• 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
  • OpenAGRI

    Italy
    Milan

    New Skills for new Jobs in Peri-urban Agriculture

    Rossana Torri
    Comune di Milano
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    1 352 000

    Summary

    The City of Milan decided to set up an urban coalition with a series of partners (Universities, companies, associations) in order to apply for the first call of UIA Initiative, with the desire to scale up this positioning in the peri-urban agricultural industry, setting up a stable growth and creating new jobs and skills.
    OpenAgri is mainly an urban policy experimentation that follows the place-based approach, focusing on new skills for new jobs in peri-urban agriculture. The project area can be defined as an “urban fringe”, representing the transition zone between the consolidated part of the City and the agricultural lands. The challenge was to locate an innovative urban service aimed at creating new jobs, skills, start- ups and innovation in agri-food sector while increasing the level of resilience and sustainability of the City.
    OpenAgri (1) improved entrepreneurship by fostering the creation of new innovative firms and social enterprises focusing on sustainability in periurban agriculture and the agri-food sector; (2) Contributed to the overall regeneration of a fringe area promoting a strong focus on social inclusion; and (3) Exploited the potential of several food policy experiments within a single integrated.

    The innovative solution

    OpenAgri is a step forward in the capacity to deliver an innovative integrated strategy. It represents experimental initiatives in the field of labour and innovation policy. The following solutions can be offered:

    • Solution 1: Educational and training environment: competencies validation and certification, educational services delivery, business planning, linkages with educational institutions;
    • Solution 2: Experimentation Lab: explores innovative techniques in urban agriculture and engage a series of partners on making the best use of public owned 33 hectares plot of land surrounding the south Milan Parco Sud boundaries.
    • Solution 3: Entrepreneurship: The process to find innovative projects, agriculture entrepreneurs, companies and/or startups and other organized parties.
    • Solution 4: Resilient territorial development: The peri-urban transformation of Milano changed due to OpenAgri capacity to create strong, mutually supportive linkages between rural and urban areas and to engage stakeholders, like MMA spa, with the capacity to promote further investment.

    A collaborative and participative work

    OpenAgri partnership is a good example of a participative approach, since it brings local stakeholders from education and training, agricultural, cultural, social and policymakers. It is a very complex and integrated project because it keeps together many different dimensions and makes them work in a specific place, but also in a city systematically. It was an opportunity to relate areas of competence of the administration that are very different from one another and that are used to look at problems from their single point of view. This project necessarily had to confront with the people responsible for environment, urban planning, agriculture, labour. Such an integrated project forced to create new relationships and we learned something from this collaboration.

    The impact and results

    The agro-ecological and landscape design developed by the 30-hectare Masterplan created a new locality for the city. This means designing for shared access to systems and services, planning functional infrastructures, and activating networks between people, places and products.
    The focus was on business development and innovation. The best example is the incubation and startups support that developed innovative projects in agriculture and circular economy, with particular focus on the water resource and its use within the food supply chains, along a cycle that goes from production, to transformation, to consumption, to waste and reuse of waste.
    Acting smart in the context of OpenAgri was not only about technology, but more about the smart use of local resources and amenities and finding the right balance of business diversity, to create an economy that is specialised but still resilient.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    OpenAgri is an experimental project that challenge existing practices and regulations in cities, regions, policy fields and local contexts. The project proved to be an excellent opportunity to experiment a hypothesis of work that is inherent to UIA program. This is very interesting because it means to start not from a regeneration of the container, but from the activation of new economic dynamics.
    It was an opportunity to relate areas of competence of the administration that are very different from one another and that are used to look at problems from their single point of view. This project necessarily had to confront with the people responsible for environment, urban planning, agriculture, labour.
    OpenAgri is now a hub for the agri-food sector but the city wants it to be a more complex hub that will work not only on the themes of peri-urban agriculture, but also on circular economy, trying to put them in relation. They have understood that there are interesting connections between peri-urban agriculture and for example the water cycle, thanks to the nearby water purifier. There is clear evidence that the core principles and components will now apply at a larger scale within Milan but also in other European cities.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    17066
  • Understanding and shaping procurement spend

    Poland
    Koszalin

    Supporting local economy, society and environment via procurement

    Adam Sawicki
    Finance Manager
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    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
  • Kraftsamling: you get what you ask for

    Sweden
    Trelleborg

    A system that makes sure that all unemployed citizens receive professional service in accessing the labour market.

