Error message

  • User error: "id" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->prepare(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->renderResponse(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 90)
    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
  • User error: "name" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->prepare(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->renderResponse(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 90)
    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
  • User error: "picture" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->prepare(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->renderResponse(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 90)
    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
  • User error: "url" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->prepare(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->renderResponse(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 90)
    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
Country
Geolocation
POINT (0.63333 44.2)
  • European cities driving change through URBACT Action Planning Networks

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    Illustration of several people in a city with the slogan "Read the latest updates on the Action Planning Networks" in the sky and the hashtag #URBACTacts.
    19/03/2024

    Get to know the areas of action and the latest updates of these 30 URBACT networks. 

    Articles
    Illustration of several people in a city with the slogan "Read the latest updates on the Action Planning Networks" in the sky and the hashtag #URBACTacts.
    From urbact
    On

    Networks in numbers

     

    From 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2025, 252 individual partners from 28 European countries have embarked on 30 Action Planning Networks (APN), under the URBACT IV programme. Within their URBACT journey, they aim to build their knowledge and skills to co-design and develop long-term Integrated Action Plans (IAP) to tackle their local challenges. These plans will define the actions to be implemented, covering timings, responsibilities, costings, funding sources, monitoring indicators and risk assessments. 

    Each network is composed of a Lead Partner and another 8-10 project partners. Among the 252 partners, half are newcomers to the programme while the other half already has experience with URBACT III (2014-2020).  

    Networks approved by the URBACT IV Monitoring Committee. Source: URBACT 

    Networks approved by the URBACT IV Monitoring Committee. Source: URBACT 

    All the approved URBACT Action Planning Networks (2023-2025) are aligned with the EU Cohesion Policy and will contribute to its five specific Policy Objectives (POs): PO1 A more competitive and smarter Europe; PO2 A greener Europe; PO3 A more connected Europe; PO4 A more social and inclusive Europe; and PO5 A Europe closer to citizens. 

    Beyond their geographic diversity, the 30 networks also stand out for their wide variety of topics. The URBACT method, which all networks follow, ensures that an integrated approach is applied; stated simply, regardless of the topic, the social, economic, environmental and territorial aspects are considered.  

    To help you navigate the list, we have clustered them here by their main thematic areas: Participative governance; Urban planning; Local development; Climate action; and Social cohesion. 

     

     

    Participative governance 

     

    Networks under the participative governance thematic focus on a wide variety of topics, including citizen engagement, health, localising the Sustainable Development Goals and much more. 

    Led by Genk (BE), Agents of Co-Existence fosters innovative approaches to societal challenges and strives for inclusive local policies with active community involvement by strengthening the skills and competences of civil servants and creating new organisational structures and cultures

    Developing locally-adapted governance processes is the main objective of Cities for Sustainability Governance, with Espoo (FI) as the Lead Partner, but specifically by using UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a strategic vehicle. 

    From the heart of Paris (FR), the European cities involved in CITIES@HEART work towards a balanced and inclusive city centre for all users, reversing the loss of attractiveness for cities of different sizes and backgrounds. 

    The One Health 4 Cities network, guided by Lyon (FR), aims to promote the integration of the One Health approach into urban strategies and projects, developing tools that empower decision-makers and operational teams to increase the positive impact of urban projects on the well-being and health of people, animals and the environment

     

    Urban planning 

     

    Urban planning networks address a range of hot topics such as mobility, accessibility, sustainability, public spaces, spatial linkages and territorial cohesion.  

    PUMA (Planning Urban Mobility Actions) helps cities such as Liepaja (LV), its Lead Partner, develop integrated mobility action plans in order to achieve climate-neutral and sustainable mobility in small and medium-sized cities. It is people-centric, prioritising the needs and well-being of individuals

    The S.M.ALL network is all about “Sharing urban solutions towards accessible, sustainable mobility for all.” Led by Ferrara (IT), they navigate the complexity of two URBACT mobility paradigms: inclusivity and sustainability. 

    Romagna Faentina (IT) is at the forefront of ECONNECTING - Greener & closer communities, a network that focuses on sustainable urban-rural mobility solutions within the 30-minute territory, designing and implementing proximity strategies for rural-urban functional areas. 

    SCHOOLHOODS puts children’s health and safety on the menu of a safe, green and happy way to school. Led by Rethymno (EL), the cities belonging to this URBACT network work hand-in-hand with pupils, parents and teachers to co-create solutions allowing pupils to actively go to school on their own.  

    From Balbriggan (IE) to the borders of Europe, the main goal of the EcoCore network is to accelerate the green transition especially in the work environments of the industrial areas of the partner cities, which are transitioning to low-carbon energy sources for transportation, heating and electricity. 

    In a mission to connect urban-rural communities, Creacció Agència d'Emprenedoria of Vic (ES) is currently leading the Beyond the Urban network, which promotes urban-rural mobility through the testing and implementation of sustainable, accessible and integrated mobility solutions, with a focus on intermodality, multi-level governance, inclusion, gender equality, and digital tools. 

     

    Local development 

     

    Local economy, territorial marketing and digital transformation are a few of the topics covered by the local development networks. 

    C4TALENT, whose Lead Partner is Nyíregyháza City with County Rights (HU), pursues the objective of building business & startup friendly environments in cities to lessen the effects of brain drain, attracting and retaining talented young professionals. 

    After the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transformation around how work is organised, Dubrovnik Development Agency (HR) initiated Remote-IT, a network that tackles the new challenges cities are experiencing connected to the future of work by facilitating the remote and hybrid work for thriving cities. 

    Another Croatian city is leading a local development action planning network. Sibenik (HR) is at the head of Residents of the future, which addresses the issue of urban depopulation within small and medium-sized cities.  

    With Fundão (PT) as a Lead Partner, METACITY’s main goal is to increase competitiveness of small and medium tech-aware cities, benefiting from the opportunity to enhance service efficiency and citizen satisfaction provided by the metaverse.  

    NextGen YouthWork, headed by Eindhoven (NL), is also contributing to the digital transformation, by going one step further and improving online youth work through innovative digital solutions at the city level.  

    Boosting no-tech and digital local communities, facing specific challenges in terms of diversity, gender equality and inclusion, is the objective of TechDiversity, a network composed of small and medium-sized European cities and guided by Trikala (EL). 

    Led by Mollet del Vallès (ES), DIGI-INCLUSION also promotes inclusion through digital tools, tackling social exclusion and boosting digital inclusion not only by granting access to technology but by enabling people to develop the necessary skills and to become sufficiently empowered to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital world. 

    Life in cities continues even after dark. This is the main statement of the network Cities After Dark. Led by Braga (PT), this network promotes the 'Night Economy', through activities that are essential for a city to function 24 hours a day and play a significant role in the global economy.  

     

    Climate action 

     

    Climate action networks tackle several concerns; green transition, circular economy, green funding and reconversion of spaces, among other subjects. 

    The COPE (Coherent Place-based Climate Action) network, driven by Copenhagen (DK), unlocks the green potentials of citizen action through a place-based approach, recognising citizens and local action groups as fundamental stakeholders working to accelerate the green transition. 

    Led by Munich (DE), LET'S GO CIRCULAR! cities focus on the circular transition of cities. This network addresses all issues relevant to a holistic strategy of circular city ecosystems, fostering innovative solutions. 

    The BiodiverCity partners, with the support of Dunaújváros (HU) as Lead Partner, support and enable communities to plan powerful, nature-based solutions, foster pro-environmental citizen behaviours and draft Urban Greening Plans, contributing to the achievement of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. 

    In4Green is a collaborative network of industrial cities, headed by Avilés (ES), with a shared commitment: to implement the green transition in industrial areas/cities while remaining competitive and inclusive. 

    Restoring “forgotten” urban areas into valuable places for and with residents is the mission of GreenPlace. This Wroclaw-led (PL) network aims to restore urban spaces and make them friendly to both the residents and the environment, by optimising the use of existing resources in the context of ecological crisis, the financial and geopolitical situation. 

     

    Social cohesion 

     

    A variety of topics are addressed by the social cohesion thematic networks, from urban regeneration and place-making to gender, equality, diversity and inclusion. 

