• URBinclusion

    Timeline

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

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    AYUNTAMIENTO DE BAENA

    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain

    CONTACT US

    Artur Katai
    City of Újbuda

    CONTACT US

    Barcelona City Council - Social Rights Area

    Lluis Torrens: ltorrens@bcn.cat

    Sebastià Riutort: sriutort@ext.bcn.cat

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

    Combating poverty in deprived urban areas
    Ref nid
    8718
  • MAPS – Military Assets as Public Spaces

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Varazdin). Transnational meeting in October (Cartagena).
    Transnational meetings in January (Koblenz) and May (Espinho).
    Final event in April (Serres).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

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

    The Action Planning network MAPS (Military Assets as Public Spaces) was focused on enhancing former military heritage as key elements for sustainable urban strategies, combining both functional and social aspects. Highlighting the potential of the dismissed military areas can be deemed as the new symbols of a more conscious and participatory urban planning.

    Redefining the military heritage
    Ref nid
    7446
  • 2nd Chance

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Liverpool). Transnational meeting in October (Chemnitz).
    Transnational meetings in July (Gijon) and December (Brussels).
    Final event in April (Naples)

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    The challenge of this Action Planning network is the activation of vacant buildings and building complexes for a sustainable urban development by self-organised groups. In many European cities smaller and larger derelict sites, underused premises, so called “voids” can be found in or near the city centre. These sites often have a negative impact on their surroundings, nevertheless they present a great opportunity: they can be used to complete a compact settlement structure, to provide space for needed functions in the city.

    Revitalisation of the sleeping giants
    Ref nid
    7457
  • sub>urban

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in July (Antwerp). Transnational meeting in November (Casoria).
    Transnational meetings in February (Oslo), June (Brussels) and October (Dusseldorf).
    Transnational meeting in January (Brno). Final event in May (Barcelona).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    The cities from this Action Planning network searched for a solution to the following challenge: how can we make existing 20th century urban tissue attractive and qualitative again? How can we add a different urban layer? For the past two decades, urban development and planning practice in European cities and regions have focused on the renewal of metropolitan cores and historic inner cities. This has resulted in numerous success stories, but the wave of urban renewal in inner cities has generally coincided with strong population growth and demographic changes. Many inner cities have reached their peak in terms of density, population and mobility. At the same time most of the housing in 20th century (sub)urban areas are in need of renovation. The next logical step is a combined solution to these issues by reconverting this areas, to create a more sustainable and attractive environment.

    Reinventing the fringe
    Ref nid
    7541
  • ALT/BAU

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

    Timeline

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

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

    Alternative Building Activation Units
    Ref nid
    12118
  • Sharing stories in person and online to strengthen a suburban community

    Finland
    Pori

    Creating a place for mobilising citizens, fostering civilian power and urban stewardship through raising awareness towards the values of built heritage

    Niilo Rinne and Ville Kirjanen
    Project Coordinators
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    84 500

    Summary

    Affecting the discourse on built environment and cultural heritage may have striking influence. Audio-visual documentation, storytelling and promotion via internet is a good way to raise awareness and bring visibility to places and people that are otherwise not under the radar of the decision makers.

    Sharing stories of buildings brings about the dimension of time in living environment that helps in animating and enchanting the world and community.

    Pori has applied the basic idea of the Budapest100 good practice in an innovative way (partly because of the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic), transforming an abandoned radio station in the eastern suburban location of the city into a Story Café which offers a cultural, creative and social space, reaching the locals and bringing them together to share stories.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Pori is an old industrial city on Finland’s West coast. The city selected an action area for the Come in! project in its eastern suburbs, which sprang up in the 1950s-1970s in proximity to a copper factory. The area is located 4km from the centre consisting of a park and the nearby residential areas, representing the main trends of post-war architecture in Finland. The park area remains unbuilt because of a shortwave radio station located in the middle, which is owned by the City of Pori and used since 2012 by a local artist community as well as an old vehicle club. With the permission of the city the artists operate the building as a creative space. In the last years, they have opened it to the public several times. Even so, there seemed to be a need for something, bringing together nearby residents, like the good practice of Budapest.

