• Creation of a new NGO platform

    Slovenia
    Idrija

    The new ‘Towns’ Living Room’, established by the municipality in a vacant building, involves the heads of the city administration, active citizens, social services, development agency, public library and nursing home, local clubs and various associations

    Tina Lisac
    Project Coordinator
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    11 800

    Summary

    Idrija, is a small former mercury mining and industrial town set in the Alpine foothills, which has developed into an important global and regional node with a growing economy.  Even so, Idrija displays classic shrinkage dynamic. The long-term decline of the population due to low birth rates and out-migration is 2,5% and by 2028 the total population is expected to be around 11.000.

    In 2016, Idrija participated in the URBACT City Centre Doctor Network, producing an Integrated Action Plan to revive the town centre. This included an idea for a new community centre.

    Idrija already had various local NGOs, a youth centre and a multi-generational centre in a retirement home, but each was relatively focused on its own agenda. The municipality was looking for a solution that would connect people, enable them to make decisions together, give them feeling of being part of the community and open new possibilities. The opportunity for a solution came with the Altenas’ good practice, more precisely with the NGO platform ‘Stellwerk’.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Fostering the engagement of inhabitants who are not in paid employment but have access to skills and resources to help support those in need, builds the capacity of civil society to engage with often complex social problems in a structured way. Altena founded its NGO platform in 2008 and called it Stellwerk. The Stellwerk started without a budget. The municipality made available premises, paid the energy and cleaning bills, provided a minimum of administrative resources. Currently the Stellwerk has 8 volunteer workers who co-ordinate several hundred volunteers providing disability support, arts and music groups, home visiting and home care services, refugee integration and much more. The Stellwerk provides an essential channel of communication between civil society and municipality.

    In February 2020, Idrija launched its new ‘Towns’ Living Room’: the municipality offered a vacant building to house a small ULG involving the heads of the city administration, active citizens, social services, development agency, public library and nursing home, local clubs and various associations.

    The ‘Towns’ Living Room’ links organisations with interested citizens if needed, but it is a “by the people for the people’’ model. Activities have already included events on housing and building refurbishment, chess classes, evening of poetry, book presentation, reading of fairy tales for children, knitting evening to raise breast cancer awareness and many more. It hosts services, such as a municipality supported volunteer based free transport service for elderly people and a book corner provided by the local library.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    For successful transfer of good practice, it connected and established cooperation across different departments of a municipality. As well as also it strengthened the connection between local actors, NGOs and municipality.

    With the practice based on ‘people to people’ approach it also improves the quality of design and implementation of smaller local actions.

    Good practice works when there is trust established between all different parties – municipality, NGOs/volunteers, institutions and citizens.

    Participatory approach

    The practice is based on people, NGOs, volunteers that are encouraged by ULG. The coordination between all the elements was done by ULG coordinator. It includes all important stakeholders and interested citizens which is essential part of success of a practice based on ‘’people to people’’ approach. It uses bottom-up approach which leads to that people actually want to be part of good practice and want to give to community because they are having opportunity to fulfil their wishes and they actually have a say in what will happen.

    What difference has it made

    After official opening of the premises of the NGO platform (the "Towns living room’’) volunteers started to turn up. Ideas are coming in all the time which means that people are actually engaging and doing things on their own. There is also a wide acceptance now in public. At the start there were a lot of opinions about "just another project’’ and now those opinions are different and more in a way "we really needed that’’ "it is nice to have a place where we can do something’’. A lot of ideas are already on the list to do, and everyone is more confident now. With less Covid-19 restrictions the "Town living room" was able to open up again which resulted in a rich monthly program with different activities organized as well as giving people a place to hang out a bit without organized activities.

    Transferring the practice

    Idrija was one of the seven European cities (besides Manresa Spain, Igoumenitsa Greece, Isernia Italy, Melgaço Portugal, Aluksne Latvia, Nyírbátor Hungary) of the Re-grow City Transfer Network, led by Altena, Germany, to transfer the URBACT Good Practice of Altena on finding opportunities in declining cities. Some of the cities were transferring the NGO platform while others the Pop-up shops.

