy 5-6 Dec 2019
    JANUARY / Transnational BluAct Meeting about "Celebrating the success of a Blue Entrepreneurship competition" and Project Mid-term Review / Matosinhos Portugal 27-29 Jan 2020
    OCTOBER / Danube Growth Initiative is launched! / Galati, Romania 15 Oct 2019
    MARCH / BluAct Matosinhos Startup Demo Day / Matosinhos Portugal 2 Mar 2020
    DECEMBER / Galati organized a successful Hackathon / Galati, Romania 20 Dec 2019
    JUNE / "Covid can't stop us!" Partners decided that the upcoming Burgas TNM will be substituted by 5 webinars / online 4 June 2020
    JUNE / Bluact Salerno Awards Demo Day - 10 winners / Salerno, Italy 5 June 2020
    JUNE / Mataro Premis Bluact Awards Demo Day / Mataro, Spain 22 Jun 2020
    JULY / The winners of Mataró BluAct Awards, started attending the incubation program at TecnoCampus / Mataro, Spain 3 Jul 2020
    SEPTEMBER / Preparation Workshop at BlueLab / Piraeus, Greece, 4 Sep 2020
    SEPTEMBER / Blue Growth Piraeus Demo Day - 50 participants - 1400 online viewers / Uni of Piraeus, Greece, 18 Sep 2020
    NOVEMBER / Burgas BlueS Camp with 9 blue economy ideas prepared for the upcoming Demo Day / Burgas, Bulgaria 21 Nov 2020
    MAY / Final Event / 27 and 28 May / HYBRID (online + 7 venues)
    MAY / Ostend SeaZone Competition / Ostend, Belgium, 19 May 2021

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


    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela


    Municipality of Udine (Italy)


    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/




    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora



    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801


    City of Rome


    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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



    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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




    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council


    Municipality of Piraeus


    BluAct is a Transfer network of 7 European port cities including Piraeus, Mataro, Ostend, Galati, Matosinhos, Burgas and Salerno aiming to share good practices in Blue Economy entrepreneurship. The project follows the success of Piraeus’ Blue Growth Initiative, an entrepreneurship competition that offers incubation services to local businesses boosting innovation and job creation. Through an approach of creating Urbact Local Support Groups and engaging local stakeholders and other interested parties, with the ultimate aim of starting up the blue economy, BluAct aims to deliver far reaching results in the respective partner cities.

    Starting up the Blue Economy
    Ref nid


    Kick-off meeting
    Rome Transnational Meeting
    Caen Transnational Meeting
    Vilnius Transnational Meeting
    Loures Transnational Meeting
    Thessaloniki Transnational Meeting + Mid Term Reflection
    A Coruña-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Krakow Online Transnational Meeting
    Krakow-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Vilnius-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Loures-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Caen-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Thessaloniki-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Network Final Event - A Coruña June 28 2021
    Thessaloniki Transnational online meeting
    Krakow TNM second part (in presence)

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


    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela


    Municipality of Udine (Italy)


    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/




    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora



    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801


    City of Rome


    This Transfer network builds upon the "Management model of Urban gardens in Rome" Good Practice, in order to transfer to EU cities geographically distant from each other to ensure sharing of experiences to enhance the capacities of local governance. Transfer efforts will be given to 3 distinct, interlinked, thematic components/elements that the Good Practice is divided into: Capacity building in organizing urban gardens, Inspiring and training people to manage urban gardens (Gardeners) and urban gardens governance & regulations.

    Urban agriculture for resilient cities
    Ref nid
  • Tropa Verde


    Kick-off meeting
    Final Conference

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


    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela


    Tropa Verde is a Transfer network to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour that empowers citizens to reuse and recycle. Combining web platform and low cost campaigns, it is considered as a "civic movement fully committed to sustainability and circular economy". Citizens get vouchers and exchange them for rewards from the City Council and local retailers. It connects places where disposing waste (green points, civic and social centres, etc.) with local businesses providing gifts or discounts.

    Rewarding recycling
    Ref nid
  • BioCanteens#2




    LEAD PARTNER : Mouans-Sartoux - France
    • Liège - Belgium
    • Gava - Spain
    • Wroclaw - Poland


    • Kick-off meeting
    • A Table ! Mouans-Sartoux Food Forum

    What's new

    News & Events

    BioCanteens#2 Transfer Network is about ensuring the distribution of sustainable school meals in participating cities as a key lever towards the development of an integrated local agri-food approach, protecting both citizens’ health and the environment. The project aims to transfer Mouans- Sartoux’s Good Practice in the field of collective school catering, to other highly committed cities across Europe.