    Under the leadership of Clermont Auvergne Métropole (FR), the objective of FEMACT-Cities is to support the drafting of eight “Local Action Plans on Gender Equality” about the main challenges regarding women's liberty and empowerment, through protection, education, emancipation and economic autonomy

    GenProcure also addresses gender equality, focusing on Gender-Responsive Public Procurement, and it is headed by Vila Nova de Famalicão (PT). This network promotes gender equality through working purchases, supplies and services in the public sector.  

    Re-Gen is a European network of cities led by Verona (IT) that aims to support sustainable urban development and social inclusion thanks to the protagonism of secondary school students, aged between 10 and 18, from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

    The Cinisello Balsamo-led (IT) U.R. Impact prioritises social impact in urban regeneration, ensuring social inclusion and community development during urban renewal. They place citizens and their social, economic and environmental well-being at the centre of the processes. 

    The main goal of Breaking Isolation, a network driven by Agen (FR) that fights against isolation by creating social bonds and links between young and elderly and promoting social diversity. 

    In order to build more inclusive and resilient societies, WELDI empowers local authorities for a dignified integration of newly arrived migrants. In achieving this objective, cities of this network, led by Utrecht (NL), collaborate with migrants and other residents, as well as with local, national and international partners. 

    ARCHETHICS network brings together European cities that share the presence of heritage linked to a complex and controversial historical past (totalitarian regimes, contentious borders, etc), such as its Lead Partner Cesena (IT). Their goal is to transform the heritage into places for locals and visitors to share knowledge and come to multi-perspective understandings of the past and new visions for the future

     

    Follow the network journey

     

    This is just a snapshot of the URBACT Action Planning Networks, but stay tuned for more insights from the Lead Experts and partner cities, themselves! You can also follow the journey of these networks on their project pages and social media, benefit from the lessons learned and try them in your own city. 

     

     

     

     

     

  • TNM Skofja Loka of the Breaking isolation network met on December 13 and 14, 2023

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    26/12/2023

    The partners of the Breaking isolation network met on December 13 and 14, 2023 for their second TNM in Skofja Loka in Solvenia in order to present the Baseline Study and the Communication Plan but also to prepare the work to be carried out at the local level with the ULGs.

    https://youtu.be/6Xibt0W6zNY

    Articles

    https://youtu.be/6Xibt0W6zNY

    Network
    From urbact
    Off
  • First TNM of the Breaking Isolation network in Agen

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    13/09/2023

    First TNM of the Breaking Isolation network in Agen (Lead Partner) on September 13 and 14, 2023 to launch the project, start getting to know each other within the network and prepare for the Study Visits with the partners and the Lead Expert. 

    https://youtu.be/3X8iXVt-zIg 

    Articles

    https://youtu.be/3X8iXVt-zIg

    Network
    From urbact
    Off
  • Social isolation: a silent and nearly invisible epidemic that needs to be broken

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    Breaking Isolation - european Urbact program
    06/12/2023

    Humans are, by nature, social creatures. We, humans, need social interactions. We need to talk, to laugh, to cry, to play, to share. Of course, we also enjoy, sometimes, to withdraw and take a break from social interactions. This is the need for solitude. And it’s just fine and a rather healthy practice. Because it’s temporary, it’s about taking time just for yourself.

    But what happens when one does not get any social interaction, at all? And when it’s not by choice? When a person has, completely, and for a long period, no meeting, no sharing, no exchanging with his/her fellow human? What happens when one gets truly isolated, left alone? What happens to our society when more and more people get isolated, feel left out, abandoned, unfit for society?

    Ongoing
    Articles
    Breaking Isolation Network

    Breaking Isolation Network

    Network
    From urbact
    Off

    More and more people, today, suffer from social isolation. True isolation (not a desired break from family and friends). The World Health Organization, in November 2023, just decided to launch a special international Commission on Social Isolation and Loneliness, because: ‘Anyone, anywhere, can be lonely or socially isolated. Across all ages and regions, loneliness and social isolation have serious impacts on our physical and mental health, and the well-being of our communities and society [...] Social isolation and loneliness are widespread, with an estimated 1 in 4 older people experiencing social isolation and between 5 and 15 per cent of adolescents experiencing loneliness [...]’. Not only more and more people suffer from social isolation, but they also experience it in all age groups. And numbers are rapidly growing. Some describe social isolation as a growing ‘silent epidemic’.

    But, what do we really mean by ‘social isolation’ ? Well, social isolation is a situation in which a person suffers from a long term deficiency of social relations, both in terms of quantity and quality. This definition is key because it highlights the fact that the isolated person is in a situation of suffering (it’s not an enjoyable situation), due to a long term lack of relations (we are talking about months and years), in terms of quantity (the number of social interactions you have, ranging from a phone call with your family, a drink with a friend, or a chat with your neighbour or postman) and quality (who do you care for and cares for you, who can you count on, who do you trust to share your problems/feelings with, etc.). A person who suffers from isolation has, basically, near to no social relation, whatsoever, or at least none that are really fulfilling or satisfying. You are alone. Desperately alone.

    Jean Dionis, the Mayor of the City of Agen (France), lead partner city of the Breaking Isolation network, told the founding story of this network to all cities partners on the day of the Kick-off meeting :

    In Agen, on December 2020, there was a terrible event. One that deeply shocked the mayor of Agen. A woman, age 68, was found dead in her apartment after 2 years. She lived 200 meters away from the City Hall. Dead for 2 years. No one noticing or reporting her death. No family, no friend, no neighbour, no administration, no medical staff, no one who realized they had no news from that woman.

    This short story profoundly shocked the mayor and convinced him that cities needed to take action against social isolation and loneliness. The City of Agen (former lead partner of a previous network on citizen participation called Active Citizens), decided to launch an URBACT network on this topic of social isolation : Breaking Isolation.

    After publishing the concept note on the URBACT page, the city of Agen received over 30 applications from cities all over Europe willing to join their network on social isolation, proving the importance of the topic. The City of Agen, decided to prioritize cities of similar sizes, meaning small and/or medium sized cities. In the end, the Breaking Isolation network was formed and got approved, with 10 cities in 10 EU countries!

    10 european project partners on Breaking IsolationThe Breaking Isolation network is composed of: the City of Agen in France, the Municipality of Bijelo Polje in Montenegro, the City of Fót in Hungary, the City of Isernia in Italy, the Municipality of Jumilla in Spain, the Municipality of Pombal in Portugal, the Municipality of Roman in Romania, the Municipality of Serres in Greece, the City of Skofja Loka in Slovenia, and the Municipality of Tønder in Danemark.

    The literature review conducted for the baseline study, reveal the gravity of social isolation:

    • - Social isolation increases the risk of developing dementia by 40 to 50%
    •  
    • - Social isolation increases the risk of early death by 25% (which is comparable to tobacco consumption or alcohol consumption – there are national awareness-raising campaigns against tobacco and alcohol but none about social isolation –)
    •  
    • - Social isolation increases the risk of heart stroke and cardiovascular disease by 30% (due to the benefits of social interactions both psychologically and physically on stress reduction, lower blood pressure, etc.).

    information about social isolation

     

     

    The study visits throughout the network cities also show that:

    - People living in urban centers tend to be more easily isolated than those living in smaller villages (as people know each other more because of very little population)

    - People suffering from social isolation often combine multiple factors of isolation:  death of a loved one (or couple break up), unemployment/retirement, mental health issues, physical impairments/disabilities, poverty, domestic violence, living remotely (away from family and friends), addictive use of social media, addictions to drugs/alcohol/gambling and the lack of social skills

     

    issues about isolation

    •  
    •  
    • - People suffering from social isolation don’t necessarily identify themselves as socially isolated and easily enter a vicious circle : indeed they often deny their situation (because of shame) and tend to convince themselves (and sometimes people around them) that their isolation is actually their choice, that they’ve decided to isolate and stop socializing. The problem is, then, that the less a person socializes, the less the person is able to trust social relations. This leads to a growing distrust towards everyone, even sometimes familiar/close relatives. And, inevitably, this reinforces even more the isolation of the person. Sometimes, this situation makes the isolated people become more and more ‘sour’ or ‘cantankerous’ when interacting with others, leading again to more isolation.
    •  
    • - Isolated people tend to shut off: they stop letting anyone step inside their home, close their curtains and/or shutters of their home, don’t engage with anyone stranger to them, etc.