    This good practice has also been chosen as one of 5 URBACT National Practice Transfer Initiatives (NPTI) and will be transferred to 6 other Slovenian municipalities. The project is led by Slovenian NUP, with Tina Lisac as national expert.

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

    Re-grow City deliberately focused on small and medium sized towns, because they face distinctive challenges in terms of constrained resources and limited technical capabilities when compared to larger cities. These constraints offer opportunities, however, for example robust social networks with high levels of ‘social capital’ and short decision making routes that speed up the adoption of untested or controversial methods. Taken together with the resources and skills local people have, shrinking cities are places of opportunity and can demonstrate considerable resilience even where they face severe constraints.

    As a side-outcome of the Re-Grow City network, in May 2021 the new pan-European network ReGrow Towns has been established. This is aimed for towns below the size of 50 th residents and is an addendum to the already existing networks of Eurocities (cities above 250 th residents) and Eurotowns (cities between 50-250 th residents).

    Is a transfer practice
    0
  • Co-City

    Italy
    Turin

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

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

    Summary

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

     

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

     

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

    The innovative solution

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

     

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

    A collaborative and participative work

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

     

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

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

    The impact and results

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

     

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

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities ?

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

     

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

    Is a transfer practice
    0
  • BeePathNet Reloaded

    Summary

    About

    Partners

    Lead Partner : Ljubljana - Slovenia
    • Osijek - Croatia
    • Bergamo - Italy
    • Bansko - Bulgaria
    • Sosnowiec - Poland

    Timeline

    • Kick-off meeting
    • Boot Camp in Ljubljana (SI)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Osijek (HR)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Bansko (BG)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Bergamo (IT)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Sosnowiec (PL)
    • Final Conference in Ljubljana (SI)

    BEE PATH good practice logic is very simple - bees are the best indicator of healthy environment! BeePathNet-Expanded project will widen the network of “bee-friendly cities” based on BeePathNet project transfer success. It will address urban environmental, biodiversity and food self-sufficiency challenges linked to urban beekeeping through integrated and participative approaches, build key stakeholders’ capacities to influence relevant policies, develop and implement efficient solutions.

    BeePathNet Reloaded logo
    Enriching the Urban Jungle with Bees
  • 5Bridges

    France
    Nantes

    Creating bridges between homeless and local communities

    Clarie Moureau
    Mairie de Nantes
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    303 382

    SUMMARY

    The more complex life course of socially disconnected people, with longer periods of homelessness and insecurity, with addictions and other psychiatric problems, require new types of response.
    The main objective of the project is to develop solutions based on 5 bridges: employment, housing and health, living together and empowerment towards inclusion of people in a situation of exclusion.
    5Bridges is creating a social urban equipment included in a sustainable, multifunctionnal and liveable area, for: jobs (neighbourhood-restaurant, urban farm, solidarity-shop); housing (temporarily housing as well as social housing); health (low-threshold care, self-esteem activities, gardening); inclusion (active participation alongside solidarity-based involvement of neighbours), empowerment through involvement.
    A key element of the project is that before the delivery of the building, 5Bridges has implement small scale labs to test and develop new services, methodologies and approaches that will be integrated in this first social urban equipment of this kind in Europe.

     

    The experimentation of short term contracts is a real success, the first results are the following: out of 16 people affected, 14 people emerged positively to another type of contract. These positive exits took place after an average of 110 hours on the system.
    The modern and innovative architecture is designed to allow everyone to feel confortable on the site and thus promote the mix of uses and public. 
     