    Education - Food - Environment - Local Economy - Governance
    Ref nid
  • RU:RBAN Second Wave


    Kick off meeting
    Algeciras Transnational Meeting
    Alexandroupolis Transnational Meeting
    Carlow Transnational Meeting
    Split Transnational Meeting
    RU:RBAN 2nd Wave Final Event in Rome

    RU:RBAN's Good Practice is the Management model of Urban gardens in Rome to be transferred to newcomer cities that are geographically, historically and socio-culturally distant from each other, to ensure sharing of experiences to enhance the capacities of local governance. Transfer efforts will be ensured on the 3 well known and successful components the GP is divided into: 1. Capacity building, 2. Inspiring and training people to manage urban gardens (Gardenisers), 3. Governance & Regulations

    Urban agriculture for resilient cities
    Ref nid
  • Rewarding re-use and recycling


    Bringing together citizens and businesses for a more environmentally friendly society

    Fejer Mate
    Project Coordinator
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    125 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Zugló, one of Budapest’s 23 districts, has a reputation for clean, safe streets and good transportation. Attracting a diverse mix of residents, the area is seeing considerable development, including new housing for young families. But this increasing population density means growing levels of waste to deal with.


    The district’s waste is managed by a company (FKF) publicly owned by the City of Budapest. Before Tropa Verde, FKF already ran two modern Re-use and Educational Centres, where people could drop off useful old objects and which were frequently visited by school groups.


    However, still about half of all collected waste went to a huge landfill site, and another sizeable proportion was incinerated. Only about 10 percent of municipal waste was collected separately by households and recycled by various companies. Tropa Verde was a chance for Zugló to take a fresh approach to encouraging citizens to recycle more.


    First, a survey of citizens’ attitudes, habits, motivations and needs gave Zugló a basis to plan their new recycling reward scheme, adapting Santiago De Compostela’s platform to their own context. Next, they developed a clear online map enabling residents to find the right recycling facility for a range of waste items.


    With support from the web company who developed Santiago De Compostela’s original ‘Tropaverde’ platform, Zugló launched its own local platform, accessible via the now international tropaverde.org. Just like Santiago De Compostela’s, this links in to an awards, or hulladék.pont, system, involving a whole network of local partners.


    At designated ‘green points’, citizens can get a coupon with a code in exchange for the recyclable or reusable items they drop off. There are also rewards for composting. Points can then be redeemed on Zugló’s Tropa Verde platform – and spent in shops and organisations who have agreed to sponsor the programme.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The rewards system is an important way of engaging with both businesses and citizens about the environment. To further promote the initiative, the Municipality of Zugló launched a campaign to promote recycling jointly with FKF. And there have been environmental education events in festivals, children’s camps and schools. Other efforts have included a competition to collect batteries and used electronic devices, and a partnership with the Jane Goodall Foundation to collect used mobile phones.


    As the project supports a much wider environmental management strategy, Zugló has benefited from strong political involvement, with the Deputy Mayor a key advocate for the activities throughout.

    Participatory approach

    The URBACT Local Group was particularly active in awareness-raising, thanks to their diverse members from cultural and sports institutions, the city’s philharmonic orchestra – and even Budapest’s Zoo, which is in Zugló. The Tropa Verde project was presented at the Budapest Gastro Festival, where the interested could not only get information about the project, but also get involved in the program by disposing glass waste. Prior to the Covid pandemic, in 2020, experts from the municipality and project partners visited the children's day camps in Zugló several times to raise awareness about conscious waste disposal, recycling and project goals as part of awareness-raising events. Following the pandemic period the municipality, together with a number of local NGOs, launched an online series of programs where participants could learn the tricks of composting in urban and apartment environment through entertaining, playful sessions, or even build an insect hotel. They got to know how to replace disposable packaging with durable solutions in the kitchen, bathroom, learned about clothing repair and recycling practices, and also about the impact of our meals and purchased foods on our environment.


    It has to be underlined that Zugló’s implementation of the project, that started very successfully, has been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, as it interfered with all their plans, and forced to cancel promotional events and gather more sponsors.