    Patrik Möllerström
    Head of Unit, City of Trelleborg
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    43 913

    Summary

    The motto at the Department of labour market in the city of Trelleborg (SE) is that “you get what you ask for”. The city decided to see what would happen if it stopped asking regional trade and industry for general activities for unemployed people, and started asking for jobs instead.
    Unemployed citizens need support to enter the labour market. In both 2015 and 2016, thanks to the city's collaboration with over 500 local and regional employers, one person per day leaves welfare support for a new job, or starts studies that will lead to employment.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Due to employers not finding skilled labour, the economy is not only sufficiently growing, we also see that with the age composition of the labour force, we have fewer workers paying for a welfare system with increasing costs for the elderly. People having trouble in establishing themselves on the labour market, among them foreign jobseekers with a shorter education, or young people lacking completion of upper secondary school, are sorely needed in the workforce to make sure that the welfare state doesn’t fail. By using a coupling-system, where the city cooperates with the local employers, thus benefitting both the unemployed and the employers, we make sure that the gap between both is closed. Different methods are used for different couplings; some people need more time to get the skills requested by the job, while others just need an introduction. In our couplings, we make sure both parties’ needs are met.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Under the umbrella of the Kraftsamling Trelleborg project, we cooperate with local businesses to make sure that they are provided with the service they need, and find competent staff in order to grow. In Kraftsamling, all employers have a prospective partner through which they can channel their CSR-work. Our objective is to make sure that unemployed gain employment, but this can only be obtained through meeting the needs of the individual employer.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The Kraftsamling Trelleborg good practice puts jobseekers and local businesses in contact, in order to make sure that firms are provided with the service they need, and find competent staff in order to grow. In Kraftsamling, all employers have a prospective partner through which they can channel their CSR-work. Our objective is to make sure that unemployed people gain employment, but this can only be obtained through meeting the needs of the individual employer.

    What difference has it made?

    During 2015 and 2016, we have put one average person per day back to work (or studies leading to work), primarily due to our cooperation with the local and regional employers, under the auspices of not belonging to the labour force by the national employment agency. This is due to our belief that everyone can learn, and that companies need to be involved in this learning. A taste of our model that gives effective results for the citizens of the city of Trelleborg: • From control to personal responsibility and trust; • From telephone hours to total availability; • From a focus on rights to contributions to self-sufficiency; • From care plan to establishment plan; • From social services to efficient management of subsistence allowance; • From waiting to visit today and decision tomorrow. Since the last tent years, the trend in Sweden has been an increase in costs for welfare support. This trend has been the opposite in Trelleborg, with declining costs and an increase in employment.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    One of the current and future challenges for European cities is to make sure that all citizens are included in the labour market, and at the same time to avoid that companies’ growth is hindered by the lack of skilled labour. This current challenge will only grow more challenging, considering the fact that Europe has welcomed immigrants fleeing from war in the Middle East. We are convinced that all European cities have good strategies for vocational training in schools, but we also believe that flexible ways of learning at a workplace give quicker results. One way of learning does not exclude the other, but one might be more useful in certain situations.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9552
  • Digital urban strategy

    France
    Roissy Pays de France

    A digital fablab to equip school leavers with digital skills

    Driss Bziouat
    Responsable for EU funds
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    345 763

    Summary

    'La Fabrique de Gonesse" is the first project of the Roissy Pays de France Agglomerations' (FR) digital strategy. Launched in 2015, the programme uses digital technologies, mass communication, digital fabrication, repairing, networking and project management as an empowerment tool for tackling the problem of school dropouts, especially in deprived neighbourhoods. It combines flexible teaching with peer-to-peer methods, based on an innovative pedagogic method. After three cycles, the remobilisation rate is 90%. 70% of trainees return to the education system, and 20% access their first job opportunity within 6 months of completing the programme. 