    The innovative solution

    Homelessness is one of the key challenges for cities in their fight against urban poverty. Nantes’ global aim is to be a green, innovative and liveable city FOR ALL. Social cohesion is at the heart of all its public policies. Today, the more complex way of living of socially disconnected people - including longer periods of homelessness and insecurity - requires new types of answers. Meanwhile, socially excluded groups feel socially stigmatised due to their difference. 
    5Bridges project experiment innovative solutions to tackle urban poverty: building an innovative urban equipment, a one-stop shop for different social groups where they can meet : a restaurant, an urban farm, a solidarity store, as well as solidarity-based housing, low threshold health care, and social services opened 24/24 and 7/7; developing an innovative approach: placing the user at the heart of the project's choices and including neighbours to facilitate the integration

    A collaborative and participative work

    The partnership is composed of 6 partners, each of them intervening in their own field of expertise. This partnership between public, private and associative actors has made it possible to carry out this innovative project (Ville de Nantes, Nantes Metropole - Organised Agglomeration, Association Les Eaux Vives – NGO, CDC Habitat - Public/Private Company, Société d’Aménagement de la metropole ouest atlantique (Samoa) - Public/Private Company, Association Emmaus 44 - NGO)
    The project is planning to impact 2000 persons per year : homeless, badly housed or disconnected people, in Nantes and surroundings. During the years of experimentation, the target groups have been involved in the choices concerning the equipment. 
    The equipment now called “5Bridges solidarity village” will be managed by a NGO created by the occupants of the site. 

    The impact and results

    The implementation phase of the project was characterised by two main activities:  the construction of the equipment; and setting up small-scale labs to test and optimise the different designed answers that will be integrated in this social urban equipment. 
    The project had to face many hazards, particularly related to the construction of the building. The partnership's human resources and tools made it possible to meet the challenges related to financial or scheduling risks, sometimes by imagining more interesting solutions than the original proposal.
    Results have been achieved regarding: empowerment and social inclusion through sustained active involvement of users; economic inclusion of users in small scale working labs, providing a work experience and short working contracts; sustainable housing solutions and satisfactory appropriation of mixed social housing; increased expertise of staff and users about support, based on the peer interventions of social workers, volunteers and users.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The European Observatory on Homelessness reported in 2014, that homelessness is a growing issue in Europe. FEANTSEA (2010) stressed that the predominant model is that local authorities have the main responsibility for enabling and steering such services and NGOs are the main service providers, financed to a large extent by municipalities.”
    Here are some targeted local issues:

    • 2337 persons have never been accommodated in 2014 in Nantes 
    • Lack of coordinated social support services 24/24 and 7/7 
    • Existing structures do not always properly match social/healthcare/housing offers with the users' needs, and their geographic dispersal creates an “organised wandering” throughout the city.

    5Bridges project can be duplicated by other European cities as:

    • It provides a solution to a situation they also face: mismatch between the offer (outdated accommodation, dispatched social services, lack of integrated answers) and the growing and changing needs, which require a integrated and comprehensive answer to homelessness.
    • It relies on a mix of competences and expertise (social work, health care, citizen participation, urban planning) and a portfolio of local stakeholders (NGOs, health services, social housing promoters…) that can be activated by all European cities.

    Many documents and reports have been produced during the implementation of the 5Bridges project and can be provide to other cities willing to duplicate the project. 

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17069
  • BMINCOME

    Spain
    Barcelona

    Combining guaranteed minimum income and active social policies in deprived urban areas

    Albert Sala
    Besos District
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    36 669

    Summary

    The B-MINCOME, combining a minimum guaranteed income with active social policies in deprived urban areas of Barcelona, is a pilot project that aims to fight poverty and social exclusion.  The project covers  an area north east called Eix Besos one of the most vulnerable of the city. The districts targeted in this project are: Ciutat Meridiana, Vallbona, Torre Baró, Roquetes and Trinitat Nova in the Nou Barris district, Trinitat Vella, Baró de Viver and Bon Pastor in the Sant Andreu district, and Verneda i La Pau, and Besòs i el Maresme in the Sant Martí district. After a selection of 5000 potential candidate identified among inhabitants in the EIx Besos, a random selection of 1000 households joined the pilot of BMINCOME.  Between 2017-2019 BMINCOME benefitted 952 families in the ten neighbourhoods. 