    Zugló planned to bring the program to local and residential events and festivals, while persuading companies of joining the project. They updated the flyers and created a banner to put on the entrance of joining companies to show that they are part of our program.


    As part of long-term planning, Zugló created a communication plan, and launched the GP by using a mix of offline and online tools.


    Towards the future, as a change, Zugló plans to most be present in more events and to include more companies, to guarantee the success and sustainability of the solution.


    For such purpose, a database for those companies that could potentially be involved was created, and Zugló intended to contact them during the lockdown.


    To summarize, Zugló has struggled to get sponsors to join the project and even those who joined had to close for business before even starting to accept coupons.

    What difference has it made

    At the start of the program, 6 waste disposal sites participated in the program, which we later wanted to supplement with a minimum of 10 pharmacies and 2 donation shops, but this plan unfortunately failed due to the pandemic situation.


    In 2020, we reached about 200 elementary school students at our attitude-forming events. In the spring of 2021, we ran various awareness-raising campaigns and reached more than 6,000 people on the municipality's Internet channels.


    Within the framework of the campaign, we promoted the 2 waste disposal sites included in the program for 2 weeks with the participation of FKF, where we drew 6 horticultural vouchers among the participants.


    In an online lecture for local residents, a specialist from FKF gave a lecture on the ways of waste management in the capital with the participation of 30 interested people. In May, we held attitude-forming online programs with the participation of 5 civil organizations, 9 times, with the participation with a total of about 200 people. In cooperation with FKF, we held attitude-forming sessions in 9 kindergartens with the participation of about 1,000 children. The map containing the waste disposal sites created under the project has so far been used by almost 3,000 people.

    Transferring the practice

    Meetings with partner cities – including an event in Budapest in June 2018 – were great opportunities to exchange experiences and learn from each other, which enabled Zugló to identify similar problems in waste management and learn new skills to tackle them.


    The aim is now to get more residents involved post-COVID and hopefully to roll out the programme across all districts of Budapest.


    The hope is that each area of the city will set up its own URBACT-style local group, involving local sponsors across the city to promote the circular economy.

    Is a transfer practice
    Ref nid
  • Global Goals for Cities

    Global Goals for Cities map

    Lead Partner : Tallinn - Estonia
    • Klaipèda - Lithuania
    • Braga - Portugal
    • Bratislava - Slovakia
    • Gävle - Sweden
    • Glasgow
    • Heraklion - Greece
    • La Rochelle - France
    • Manresa - Spain
    • Reggio Emilia - Italy
    • Schiedam - Netherlands
    • Veszprém - Hungary
    • Solingen - Germany
    • Mouscron - Belgium
    • Trim - Ireland
    • Ozalj - Croatia
    • Jihlava - Czech Republic
    • Dzierżoniów - Poland
    • Véliki Preslav - Bulgaria



    • Kick-off meeting
    • Participation at the 2022 World Urban Forum in Katowice (PL)
    • Localising Sustainable Development Goals Conference in Manresa (ES)




    • How EU cities can localise SDGs through integrated action planning

      Global Goals For Cities Lead Expert Stina Heikkila shows URBACT cities taking steps to link local and global sustainability goals.

    • Senioral policy in Dzierżoniów and the goals of sustainable development

      The Sustainable Development Goals have been defined by the United Nations (UN) in the document Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This document lists 17 Sustainable Development Goals and related activities that are planned to be achieved by UN member states. The goals are achieved not only at the government level - the sectors of science, business, non-governmental organizations and ordinary citizens also have a great influence.

    • From Vision to Transformative Actions for the SDGs: co-creation of integrated actions in Manresa

      Around one hour and a half from Barcelona by train, in a hilly area of the Bages county, is Manresa - a small-sized city with around 78 000 inhabitants - one of several partners of similar size in the Global Goals for Cities network. On 21 April, I had the chance to stop by and attend one of Manresa’s URBACT Local Group (ULG) meetings organised by the local coordination team. Here, I share a few highlights of how the ULG and the participatory process is helping to shape the priorities of the Manresa 2030 Agenda and the integrated action plan that is currently in the making.  

    • Video from the transnational meeting in Gävle

      A very nice and colorful short movie showcasing our three full workdays in Gävle.
      Authors: partners from Mouscron, Christophe Deneve.

