• CREATIVE SPIRITS

    Timeline

    Phase 1 kick-off

    Phase 2 kick-off

    Phase 2 development

    Final event

    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

    The partner cities from this Implementation network have a common need to improve the implementation of their existing integrated urban strategies and action plans by including new approaches linked to creative and cultural industries (CCI) – creative places, people, and businesses. The joint policy challenge for the network is to better facilitate the above 'creative ecosystem' to be able to attract (more) creative entrepreneurs and boost creative entrepreneurship in dedicated urban areas, this comprises activities that create economic value through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. A city is able to mobilise ideas, talents and creative organisations when it knows how to foster a creative milieu by identifying, nurturing, attracting and sustaining talent. Local governments all over the world are increasingly becoming aware of the CCI’s potential to generate jobs, wealth, and cultural engagement.

    Boosting creative entrepreneurship through creative-based urban strategies
    Ref nid
    8781
  • 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
  • CityCentreDoctor

    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

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Heerlen). Transnational meetings in September (Medina del Campo) and November (Amarante).
    Transnational meetings in April (Nord sur Erdre), May (San Dona di Piave), July (Idrija) and September (Valmez).
    Final event in March (San Dona di Piave).

    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

    The cities of this Action Planning network were challenged to identify the urban issues relate to their city centre, analyse perceptions and reality of those areas. All cities have a centre which historically and functionally brings residents, businesses, services and a range of social activities together. Thus, the involved cities shared ideas and practices, supporting each other to develop actions to strengthen the revitalisation of their city centres (which is often the nexus for social, cultural and, ultimately, economic local development).

    Revitalising city centres of smaller cities
    Ref nid
    7462
  • INTERACTIVE CITIES

    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

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (Alba Iulia).
    Transnational meetings in February (Lisbon), June (Tartu) and October (Ghent).
    Transnational meeting in January (Murcia). Final event in April (Genoa).

    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

    This Action Planning network explored how digital, social media and user generated content can improve today’s urban management in European cities, whatever size. This challenge has been tackled in two ways: as an opportunity to redefine and deepen the concept of citizenship and civic engagement today, providing a path to spark cohesion, commonalities and shared value as well as increasing sense of place. As well as a way to improve the quality of public services, in terms of efficiency and transparency, and even widen the current service chart provided by local authorities.

    Digital, social media and user-generated content improving urban governance
    Ref nid
    7465
  • RetaiLink

    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

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Igualada). Transnational meeting in October (Sibenik).
    Transnational meetings in February (Liberec), June (Pecs) and October (Romans).
    Final event in April (Hoogeven).

    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

    This Action Planning network created strategic plans to enhance the competitiveness of small and/or independent retail businesses, considering them a key economic driver. The project’s scope of work includes areas such as regulation, employment, urban planning, managing public spaces, mobility, cultural and creative industries and citizens participation. The multi-stakeholder approach brings together public sector, private sector, retailers and major commercial operators, consumers or cultural and creative industries.

    Creating innovative strategies to revitalise the retail sector
    Ref nid
    7503
  • Supporting strategy-creation in the field of internationalization

    Hungary
    Debrecen

    Data-driven local governance aiming at improving the life of internationals

    Mariann Mocsár-Vámos
    Urban development Expert
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    208 000

    Summary

    In Debrecen, traditional approaches to economic development were mostly about developing infrastructure, rather than focusing on people. After moving to making data-driven decisions, via survey of needs, Debrecen has been able to develop a strategy to welcome and retain international talents.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Debrecen is the economic, cultural, and scientific centre of eastern Hungary – and the country’s second largest city. With a booming economy, the city allocates considerable resources to promoting international investment and developing local businesses. Recently Debrecen announced more than two billion euros in foreign direct investment and 8000 new workplaces. 

    Hosting several multinationals such as BMW, Continental and Thyssenkrupp, and one of the oldest and largest universities in the country, Debrecen has a fair amount of international talent – and employment opportunities. Several separate initiatives were available to help international professionals and students on arrival in the city and during their stay.

    However, support was lacking in some areas. For example, many expatriates struggled to find suitable affordable housing, or understand key municipal information in Hungarian. Traditional approaches to economic development were mostly about developing infrastructure, rather than focusing on people.