    ​​​​​​​

    And finally, isolated people tend to let go of their own self-care : Neglecting personal hygiene, neglecting their home (accumulating mess, reduced cleaning), neglecting their health (stop going to the doctor, not doing medical check-ups), neglecting healthy food habits (proper nutrition, weight excessive loss or gain), etc.

     

    The study visits, the literature review, the World Health Organization’s decision to launch a dedicated Commission on social isolation, everything confirms the importance of the challenge of the Breaking Isolation network. As Julianne Holt-Lundstad and her co-researchers [1]conclude: ‘Social relationship–based interventions represent a major opportunity to enhance not only the quality of life but also survival.’

    We need to socialize more, to share more, to care more. We need to reinforce social ties, to make sure no one is left out, alone, in the dark. And to do so, we need to explore all possibilities, all tools, all enabling policies...

    Opening up new public services? Developing new social policies? Stimulating citizen-based community support? Enhancing peer-to-peer solidarity? Rethinking urban planning to support socialization? Installing new collective social practices? Creating new digital leverage to provoke local social relations? The Breaking Isolation network will have two years to explore the best ways to break isolation, so, stay tuned… and connected.

     

     


    [1] Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

     

  • Breaking Isolation

    LEAD PARTNER : Agen - France
    • Isernia - Italy
    • Serres - Greece
    • Fót - Hungary
    • Pombal - Portugal
    • Roman - Romania
    • Jumilla - Spain
    • Škofja Loka - Slovenia
    • Tønder - Denmark
    • Bijelo Polje - Montenegro

    Timeline

    First Transnational meeting on 13 and 14 December 2023 in Škofja Loka, Slovenia.

    kick-off meeting on September 13 with the 10 partners of the European “Breaking Isolation” network.

    Transnational meeting in Pombal (Portugal) on february 20-21

    Library

    Lead Expert

    After being Lead Partner of the Active Citizens Network on URBACT 3, the City of Agen was designated to be the Lead Expert of “Breaking Isolation Network”.

     

    The "Breaking Isolation" Network, composed with 10 European cities, aims to address the rising issue of social isolation.

    The project seeks to strengthen social bonds across generations and promote diversity by focusing on citizen participation.

    The City of Agen leads this project that aims to identify and support socially isolated individuals, increase awareness, and enhance social cohesion.

    Thanks to the URBACT methodology, the partners will be able to produce their local strategies (Integrated Action Plans) by the end of 2025.

    Breaking Isolation Network.

  • Digital Transition in cities – how can it benefit citizens?

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    Women using her phone to take a picture at the Tallinn URBACT City Festival
    15/11/2022

    Take a trip down memory lane with us. Re-discover stories and reflections that we've captured over the last years. This article was first published in 2019 and, yet, is more relevant than ever, with digital transition at the heart of EU cohesion policy objectives and the URBACT Programme.

    Articles

     

    Digitalisation is omnipresent in today’s social and urban life and URBACT cities are seizing the opportunity. As Alison Partridge, Lead Expert of the TechRevolution 2.0 and the TechRevolution Transfer Networks, always advocates cities need to ‘adapt or die’. for many years: “cities of all sizes need to better understand the opportunities offered by digital and tech and jump on them to grow higher value jobs and start-ups for local people”. Indeed, at all levels of society and of governance, services and products are going digital: online availability, digital tools for access, compiling and using data to proceed to meta-analysis.

     

    The transition to a society based on “virtual”, intangible, vectors, using computing techniques and algorithms – a digital transition - is growing in European cities, meaning more intrusions in our daily lives.

     

     

    The use of new technologies to communicate and access information is changing the way society works

     

     

    states the Action Plan of the Digital Transition Urban Agenda Partnership because “citizens live an increasingly digital life both in the public and private sphere”.

     

    Beyond the digital divide issue, private data protection and free choice, this trend follows new consumption and production patterns, as well as interaction between people.

     

    Taking advantage of digital transition’s potential is an asset for cities, not only for business development and job creation, but also for city governance and getting closer to citizens, thus developing more integrated governance approaches at city level. That is the way URBACT cities have approached their digital transition over the last 15 years – as a means of driving change in cities.This article, written by URBACT Expert Marcelline Bonneau,  presents a few cases from URBACT cities and Urban Agenda Partnerships, which can inspire other cities.

     

     

    Digital transition as a goal: transforming cities’ local economic development

     

     

    Cities are taking advantage of digital transition as a goal in itself. Indeed, the digital sector has been and should be developed. Creating “smart cities” is now appearing in more and more cities’ strategy as a way to achieve competitive advantage. Focusing on local economic development, as a new way of addressing emerging societal issues such as environmental and social ones, requires strong leadership, commitment and investments.

     

    For some URBACT Networks, digitalisation of cities means the development of incubators, hubs and other platforms to support the development of jobs and skills. Featuring a wealth of examples about the ways in which cities support tech and digital economy, TechPlace showcases URBACT Networks such as TechTown, GEN Y CITY and Interactive Cities. It shares content such as articles, videos, podcasts and presentations on the ways cities use social media, digital strategies, digital education, digital health, co-working environments, digital hubs etc.

     

    Developing digital strategies is the starting point of the DigiPlace network, one of the 23 approved Action Planning Networks back in 2019. It seeks to support the creation of global vision and improve technical and engineering capacities by incorporating digital innovation, with both hard and soft infrastructures. Supporting digital growth and transformational economies is also the key focus of the TechRevolution 2.0 network. Transferring the experience of Barnsley (UK) and its Digital Media Centre, a business support programme which nurtures an 'ecosystem' thanks to knowledge-based jobs and businesses across all sectors and industries.

     

    As for the skills needed to move towards more digital cities, URBACT has also contributed to the Digital Skills Map platform, as an outcome of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Jobs and Skills, presenting local know-how on digitalisation in vocational education and training.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Digital transition as a methodology: A governance focus

     

     

    Digitalisation can, on the other hand, be seen as a methodology. The process, supporting societal and urban transition, has a strong impact on governance, and on how our everyday life is organised - as well as on the way we make the city work.

     

    Although the use of technology can lead to personalisation of services, “strengthening the barrier between the people and the services which their taxes fund”, as pointed out by URBACT Expert Eddy Adams following URBACT city lab's contribution to the Leipzig Charter, it's key to use adequate language which does not alienate people. Indeed, administrations and citizens need to get to know each other and adopt a language that is understandable by both sides. When used correctly, digitalisation and new technologies can be harnessed to transform cities into platforms of open innovation and develop digital urbanism. The ESPON working paper on the “Digital innovation in urban environments: Solutions for sustainable and fluently working cities” backs the benefit for vertical and horizontal co-creation of cities.

     

    Digital transition can be supported by specific tools to make governance more inclusive, participatory and more efficient. As identified by ESPON, larger cities and Northern European cities are more advanced than the rest of European cities.

     

    Such a process, according to the Urban agenda Partnership on Digital Transition, can be supported by 4 frameworks: technological, organisational, institutional and by stakeholders (see figure). Indeed, what is of crucial importance to cities is not what technology is used but how it is used.

     

    Nele Leosk, 2019, DIGITAL TRANSITION ABC

     

    Creating a one-stop shop for citizens and ensuring the centralisation of citizens’ information is the core of the Card4All URBACT network transferring the experience Citizen Card System of Gijon (ES). The card enables using innovative services and technologies. Cities can thus gather information to improve their services and use it as part of a participative processes. This can be applied to promote social inclusion, local trade, urban mobility and sustainable living, creating a Smart City with Smart Citizens. Such a card can be used for access to citizens’ terminals (for public services), public transport, library, swimming pool, public toilets, car sharing, etc. The IoTxChange network also seeks to benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to improve the quality of life in small and medium sized EU cities.