    • Insights from REGGIO EMILIA

      The city of Reggio Emilia (Italy) was the co-host of the 7th Transnational Meeting, which was held between 23-25 May 2022 in Sweden, along with the cities of Gävle (Sweden) and Dzierżoniów (Poland).

    • Video from transnational meeting in Solingen

      A short video of our first physical meeting in Solingen, Germany.
      The meeting was dedicated to the next phase of action planning and implementation on governance, partnerships, and policy coherence levels.

    • First face-to-face meeting in Solingen

      Together with the cities of Tallinn and Heraklion the TM#6 was hosted by Solingen and was held from April, 6 to April, 8 in the Theater and Concert Hall in Solingen. After one year of work in
      the GG4C project participants from 14 different countries took the chance to meet in person.

    • Insights from Heraklion, the co-host of TM6

      The city of Heraklion was the co-host of the 6th Transnational Meeting which was held between 5-8 April 2022 in Solingen, Germany along with Solingen and Tallinn.

    • SDG Story: Gävle

      Gävle and the other 18 cities (from 19 countries) of the EU URBACT pilot network ”Global Goals in Cities” (GG4C) are already one year into the 20 months project on localising the SDGs.

    • SDG Story: Mouscron

      Just halfway towards our goals following the marked route, the AGRI-URBAN Network (URBACT III Programme) held a transnational meeting in the Swedish city of Södertälje from 21 to 24 May 2017. A turning point in the agenda of this project, the meeting focused on the AGRI-URBAN topics linked to the experience of this city and also put the emphasis on shaping the Integrated Action Plans of all partners of the project with the participation of their respective URBACT Local Groups. Watching this video, produced after the visit, you can discover how inspirational was this Swedish city in the project design and later, fostering innovative actions in other partner cities involved in the development of local food systems.
    • SDG Story: Tallinn

      Guidelines for the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals in the framework of Tallinn 2035 Development Strategy.

    • SDG Story: Jihlava

      Jihlava vision concept: aim is to be safe, socially cohesive, green and accessible city.

    • SDG Story: Bratislava

      Where are we coming from?

      Even though the first mention of Bratislava appears in 907, Bratislava is one of the youngest capitals in Europe (1993).

    • SDG Story: Reggio Emilia

      Where are we coming from? The city profile.

      Reggio Emilia is renowned in educational circles, with the philosophy known as the “Reggio Emilia Approach”; for pre-school and primary school children developed in the city shortly after World War II. At the same time, contemporary art, ancient monuments, and exhibitions such as Fotografia Europea have made the city rich in culture and social change —supported by the business community, services and the university. The city is connected by high-speed train to Milan, Bologna and Florence, and is within 45 minutes’ reach to all those cities. Reggio is the city of relations with Africa, the city of cycle paths and of Parmigiano Reggiano.

    • SDG Story: Veliki Preslav

      The third newspaper of tomorrow is here and it's from Veliki Presav, Bulgaria.
      Very inspirational article of how the city looks like beyond 2030, and as they declare - Veliki Preslav will be the most sustainable small city in their land.

    • SDG Story: Klaipėda

      In the visioning phase of our network, partners worked hard to co-create their visions for localizing the SDGs in their cities. The stories tell their vision for how to localise the SDGs in their cities.
      Here you can get a glimpse of Klaipėda - vibrant, smart, inclusive.

    • SDG Story: Heraklion

      In the Visioning phase of our URBACT Global Goals for Cities network in the second half of 2021, partners worked hard to co-create their visions for localizing the sustainable development goals in their cities.
      We’re happy to launch our ,campaign showing the diversity and creativity of the 19 stories.
      First up: Newspaper of future Heraklion -smart, resilient and livable city.

    • The RFSC a relevant tool for the city partners of the GG4C network

      In the course of the life of the Global Goals for Cities (GG4C) network, the 19 city partners used an existing self-assessment tool: the RFSC, or Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities. Based on European principles for sustainable and integrated urban development, the tool available online was used during the diagnosis and visioning phase of the network (as an analytical tool), and partners will use it again in the planning phase (as a planning tool). What is the RFSC? And what did it bring to the network?

    • The Citizen Committee of the La Rochelle Territory Zero Carbon project: How to build trust?

      On January 25, La Rochelle Urban Community presented to the Global Goals for Cities partners its ‘La Rochelle Territory Zero Carbon’ (LRTZC) project towards 2040, highlighting the following main characteristics and innovations : a shared and multilevel governance, an evaluation and financing tool 'the Carbon Cooperative', and a citizen co-construction approach through the establishment of a Citizen Committee.