    Debrecen’s involvement in WIT was managed by the city’s economic development centre, the municipality-owned company EDC Debrecen Nonprofit Kft (EDC). To enable the municipal government to make data-driven decisions, EDC launched an initial survey to identify internationals’ needs.

    Through interviews, and 450 survey answers for online questionnaires, EDC gathered perspectives on Debrecen’s safety, public transport and culture etc. The results showed that international residents appreciated the calmness, green areas, and social life, but lacked centralised information in English and international cultural events. Specific questions to international students also helped analyse potential future skills in the workforce and their match with the city’s growing number of multi-national corporations.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The aim is to create an environment, in which internationals find proper living conditions, that enriches the attractiveness of the city. The more international talent settles down in Debrecen, the higher the need for their integration is. Their expertise, skills and experiences help Debrecen reach a higher value-added in terms of economy, living conditions and social aspect.

    This process and integrity are emphasized by the Welcoming policy of Debrecen in the framework of internationalization. This policy contributes to the development of Debrecen in the field of local business environment, tourism, education (from kindergarten till higher education) which supports the sustainable urban development.

    Participatory approach

    The URBACT Local Group (ULG) brought together stakeholders linked to the city’s Investment Strategy and others such as expat relocation services. This helped Debrecen to develop a new motivation to change the city’s mindset towards internationalisation – and played an important role in looking at how they could help make life easier for expats in their city.

    Learning from Groningen and partner cities at WIT transnational meetings, EDC Debrecen developed a valuable peer learning approach locally, working with stakeholders individually on specific questions.  

    The strong stakeholder relations developed through WIT have played a key part in convincing local leaders to also focus on the social aspects of economic development. Building on this, EDC Debrecen will continue to pursue longer term goals, such as improving support for affordable accommodation, and encouraging local companies to recruit international talent.

    What difference has it made

    Given the linkages of the project to wider inward investment and economic development strategies, they engage with individuals on a one-to-one basis. The objective is to keep on growing the local economy and an integral to that is relationships with people, whether that be multinational companies, workers, or students.

    Language was confirmed as a serious barrier for many internationals trying to settle in Debrecen. So, supported by the Vice-Mayor, the ULG and EDC Debrecen decided to develop a website in English with practical information on topics ranging from jobs and housing to cultural programs.

    EDC Debrecen also identified other websites where English versions would be useful, for example on public transport, city works, the Christmas Fair, and other events. The local theatre started providing English subtitles, and other foreign languages will be introduced into the city’s cultural programme.

    Transferring the practice

    The long-term goal is to promote the internationalization of Debrecen, and to keep contributing to its urban and economic development. International presence in Debrecen makes our city a genuine multicultural community and enhances the achievement of the objectives we outlined in our Debrecen2030 Development Program. The city seeks to be as attractive as possible for international talent to stay and in our vision the city cannot be imagined without an international profile.

    The base of the transferring journey was to change the mindset not only within our organization but among stakeholders and the municipality.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16283
  • Agents of change - Agueda's transfer story

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    15/11/2022
    CREATIVE SPIRITS is a network of nine European cities, funded by the European Union in the frame of the URBACT III Programme. The nine CREATIVE SPIRITS partner cities have a common need to improve the implementation of their existing integrated urban strategies/action plans by including novel approaches linked to creative and cultural industries (CCI) – creative places, people and businesses. The joint policy challenge for the network is to better facilitate the above “creative ecosystem” to be able to attract (more) creative entrepreneurs and boost creative entrepreneurship in dedicated urban areas.
    Articles
    City Branding

    Climate change mitigation and adaptation are central elements of Águeda’s city strategy and our work on resilience and sustainable development. At the same time the arts and culture, cultural heritage and creativity play a key role in Águeda’s quality of life and economic prosperity. Over the last 10 years in particular, we have seen the positive economic and social benefits of nurturing our arts and culture scene. However, we are also now living the consequences of climate change – flooding and forest fires in particular.