     

    At the same time, participation and citizens’ engagement is also increasingly relying on digital tools. The participatory budget of Paris URBACT Good Practice is an online process which combines offline and online promotion. The city of Agen (FR) has started a new network, ActiveCitizen, placing citizens at the heart of local democracy in small and medium-sized cities, developing new interactive platforms such as Agen’s Tell My City.

     

    Many other URBACT cities have developed digital solutions on a wider scale. For example, Helsinki (FI), within the REFILL network, shared its experiment with an online service, Flexi Spaces, allowing people to find and book spaces by the hour in the neighbourhood of Kalasatama. After all, it's safe to say URBACT brings a wealth of knowledge and practical cases into the European Urban Policy debate – helping develop and share new innovative solutions creating smart cities.

     

     

     


     

     

    Are you interested in the topic of digital transition but don't know where to start?

    Join us for a webinar on 9 March 2023, from 10.00 to 11.30 (CET), to understand how tech can be an asset in your city and how it can potentially help you in your future action-planning journey

     

     

    Digital transition URBACT webinar

    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    13208
  • ActiveCitizens

    Lead Partner : Agen - France
    • Hradec Kralove - Czech Republic
    • Dinslaken - Germany
    • Saint-Quentin - France
    • Bistrița - Romania
    • Cento - Italy
    • Santa Maria da Feira - Portugal
    • Tartu Vald - Estonia

     

    City of Agen (FR)

    CONTACT US

    ActiveCitizens - The different levels of citizen participation

    Timeline

    • Kick-off Active Citizens Network, Study Visits Adventure & Baseline Study
    • Validation of Phase 2, Communication Plan, Phase 2 Journey & Integrated Action Plan Roadmap
    • Analyse of problems, Visions, First series of experiments (Small Scale Actions), Mid Term Reflection, State of Action Report & Integrated Action Plan Draft
    • Reprogramming Network, Last rounds of Small Scale Actions, Final Integrated Action Plan, dissemination & Closure of the Active Citizens Project

    Final products

    Integrated Action Plans

    Listen and co-create with citizens - Integrated Action Plan Santa Maria da Feira
    Listen and co-create with citizens

    Santa Maria da Feira hosts multiple inspiring practices of citizen participation but also multi-stakeholder collaboration. Read more here !

     

    Santa Maria da Feira - Portugal
    Integrated Action Plan Hradec Kralove

    Read more here ! 

    Hradec Kralove - Czech Republic
    NEW PERSPECTIVES OF PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY IN URBAN POLICY

    Read more here !

    COMUNE DI CENTO - ITALY
    GIVING VOICE (AND POWER) TO CITIZENS IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE

    Read more here !

    Agen - France
    Bistriţa Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Bistrita - Romania
    Saint-Quentin Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Saint-Quentin, France
    CO-CREATING PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY WITH CITIZENS

    Read more here 

    DINSLAKEN - GERMANY
    FASTER ALONE, FURTHER TOGETHER – TARTU PARISH FOR AND WITH CITIZENS

    Read more here 

    TARTU VARD - ESTONIA

    Summary

    Useful links

    Digital Free Version of the Game  Citizen participation? Hell No !!  Just follow the link

    Video presentation of Active Citizens here

    First Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Improvement works on Chopin Square

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Choice of Voluntary Drop off Points

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Market of ideas

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Videomaton developement works on Place Fallieres

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Citizenship Project with High School

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Reduilding a Schoolyard with Pupil's ideas

    Small Scale Action in Agen - Video : Videomaton In Palissy High School

    Last Transnational Meeting in Lead Partner City of Agen - Video : Lead Partner and Lead Expert interviews

    The aim of ActiveCitizens is to rethink the place of the citizen in the local governance by finding a balance between representative democracy and participatory democracy. Led by the City of Agen (France), this Action Planning Network of European small and medium-sized cities, with the same expectations and the similar challenges, will take into account, to do this, new digital tools while integrating the issue of citizens away or not comfortable with digital tools.

    Citizen's participation in small and medium EU cities
    Ref nid
    13495
  • Are participatory processes a fantasy? Not for URBACT!

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    Are participatory processes a fantasy_COVER
    12/06/2023

    Municipalities are daring to give more voice and space to citizens in policymaking. Stories from URBACT…

    Articles
    Network
    From urbact
    On

    Citizen participation is on everyone’s lips at the moment. Well, maybe not everyone’s. But many people’s. Especially on elected officials’, civil servants’ and active citizens’. It is rather common today to stumble upon press articles, radio interviews, or political programmes that mention citizen participation, and to a wider extent, participatory democracy.

    Just to clarify things from the start, what do we mean when we talk about participatory democracy? Well, it’s not rocket science: participatory democracy is a form of governance in which citizens are given (and take) an active role in public decisions, and therefore in the governance of the territory they live in. It can be at local level, regional level, national level or beyond. Concretely? It means that citizens participate in political decisions and contribute to shaping public policies.

    That sounds a lot like the motto “the power of the people”. But in most democracies, the participatory model is not actually the one in place. The most traditional and widely spread form of democracy is called representative democracy. We’re all familiar with the logic: citizens elect representatives who make decisions for them. This model has been in place for decades in most democracies, but it is increasingly showing signs of its limited effectiveness. To cut the story short: growing disillusionment regarding failures of policies to respond to societal needs; growing indifference leading to low voter turnout, leading to low legitimacy of elected officials; growing discontent regarding the policies that are implemented, leading to growing dissatisfaction with the current system. It’s a short version of the story, but basically, our “democracies across the globe are in crisis”, according to the Freedom in the World Report (2020). Or to put it in a more positive way… Democracy would definitely benefit from a little ‘revitalisation’.

    Figure: adapted version of Arnstein's ladder of participation

    The good news is that a growing volume of proof tends to confirm that increasing citizen participation in policymaking is a promising way to reconcile citizens with democracy, while also potentially transforming the way policies are made in general. That means a double change. Having the reflex to give space, voice and power to citizens, and at the same time, re-thinking the policymaking process towards more open, collaborative, agile and participatory formats. Now, this conviction is largely shared throughout the URBACT community.

     

    URBACT cities: open, collaborative, agile, participatory

    If you’ve taken part in an URBACT network, whatever your role, it’s likely you’re familiar with the programme’s fundamental ingredients. Here’s a reminder: a resilient and sustainable urban policy should be integrated (systemically coherent) and participative (multi-stakeholder). Since its launch 15 years ago, URBACT has recognised the need to put participatory approaches at the core of all good policymaking process. Again, anyone who has joined the URBACT adventure will, at some point, come across the famous ‘ULG’, which stands for URBACT Local Group. What’s that? Simple: every city participating in an URBACT network needs to form its own group of people who will co-create the local strategy and action plan together with the city government. This stakeholder group shall be diverse, eclectic, mixed, and will probably include citizens, although this may depend on the topic in question.

    Of course, bringing together a group of people in your policymaking process is not quite the same as installing participatory democracy across your city, but it’s a little step in the right direction. Why? Because a policy plan built with a group of citizens and stakeholders from your city is already way better than a plan built solely by civil servants. Because the more diverse the people around the table, the more diverse the perspectives on the problem you’re trying to tackle, and the richer the ideas and potential solutions proposed. So setting up an URBACT Local Group, or something similar such as a multi-stakeholder committee, neighbourhood councils, or citizen assemblies, ensures that your policies are made with the active participation of multiple voices.

     

    Daring to experiment involving citizens

    Citizens don’t bite! More local authorities should dare to approach residents, talk to them, involve them in municipal processes, ask them their views, invite them to suggest ideas and co-create solutions! It’s not forbidden, as a city authority, to engage in conversation with citizens. Yet, this communication doesn’t always come naturally (beyond the collection of complaints). Cities don’t tend to have the ‘reflex’ of involving citizens whenever they make projects, build policies, redesign public space, develop policies and plans, etc. When cities involve citizens, it’s often because they have to. By law. Not by choice. Not by conviction that it could make their projects and/or decisions better.

    Obviously, I’m exaggerating a bit here. Indeed – even though it’s not yet the new normal – we’re seeing more and more cities developing participatory processes. Or at least trying to. And that’s the first fundamental step. To dare to experiment. Unless, your town or city has tried, there is very little chance that change will happen. But once you’ve done it, once you’ve worked with citizens, the added value starts showing: ideas, enthusiasm, commitment… And then, enlarging, replicating such processes will be a lot easier. So, all it takes is the initial courage to dare to experiment.