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Gonesse is an integral part of Roissy Pays de France Agglomeration, composed of 42 cities. Social and urban issues are directly linked to this project. Since 2016, the rate of people living in deprived neighbourhoods has risen to almost 40%. Roissy Pays de France is aware that poverty and exclusion must be tackled. Therefore, Roissy Pays de France set up a pluriannual strategy (2014-2020), an integrated and territorial investment based on digital development, to reinforce the social cohesion of its territory. The regional programme of EU funds constitutes a financial framework for this strategy and its projects. It aims at structuring the digital sector based on economic potential and the research capacities of the University of Cergy-Pontoise. The aim is to help the creation of entrepreneurship and digital activities, enhance the digital skills of firms and inhabitants, and reinforce social and cultural development. The project makes a junction between several issues: helping young people through innovative technologies. It offers a local, bottom-up, constructive approach to digital challenges, as close as possible to peoples' issues. Local authorities put innovation at the heart of this project and propose to build on it. This concrete and highly innovative project shows how, thanks to new technologies, social innovation could help youth pepping up, but also territorial development on a larger scale.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Located in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, La Fabrique Numérique de Gonesse promotes sustainability by creating a bridge between teenagers exposed to school failure and the local government through the use of digital techniques that encourage agility and a cooperative and collaborative peer-to-peer approach. La Fabrique Numerique de Gonesse is exemplary of a fully integrated, participative approach that creates a circle of value based on professional mobilisation and empowerment that is highly effective for young people exposed to school failure. An agile educational initiative, which helps develop autonomy and digital awareness among the local population and stakeholders through educational interactions led by the trainees in a “learning by teaching” peer-to-peer approach. An innovative approach of public action and governance that engages young people with academic and/or professional difficulties in the delivery of missions of general interest, in a spirit of local collaborative development and innovation. An R&D awareness and literacy action relevant in the field of territorial development, and the digital transition in the public sector. Strong horizontal and vertical integration are combined and promoted in this project, as shown above.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The participatory approach is a core aspect of La Fabrique Numerique de Gonesse: • At grassroots level: autonomy of trainees is strongly encouraged. Self-organisation of training time as well as frontline responsibility of the young trainees as “project managers”, interacting with NGOs and local government services through productions and/or services. Peer-to-peer learning by teaching initiatives are organised on a regular basis, missioning trainees as educators, i.e. to promote digital awareness among children ages 7 to 13, towards the audience of local public libraries or through technical support provided to the local TV team; • At territorial level: empowerment of local NGOs and public actions through digital communication projects led by the trainees (posters, logos, websites, flyers, etc.). Providing participatory tools and solutions for programmes of public and general interest (interactive test-game on justice and rights, participatory cartography, co-designed solutions for disabled people, website design and development for the local resource centre for education, monumental sticker design for the inauguration of the new hospital, etc.); • At governance level: development of a trainees/alumni association to promote self-government. Individual tracking of the young trainees before, during and after their studies at La Fabrique Numerique, through various partnerships with specialised local structures and programmes in the educational, professional insertion and orientation field.

    What difference has it made?

    Results and outcomes concerning 3 trainee classes from November 2015 to April 2017: at the end of programme, the remobilisation rate represents 90%. Outputs of target groups: • 70% return to education, 55% digital sector, 45% other than digital sector; • 20% access their first job opportunity 6 months after the end of programme, 65% find a job related to the digital sector, 35% to an unrelated sector, and 10% leaving the programme. Results after finishing the programme (trainee class 1 and 2, 6 months after the end of programme, and results of trainee class 3): • For the period 2015-2017, the programme trained 33 youths: multimedia broadcaster (8), education assistant for mobile uses (7), communication officer (4), video production officer (2), website developer (1), digital forger (5), teacher TIC (5), social network manager (13), 2D/3D graphic designer (5), web graphic designer (9), mass media graphic designer (10), web integration (10), digital facilitator (17), 3D modelling (3), digital assistant (5), webmaster (5), fab-manager assistant (4); • Professional opportunities during the programme: training (29), alternate training: 0; • Projects for local governments or firms: 33; • Professional situation at the end of the programme: training extended (14), new training (4), return to education in the digital sector (14), general education (10), permanent job contract (3), temporary job contract (4), independent (2).