    We first heard about the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) in 2017, when Manchester was recognised as a Good Practice City under the EU’s URBACT programme. Manchester’s winning formula - MAST’s collaboration on climate action and engagement, in a city which recognised the value of culture and was itself demonstrating climate change leadership – struck a chord. In 2018, we joined C-Change: Arts and Culture Leading Climate Action in Cities - a network of cities with URBACT funding aiming to learn from and adopt a similar approach to Manchester. Over two years, Águeda’s local C-Change group, modelled on MAST, has been at the heart of our C-Change journey. This group of committed people has, against the odds of COVID-19, managed to survive, adapt and thrive, finding new ways to keep collaborating, acting and engaging people on the climate crisis and environmental protection through the arts, culture and creativity. 

    “URBACT Local Groups (ULG) are a fundamental building block of the URBACT programme. Each URBACT partner is required to set up a Local Group gathering key local stakeholders in order to co-produce city strategies and action plans.” We had a strong foundation to build on in our C-Change journey. The municipality was already taking an integrated approach to policy-making, for example, with an integrated environment and tourism department. Developing partnerships involving NGOs, public agencies, the private sector and civil society had proven to be a key component in design and implementation of effective urban initiatives. And we had extensive experience with engaging local community and stakeholders through initiatives such as Local Agenda 21, our participatory budget an d eco-schools projects. Our Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2019-2027 foresees the involvement of the community, different sectors and stakeholders, including the arts and culture, through specific actions and measures.

    We had a reputation as a creative city in particular as a result of our Umbrella Sky project, which has been replicated in other cities around the world, our Urban Art Programme and, our annual AgitÁgueda Arts Festival. City support and funding for arts and culture was strong and, as a municipality, we were already promoting climate change and environmental projects through our flagship Urban Art programme and AgitÁgueda Festival. However, up to 2018, there hadn’t been any specific climate change or environmental support for the arts and culture sector.

    Through C-Change our ambition, by the end of 2020, was to see culture and climate change collaboration, support, and engagement happening in our city and to align city culture and climate change policy. We knew we needed a strong local C-Change group to make this happen. Beyond getting the group up and running, we had two key concerns, how to get the group to work effectively and how to work consistently across the culture and the environmental departments. We started as we intended to continue, with both our environment and our culture departments agreeing to take on a joint role in establishing, leading and supporting the local group.

    Through exchange and learning sessions with Manchester and the four other C-Change cities, we learnt more about the MAST model – participating in a MAST meeting and seeing and hearing about the type of action MAST members were taking, individually and collectively. The sessions also helped us come up with a plan for sector support. Back in Águeda we began to establish a local group bringing together organisations and individuals from the arts and culture sector we knew were already committed to climate action and engagement.

    Once our local C-Change group was in place, we organised regular meetings, led by the municipality’s head of culture and/or head of environment. In the early days these meetings were more focused on planning and exchange of ideas, but they were soon to lead to concrete action and collective initiatives including: Monty Python-inspired ‘silly walks’ against pollution; environmentally-themed street mural painting with children in disadvantaged neighbourhoods; Projeto Circular, one of our two ‘Agents of Change’ pilot actions exploring the idea of connection and love for our planet through a story-telling astronaut and children’s performance , and The Sea Starts Here urban art installation.

    Three local group members - Luis Silva from the Manuel Alegre Municipal Library, Viktor Fernandes a local artist involved in the GlocalMusic co-operative and Águeda Arts Centre’s Laura Almeida - did a train-the-trainer carbon literacy session in Manchester. They developed a test version of the training which was
    delivered in February 2020 for a mix of city and sector representatives. In July 2020, 17 people mainly from the local group, participated in a sector-specific training session combined with a visit to Águeda’s Smart Lab neighbourhood demonstrating solutions which could be easily scaled up such as a solar bench for charging phones. Then in October 2020, Luis and Viktor did a version of the training for the public during the Águeda Smart City Lab open day. Both July and October sessions featured a take-make-repair activity and a visit to Viktor’s materials workshop to see how he was putting sustainability at the heart of his artistic practice.

    When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the group moved to virtual meetings and began to work more independently of the municipality, using tele-esplanada an on-line collaboration tool and creating its own WhatsApp group and Facebook page to keep communication going. During online meetings the group mapped out what the arts and culture sector was doing across the city on environment and climate change, discussed topics of common interest as well as municipal projects on low and zero carbon solutions and how they might put these solutions in place.