    The innovative solution

    The BMINCOME, combines a minimum guaranteed income ( Called Municipal Inclusion Support -SMI) with active social policies for mutual and solidarity-based economies, adopting  local digital currency ( REC) for boosting local trade.   The aim was to  reach up to 1,000 vulnerable households, with a steady income for the duration of the pilot, whose amount is based on several criteria and the composition of the household. 

     

    Four active policies enables citizens to exit the condition of poverty through the development of social entrepreneurial skills into different areas of solidarity economy:

    1.  Training programme and employment plans, implemented with an active involvement of NGO and associations located in the area.
    2.  Social economy programme for the creation of cooperative, social, solidarity economy and community- interest projects
    3.  Housing renovation programme, support to rent out rooms to improve income. Not implemented as expected. 
    4.  Community participation programmes for common-interest projects.
       

    A collaborative and participative work

    The partners are Ajuntament de Barcelona ( leading the pilot), The Young Foundation - Think Thank, IVALUA. Catalan Institute of Public Policy Evaluation - Research Centr, Autonomous University of Barcelona. IGOP. Institute of Governance and Public Policies - Universit; UPC. Polytechnic University of Catalonia – University; NOVA. Centre for Social Innovation - NGO.
    Under the leadership  of the Department of innovation, BMINCOME  led to innovation in the organisation of municipal social services and municipal policies deliveries counting on NGOs active in the target area. 
    Locally, especially the policy 4, has been dedicated to animate beneficiaries in community building, peer learning. Greater collective involvement of females has been observed in community life. The approach o this policy has forged intercultural ties and local relations between individuals, who express quite a positive view of their neighbourhoods.
     

    The impact and results

    A total of 3,700 people benefitted from  B-MINCOME equal to 952 households in the ten neighborhoods of the Besòs axis. About 84% of SMI recipients are women, receiving about 480 euros on average per month during two years. Results show that  having a guaranteed minimum income  has reduced material deprivation, increased the level of well-being and encouraged participation in community activities. Hence, it has reduced financial uncertainty for the duration of the project,  and generated overall satisfaction. However, some beneficiaries, suffering of material and financial precariousness, persist in facing struggles. 
    The implementation of the digital currency ( REC) experimented in BMINCOME proved to be efficient in boosting local economy As legacy with BMINCOME a campaign launched in November 2020  Le Toca el Barrio  gives continuity to the creation of the citizen currency REC in the same geographical area. 

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The problems tackled by BMINCOME are of complex and multifaceted nature and the pilot did not and could not solve all of them. 
    However, considering the evaluation of the outcome, the pilot showed benefits in improving the conditions of material deprivation, food insecurity and financial precariousness of beneficiaries. This example of municipal-led schemes for guaranteed minimum income could be adopted by other cities given that monetary support cannot solely be covered by local administration. Impacts are not generously rewarding in terms of employment, this data can be reconsidered because little time elapsed from the completion to the pilot. What is instead interesting for other cities , is that the Pilot provided a methodology for encouraging  employability and job creation through training and coaching  in the frame of solidarity and mutual support at community level, which can be replicated in other contexts.  Replicable is also the adoption of the Digital neighbourhood currency (REC) which is further supported in time of pandemic as legacy to BMINCOME to support local economies. The project is also a positive example for reaching out people facing severe deprivation  often invisible or inaccessible via traditional service provision, or cultural initiatives led by the municipality. The SMI benefitted mostly women out penalised by the job market, most of them with a migrant background and lacking basic educational and language skills.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17064
  • BioCanteens#2

    Summary

    About

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

    Timeline

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

    What's new

    News & Events

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

    Education - Food - Environment - Local Economy - Governance
    Ref nid
    16388
  • A municipal farm to supply local canteens

    Bulgaria
    Troyan

    Paving the way for city leadership in local food production

    Ivanka Dzhabrailova
    Project Coordinator
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    33 500

    Summary

    Troyan developed the first municipal farm of Bulgaria, with the aim to producing food for its school canteens. During 2.5 years, it got inspired by the Good Practice of Mouans-Sartoux which enabled empowering an already on-going transformation at city local level.  In the long-run, 15 ha of publicly owned land, including 200 m2 of greenhouse tunnel will produce food for the 500 children in the town’s kindergartens.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Troyan is a town in the hills of central Bulgaria known for its strong plum brandy and with strong ambitions for its agri-food sector. Its 2014-2020 Municipal Development Plan already prioritised organic farming, support for young farmers, and conservation.