    And that’s what the partner cities of the URBACT ActiveCitizens network have done. Eight small- and medium-sized cities that, with URBACT support, developed over 30 experimental Small Scale Actions (SSAs) over the past two and a half years. These eight cities are: Agen (France), Bistrita (Romania), Cento (Italy), Dinslaken (Germany), Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic), Saint-Quentin (France), Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal) and Tartu Vald (Estonia). Although some cities had slightly more experience in citizen participation than others, all have made progress. Each city produced three to seven Small Scale Actions during the course of the network. And all of these SSAs not only reinforced and re-motivated the URBACT Local Groups, but also showed civil servants that they could dare to go beyond their comfort zone and try out things they never tried before, such as engaging citizens in conversation, co-creation and co-decision, either outside, directly in public spaces or in other totally informal set-ups.

    Here are concrete examples of some of these Small Scale Actions run by ActiveCitizens towns and cities:

     

    1. Video booths

    Agen (France): videomaton set in public space to record video testimonials of citizens

    Agen (France) decided to open up conversations with citizens and users in two different public squares before imagining and/or building any plan for these places. The team of Agen set up a ‘videomaton’ (video booth) tent in the middle of two squares and passers-by were invited to answer a series of questions that were recorded on video. Citizens were asked about how they perceived the square, their use of it and, of course, their wishes regarding a potential future transformation. “How would you like it to be?” This Small Scale Action is interesting for multiple reasons: first, because civil servants went out of their offices or regular meeting places and ‘put themselves on the spot’ in public space, to engage with citizens.

    Second, because they used videos to collect citizens’ voices, needs and wishes: a tool that is not often seen in the administrative culture. Third, because they engaged the conversation with citizens in an exploratory way outside of any pre-formalised plan regarding these squares. There is no plan for the moment. Nothing has been decided or imagined yet. And consulting citizens without having everything already planned and finalised is rare. Cities tend to consult citizens after they’ve worked on the plan and nearly decided everything… usually not leaving much room to take citizens’ views into account.

     

    2. Safari walks

    Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal): safari-walk (exploratory walks) through the vast city green urban area for a participatory diagnosis

    Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal) and Dinslaken (Germany) organised ‘safari walks’ – variant forms of exploratory walks. In the case of Santa Maria da Feira, a large and diverse crowd of citizens took part in a long tour around the park and castle of the city to collectively diagnose the park and explore its potential future improvements. In the case of Dinslaken, a small group of young people from popular neighbourhoods did a ‘photo-safari’. Both walks used photography as a tool to enable citizens to make their own diagnosis of positive and negative aspects of public space in their city, then share and discuss it collectively. These two Small Scale Actions showed that involving citizens in urban planning projects was not only possible, but that it could also be done in dynamic and active ways, rather than classic neighbourhood meetings. This practice of organising citizen walks could become a new ‘normal’ way of involving citizens in urban planning departments, complementing other methods such as participatory mapping, vision building, or playful city modelling.

     

    3. Mixed cultural-participatory events

    Cento (Italy): the Giants' Garden is ours - participatory process embedded within a multi-social & cultural event

    Cento (Italy), among several Small Scale Actions, experimented with conducting participation outside, in the Giardino del Gigante, a public park that people had abandoned due to bad reputation. In order to gather citizens to discuss about the park, but also have them vote, decide and engage in it, the city of Cento had the smart idea of setting up a public cultural event in alliance with active local associations. Why set up a cultural event instead of a simple ‘participatory tent’? Because, very few people come to this park. The civil servants could have waited all day before catching any citizens to interact with. The ‘trick’ here was to bring music, arts, dance, circus, etc. into the park to create an event for parents and their kids, and other people from the neighbourhood.

    Then, once on site, they would be invited to contribute, engage and vote. This Small Scale Action worked so well that over a dozen citizens decided that it was really a shame that this park was left abandoned. A collective of citizens decided to form right on spot: they would go on to explore the future of this ‘garden of the giants’. This solution for ‘hiding’ the participatory process within a cultural/popular event not only made people show up, but it was also a way to reach people known as ‘un-usual suspects’ – as well as the ‘usual suspects’, who regularly show up in participatory processes. Looking beyond these already active citizens is key to democracy.

     

    4. Involving citizens in simplifying procedures

    Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic) tried putting together new ‘instructions for the use of citizen committees’. Hradec Kralove has 25 ‘Local Government Committees’ (Komise místní samosprávy) composed of citizens who act as an ‘initiative and advisory body’ for the city council. Even though these committees have existed for nearly three decades, the administrative machine, its procedures, its rules, etc. still remain rather obscure for the people on these committees. How to proceed when faced with complex practical problems such as road repairs, playground refurbishment, waste problems, traffic issues, parking tensions, maintenance of greenery, complaints, investments? What are the right procedures? Who should be contacted? What are the possible solutions?

    To answer these questions, the city of Hradec Kralove decided to bring together civil servants plus members of these Local Government Committees (LGCs) in order to not only clarify the procedures, but also to add a dedicated section on the city website. This new section was named ‘LGC Requirements - What to Do When I Want to Change Something’, making it easier for the LGCs to organise their activities and maintain their district.

    This example is interesting both for the co-creation process – involving civil servants and citizens, rather than the city’s IT technicians alone – as well as for the way it gives citizens the tools to facilitate their engagement and ‘work’. Indeed, we often see cities that push and promote participation but don’t work on reducing or simplifying procedures. If towns and cities want to have active citizens, they must reduce or limit the administrative burden, or help people bypass it. Engaging in local actions is already quite a demanding role. So don’t overload valuable active citizens with administrative weight!

     

    5. Participation training for municipal staff and elected representatives

    Saint-Quentin (France) decided to train all the managers of the city and all its elected officials in participatory democracy and design for policies. Wait. What? We know that participation is usually encouraged by people who are already deeply convinced of its added value. But it’s not necessarily widespread within city governments, even those in the ActiveCitizens network. This is why the City of Saint-Quentin decided to make sure that no one in the city government could say “I don’t know what participation means and how it works”. And at the same time: inspire the curious ones, reinforce the convinced ones and celebrate the already active ones.

    A first training session was organised for about 50 civil servants and later on the same day, training was provided for all the elected officials of the majority party, including the mayor herself. The civil servant training allowed to imagine and reflect on projects with a potential participatory dimension. It also helped trainees to realise that participation can take multiple forms… with a small group of citizens or a big crowd… over a long period of time or in a very spontaneous one-shot way… etc. For many elected officials, it was a ‘wake-up call’. When some of them reacted to the training, saying: “we know all this”, the Mayor responded: “you might know it, but we don’t do it”!

     

    6. Ask people how they want to communicate with their local authority

    Tartu Vald (Tartu Parish, Estonia) is a rural municipality of 15 000 inhabitants spread over an area of 700 km2. Due to their particularly low population density, with no major urban centre, Tartu decided to work on communication challenges. In a municipality like Tartu, where public meetings are impractical, the municipality decided to ask its citizens directly about the best ways to communicate with them. They realised it was worth adapting to people’s existing tools and habits. All too often, cities develop their own communication channel or tool without checking or evaluating its impact – such as a city app that ends up not being downloaded by residents, and then not updated by the city itself. Here in Tartu, citizens were asked about their communication preferences through an online survey. The output? Citizens highlighted three preferred information channels: Facebook groups; the municipality’s monthly magazine; and finally, occasional onsite events or gatherings.

    Their survey also showed that the municipality’s participatory budget was still quite unknown to many citizens. What this Small Scale Action illustrated is the need for cities to adopt and use the same tools that citizens use on a daily basis – and to reflect on their own communication practices –  the first fundamental step towards enabling fruitful citizen participation. Especially if towns and cities want to reach out and engage with people beyond the usual suspects.

     

    7. Fun community events to build connections

    Bistrita (Romania): the courtyards that bring us together. Rock the backyard!