    As we progressed on our C-Change journey, the municipality was increasingly investing in nature and climate-change themed urban art projects. At the same time new members joined the C-Change group, including not only cultural organisations and local artists, but also environmental protection associations, local environmental activists and even outdoor sports enthusiasts. This resulted in some new collaborations such as: Agueda Arts Centre’s project with a local high-school on material reuse in artistic practice; CircoAgitado no Vale using circus arts to raise environmental awareness at the Vale Domingos Botanical Park, and; AgitAgua artists crossing the river Águeda in bamboo structures they had built, performing as the voice of water and the life which it supports, telling us why and how we need to conserve and protect it.

    Today Agueda’s C-Change group has 27 members, including the Águeda Arts Centre, the Manuel Alegre Municipal Library, the Vouga Railway Museum, the cultural cooperative Glocalmusic and Living Place an eco-tourism organisation. It has become a self-sufficient group and a model of collaboration which are extending to other sectors such as sports and tourism. This group, our agents of change, is committed to future action on climate and engaging with the people of our city on the climate crisis and environmental protection.

     

     

    Network
    From urbact
    Off
    Ref nid
    15972
  • It's time to Find your Greatness

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    15/11/2022

    Eight cities have joined the URBACT Action Planning Network (APN) 'Find Your Greatness' aiming to boost their sustainable urban development by defining their strategic brand position and increasing their attractiveness and competitiveness.

    Articles
    City Branding

    The need for city branding

     

    Cities are competing for people, resources and business, therefore a demand for a unified city strategy has been constantly increasing. Since the 1990s, city branding has been a key factor in urban development policies. Cities all over the world take specific actions to manipulate their image and perceptions, both in the eyes of the inhabitants and those of potential tourists, investors, users and consumers.

    While capitals and other large cities typically enjoy the advantages of a strong metropolitan vibe, population diversity and higher financial resources, mid-sized and smaller towns and cities often struggle to attract attention. Without making themselves recognisable on the broader regional or global map, they can face decreasing recognition, relevance and competitiveness on the global market.

    City branding is a complementary tool to strategic urban planning. It defines what the place is (brand essence), what the place would like to become (brand vision), what differentiates the place (positioning), the voice of the place (personality) and key messages and experiences (emotional benefits). A strong integrated city brand provides strategic guidelines for city growth, sets priorities for capital investment and services, and is a vehicle for long-term sustainable urban development.

     

    Building on an URBACT success story

     

    Alba Iulia in Romania was a partner in the URBACT CityLOGO network (2013-2015). Through this, it improved its promotion locally and abroad, and witnessed a significant increase in interest from national and international tourists, business developers and investors.

    These results inspired Alba Iulia Municipality to want to develop their thinking even further. It launched the idea of a network of small and medium-sized cities in Europe to exchange and learn on city branding, marketing and communication. The ‘Find Your Greatness’ APN was the successful result, a partnership of eight cities launched in late 2019: Limerick (IE), Perugia (IT), Braganca (PT), Candelaria (ES), Wroclaw (PL), Budafok (HU) and Voru (EE), led by Alba Iulia (RO).

    All the partner towns and cities are aware that they need to become visible, to communicate their brand vision and to increase their competitive position. At the same time, each city has its own profile, challenges, objectives, and expectations.

    Alba Iulia wants an updated branding and marketing strategy that would include smart city developments. Limerick has just launched its city brand and would like to

    achieve improved ownership of the brand by Limerick’s inhabitants and to use this to build community spirit.

    Perugia wants to enhance its strategic brand positioning, building on its cultural heritage - including its great Etruscan walls - and other cultural assets. Braganca looks for an update of its marketing and communication strategy that would position it as the first choice for digital and smart industry development, tourism and gastronomy, attractive natural environment and high quality of life in Portugal.

    Candelaria, on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, attracts mass pilgrimage to venerate the ‘Virgin of Candelaria’ in its famous Basilica di Candelaria. The municipality would like to diversify and enrich its touristic and gastronomic offer in order to achieve a more economically efficient and sustainable tourism.