    Troyan aimed at delivering fresh organic products to its school canteens and started working with a research institute to plan the development of organic fruit and vegetable production – including locally-adapted plum and apple varieties. To support this, in 2018, the town announced that 15 ha of publicly owned land would be dedicated to a municipal farm, with areas for vegetables, fruit trees and cattle grazing. Troyan joined the BIOCANTEENS network to help develop an operational process to carry this out.

    Troyan’s municipal farm is the first of its kind in Bulgaria. To achieve this, the town took a step-by-step approach - initially aiming to provide half of the vegetables required in local canteens, then expand production later.

    In March 2019, a meeting with Rozalina Rusenova, Deputy Mayor, confirmed the new farm’s overall infrastructure: three 200 m2 greenhouse tunnels, with an irrigation system and space for a fourth tunnel; and farm building facilities including a hall, storage space, refrigeration chambers and a preparation room for end products.

    Whilst the pandemic and the cold 2019 winter slowed the municipal farm’s development, good progress has been made. Local farmer Maya Genkova was recruited to run the farm – including both production and educational visits.

    Organic fruit orchards and first vegetables were planted in greenhouses at the end of 2020. These are expected to supply fresh organic fruit and vegetables to all 500 children in the town’s kindergartens during the course of 2021. Activities will also be organised for children on site.

    The organic certification process was also launched with the National Food Agency - an essential step before serving the food in school canteens.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    Troyan’s approach followed the main integrating axes of the good practice it was transferring, Mouans-Sartoux:

    • Horizontal integration: by supporting smart land use, organic production and local agri-food systems development, the project has a strong environmental dimension. It also has an economic dimension through the creation of 1 farmer job. From a social aspect, the activities organised on the farm will enable raising awareness of children on local organic production and healthy eating. Production is 100% organic.
    • Territorial integration: the project is totally integrated in the overall strategy of the city as owned by the municipality and directly linked with school canteens provisioning.

    Troyan’s transfer process benefited from a particularly positive situation: the strong political involvement of Mayor Donka Mihaylova to improve the quality of city school canteens; no major financial barriers to set the farm, the city owning a provision of suitable land in a region with good assets for agriculture; a city canteens system relying on “traditional” independent kitchens organized to prepare fresh vegetables and fruits; a good mobilization from start of stakeholders in the ULG involving Heads of all city schools and kindergartens, civil servants and representatives of parents association; last but not least, a BioCanteens’ project that raised the enthusiasm in the local stakeholders ecosystem.

    Participatory approach

    This process was supported by an URBACT Local Group involving heads of all city schools and kindergartens, civil servants, parents’ association, local producers and representatives of children associations.  During the course of the project, 10 ULG meetings with stakeholders’ involvement were held in Troyan. The main subjects discussed during the meetings were the Municipal Farm Platform, the Kitchen Micro-good practices and the organic demand and supply.

    What difference has it made

    • The Municipal Farm has been made with minimum resources;
    • Children are provided with fresh organic vegetables and fruits’;
    • The amount of money parents pay per month for daily kids food at the kindergarten was made cheaper;

    With that difference of that payment, we invest in more quality products.

    Transferring the practice

    Troyan has been part of the BIOCANTEENS Transfer network led by Mouans-Sartoux (France) together with other 5 European cities LAG Pays des Condruses (Belgium), Vaslui (Romania), Trikala (Greece), Rosignano Marittimo (Italy), and Torres Vedras (Portugal).

    The success of Troyan is in part due to a transfer process in the framework of an URBACT network arriving at the right time to boost and implement an ongoing policy orientation toward healthy and sustainable food in the city: this is certainly a lesson learned for URBACT transfer process who best apply when empowering an already on-going transformation at city local level. 