    Pori has had various projects in the action area and it has offered funding numerous times to different NGOs to do projects, which resemble the Budapest100 good practice closely, there hasn’t been the level of integration and cooperation between different operators achieved, especially regarding the activating of the local population. All the elements and opportunities for adopting something like the good practice have been present but the impetus for it hasn’t manifested itself.

    By 2020 the ULG felt ready to create a community festival highlighting the built environment of the neighbourhood, its character and stories, and introducing the radio station and its potential as a social and cultural space the people could claim as their own. Sadly, due to Covid, these plans had to be cancelled. Instead, a socially-distanced pop-up exhibition showcased the station's history in September 2020 and finally a two week long Story Café in May 2021 opened new spaces in the radio station for public and created a place for histories, stories and art to be shared.

    As the society around came to a halt, organisers wanted a new digital approach to dealing with community and a way to highlight the built heritage. They decided to build a website for the history of the building and the local stories relating to it. Stories, photos and different kinds of historical material was crowdsourced with the help of social media, and collaboration with local radios and other media.

    The local group members are committed to further develop the radio station and surrounding area into a shared space that brings people together to celebrate the built heritage and take part in active citizenship. The aim is with the development of the cultural use and the digital dimension of the radio station also to reach an audience beyond the boundaries of Pori and Finland.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    As the city itself has become more aware of the station thanks to the community activities, an interest in its development has grown significantly. Using built heritage to draw attention to a peripheral area succeeded since the municipality started to renovate the radio station and involve the area to the city-level participatory agency project. So, the usage of built heritage helps to gain tangible and visible results that can be communicated both on site in the neighbourhood and online to wider national and international audiences. Many further local actions have been initiated by the community engagement around the area:

    - The Väinölä school with over 280 pupils decided to take the area and its multidisciplinary investigation as a theme for the whole school year 2020-2021

    - Raised awareness of the international architectural value of Himmeli elderly house

    changed the discussion on how to treat the building during its renovation, after a lecture by architect Juhani Pallasmaa (organized by the project coordinator of Come In!) on the heritage of architects Reima and Raili Pietilä who designed Himmeli

    - In the end of 2020 the city ordered a master plan for the park area from one of the leading companies in Finland designing smart cities

    - Best experts of Finland and students from the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture from Helsinki carried out a full professional standard historical report on the radio station in May 2021. It will be published in summer 2021 working as a guide book for treating the building as a valuable piece of Finnish, European and global cultural heritage.

    Participatory approach

    For the local coordinators, this building and its surrounding green area seemed like an unused connecting tissue between the suburbs – an urban green space full of history and legends to be discovered to stimulate community spirit.

    They built a website to be a platform where not only the official history and unofficial stories and legends, but also the present and ideas concerning the future of the radio station can be shared

    The new place means new opportunities also to integrate migrant communities which live in the surrounding suburban locations.

    What difference has it made

    Too early to say – the place is just now in the process of opening due to the delay caused by the pandemic.

    In January 2021 over 600 square meters of new space for culture, art and social gatherings was freed from the radio station when the car club moved away. The same area is part of a new national suburban development project (2020-2022) which offers also investments in infrastructure and so gives sustainability and continuity for the efforts of Urbact.

    In May 2021 the Story Café concept proved to be a success with over 750 visitors during two weeks. It demonstrated very well, that a cultural, creative and social space is a very good idea and it has to be developed as well as the overall cultural use of the building.

    Transferring the practice

    After being awarded the URBACT Good Practice title, Újbuda was able to create the Come In! Transfer Network to which six European cities (Gheorgheni RO, Forlì IT, Varaždin HR, Pori FI, Plasencia ES, Targówek/Warsaw PL) were invited. Equipped by URBACT with a toolkit, the cities could learn from each other. The transfer process was not one-sided, during the transnational meetings the existing practices of some of the transfer cities inspired Újbuda and contributed to the development of ideas to further improve the Good Practice.