    The main focus of thematic brand development of Wroclaw is its important industrial heritage of trams, tram lines and tram depots. Meanwhile, the basis for the thematic branding of Budafok, the 22nd district of Budapest, is its long and rich wine tradition, including a unique heritage of 130 km of wine cellars. It seeks to further exploit its sparkling wine production and thematic wine tours combined with gastronomic and cultural events.

    Voru, the smallest partner city in the network is aiming to define its identity as a safe, relaxing and family-friendly town that is also a smart town, making it an attractive location to develop a business, to live and to visit.

     

    City branding: a challenging topic

     

    Already, my visits to the network’s partner cities, site visits and meetings with politicians, municipality administrations, business entities, academics, NGOs and media representatives have highlighted the complexity of the project theme.

    Generalising across the individual situations of each city, we have been able to identify the following groups of themes/policy challenges that will be addressed by international learning and exchange in the 2nd phase of the project:

    • Branding, brand strategy and logo development
    • Marketing and communication strategy development
    • Use of smart e-solutions in marketing and communication fitting in the smart city programme
    • Building community spirit
    • Innovative, creative, digital (smart) business development
    • Cultural and industrial heritage protection, promotion and exploitation
    • Tourism, excursions and experience-based activities
    • Green and sustainable development

    Half of the towns and cities have already developed either overarching or thematic brands, with a visual identity, and marketing and communication plans. Each has good practices, knowledge and experiences to share; and each has also a need to enrich their understanding, learn new skills and knowledge, and develop new ideas to be introduced into their local actions.

     

    Some busy years ahead

     

    Despite the complexity of the challenges, in each partner city I have found a strong commitment from all stakeholders and project teams to work intensively and professionally in the project and to achieve its objectives. ULGs – URBACT Local Groups have been formed in all partner towns and cities. In most, participation and co-creation are already applied methods in city governance and decision-making.

    Integrated Action Plans (IAPs) for each project partner city will be the main output of the network, setting out the objectives, policy challenges, actions and expected results of improved branding for each city. Each IAP will be complementary to the broader urban and strategic development plans of the cities. In other words, the strategic development vision of cities will be supported by their strategic brand vision.

    This will need to be communicated to citizens, visitors, business developers and investors. The final effect should be increased satisfaction and quality of life of citizens.

    Cities gathered in the Find your Greatness network are aware of the importance of brands, branding and marketing and are also aware that this will require their full engagement during the project duration and afterwards. They recognise and highlight that there is no shortcut in the definition of a strategic brand vision or its practical implementation to build the image of the city.

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  • City-run ‘hackathons’: worth the hype?

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    15/11/2022

    More cities are turning to the hackathon-style, but do they really work?

    News
    City Branding

    Cities are turning to hackathon-style events to spark new business, generate policy ideas, and co-create innovative urban solutions. But do they really work? We put the question to urban innovation experts and municipal staff in five URBACT cities… and came up with the answer: “Yes, if you include the right people, adapt the format to your needs, and provide follow-up support to winning ideas.”

     

    But first… what the hack is a hackathon?

     

    “Hackathons are intense events where bright minds work in teams to tackle a challenge over a relatively short period of time,” says Jim Sims, Lead expert, URBACT BluAct Transfer network. “They generally involve businesspeople, technologists, marketing people, data engineers, designers and randomly selected people – wildcards – working together to solve common challenges.”

    Hackathons were originally developed for teams of coders; one produced Facebook’s famous “Like” button. But today their scope goes way beyond tech. These one to three day brainstorming events are held by all sorts of organisations, including city halls, to create ideas and build targeted solutions.  

    The spirit of Alex F. Osborn’s 1939 “brainstorm sessions” lives on in hackathons today. His participants tackled a creative problem “in commando fashion, with each stormer attacking the same objective”. They avoided judgment and collected wild ideas. “The greater the number of ideas, the more likelihood of winners.”

     

    Hackathons: a good thing for cities?

     

    “When a hackathon works it’s a win-win-win solution that shakes minds, develops new ideas and changes the mindsets of institutions,” says Francois Jégou, Lead expert, URBACT BioCanteens Transfer network.

    Well-run hackathons help boost innovation as part of a broader business development programme – especially in cities lacking entrepreneurship and youth.