    Beyond the inspiration and guidance provided by Mouans-Sartoux, one of the most valuable network activities was a network workshop on public procurement. This helped Troyan understand what it is possible to achieve with the right plans, procedures and award criteria.

    The transnational meeting hosted in the city itself in July 2019 also had an important local benefit in reinforcing support for the municipality’s agri-food strategy. The involvement of the Mayor Donka Mihaylova in this meeting was key.

    While work with school kitchens and on the municipal farm continues to develop, Troyan is starting to apply new ideas and perspectives on Public Procurement to improve supply to school canteens. Further next steps include an initiative to support the preparation of meals inside school canteens, and expanding the supply of local, healthy organic food to the municipality’s elderly residents.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16282
  • Creation of a new NGO platform

    Slovenia
    Idrija

    The new ‘Towns’ Living Room’, established by the municipality in a vacant building, involves the heads of the city administration, active citizens, social services, development agency, public library and nursing home, local clubs and various associations

    Tina Lisac
    Project Coordinator
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    11 800

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Fostering the engagement of inhabitants who are not in paid employment but have access to skills and resources to help support those in need, builds the capacity of civil society to engage with often complex social problems in a structured way. Altena founded its NGO platform in 2008 and called it Stellwerk. The Stellwerk started without a budget. The municipality made available premises, paid the energy and cleaning bills, provided a minimum of administrative resources. Currently the Stellwerk has 8 volunteer workers who co-ordinate several hundred volunteers providing disability support, arts and music groups, home visiting and home care services, refugee integration and much more. The Stellwerk provides an essential channel of communication between civil society and municipality.

     

    In February 2020, Idrija launched its new ‘Towns’ Living Room’: the municipality offered a vacant building to house a small ULG involving the heads of the city administration, active citizens, social services, development agency, public library and nursing home, local clubs and various associations.

     

    The ‘Towns’ Living Room’ links organisations with interested citizens if needed, but it is a “by the people for the people’’ model. Activities have already included events on housing and building refurbishment, chess classes, evening of poetry, book presentation, reading of fairy tales for children, knitting evening to raise breast cancer awareness and many more. It hosts services, such as a municipality supported volunteer based free transport service for elderly people and a book corner provided by the local library.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    For successful transfer of good practice, it connected and established cooperation across different departments of a municipality. As well as also it strengthened the connection between local actors, NGOs and municipality.

     

    With the practice based on ‘people to people’ approach it also improves the quality of design and implementation of smaller local actions.

     

    Good practice works when there is trust established between all different parties – municipality, NGOs/volunteers, institutions and citizens.

    Participatory approach

    The practice is based on people, NGOs, volunteers that are encouraged by ULG. The coordination between all the elements was done by ULG coordinator. It includes all important stakeholders and interested citizens which is essential part of success of a practice based on ‘’people to people’’ approach. It uses bottom-up approach which leads to that people actually want to be part of good practice and want to give to community because they are having opportunity to fulfil their wishes and they actually have a say in what will happen.

    What difference has it made

    After official opening of the premises of the NGO platform (the "Towns living room’’) volunteers started to turn up. Ideas are coming in all the time which means that people are actually engaging and doing things on their own. There is also a wide acceptance now in public. At the start there were a lot of opinions about "just another project’’ and now those opinions are different and more in a way "we really needed that’’ "it is nice to have a place where we can do something’’. A lot of ideas are already on the list to do, and everyone is more confident now. With less Covid-19 restrictions the "Town living room" was able to open up again which resulted in a rich monthly program with different activities organized as well as giving people a place to hang out a bit without organized activities.

    Transferring the practice

    Idrija was one of the seven European cities (besides Manresa Spain, Igoumenitsa Greece, Isernia Italy, Melgaço Portugal, Aluksne Latvia, Nyírbátor Hungary) of the Re-grow City Transfer Network, led by Altena, Germany, to transfer the URBACT Good Practice of Altena on finding opportunities in declining cities. Some of the cities were transferring the NGO platform while others the Pop-up shops.