    At first sight the case of Pori is different from the original practice, insofar it uses a stable place to activate residents from surrounding areas, offering for them new cultural and leisure opportunities. On the other hand, the methods to be used to get the place accepted, are very similar to that of the Budapest100 good practice.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16281
  • Experimenting with new types of grants in deprived areas which are not eligible for social funding anymore

    France
    Lille

    Further develop the area-based policy for deprived neighbourhoods by applying innovative elements in territorial sense, involving new types of local stakeholders and experimenting with new empowering methods

    Léa Retournard and Valentin Mousain (vmousain@lillemetropole.fr)
    Project Coordinators
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    1 068 000

    Summary

    Lille aimed to transfer the Grant element of the Lisbon good practice, improving its own system, applied in the framework of the French urban policy. The introduced innovations refer on the one hand to the territorial choice, and, on the other, on the way how the grants are applied.

    Instead of the most disadvantaged priority districts, the new Lille approach focuses on some active monitoring district (former priority districts which have lost this status due to improvement of indicator values) which are isolated, far from any priority districts. Such areas, as the municipalities of Lomme and Haubourdin, experienced a cut of tax benefits from the national state and from other institutions or agencies. Thus it has proven to be difficult to maintain the dynamic without coordination and support from the municipality.

    Many diagnosis showed that the usual forms of call for proposals are very competitive, almost excluding the needed cooperation of stakeholders. Lisbon’s call for proposal system requires at least two entities to respond which enhance cooperation in neighborhoods. But call for proposals might not be the best tool to that purpose as it focuses on money issues, while many initiatives need other types of support such as loan of premises or equipment, skill sponsorship… As a consequence, Lille was looking for other methods to offer institutional help to the stakeholders through design thinking.

    https://open.spotify.com/episode/71V0I9wxoI8ETGOXh5dcDS?fbclid=IwAR2WAu_xDKWtgAp6Tp7VS1OlpwH_-iIo3uskQEmfhwlVZjM2uC8uFY22N2c

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    As a former major textile manufacturing centre, despite its success in economic restructuring, the Lille area has failed to balance the ongoing decline of manufacturing employment. Inequality within Lille Metropolis is greater than in any other major French cities, except for Marseille. Wide neighbourhoods suffer from severe long-term unemployment, urban decay, population decline, poor health conditions and welfare dependency.

    Lille Metropole’s existing grant system is framed by the national urban policy, implemented through “City contracts”. Based on political decisions for six years at inter-municipality scale, the city contract is implemented through annual calls for proposals. Non-profit organizations, such as public institutions and NGOs, are invited to submit proposals for projects concerning the identified priorities.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    French urban policy is area-based. The priority districts are defined by the national state on the basis of inhabitants’ low-income criteria (concentration of populations having resources lower than 60% of the national median reference income). There are 21 priority districts in the Metropole gathering 18% of the Metropole population. It’s the largest proportion among France’s big cities.

    Furthermore, 20 areas in Lille Metropole are active monitoring districts which do not fit with the new priority districts’ criteria (the low-income rate or the concentration of population) anymore and are part of a less subsidized transition phase. Active monitoring neighbourhoods are no longer eligible for tax benefits and specific aids owed to priority districts. For example they are not qualified for national aids of the urban policy annual call for proposal.

    Lille decided to focus on active monitoring districts which are isolated, far from any priority districts – in such areas it is difficult to maintain the dynamic without coordination and support from the municipality. As pilot the municipalities of Lomme and Haubourdin have been selected.

    Participatory approach

    Participation has always been one of the pillars of the “politique de la ville” policy. It is identified as one of the main conditions to secure the implementation of the city contract. It is a major challenge for Lille Metropole to increase the interest for civic participation, community life and endogenous development.