    • Debating the future of Schiedam

      The future of the city of Schiedam is a recurring topic in the city council and the executive board and, of course, also in the city. These views and discussions have been reflected in the city vision for some time now.

    • Jihlava's successful collaboration with developers

      Every new construction in the city burdens the surrounding area with growing demands on transportation, social and health infrastructure, and other needs for a functioning urban society. Such externalities can be relatively reliably quantified, predicted or simulated. However, cities often must develop and maintain the infrastructure themselves. Is there a method to share costs with private developers and collaborate to build more sustainably with the needs of the citizens in mind?

    • Glasgow’s Journey towards the 2030 Agenda

      Race to net zero and climate resilience: localising the SDGs through meaningful participation and co-creation.

    • Manresa 2030 Agenda: localising the SDGs through meaningful participation

      Since the end of 2018, Manresa is working on its local 2030 Agenda: an integrated sustainability strategy to respond to the environmental, social, and economic challenges of the current decade. A strategy whose design, implementation and monitoring must be shared with all the local stakeholders and citizens.

    • Awareness-raising around the SDGs – a practical example from La Rochelle Urban Community

      On 25 November, Stina Heikkilä had the opportunity to participate in an exciting event organised by our Global Goals for Cities partner La Rochelle Urban Community: the bi-annual Participatory Forum for Actors for Transition (Forum Participatif des Acteurs de la Transition). For this Forum, the team from La Rochelle Urban Community had planned an “SDG edition” with the aim of raising awareness about the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs among local stakeholders.

    • Ozalj best practices on meaningful participation

      The city of Ozalj was the co-host of the 4th Transnational Meeting which was held virtually between 24-26 November 2021 along with Manresa and Glasgow. Our main theme was Meaningful participation and co-creation and each co-host city shared best practices and introduced other cities to local customs.

    • Trim: Raising awareness of the SDGs

      The courthouse in Trim stands in the centre of the town, with the castle in the background, it is a reminder of the history and heritage of Trim. Both grey stone buildings have been here longer than us and could tell a story or two.

    • In Swedish: Gävle is developing urban sustainability

      Nätverket Global Goals for Cities arbetar med Agenda 2030 och de globala målen. Gävle kommun ska tillsammans med 18 andra städer i nätverket under kommande två år skapa och dela kunskap för att utveckla den urbana hållbarheten.

    • Klaipeda Case Study: Virtual hackathon “Unlock SDGs”

      To achieve Agenda 2030 and make sure that we leave no one behind, everyone needs to get involved in the work towards a more sustainable world. Youth continuously are an important factor in this work. The Klaipeda city has Forum of Youth Ambassadors, which is a new body put in place with the hope of creating lasting and strong youth engagement. The forum is designed to generate ideas for the Youth Affairs Council of Klaipėda, which consists of 7 youth representatives and 7 municipal representatives.  This process is in progress according to national law.

    • Mouscron: Story of Transnational Meeting

      On September 28th, the transnational meeting with the co-host cities of Trim, Mouscron and Klaipeda was held by videoconference (thanks to covid…). Nevertheless, it was an opportunity for us to practice our English. 
      Through this activity, we were able to learn more and discover local traditions. We were therefore able to introduce other cities to our customs and to share with them our culture. 

    • URBACT cities join forces in a quest for global sustainability

      A new URBACT network aims to lead the way in delivering on the UN SDGs in cities. Find out why this matters.

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call of action to protect our planet, end poverty and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. "Global Goals for Cities” is a pilot network and strategic partnership aimed at accelerating progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 19 cities of the EU, through peer learning and integrated action planning. The partnership is funded through the European Regional Development Fund's URBACT III European Territorial Cooperation program.

    Strategic partnership for peer learning and planning to localise SDGs
    Ref nid
  • URBACT bright spots to look forward to in 2021

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    What will URBACT be up to in 2021? Check out 8 of our highlights for the year ahead.

    Circular economy

    Happy New Year! It’s going to be another tough one, but here are some reasons to be hopeful about URBACT’s work supporting integrated sustainable development in EU towns and cities.

    We’ve identified some key highlights of 2021 and spoken to some of the people behind these initiatives to find out more. Read on for a glimpse of what they are excited about in the programme’s year ahead.