     

    This good practice has also been chosen as one of 5 URBACT National Practice Transfer Initiatives (NPTI) and will be transferred to 6 other Slovenian municipalities. The project is led by Slovenian NUP, with Tina Lisac as national expert.

     

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

     

    Re-grow City deliberately focused on small and medium sized towns, because they face distinctive challenges in terms of constrained resources and limited technical capabilities when compared to larger cities. These constraints offer opportunities, however, for example robust social networks with high levels of ‘social capital’ and short decision making routes that speed up the adoption of untested or controversial methods. Taken together with the resources and skills local people have, shrinking cities are places of opportunity and can demonstrate considerable resilience even where they face severe constraints.

     

    As a side-outcome of the Re-Grow City network, in May 2021 the new pan-European network ReGrow Towns has been established. This is aimed for towns below the size of 50 th residents and is an addendum to the already existing networks of Eurocities (cities above 250 th residents) and Eurotowns (cities between 50-250 th residents).

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16279
  • Understanding and shaping procurement spend

    Poland
    Koszalin

    Supporting local economy, society and environment via procurement

    Adam Sawicki
    Finance Manager
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    107 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Koszalin is a city in northwest Poland located 12 km south of the Baltic Sea coast. The three most important sectors of the economy are industry, construction and tourism.

    Koszalin had already worked with Preston (UK) as a partner in the 2015-2018 URBACT network ‘Procure’, in which it had sought to understand if and how procurement could really be used to create jobs, support SMEs, and address environmental challenges - and whether procurement bureaucracy could really be reduced.

    As a result, the city already had a local Integrated Action Plan (IAP) to improve its approaches to procurement and was convinced of the power of procurement to prompt both local economic change and pursue sustainability objectives.

    In 2018, Koszalin was looking for help to implement their ambitious new IAP, and particularly objectives  around understanding more effectively their procurement spending, encouraging local SMEs to bid for procurement opportunities with Koszalin City Council,  including social and environmental considerations in decision-making; and influencing the procurement behaviour of other anchor institutions”.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The approach developed by Preston for procurement addressed local (economic), social and environmental considerations, while seeking to promote local products, social enterprises, local SMEs and environmentally friendly products. At the same time integration is key within municipalities and in the cites to ensure that these criteria are correctly identified and addressed.

    Participatory approach

    Through their URBACT Local Group (ULG), Koszalin City Council transferred the spend analysis tool to anchor institutions within the city, such as the Regional Hospital, Technical University of Koszalin, and Koszalin District Administration. This enabled them to explore alongside the city authorities how much they spend, and where that money goes geographically, sectorally and in business type terms.

    What difference has it made

    Across all procurers within the city, they collectively identified an annual spend of over EUR 100 million making procurement a significant contributor to Gross Domestic Product. The City Council was pleasantly surprised by the extent to which procurement spend was already spent with organisations in the Koszalin Functional Urban Area (83%) and SMEs (91%).

    Addressing the other side of the procurement dynamic, Koszalin strengthened relations with business representative bodies and SMEs. They surveyed business chambers to identify challenges and how they could be addressed to support SME participation in procurement.

    Transferring the practice

    The city adopted Preston’s spend analysis tool and achieved the core objective of their previous URBACT network and IAP: to understand the scale of procurement spend in the city and to use this evidence to shape wider procurement practice.

    Koszalin has presented their procurement activities and results at events organised by the Polish National URBACT Point to showcase their example as a city that has realised real incremental change. They also shared their learning bilaterally with the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area and they feature as a case study in URBACT’s strategic procurement training programme.