    Bistrita (Romania) is rebuilding their relatively weak links between citizens and public authorities. A first goal was to reconnect citizens with their municipality. This meant that, rather than developing direct participatory processes, Bistrita put efforts into bringing citizens of all ages together through co-organised activities. For example, one action involved restoring and opening up historical inner courtyards for the use of all citizens, by holding a fun cultural event. This led to the creation of an actual demonstrator of a revitalised unused space, and a convivial moment of shared multi-cultural activities, including a photo exhibit, fashion show, food and wine tasting. In parallel, Bistrita also started involving school children in various activities connected with active participation: creating ‘peace banks’, Bistrita through the children’s eyes: ‘Drawing the soul of my city’ and a city treasure hunt’ to reclaim the city.

     

    Citizen participation is no ordinary practice, but it can become one

    What the ActiveCitizens city partners have demonstrated through their more than 35 Small Scale Actions is that citizen participation, even though it is not ordinary practice for all city governments, could definitely become a more regular, ‘normal’ practice of policymaking. They’ve proven that citizen participation is not only feasible through intense, expensive, time consuming, formal, institutionalised processes, but it can also be done in light, spontaneous, agile, creative ways. There is no miracle recipe for participation. But there are infinite ways for imagining participatory processes that can not only provide valuable, diverse citizen input, but also lead to fun, convivial, memorable social events.

     

    Based on our experience with URBACT towns and cities, if there is one last word of advice for public authorities it is: As a city, opening up your processes to citizens is not enough. You need to go towards citizens, wherever they are. Go out. Go and meet the people you never meet. Because they are the precious silent voices that don't feel legitimate to speak up in our democracies. Yet.

     

    Further information

     

     

  • 23 Action Planning Networks ready for Phase 2!

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    15/11/2022

    On 7 May, URBACT's Monitoring Committee has officially approved all Action Planning Networks to proceed to Phase 2.

    News

     

    The main objective of Action Planning Networks is to bring together between 7 and 10 cities across Europe to exchange their experience in a particular thematic urban development challenge and to share their ideas about possible solutions, during a period of over 2 years. The Phase 1 (from late June 2019 to February 2020) focused on the development of baseline studies, city profiles and the production of the Application Form for Phase 2.

    Following the Monitoring Committee's approval of the networks, cities are now ready to focus on the exchange and learning activities using a range of learning tools and approaches in line with the URBACT Method. Every partner city will consolidate an URBACT Local Group, which will co-design Integrated Action Plans for future implementation. The Phase 2 also presents a novelty for the projects, from now on cities are encouraged to undertake pilot actions (Small Scale Actions), to experiment with new ideas for projects gained from other network exchanges and in line with the cities’ network topic.

    As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the URBACT Secretariat will follow up with a series of adapted activities to support these networks and their partners, including the delivery of trainings using online formats and a 3 months extension of the network life-cycle, meaning that projects will run until August 2022. Thus, networks will respect the following calendar:

     

    • Activation Stage (May - December 2020): putting together an Integrated Action Plan roadmap
    • Planning Actions (December 2020 - December 2021): drafting the Integrated Action Plan
    • Planning Implementation (December 2021 - June 2022): finalising the Integrated Action Plan
    • Integrated Action Plans Finale (June - August 2022): sharing knowledge

     

    You can find all approved networks in the table below, the Lead Partner city is indicated is bold. To find out more about each one of the projects, check the network's webpages.
    Congratulations to the 23 approved projects!

     

    NETWORK

    PARTNERS

    DESCRIPTION

    Research, technological development and innovation

    UrbSecurity

    Leiria (PT)
    - Longford (IE)
    - Madrid (ES)
    - Mechelen (BE)
    - Michalovce (SK)
    - Parma (IT)
    - Pella (EL)
    - Unione della Romagna Faentina (IT)
    - Szabolcs 05 Regional Development Association of Municipalities (HU)

    Security and safety are two common goods and fundamental components of European democracy. This network intends to analyse strategies and concepts of urban design and planning, which could contribute to prevent segregation and anti-social behaviour. Additionally, this network wishes to co-create an integrated approach towards urban security focusing on improving citizens’ quality of life and the city’s smart, sustainable and inclusive growth towards a good living environment.

    Find your Greatness

    Alba Iulia (RO)
    - Bragança (PT)
    - Candelaria (ES)
    - Perugia (IT)
    - Wroclaw (PL)
    - Võru (EE)
    - Limerick (IE)
    - Budafok-Tétény 22nd district of Budapest (HU)

    The challenge is to build on the cities' opportunities. The partners of the project need to identify locally a strength, which was built as a sustainable mechanism generating urban development. The goal of this network is to explore and enhance the potential of the city, combining strategic marketing approach with innovative smart city tools.

    Access to and use of ICT

    DigiPlace
    (previously DI4C)

    Messina (IT)
    - Botosani (RO)
    - Oulu (FI)
    - Portalegre (PT)
    - Roquetas de Mar (ES)
    - Saint- Quentin (FR)
    - Trikala (EL)
    - Ventspils Digital Centre (LV)

    This network aims to set up an acceleration mechanism to enable cities to catch up the digitalisation opportunities in hard & soft infrastructure. Remove all the obstacles encountered by mid-sized cities in their digital journey: lack of strategic & global vision lack of technical and engineering capacities difficulties in incorporating the digital innovation. Municipalities need to guaranty the uptake of digital innovation by the local stakeholders: citizen and entrepreneurs.

    IoTxChange

    Fundão (PT)
    - Dodoni (EL)
    - Jelgava (LV)
    - Nevers Agglomeration (FR)
    - Razlog (BG)
    - Ånge (SE)
    - Kežmarok (SK)
    - Åbo Akademi University (FI)

    The objective is to encourage the creation of a network of European cities committed to the design of digitalization plans based on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to increase the quality of life in small and medium sized EU cities, guiding us through a new age of digital transformation.

    Competitiveness of SMEs

    iPlace

    Amarante (PT)
    - Balbriggan (IE)
    - Pori (FI)
    - Pärnu (EE)
    - Grosseto (IT)
    - Gabrovo (BG)
    - Heerlen (NL)
    - Kočevje (SI)
    - Medina del Campo
    (ES)

    - Saldus (LV)

    This network aim to produce 10 different and unique robust economic development strategies, targeting their own genuine niches, and generating urban innovation ecosystems. City partners will focus on deepening the understanding of their own local economic strengths and establish strategic methods to revitalise their economy, adapt their city to the next economy and to future economic changes, establishing methodological bases for generate resilient cities.

    Tourism Friendly Cities

    Genoa (IT)
    - Braga (PT)
    - Rovaniemi (FI)
    - Venice (IT)
    - Utrecht (NL)
    - Krakow (PL)
    - Cáceres (ES)
    - Druskininkai (LT)
    - Dún Laoghaire Rathdown (IE)
    - Dubrovnik Development Agency (HR)

    This network aims to explore how tourism can be sustainable in medium-sized cities, reducing the negative impact on neighbourhoods and areas interested by different types of tourism to reach this ambitious aim, the project will create integrated and inclusive strategies which can keep a balance between the needs of the local community, in terms of quality of life and of services available, and the promotion of sustainable urban development at environmental, social and economic level.

    Low carbon economy in all sectors

    Urb-En Pact

    Clermont Auvergne Metropole (FR)
    - Bialystok Association of the Functional Area (PL)
    - CIM Alto Minho (PT)
    - Rouen Normandie Metropole (FR)
    - Elefsina (EL)
    - Galati (RO)
    - Palma di Montechiaro (IT)
    - Tampere EcoFellows (FI)

    Local authorities embrace the ambitious goal to become a zero-net energy territory within the next 30 years. Thus, the aim is to define the local action plans to become zero-net (ZNE) territory by producing and delivering local, renewable and regulated sources of energy by the implementation of an energy loop which gathers all the stakeholders of this circular economy, especially the consumers included in this fair trade business in and around the metropolitan area.