    What difference has it made

    The main ambition of Lille Metropole was to transfer the Grant system element of the Lisbon Good Practice. A new experimental Grant (Call for project) was aimed for, based on the Lisbon experience, finding new stakeholders to be involved, mobilizing more private investments in the priority neighbourhoods and to share new social innovation experiences. Lisbon’s good practice is seen as an inspiration to improve the Lille local grant system on the following points:

    -              Encourage cooperation between a various range of stakeholders in the neighbourhood (requiring responses by at least 2 different organizations)

    -              Attract new partners in the neighbourhoods, to draw more partners from the private sector, groups of inhabitants, other NGO’s…

    -              Promote a more participatory development, by enabling informal groups of inhabitants to participate in the projects

    -              Foster projects that can reach financial sustainability

    Lille Metropole was chosen to be the World Design Capital in 2020, allowing for a year-long city promotion programme to showcase the accomplishments of cities that are effectively leveraging design to improve the lives of their citizens. Within this framework a labelled design service contractor could be involved as URBACT expertise.

    In the course of work it became clear that the traditional system of ‘call for proposals’ has to be modified. To enhance the cooperation of the stakeholders the innovation of Lisbon’s call for proposal is applied (at least two entities have to respond which enhances cooperation in neighbourhoods). In order to strengthen qualitative elements, need for other types of support than money, such as loan of premises or equipment, skill sponsorship, other methods are experimented to offer institutional help to the stakeholders through design thinking.

    Instead of simple call for proposals the question is raised: what does your area need? A kind of project factory is organized (the intervention of Francois Jegou), through organizing local workshops, listening to people’s ideas.

    Recently the workshops are going on. ComUnityLab gave a starting point, now a new dynamics has been created which will last for 2 more years. Then the method will be distributed to other areas of MEL with precise conditions, how many organizations have to be included.

    Transferring the practice

    Lille was one of the seven European cities (besides Bari Italy, Aalborg Denmark, Sofia Bulgaria, Ostrava Czech Republic, Lublin Poland, The Hague Netherlands) of the Com.Unity.Lab Transfer Network, led by Lisbon, to transfer the URBACT Good Practice of Lisbon on the integrated toolbox for deprived neighbourhoods.

    Equipped by URBACT with a toolkit, the cities could learn from the good practice and also from each other.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16280
  • New urban gardens bringing communities together

    Lithuania
    Vilnius

    Gardening has wider impacts on the city that one would expect

    Ausra Siciuniene
    Project Coordinator
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    589 000

    Summary

    Implementing community gardens can be highly beneficial for a city not only for environmental purpose but also for social ones: to fight social exclusion, and bring neighbours together, at the same time as organisation education activities for children around them. This is what Vilnius has done while transferring the Good Practice of Rome, in ‘sleeping districts’, with training for gardeners and set-up of adequate urban management schemes.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Lithuania’s capital is particularly green, with 44% of its territory dedicated to forests, parks and squares. However, while family garden allotments persist from Soviet times, understanding of shared community gardens is still limited.

    The municipality owns various public spaces, including grounds of schools and kindergartens, but most vacant space in Vilnius is privately or state-owned. This has challenged the municipality’s capacity to promote urban agriculture.

    The shared urban garden initiatives that have existed so far have done so without city support. Meanwhile, most community groups lack the funding and permanent staff necessary to commit to gardening projects.

    RU:RBAN gave Vilnius the knowledge to promote urban gardening as a way to fight social exclusion, and bring neighbours - even in high-rise ‘sleeping districts’ - together.

    The ULG focused on a key component of Rome’s practice – a clear set of regulations for communities to know how and where to start an urban garden. It was not a process of copy-paste, but of understanding and adapting.

    Nevertheless, thanks to the efforts of the group, the City Council approved a new set of rules and regulations for urban gardening in March 2021. In addition, the municipality released a guide to urban gardening which gained national media attention as part of a broader environmental awareness drive.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The practice developed by Vilnius following the experience of Rome is based strongly on environmental protection and awareness by developing urban gardens. Its social aspect is key as these gardens are actually “community” gardens, with all well-known and documented benefits for neighourhoods as groups and as individuals, such as mental health, socialisation, skills development etc. In particular trainings and sharing of seeds can have wider impacts on the local economy.