    1. URBACT Transfer Networks entering their ‘sharing period’

    Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Expert

    “Recent research has given us a deeper understanding of how good practices are transferred between cities, and why URBACT’s network model is successful. 2021 will be the year to share these experiences. URBACT has a lot to celebrate!

    From spring, a series of events will cascade the lessons our cities have learned in the URBACT Transfer Networks – some might even bring people together in person! I’m particularly looking forward to this all coming together at our URBACT City Festival, which we plan to hold in June 2021. This will mark the next stage of their project journey, and a chance to celebrate and share everything we’ve learned.

    A new URBACT pilot project will also build on Transfer Network lessons: a call is now open for cities looking to transfer the lessons of Call 1 Urban Innovative Actions projects, kicking off in March. So if you want to be part of our 2021 experience, get involved!”

    2. URBACT launching online procurement training for cities

    Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson, Lead Expert of Making Spend Matter and Co-Trainer for the URBACT Online Course on Strategic Procurement

    “What I’m most looking forward to is our new online procurement training course due to be launched in March 2021. It will mean all cities can learn from the URBACT Making Spend Matter network, which has already been really effective in transferring the good practice of Preston (UK) to six other cities. We’ll use case studies to show, step-by-step, how cities can embed social and environmental considerations into their procurement decision-making, starting off with a methodology to measure where the city’s spend goes.

    Procurement can be quite exciting if you use it in the right way. Looking to 2021, I think it would be good if all URBACT cities started to think differently about how they bought goods and services. It’s a real opportunity for municipalities to use the spend power they have through procurement to create jobs, improve skills, and reduce carbon emissions, for example. Register now for the online course.”

    3. Contributing to progress on climate change

    Marcelline Bonneau, URBACT Programme Expert

    “Climate change is a priority issue we want all cities to focus on in 2021. We’ll learn from URBACT networks Zero Carbon Cities and Urb-En Pact – and, on the circular economy, Resourceful Cities and URGE. In May, we’ll promote ‘green’ issues around the World Bee Day on 20 May.

    URBACT will be involved in this year’s COP 26 – in whatever form it takes! For example, cities will be key for implementing the ‘Glasgow food declaration’, supporting local authorities in reducing local food systems’ impact on climate change. Linked to that is the ‘Cities call for food democracy and food sovereignty in Europe’, on 23 March, led by the URBACT BioCanteens network under the patronage of MEP Marc Tarabella, with other partners.

    There’ll also be lots of synergies and city solutions to look out for in food-related URBACT networks - BeePathNet, Ru:rban, BioCanteens and FOOD CORRIDORS. I’m hopeful, but realistic about 2021. We learnt a lot in 2020. Cities don’t have any other option but to adjust.”

    4. Defining the future URBACT programme

    Adele Bucella, URBACT Projects and Programming Head of Unit

    “2021 is an exciting year for the future of URBACT: I’ll be following the design of the next Programme ‘URBACT IV’ with Member States and the European Commission as part of a new EU urban development framework. It’s all about building on URBACT’s experience so far to help cities become better places to work and live.

    While URBACT’s ‘DNA’ will remain in the new programme – like the tried-and-tested ‘URBACT method’, and a greater share of the budget dedicated to Transnational Networks – there are also some inspiring changes to look forward to. One innovation is a stronger focus on helping URBACT cities implement the Integrated Action Plans they’ll develop, with links to the European Structural Funds. Another is new capacity building support in key, cross-cutting areas relevant to all cities in Europe – such as digital transition, gender equality and environmental sustainability. We’ll have more details to share in the next months.”

    5. Sharing URBACT knowledge on the right to housing

    Laura Colini, URBACT Programme Expert

    “People who were vulnerable before the pandemic are even more so in 2021. URBACT’s work on housing and inclusion will continue to grow, and we’ll encourage other cities to engage with the right to housing, and improve policies on the ground. This year I’m looking forward to focusing more on cities and vulnerabilities, especially housing-related issues: prevention of eviction, gender policies, energy poverty, migration, etc.

    A key development will be our new platform sharing results of the URBACT-UIA initiative ‘Cities engaging in the right to housing’. Cities in URBACT networks relevant to housing, homelessness and vulnerability – such as ROOF, SIBdev or CITIES4CSR – will exchange and showcase examples. I’m interested in how the platform will link to wider events – like the EU report on affordable and adequate housing, and the EU Urban Agenda ‘Culture and Cultural Heritage’ action on regulating short-term rentals. There’s also the Portuguese EU presidency conference dedicated to homelessness on 21 June.”