    Zero Carbon Cities
    (previously ZCC)

    Manchester (UK)
    - Bistrita (RO)
    - Zadar (HR)
    - Modena (IT)
    - Frankfurt am Main (DE)
    - Tartu (EE)
    - Vilvoorde (BE)

    The network will support capacity building of cities to establish science-based carbon reduction targets and their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) aligned to Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Working with 7cities to adopt different approaches to carbon budgeting and science-based targets, the network will undertake a programme of capacity building in order to support their local activities and integrated action plan and influence Covenant of Mayors' signatory cities.

    Environmental protection and resource efficiency

    RiConnect

    Barcelona Metropolitan Area (ES)
    - Porto Metropolitan Area (PT)
    - Krakow Metropole Association (PL)
    - Paris Metropolitan Area (FR)
    - Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area (PL)
    - Amsterdam Region (NL)
    - Transport for Greater Manchester (UK)
    - Thessaloniki Major Development Agency (EL)

    The overall goal is to rethink, transform and integrate mobility infrastructure aiming at reconnecting people, neighbourhoods, cities and natural spaces. The project will develop planning strategies, processes, instruments and partnerships, fostering public transport and active mobility, reducing externalities and unlocking opportunities of urban regeneration with the objectives of structuring the territory, and achieving a more sustainable, equitable and attractive metropolis.

    URGE

    Utrecht (NL)
    - Riga (LV)
    - Oeste CIM (PT)
    - Copenhagen (DK)
    - Granada (ES)
    - Munich (DE)
    - Kavala (EL)
    - Prato (IT)
    - Nigrad (SI)

    URGE (circUlaR buildinG citiEs) aims to design integrated urban policies on circularity in the building sector – a major consumer of raw materials – as there is a gap in knowledge on this topic. The result is an in-depth understanding of this theme and a first plan for a tailor-made methodology that allows the circular dimension to be widely integrated in the large construction tasks the URGE partnership is facing. URGE thus accelerates the transition towards a circular economy.

    Healthy Cities

    Vic (ES)
    - Anyksciai (LT)
    - Bradford (UK)
    - Alphen aan den Rijn (NL)
    - Falerna (IT)
    - Farkadona (EL)
    - Loulé (PT)
    - Pärnu (EE)
    - Malta Planning Authority (MT)

    This network aims to deepen the relationship between health and the urban environment, planning actions that focus on improving the population’s health, while developing a rigorous health impact assessment methodology around it. Urban Planning can become a health generator on many grounds, and this network of cities reflects the multiplicity of possible approaches to tackle the issue: green areas, mobility, social cohesion or promotion of sports are some examples.

    KAIRÓS

    Mula (ES)
    - Belene (BG)
    - Cesena (IT)
    - Malbork (PL)
    - Roskilde (DK)
    - Heraklion (EL)
    - Šibenik (HR)
    - Ukmergè (LT)

     

    The ultimate goal is to represent a moment of change, improving the urban environment of cities involved, developing heritage-led urban regeneration. It will enhance the potential of heritage in small and medium cities developing strategies for economic and social cohesion, inclusion and sustainable urban development. This network fosters the transnational exchange of experiences to test an innovative policy framework, combining a sound integrated approach with a real transformation purpose.

     

    Resourceful Cities
    (previously UrbReC)

    The Hague (NL)
    - Bucharest 3rd district (RO)
    - Ciudad Real (ES)
    - Mechelen (BE)
    - Cáceres (ES)
    - Patras (EL)
    - Oslo (NO)
    - Opole (PL)
    - Vila Nova Famalicão (PT)
    - Zagreb (HR)

     

    This network seeks to develop the next generation of urban resource centers to promote the positive economic, environmental and social impacts for the circular economy. They facilitate waste prevention, reuse, repair and recycling. The centers 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.

    FOOD CORRIDORS
    (previously Rurban Food)

    Coimbra Region (PT)
    - Alba Iulia (RO)
    - Córdoba (ES)
    - Larissa (EL)
    - Szécsény (HU)
    - Bassa Romagna Union (IT)
    - Tartu Tartumaa Arendusselts (EE)
    - BSC Kranj and Gorenjska (SI)

    Recent experience suggests that it is necessary to promote a transition towards regional food systems. This network encourage the creation of a network of European cities committed to the design of food plans that extend from the urban and periurban areas through a corridor that facilitates urban-rural re-connection. This approach enhances production and consumption environments founded on a base of economic, social and environmental sustainability, integrated into development policies.

    Health&Greenspace

    Hegyvidék 12th district of Budapest (HU)
    - Espoo (FI)
    - Limerick (IE)
    - Messina (IT)
    - Breda (NL)
    - Poznań (PL)
    - Santa Pola (ES)
    - Suceava (RO)
    - Tartu (EE)

    As a response to the various health risks related to rapid urbanization and the densification of cities, this network project promotes health-responsive planning and management of urban green infrastructure with an overall aim to bring health and wellbeing benefits for citizens across Europe. The network applies a holistic approach that addresses the main functions provided by urban green infrastructure that deliver health and social benefits.

    Sustainable transport

    Space4People

    Bielefeld (DE)
    - Arad (RO)
    - Badalona (ES)
    - Nazaré (PT)
    - Turku (FI)
    - Guía de Isora (ES)
    - Panevèžys (LT)
    - Saint-Germain-en-Laye (FR)
    - Sérres (EL)
    - Valga (EE)

    This network improves quantity and quality of attractive public spaces in urban areas. For this, it tackles the main public space use being transportation in 3 aspects: improving user experience and adding space to pedestrian networks and (semi) pedestrianised places, upscaling intermodal hubs to urban centres of mixed use as well as reducing and optimising parking in public space. The project takes a user-centric approach by users assessing and creating future use and design of public space.

    Thriving Streets

    Parma (IT)
    - Antwerp (BE)
    - Igoumenitsa (EL)
    - Klaipèda (LT)
    - Nova Gorica (SI)
    - Oradea (RO)
    - Santo Tirso (PT)
    - Radom (PL)
    - Southwark London Borough (UK)
    - Debrecen Economic Development Centre (HU)

    This is a network that addresses the bottlenecks in sustainable urban mobility. The project will focus on the economic and social benefits of sustainable mobility, rather than on the widely demonstrated environmental effects. The network argues that working with local amenities and social networks at neighbourhood level could unlock the hidden demand for active mobility in cities, and thus act as enabler of behaviour change towards more resilient and liveable neighbourhoods.

    Employment protection and resource efficiency

    SIBdev

    Heerlen (NL)
    - Aarhus (DK)
    - Baia Mare (RO)
    - Fundão (PT)
    - Kecskemét (HU)
    - Pordenone (IT)
    - Zaragoza (ES)
    - Võru Development Centre (EE)

    This network aims to explore how social impact bonds can be used to improve public service delivery in areas such as employment, ageing, and immigration. Often, the delivery of services is hindered by fragmented and siloed agencies and budgets, financial and political shorttermism, and an aversion to risk and difficulty creating change. The social impact bond is a promising model that ameliorates these issues by increasing collaboration, prevention, and innovation.

    Social inclusion and poverty

    ROOF

    Ghent (BE)
    - Braga (PT)
    - Glasgow (UK)
    - Thessaloniki (EL)
    - Liège (BE)
    - Odense (DK)
    - Poznań (PL)
    - Toulouse Metropole (FR)
    - Timisoara Department of Social Assistance (RO)

    This project aims to eradicate homelessness through innovative housing solutions at city level. It will exchange knowledge on how to gather accurate data and make the conceptual shift from the symptomatic management to the actual ending of homelessness, with Housing First and Housing Led as guidance model. This network will guide the partner cities towards integrated local action plans linked to the long-term strategic goal of Functional Zero (no structural homelessness).

    ActiveCitizens

    Agen (FR)
    - Bistrita (RO)
    - Cento (IT)
    - Dinslaken (DE)
    - Hradec Králové (CZ)
    - Santa Maria da Feira (PT)
    - Saint-Quentin (FR)
    - Tartu (EE)

    The aim of this network is to rethink the place of the citizens in the local governance by finding a balance between representative democracy and participatory democracy. This network of European small and medium-sized cities, with the same expectations and similar challenges, will notably take into account, to do this, new digital tools while integrating the issue of citizens away or not comfortable with digital tools.