    Participatory approach

    A new URBACT Local Group (ULG) was set up including gardening enthusiasts, NGOs, schools, the municipality, and the Environment Ministry.

    The members of Vilnius’ ULG benefited collectively and within their own specific fields from the experience and ideas of Rome and the other partner cities. This included gardeners sharing seeds and participating in “Gardenizer” trainings. It also involved “totally fascinated” city planners learning how Rome developed urban farming at a huge scale, right down to the smallest details of their financing model.

    ULG members also gained valuable knowledge about new communication tools, including through trainings in Riga where they learnt to use tools such as ‘vox pops’ and understand the value of their story for others.

    What difference has it made

    The Municipality has also started a new strategic long-term program - CITY+ - aimed at recreating a sense of community in the former soviet districts. One of the important aspects is to create a feeling of ownership by allowing citizens to have their own yard and therefore an opportunity to create their small urban gardens.

    With around 60% of the city’s population living in these buildings, Vilnius’ new urban garden trend looks set to continue.

    Transferring the practice

    Vilnius implemented the practice from Rome by starting with one existing community garden and built from there. Gradually, the number of urban gardens in Vilnius started to grow. Furthermore, the model is now formally included in the city’s urban development policies.

    Another interesting aspect was that they linked the development of community gardens with ecological education and vegetable growing in kindergartens - an activity appreciated by partner cities during their study visit.

    Solving land ownership issues will remain a key challenge for the spread of urban gardening, requiring ongoing dialogue with private and state owners. To free up more land, Vilnius will also start discussions with the National Land Authority to allow communities temporary use of state-owned land for their urban garden initiatives.

    As for its own land, the city will now be proposing the option of including an urban garden whenever it discusses green area renovation plans with communities. The municipality also expects to continue making further improvements to relevant legal procedures to facilitate urban gardens.

    Is a transfer practice
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  • Connecting owners of empty properties with private investors

    Spain
    Vilafranca del Penedes

    Revitalising decaying historic apartment buildings by connecting owners, investors/users and public authorities

    Carme Ribes Porta
    Head of Department International Relations
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    40 100

    Summary

    In Vilafranca, a city of 40 thousand residents, there are 951 (6,5 % of the stock) vacant apartments and five vacant residential buildings are listed. Ownership: 1% public authority, 74% Individual owners, and 25% commercial housing enterprises.

    In the context of high poverty, exclusion and the increasing number of empty housing units, accentuated by the crisis, the city developed the “From empty housing to social inclusion” programme. The aim for this inclusion programme is the renovation and rehabilitation of vacant housing while reusing them for social purposes. In this programme the council does the construction work with public investment, and in return for the public investment, the owner transfers the use of the building to the council for a period of time proportional to the investment. When the constructions work finishes the Social Services select beneficiary families. This programme required 300.000 € per year in the city budget. So far, more than 250 houses have been renovated (appr. 10 flats per year) and offered on preferential lease to poor or homeless families, and 500 persons have gained professional skills through the training programmes. More renovation could be done if there would be more public money.

    This GP of Vilafranca: https://urbact.eu/empty-housing-social-inclusion

    Vilafranca was very satisfied with its project which was considered a Good Practice by the Diputació de Barcelona first and then by URBACT in 2017 because it not only affected the recovery of empty housing but also improved the social level of the unemployed workers who participated in the rehabilitation, considering to close the circle. This practice, despite the good results obtained, proved to be insufficient when large homeowners got out of their properties in anticipation of future price increases. This abandonment of entire buildings has led to the disorganized and mafia occupation of housing throughout the country and also in Vilafranca.

    Facing this new situation, and also due to financial limits (the city budget cannot afford big investments) the search for a more wholesale intervention has become more evident. This is why the city decided for the transfer of the Chemnitz good-practice case, aiming for connecting owners with private investors instead of making the renovation from public budget.