    6. A pilot network of cities localising Sustainable Development Goals

    Céline Ethuin, URBACT Project Officer, SDG Network Coordinator

    “I’m happy to be leading preparations for a pilot URBACT network aiming to support a group of EU cities to exchange, build capacities and develop tools for carrying out diagnosis, visioning, planning and monitoring measurable actions to localise the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    It’s the first time URBACT will specifically tackle the SDGs, which cover a wide range of sustainable integrated development topics. We’re working in partnership with CEMR using the RFSC tool. We’re also building links with organisations like JRC, OECD, UN Habitat and UN SDSN. Exchanging with and learning from cities beyond the EU who are already working on the localisation of SDGs will provide input, methods, tools and inspiration for partners: this worldwide perspective is particularly exciting.

    We expect to launch the pilot in March 2021 – to run until September 2022. It’s a chance to help raise awareness of the SDGs and enhance the role of local governments and stakeholders in translating the global 2030 Agenda into concrete local policies, taking an active part in the Decade of Action to build the future we want.”

    7. Boosting the URBACT Techplace community

    Ian Graham, Lead Expert of DigiPlace and URBACT Digital Support Expert

    “The shift to digital has been very sudden, both in the way we work and in the way cities function. This year I’m looking forward to URBACT scaling up the TechPlace community - I see a real opportunity for it to become a go-to ecosystem for tech in cities across Europe.

    There’ll be inspiring case studies and exchange opportunities for cities of all sizes, building on URBACT networks, such as DigiPlace and TechRevolution. I hope this will also be a chance to answer the need for capacity building – helping city leaders understand the value of digital at city level, and how to make the right changes so that digital transition works for everyone.

    When Covid-19 struck, I was one of three ‘digital buddies’ URBACT brought in to help cities work more effectively online with transnational partners and URBACT Local Groups. I’m looking forward to continuing this in 2021: the new challenge will be deciding when to travel. Starting to build a new way of working, a new hybrid model of digital and physical working methods, is a critical task for 2021.”

    8. Continuing to build on recent successes and strengths of URBACT

    Sally Kneeshaw, URBACT Programme Expert

    “In the next couple of months we’ll welcome back all 436 urban practitioners of the URBACT e-University alumni to a meet-up, to share progress since our intense capacity-building labs back in autumn 2020. It will still be online, but will provide opportunities to catch up with buddies from the working groups, get up to date on the latest news, and try out some new platform features to encourage interaction, random networking and maintain the indomitable URBACT community spirit.

    2021 will also see a strengthening of our Gender Equal Cities initiative, as we benefit from the ongoing work of the URBACT Gendered Landscape network to apply the principles of gender mainstreaming to all areas of urban development.

    But I have to say that what I’m looking forward to most of all in 2021 is greeting URBACT colleagues and city partners in person. What a joy it will be when we can finally shake hands again, get together physically, and regain the connections that allow us to learn in depth, co-create and be inspired by one another.”


    What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead for URBACT? Do let us know. And follow URBACT on social media to catch more detailed updates on these and many more urban issues that URBACT is helping cities tackle in 2021.

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  • How to accelerate cities’ transition to the circular economy

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    Cities can be pioneers in the path towards the circular economy through the creation and demonstration of new business models.

    Circular economy

    In this article, I present some urgent actions that cities can adopt and questions they need to address to better manage and conserve resources.

    The article is inspired by the first insights coming from the work of the URBACT Action Planning Network URGE: Building circular cities, led by the City of Utrecht.

    The article aims to show how cities can become better prepared to fulfil their role as major contributors to the achievement of EU sustainability goals and pave the way for the implementation of the European Green Deal.


    A new political impetus


    In March 2020, the ‘New Action Plan on Circular Economy for a Cleaner and more Competitive Europe’ was launched by the European Commission. This introduces a strong and coherent policy framework that will foster sustainable products, services and business models. It envisages to establish new consumption patterns so that no waste is produced in the first place.

    This policy framework identifies key product value chains that should be addressed as a matter of priority. These include: ICT and electronics; batteries and vehicles; food, water and nutrients; packaging; plastics; textiles; and buildings and city infrastructure.