    Around ports, for example, hackathons can generate ideas in areas as diverse as sea rescue applications, smart ports, shipping, GPS technology, underwater data, even ocean tourism, fashion or food. For Sims, “They provide a really interesting mechanism to crash together different sectors that wouldn’t ordinarily work together, like a slightly more traditional marine and maritime sector together with a more cutting edge, fledgling ICT sector.”

    Cites also use hackathons to co-create urban solutions, and improve policymaking. With colleagues of all levels, future partners and stakeholders, says Jégou, hackathons “quickly shake up ideas, spontaneity, excitement, for people who may’ve been just looking at each other for years, especially in public administration.”

    And then there are the big-buzz events like Hack Belgium, that Jégou describes as “three creative days to experience hackathon excitement… without expecting real output”.

     

    Pitfalls

     

    Let’s be realistic, says Mario Laghi from Cesena (IT), in the URBACT BeePathNet Transfer network, “It’s very hard to organise a really effective hackathon, especially with the expectation of coming out with smart, innovative, easy-to-realise, ready-to-market ideas. Especially the long-lasting results are very hard to be pursued even when the level of actors and participants is very high.”

    Some hackathons suffer by setting a challenge too broad, complex, or poorly defined. Others have been blamed for rewarding easier-to-pitch solutions, or more competitive personalities. Meanwhile, some cities later regret not involving moderators, tech people, schools or inspiring entrepreneurs.

    The key pitfall is that when participants head home, their freshly created solutions disappear. “There are plenty of hackathons where people come up with interesting ideas that never make it to market,” warns Sims.

    Even when winning creative teams do get quality incubation services, mentoring and finance, they don’t always stay as enthusiastic as their mentors.

     

    So, how are URBACT cities making the most of hackathons?

     

    “URBACT accompanies cities who are innovating in many aspects of governance, and there’s an increasing interest in hackathons. How do they ensure they’re useful, and adapted to policy questions?” says Nuala Morgan, head of URBACT’s Capitalisation and Communication Unit.

    Let’s visit five cities in ongoing URBACT III transfer networks to find out.

     

    1. Mouans-Sartoux (FR): BioCanteens mini-hackathon techs up local policy

     

    BioCanteens partner cities held their own three-hour mini-hackathon “mind opening” exercise in smart city Trikala (EL) in October 2019. Teams each devised an app supporting sustainable school canteens – traditionally a rather low-tech sector – and illustrated its use. They pitched their ideas to each other, ending with feedback.

    Hackathon first-timer Thibaud Lalanne returned to Mouans-Sartoux having outlined an app linking consumers with local organic producers. But more importantly he’d learnt “to take into account my local objectives, local constraints, local challenges, and see how digital solutions could be integrated.”

    Lalanne says this improved digital awareness is helping Mouans-Sartoux prepare a “smart food strategy”, with expertise and support from the European Commission's Preparatory Action on Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century.

    “We were energised: It was a great way to start from fuzzy ideas and come up with some very interesting prototypes, at high speed,” says Lalanne, whose municipal farm supplies schools with organic produce.

     

     

    2. Cesena (IT): Hackathon alternative to help boost local bee businesses

     

    “How can local honey and bee products compete with cheaper mass produced imports?” To find innovative-yet-realistic solutions to this complex challenge, BeePathNet partner city Cesena is preparing a five-step series of idea jams.

    Their upcoming “BeePath Jam” features four sub-topics: storytelling; short supply chains; product branding; strategic vision for the beekeepers’ association. Multidisciplinary teams will tackle one or more topics over the course of five workshops, presenting their solutions in a sixth, final event.

    Each team is to include a beekeeper, together with entrepreneurs and students in IT, environmental science, food science, agriculture, design or architecture.

    “We’re stressing collaboration, but there’s also competition: in the end the most suitable solution will be selected, and the association of beekeepers is really interested to go ahead with implementation. So we need to give time to these co-creation groups to define real complex and integrated solutions,” says Saveria Teston, who coordinates the URBACT Local Group building the event. ULG members include the agricultural college, Bologna University, Cesenalab business incubator, regional innovation consortium ART-ER – and AFA beekeepers association.

    BeePath Jam builds on Cesena’s legacy of start-up events sparking new product ideas, from a crop-disease reduction app to protein superfood candies.