    Access

    Amsterdam (NL)
    - Dublin (IE)
    - Lisbon (PT)
    - Riga (LV)
    - Sofia (BG)
    - Tallinn (EE)
    - Vilnius (LT)
    - London Greater Authority (UK)

    This network addresses the importance of inclusive cultural policies. A challenge all cities in this project face is that culture does not enrich or empower all people equally. We need to gain a better understanding of our communities in order to engage all citizens in our cities. We have identified four topics to work on that will enable us to gain that understanding and support us in reaching all population groups in the participating cities from the west, east and south of Europe.

    Genderedlandscape

    Umeå (SE)
    - Frankfurt am Main (DE)
    - Panevèžys (LT)
    - Trikala (EL)
    - La Rochelle (FR)
    - Barcelona Activa SA (ES)
    - Celje JZ Socio (SI)

    Creating conditions for gender equality through a holistic understanding of how gender inequality is created in the specific place. This network creates an exchange on challenges faced by cities with an understanding of gender inequality that is globally understood but locally contextualised.

    Education, skills and lifelong learning

    Cities4CSR

    Milan (IT)
    - Bratislava (SK)
    - Budaörs (HU)
    - Guimarães (PT)
    - Molina de Segura (ES)
    - Nantes Metropole (FR)
    - Rijeka (HR)
    - Kekava (LV)
    - Sofia (BG)
    -Vratsa (BG)

    Through intensive capacity building of local actors, the network will increase collaboration among municipalities, businesses and the civic society in order to promote sustainable, inclusive & innovative urban change. The project aims at increasing the role and added value of companies’ CSR activities at local level, towards urban regeneration and social innovation, with a special emphasis on education, in order to better address emerging and unmet local needs.

     

    -

     

    Interested in finding more about the approved networks and what they will do? Watch the URBACT Method video and check out the Action Planning Network's infographic!

    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    13928
  • Do we need participatory democracy to save democracy?

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    15/11/2022

    Everyone acknowledges today that democracies around the world are increasingly challenged. The number of issues they have to face – and have difficulties to respond to (social justice, economic stability, climate change, etc.) – put our democracies at risk. On top of that, a growing number of people feel that they are not listened to or taken into consideration by policymakers. Citizens claim a right to have a say in public decisions, choices, and policies that are made.

    Articles

    At city level, local governments are not at rest either and face the same situation as national governments and appear quite unequipped to respond to the claim of citizens. Yet, they realise they have to better collaborate and involve citizens in decision-making processes and in the local governance of the city in general. Amongst those conscious cities, 8 small and medium-sized cities of Europe have decided to embark on the audacious journey of participatory democracy.

    These 8 cities have gathered together in order to set up a network called Active Citizens. These cities all range in between 35 000 and 95 000 inhabitants. They are from all over Europe, -south, west, and east. From Portugal (Santa Maria da Feira) to France (Agen and Saint Quentin), Italy (Cento) to Germany (Dinslaken), Czech Republic (Hradec Králové), Romania (Bistrita), and Estonia (Tartu). These 8 cities have different experiences with participatory approaches, some having already engaged with participatory methods, while others are more at the beginning of the journey. However, they all have in common this shared feeling that they need to go further, and that they can do so, by joining together and learning from one another.

    The ambition of the Active Citizens’ network of cities is quite clear: how to better involve citizens in the local governance of our cities? ‘But why would you do that?’ one could ask. Well, because, ‘we believe that by involving citizens into the local governance, we can build better policies, services, and cities as a whole. More efficient. More pertinent. More relevant. More adapted.’

    ‘But why would we need to involve citizens in the governance? We already have elected officials for that! It’s the whole principle of representative democracy!’

     

    Yes. In principle. Elected officials are elected to represent citizens and ‘govern in their name’. And they do. But in many cases, they don’t represent ‘enough’ of the people. And even if they did, does this prevent them to compose with citizens during their whole mandate, for every decision? Cities acknowledge today that integrating a certain level of citizen participation (in some cases) to the decision-making process could be – not only – useful, but actually necessary. 

    Citizen participation? Hell no!

     

    Clearly, not everyone in city administrations (but also in national governments) is convinced of the added-value of citizen participation to governance. Reasons of NOT doing citizen participation are plenty. In order to identify them, we developed, within Active Citizens, a card game called ‘Citizen participation? Hell no!’. This game is composed of 42 reasons of NOT doing citizen participation. The cities of the network were asked to pick the ones they most often hear within their own administrations, by their colleagues (either civil servants or elected officials). Some of the reasons include: “citizen participation slows down every process or project’, ‘citizen participation is useless because citizens are not experts!”, “it’s too complicated to work with citizens”, “citizens are better at complaining, than at finding solutions”, “citizens have no interest in public actions & matters”, “no need for citizen participation, we already work with NGOs, unions and associations of consumers”, “with citizens, conversations always remain superficial and without depth”.

    Yes. There is still a long way to go in order to deconstruct these many ‘reasons’…

    But... ‘what is it you want?’

     

    There are many objectives which could motivate a city to engage in a network such as Active Citizens. The 8 cities of the network were therefore asked to express what were their motivations… and here is a little selection of the most common desires they have picked:

    • We want to develop a culture of participation and a sense of active citizenship.
    • We want to rebuild trust between citizens and the city administration.
    • We want citizens to co-create solutions (ideas, plans, agendas, actions) with us, city administration.
    • We want to facilitate the dialogue between elected officials and citizens.
    • We want to collect citizensʼ opinions and views on public matters or actions.
    • We want citizens to take an active part in urban planning projects and decisions.

    This set of motivations highlight the richness and diversity of objectives (but also challenges) that the cities wish to tackle through citizen participation: from trust to dialogue, from consultation to co-creation, from concrete projects to public agenda, and more.

    ‘When you start doing citizen participation, you realize there are so many things you are not satisfied with, as a city administration’

     

    For the cities who have already a bit of experience with forms of citizen participation, all of them are not 100% satisfied with how things are. ‘First, It’s always the same people who show up’. That’s the so-called ‘usual suspects’. And, most often, they are all retired. ‘This is not satisfactory, as a public administration’. Indeed, cities want citizens to be as diverse as possible, as representative as possible (of all the inhabitants and potential voices). ‘Citizens tend to only speak up for their personal interest, not necessarily the common good’, yet it is the role of a public authority to ensure that public policies and services shall be for the common good. ‘In the neighbourhood councils, we decided that the citizens would be elected by the inhabitants but we realise that, once elected, they don’t all necessarily consult the citizens afterward’. Even though the idea was to give power to citizens, we end up having just a new layer of not-functioning-so-well ‘representative democracy’, at the micro-level of a neighbourhood, instead of a city one. Of course, all the cities are experimenting, testing, piloting, exploring and learning from their experiments, what works well, what works not so well, what does not work, then revise, change, redesign their ways of doing. And citizens contribute to it (requesting particular trainings, suggesting changes, etc.). Both sides have to learn how to collaborate better, as it is not a natural thing for any of them.

    There is hope, there is urgency, there is pressure

     

    Participatory democracy is a trendy topic. No doubt. The number of articles, news, papers, books, case studies, of participatory democracy are multiplying like never before in the last decade. At the same time, toolkits, guidelines, toolboxes, and handbooks of all kind are also multiplying and meant to support cities in the adoption of participatory approaches in their governance. Yet, the trendy nature of the topic is not without risk. Indeed, as the topic becomes ‘a nice thing to do and have’, some cities tend to apply participatory approaches either in bad ways (tools, methods, formats) or for the bad reasons (fake motives, hidden agenda) leading to what could be called ‘fake public participation’. And this can have disastrous effects on democracy. Indeed, the number of active citizens willing to take part, to a certain degree, to public decision making processes, are not – let’s be honest – millions (yet). So doing ‘fake public participation’ can convince the most willing citizens that participation processes are just smoke and mirrors. Disappointing, once again. And lowering a bit more the citizens’ trust in politics, and, by extension, the democratic model. But there is hope, because citizens are present and willing to take part, and city administrations (like the ones of Active Citizens) are also more and more inclined to go towards a more participatory democracy and want to do it right, meaning with honesty, transparency, attention, care and empathy.

    Network
    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    13473