    The Good Practice of Chemnitz has important advantages: a public project carried out by a private company, offering a flexible and proactive approach for the revitalisation of the historic housing stock of the city, and over time becoming the central collector and distributer of information on the buildings.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    The specific objectives the city would like to achieve with transferring Chemnitz good-practice case are:

    • To connect owners with private investors as the city budget cannot afford big investments.
    • To connect and coordinate the different stakeholders for the reactivation of the vacant buildings in a right and efficient way.
    • Setting up a body/institution to support reactivation of vacant/derelict building/flats.
    • Contacting, activating and supporting owners.
    • Identifying, contacting and supporting potential buyers and investors
    • Connecting & coordinating public & private stakeholders

    The challenge is how to achieve this funding without compromising the budget and municipal action, so that the collaboration between the administration (the ‘Housing Agency’, the Urban Planning Office and building Control Department) and the private initiative should be normal practice in a 21st century society.

    To approach the problem from this perspective, it became necessary to expand the original social orientation and start looking for private partners with enough technical capacity and sufficient financial solvency. In this sense an agreement has been signed with Habitat3 (housing for social inclusion) foundation and 10 housing units have been recovered so far.

    The Habitat3 Foundation is a social rental housing manager whose main objective is to search for and to obtain rental housing at prices below market prices. Habitat3 is a benchmark in Catalonia in the housing sector, being recognized in 2019 with the Gold World Habitat Awards by UN Habitat.

    The relation between the City Council and HABITAT3 is a win-win relation: the City council searches the building and the tenants, and once a building has been found, HABITAT3 is contacted for its assessment. Usually HABITAT3 spends around 2 weeks to see the state of the building, the rehabilitation that should be carried out and the investment that would be necessary. Then HABITAT3 decides to invest part of their budget for social housing in Vilafranca. HABITAT3 isn’t paid for this collaboration.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The project helps to mitigate effects of urban processes that are unsustainable. By strengthening the inner city through the concentration and support of developments in the existing central neighbourhoods, the urban structures are valorised. This way, the reuse of historic housing stock helps to save resources instead of promoting suburban sprawl. Dense and mixed-use urban structures reduce distances and encourage alternative means of transport. What is more, the successful outcomes of the project help to preserve the intrinsic qualities of those quarters and help to overcome the negative image of neighbourhoods. The provision with moderately priced and appropriately equipped housing for families, elderly people or marginalised population groups strengthens social coherence and reduces the ground for conflicts of different sorts.

    Participatory approach

    The scope of the project is to activate owners, private and public stakeholders to save, restore and reanimate buildings. It can be described as a networking hub between persons, groups and authorities that have an interest in this goal. Starting and keeping communication going around the objects is the core of the project’s activities.

    According to the experiences of Chemnitz, the agency is the only instance that connects the threads from all different sides:

    • the relevant departments in the city government (e.g. urban planning, fund management, building control, preservation, finance and tax, public relations),

    • the different owner constellations (private owners or ownership groups of different sizes and local/national /international backgrounds, public housing company, unappropriated),

    • the potential investors and users (professional real estate developers, grass-roots housing initiatives),

    • additional stakeholders in the neighbourhoods and civil society.

    It was important to bring relevant stakeholders in the field of housing together through the ULG. Before, the housing commission was responsible for this issue. It consisted only of representatives from each political party. Based on the work of the ULG work has been done to convert the housing commission into a housing council in which not only political parties will participate, but also agents and entities of the housing sector (such as real estate agents or tenant unions).

    What difference has it made

    The Municipal Housing Agency has been relaunched, as a one-stop destination for all issues related to housing with the desire to provide comprehensive services and local housing policies: https://urbanisme.vilafranca.cat/oficina-local-dhabitatge It is located in an office in the city centre and will be the referent point to attend all matters concerning vacant buildings in Vilafranca.

    The relaunching of the Municipal Housing Agency allows to improve the capacities

    • to identify buildings in need of refurbishment in the future and
    • to establish a steady collaboration framework for their refurbishment, beyond the micro work the City Council already does
    • to have a unique access point for citizens, where they can meet experts to help them solve their housing problem / find a solution.