    Through this new policy framework, the Commission is inviting EU institutions and bodies to actively contribute to the implementation of the circular economy. It is also encouraging Member States to adopt or update their national circular economy strategies, plans and measures in the light of the overall ambition.

    This is also an area in which cities have a key role to play, not least in designing, testing and applying circular principles on the ground. Most importantly, they need to develop strategies and policies towards integrated sectorial approaches.


    The importance of new markets


    City-level strategies need to address current waste management practices, including the imposition of measures to foster the local exploitation and re-use of materials from certain waste streams as ‘secondary raw materials’ (SRM).

    However, this cannot be done if relevant technical standards are not in place to ensure SRMs’ performance and safety. In parallel, further actions are needed at operational level to prepare the ground towards the wide use of SRM, including the introduction of incentives for rewarding improved sustainability performance.

    Cities must also be prepared to assess the feasibility of establishing a market observatory for key SRM, map the flows of materials and enable information exchange between SRM sellers and potential buyers. Thus, new business models will evolve, impacting positively on the creation of new jobs and improved human capacities.

    Strategies need to start with the implementation of such practices in public procurement, given the fact that public authorities’ purchasing power represents 14% of EU GDP, according to the European Green Public Procurement Criteria and Good practices. Influencing and adopting legislation towards the increased use of SRM will be critical.


    Without forgetting the human angle


    For new business models to be successful, it is essential to boost demand; actions to increase awareness of citizens are essential. Increased demand stimulates the offer, thus such actions are of major importance.

    It is imperative to ensure that consumers receive trustworthy and relevant information on products at the point of sale, or even from the design phase where appropriate (e.g. in the case they are searching to buy a house) including information on their lifespan performance and the availability of repair services, spare parts and repair manuals.

    At the same time, it is equally, if not even more crucial to raise the awareness of professionals of the benefits of redesign and up-cycling of materials and ensuring they are capable of re-using them in their final products. This includes engineers that design constructions, taking into consideration circular economy principles or those that design processes using resources in closed loops (i.e. industrial symbiosis).

    But it also includes blue-collar workers, activated in different sectors and many other types of physical work, whose capacity to comply with the new reality must also be built. In this context, if actions are taken in this direction, circularity can be expected to have a positive net effect on job creation provided that workers acquire the skills required by the green transition.

    The potential of the social economy, which is a pioneer in job creation linked to the circular economy, will be further leveraged by the mutual benefits of supporting the green transition and strengthening social inclusion.


    The importance of local approaches


    Circular economy solutions at local level must be tailored to the local conditions and framework. Existing characteristics must be taken into consideration, including around specific waste steams’ from key local economic activities, any dependence on resource imports, current use of materials and any waste exporting activities.

    At local level, silos between departments need to be broken to avoid one-sided policy making. Furthermore, circular economy should be a regular theme in citizens’ dialogues. This will help cities to identify and prioritise actions that would create the most important impact, based on an assessment of the local reality and the most relevant materials to be re-entered into the economy

    Financing and implementation of necessary local infrastructure supporting this transition is of great importance. For example, material banks and green points for source separation, recycling, re-use and disposing of materials to end-users are necessary.

    In this context, the importance of adopting an integrated approach is once again crucial. The new Cohesion Policy funds are expected to help cities to implement such investments, but there needs to be alignment and cooperation of resources and stakeholders at all levels - EU, national, regional, territorial – and including both hard and soft investments.

    The prioritisation of actions at local level, to create a hierarchised lists of interventions accelerating the implementation of the Green Deal and the transition to circular economy, represents a future challenge for cities. In this context, additional local criteria could be considered, such as negative effects to the local environment, costs and social acceptability.


    Concluding thoughts


    The transition to the circular economy needs to be systemic, deep and transformative, in the EU and beyond. To deliver this, a lot of action will be needed at local level.

    The nine Cities participating in the URGE project seem to be one step ahead as they have already identified the significance of introducing local strategies, policies and plans for promoting the circular economy. They are also fully committed to digging deeper on these key issues in the coming years.

    Although the URGE network is focused on the building sector, it should be possible to generalise its findings and apply them to other sectors. This short article already seeks to serve as a roadmap of actions that cities must critically consider in order to assess, prioritise and implement actions in favour of the circular economy.

    These approaches are fully in line with the broader European strategy and aim to place cities firmly as pioneers towards the implementation of sustainability goals at EU level.

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