     

    3. Burgas (BG): Student hackathon enhances port city start-up competition

     

    Burgas joined BluAct to learn from Piraeus’ (EL) Blue Growth Initiative – a competition offering local business incubation services that has triggered 20 start-ups and 55 new jobs since 2014.

    Linked to the competition, the Bla

    ck Sea port city held a “blue economy” hackathon for more than 60 IT students, cooperating with Burgas University. Their winning ideas – eco-friendly “blue plastic”, a fish tracker app, a boat-sharing platform, and a gutter-water electricity generator – will enter a three-day Piraeus-inspired competition in April, alongside entrepreneurs applying online.

    Burgas municipality’s Mariya Burulyanova says, “We familiarised participants with the concept of blue economy and how their ideas will be useful for the city of Burgas.”

    “It was a very successful event with fresh, smart ideas of young people who are very keen to work on this subject,” adds Georgi Sakaliev, Burgas municipality.

    In April, three innovative proposals will win up to 2500 euros, a trip to learn from Piraeus maritime entrepreneurs, and incubation support from partners like Burgas Port and other local businesses.

    With strong local political support “Burgas Blues” competition looks set to become a regular event.

     

    4. Galati (RO): Local businesses support new Danube Growth Initiative hackathons

     

    The Danube port city of Galati is also organising a Piraeus-inspired entrepreneurship competition, with business support and a final pitch event in April 2020. Like Burgas, Galati’s pitch event will feature hackathon participants alongside entrepreneurs who apply online.

    But while Burgas built on an established annual university hackathon, Galati created two business ideation hackathons from scratch – a first for the city – thanks to “a core of very involved, highly interested professionals that formed Galati’s URBACT Local Group (ULG) from various sectors: universities, ship designers, banking system, NGOs and IT,” says Galati municipality’s Carmen Ana Ariton-Bejan.

    Attending the December 2019 hackathon, Galati mayor Ionuț-Florin Pucheanu congratulated such cooperation between the municipality, academics and local business.

    At each event 24 young entrepreneurs teamed up to create sustainable business ideas in advanced infrastructure, software development, emissions reduction, advanced manufacturing technologies, or energy efficiency systems.

    ULG members’ feedback gave “a glimpse into the inner workings of the private sector and on running a business in our city,” says Prof Camelia Vizireanu, ULG Coordinator. “Hackathons are a good way to stop the braindrain in Galati by giving entrepreneurs the chance of developing and testing their ideas in a ‘safe space’.”

     

    5. Ostend (BE): Local pitch event builds on Hack Belgium

     

    At Hack Belgium 2018, the City of Ostend discovered many Ostenders working on sea-related topics, from tourism to high-tech innovation. On joining BluAct, Ostend connected those

    partners, forming an URBACT Local Group. This enabled them to coordinate an Ocean Challenge booth at Hack Belgium 2019 and showcase inspirational businesses including a fish-leather worker.

    Support continued post-hackathon. “Thanks to BluAct we had a bigger, stronger local network so we could also take back ideas from Hack Belgium and further build on them in Ostend,” says City of Ostend’s Astrid Vanackere.

    Ostend invited interested hackathon participants to its own blue economy competition, with a pitch event in March. After an online assessment and follow-up, nine teams are set to pitch innovative ideas to a jury of ULG members. Vanackere says this event will start the incubation phase and help tailor business guidance to the needs of each project.

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  • Welcoming International Talent

    Timeline

    Kick-off Meeting - Groningen, the Netherlands
    Transnational Meetings 2019 - Debrecen, Hungary - Zlin, Czech Republic - Parma, Italy - Magdeburg, Germany - Bielsko-Biala, Poland
    Transnational Meeting 2020 - Leuven, Belgium, Final Meeting - Groningen, the Netherlands
    Final Conference Welcoming International Talent

    This Transfer network focus on Higher education and knowledge economy, both have become a global competition for talent. Whereas the main European cities attract both students and skilled-workers by their scale and fame, medium-sized cities, like Groningen, will need a policy to attract talent, and to keep them economically active. In this project the best practice of Groningen, a welcoming policy for International Students and skilled workers, will be transferred.

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