    After having the database updated, the agency will contact owners proactively and will connect them with investors, explaining the advantages to participate in the public program “From empty buildings to social housing” that deals with the renovation and rehabilitation of vacant housing while reusing them for social purposes. To achieve a better collaboration the town hall has created a round table about housing policies, bringing public and private stakeholders together.

    VISION - Through the new housing agency and the grown cooperation among public and private stakeholders through the round table, the outcome will be a decrease the number of empty flats and buildings and there will be new spaces for social purposes like affordable rental flats. Expectations are: increase the number of rental flats in the city center, improve flats and buildings increasing their energy efficiency and reducing the CO2 footprint.

    Transferring the practice

    A strong demographic decline and thus numerous vacancies in the old neighbourhoods are typical for former industrial hubs and towns distant from the economic centres in their countries. The lack of communication between the public authorities, often unavailable or unable owners, and the very diverse group of potential investors and users, is a problem that is visible to different extents in almost any city.

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

    Under the leadership of Chemnitz the following partner cities were involved in the ALT/BAU Transfer Network: Riga Latvia, Constanta Romania, Vilafranca del Penedes Spain, Turin Italy, Seraing Belgium, Rybnik Poland.

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    16262
  • Bringing the commons to life

    Belgium
    Ghent

    A new ecosystem of spaces for public-civic cooperation

    City of Ghent Policy Participation Service Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    260 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Despite the strong tradition of civic engagement and participatory governance dating back to the nineties, the city of Ghent could not count on a regulatory framework supporting the wide range of civic initiatives from inhabitants. The occasion to experiment a new  policy framework came with the example of “civic uses” in Naples about reuse of abandoned buildings as commons. In this frame the city of Ghent wanted to co-design a frame of co-management of public goods through a pilot project in the reuse of the 2018 desecrated Saint Josef Church  located in the Rabot-Blaisantvest neighborhood.  Rabot is one of the poorer ones in the city, known as an arrival district with  70,5 % of foreign descent residents (District Monitor Ghent, 2019) and with more than 90 nationalities.  In 2019 the City of Ghent purchased the church  to give it a new purpose in the form of public-civic management.

     

    In the past, the city had been experimenting with civic-led temporary use of brownfield sites and empty buildings for over a decade (e.g. DE SITE in REFILL URBACT project) providing subsidies via the Temporary Use Fund with a budget of €300,000 available for citizens managed initiatives. Despite this, the public-civic management of the saint Josef Church presented a series of challenges new to the city, not least given the fact that the church was classified as historical heritage.

     

    In order to realize the project, the City of Ghent has used several instruments. An open call to find a project coordinator was launched and a real estate agreement was closed between the manager and the City of Ghent.  The project coordinator provided a threefold plan that encompasses the organisation of the use of the Church by citizens and organisations, the maintenance of the Church building and the creation of the democratic and economic management models for the Church. The coordinator must do so in respect of the guiding principles, e.g. all aspects of the plan must be community-oriented and take into account the specific needs of the diverse and colourful neighbourhood the Church is located in.

     

    Throughout this procedure, the Policy Participation Service of the City of Ghent organised a Urbact Local Group (ULG), made up of members of different city administration offices, so that the citizens and organisations could be directly involved in the management plans of the building, given the opportunity to visit the site and express their wishes while giving their input on the uses. The scope is to strengthen collective responsibility, so that each member of the community contributes to the site’s management.

     

    Following Covid-related delays, Ghent made the church building temporarily available in a city tool called ‘room finder’, giving citizens access to the building for their own projects up to 12 times a year.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The approach undertaken by the City of Ghent is fully aligned with the integrated approach of the Good Practice of Naples that it transferred. Ghent is a good example of combining vertical and horizontal integrated approach proposing a balanced coordination among soft and hard measures. In particular, the horizontal Integration was enhanced through the creation of a cross-departmental working team: the Local Administrative Working Group (LAWG), made up of members of the Policy Participation Service, the Real Estate Service, the Urban Development Service and the Legal Service. This has represented a key highlight and added value to the project. Some representatives of the city’s participation and legal departments met and started working together for the first time through this pilot.