    The involvement in Procure and Making Spend Matter has been “incredibly beneficial” for procurement in Koszalin and the city representatives are convinced that this is only the beginning of a new journey around procurement. Indeed, they recognise that progressive procurement is integral to the future economic, social and environmental destiny of Koszalin.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16266
  • Sparking new blue business in a coastal city

    Spain
    Mataro

    The up and rise of the Blue Growth Entrepreneurship Competition

    Angel Remacha
    Director of Economic Promotion
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    129 000

    Summary

    Mataró has sought to develop further the development of its blue economy sector by transferring the practice Piraeus of a Blue Growth Initiative. While identifying and bringing together all the relevant local stakeholders, securing funding and adequate awards, it developed the local use Workshops, Demo Days, mentoring, incubating and business acceleration for start-uppers and new entrepreneurs.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Mataró has the largest port between Barcelona and France. Despite its four beaches, port, boat repair yard, and university maritime courses for students from around the world, the city has historically ‘lived with its back to the sea’. Mataró had an annual entrepreneurship awards programme - ‘Cre@tic’ - but nothing specific on the blue economy.

    The Municipality wanted to promote a more nautical culture, and related business opportunities. They had a broad plan to harness the potential of the city’s key assets, to give the port a more positive role in the city’s future economic development and to cooperate on a maritime strategy with neighbouring municipalities. The foundations for this project were laid in the ‘Sea in Value’ project, which sought to promote a nautical culture, develop the blue economy and open the city to the sea.

    In this context, Mataró saw BluAct as a good opportunity to learn from other European cities and contribute to their activities stimulating entrepreneurship and new jobs in the blue economy.

    After having identified its ULG members (see below), Mataró reinforced connections with the private sector thanks to activities such as university-based ‘entrepreneur hours’, mentoring schemes, and funds for small pilot projects.

    The Municipality created a new Blue Growth Entrepreneurship competition, building on the 20 years of knowledge and experience of the existing annual entrepreneurship awards programme. The project was coordinated and promoted locally by the municipality’s  City Promotion team, with the constant support of the technical experts in entrepreneurship of TecnoCampus.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    Mataro focused its activities on the development of new economic businesses (products and services) in the blue economy, with a specific stress on being circular and with a reduced environmental footprint. Moreover, the activities sought to develop job and business development, with a strong social added value.

    Participatory approach

    Mataró started its whole project by identifying diverse stakeholders working with blue growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, bringing them together for the first time in an URBACT Local Group. The group was formed with members of the Quadruple Helix, drawn from public administration, education, export associations, environmental organisations, citizens and business, they include: the dynamic regional ‘Barcelona Nautic Cluster’; Mataró Port Authority; Barcelona Provincial Government; and the technology park TecnoCampus, which includes the University and a business incubator. The work of the URBACT Local Group was crucial in building local awareness and professional relationships in support of the blue economy.

    What difference has it made

    The municipality was able to secure EUR 4 000 from the Mataró Port Consortium and EUR 2 000 from the Barcelona Provincial Government to provide cash prizes and cover marketing and promotion costs. In addition, TecnoCampus offered its high quality mentoring and business accelerator programme free of charge (valued at €1,000 for each of three winner projects).

    In March 2020, during the Demo Day, three winning ideas were selected from seven high-quality applications. An award ceremony took place in June, with mentoring and incubation provided from July 2020 to February 2021. Top prize went to the first Spanish nautical workshop franchise for the refit and repair of boats. Second, an online application facilitating communication between superyachts, management companies, refit shipyards and contractors. And in third place, an environmentally friendly and quiet electric boat propulsion system.

    Transferring the practice

    Mataró was directly inspired by Piraeus’ good practice, but also flexible in its implementation. Having drawn up a Transfer Plan to adopt Piraeus’ practice - and guided by the network’s Lead Expert - Mataró worked with commercial sponsors and adjusted plans to take account of various local negotiations and administrative procedures.

    The result was a similar blue entrepreneurship competition, but with a local twist. For example, Mataró took its own competition a step further than the original by offering applicants small amounts of prize funding (€4,000 donated by Mataró’s Port) to help kickstart their business ideas.

    With its partners, the city has developed a strong foundation programme which it plans to build on, maintaining the Blue Growth Competition as an annual or biennial event.

    Mataró is also now considering the feasibility of supporting a broader range of aspiring entrepreneurs, with more events such as hackathons and workshops focused on generating new ideas and projects in the seed phase.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16264