     

    The LAWG task force has worked so successfully that it will keep existing after the project and make a regular consultation between different services involved in making urban real estate accessible, for example encouraging the re-use of abandoned buildings and developing the necessary tools for this purpose.

     

    In addition, a legal-administrative incubator will be established, which will offer support to starting-up residents' initiatives.

    Participatory approach

    The city of Ghent has a long tradition of participatory governance, boosted with the former Mayor Daniël Termont (2007-2018) as the strongest supporter of civic participation and co-creation.  Before that, already in the 1990s, Ghent  had created a Participation Unit to encourage a bottom-up approach to planning and decision-making. Civil servants of the Participation Unit function as Neighborhood managers in order to connect with citizens and with society in the 25 districts of the city. They deliver tailored work to create more livable, more social and more sustainable districts. They are the go-between between various stakeholders in order to find solutions to urban challenges existing in the neighborhood, linking the city council and the city’s residents.

     

    Over the years, the unit has developed different instruments (Participation platform, Crowdfunding platform, Temporary Use of vacant buildings, Participatory budget, neighborhood management projects, including subsidy agreements, permits for using public space et al.) to enable and support citizens’ ideas and initiatives.  More recently, citizen initiatives and civil servants co-wrote Ghent’s 2017 Commons Transition Plan for a sustainable and ethical economy. The political will and support in participation extends after the Termont mandate with the assignment of a Deputy Mayor of Participation.

     

    As for the specific case of the Saint Josef pilot, the URBACT Local Group (ULG) methodology has been fundamental in enhancing citizens and organization participation and involvement, as it entailed various activities and tools not only to make citizens actively engaged in the process, but also to listen and debate about their views and concerns on the management of the building.

     

    Differents identifications and monitoring tools are been used to listen to people to people's concerns, such as:

    • Neighbourhood of the Month;
    • sounding board groups & think tanks;
    • a participation platform;
    • think tanks with long-term participation projects (En Route, "Room for Ghent", citizens' cabinet);
    • SWOT analysis and monitoring table for indications (neighbourhood analysis, recording and following up on indications);
    • detection of indications by means of stories (testimonies).

    What difference has it made

    The positive influence of Civic eState network can be felt at many levels in Ghent. It has given a boost to the cooperation between city services and in the cooperation between residents' initiatives and the city administration; it helped in creating a stable task force in the municipality called the Local Administrative Working Group ( LAWG) to make a regular consultation between different services involved in making urban real estate accessible; and implemented a pilot project in the reuse of the Saint Joseph Church.

     

    The tangible result is that Saint Joseph Church is now returned to the neighborhood as an open space that gives local residents the opportunity to develop activities and a social network based on their own needs and possibilities.

     

    Ghent plans to bundle a lot of ideas and work towards a kind of step-by-step plan of how as a city they can improve their organization for the benefit of the commons. To help a long-term focus on citizens initiatives, a “catalogue” was elaborated by  the Local Administrative Working Group to make a concrete step-by-step plan together with the two services: the Policy Participation Service & the Real Estate Service of the city.

     

    This will help to sum up the work done and what forms of involvement the city organizes for and with the neighborhood, providing a basis for replicating the pilot approach in other areas.

    Transferring the practice

    Through Civic e-State the City of Ghent joined a community of European municipalities that experimented in their local contexts the creation of urban commons regulation in a transnational  peer-learnig mode of cooperation. Ghent learned a lot from the legal documents (city regulations and agreements) received from Napels and Barcelona. These documents contained interesting definitions and principles, which have been adopted for the open call of Ghent's pilot project. At the same time, Barcelona and Amsterdam opened Ghent's eyes to the importance of measuring the social return of certain projects.

     

    Then, after visiting similar initiatives in the other partner countries, the City of Ghent has succeeded in applying the practices and learnings in the Saint Joseph Church pilot project.

    Is a transfer practice
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    16249