    Why should other European cities use it?

    This project is transferable to other cities. It supports the politics towards young people living in deprived neighbourhoods, and all actions aiming at the innovative remobilisation of youth. It could be transferable to all cities facing the problem of school dropout, social exclusion, discrimination, immigration issues, high unemployment and poverty in a global meaning. The projects' innovative action is not based on theoretic knowledge, but on project management, innovative methodology and pedagogy. Many workshops are included on topics such as personal skills, self-confidence, citizen involvement etc.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9537
  • Pop up to date

    Belgium
    Antwerp

    From vacant to vibrant: creative entrepreneurs as seeds of change in fertile soils of (sub)urban shopping areas

    Tine Mallentjer
    Cultural Antenna, Berchem
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    601 257

    Summary

    The activities of Pop-up-to-Date pivot around the conversion of vacant commercial properties into springboards for creative entrepreneurship. Supporting pop-up shops is not an innovative solution for transforming run-down neighbourhoods into vibrant city districts. Many local authorities experiment with pop-up policies. Very few, however, have an encompassing approach such as Antwerp (BE), for linking creative entrepreneurs to vacant retail units, which has been proven to work and produces lasting effects on both district and city level. The integrated multi-stakeholder approach displayed in Antwerp's Oud Berchem neighbourhood has proven to be an effective as well as inspiring methodology to transform a depreciated shopping area into a lively axis of creativity. The success ratio for the conversion of vacant retail units stands at 70%, with 60% of the units being long-term rented, and 10% being sold to entrepreneurs.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The activities of Pop-up-to-Date pivot around the conversion of vacant commercial properties into springboards for creative entrepreneurship. However, what’s most essential is the radical choice for a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach, which brings together different government levels, entrepreneurs, non-profit actors and local inhabitants. In this project, the local government takes up a role as enabler and funder. Non-profit organisations build on their close links with local communities and property owners to match vacant properties with creative entrepreneurial spirits. The approach starts with identifying the owners of vacant retail units on the one hand, and creative entrepreneurs on the other hand. The vacant retail unit is rented by a non-profit organisation on behalf of the local authority. Because the focus lies on decayed properties, it is lightly refurbished by means of local government funding prior to the rental period. During a fixed time frame of two months, it is then provided at a reduced tariff to starting creative entrepreneurs to try out their business in a real-life environment. After the project period, the profitability of the business and further ambitions of the starting entrepreneurs are evaluated, and customised coaching and counselling are made available.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Supporting pop-up shops is far from being an innovative solution for transforming run-down neighbourhoods into vibrant city districts. Many local authorities experiment with pop-up policies. Very few, however, have an encompassing approach in linking creative entrepreneurs to vacant retail units, which has been proven to work and produces lasting effects on both district and city level. The integrated approach of the project in Oud Berchem is exemplary for the horizontal and vertical integrated approach championed by URBACT. Horizontal integration results from multiple stakeholders joining forces to provide a mix of policy measures, ranging from financial stimuli, direct support by refurbishing retail units, coaching and matchmaking activities, aftercare through mediation between entrepreneurs and property owners to local community building activities (e.g. a quarterly neighbourhood newspapers, workshops etc.) and neighbourhood marketing. The soft measures in this project fit into a broader neighbourhood oriented strategy, involving ‘hard’ ERDF investments to increase the attractiveness of the shopping area in Oud Berchem and stimulate owners to renovate their commercial properties. Vertical integration is found in the expanding cooperation between the local authority, intermediary non-profit organisations, the Regional Government Agency for Entrepreneurial Education and different local stakeholders at the neighbourhood level.

    Based on a participatory approach

    In the original set-up, the local government worked in collaboration with and funded, LCB vzw (a local government non-profit organisation for local cultural policy) to match entrepreneurs and owners. The original funding scheme was elaborated in close cooperation with the local shopkeeper association. At any stage of the process, very close relationships were established with the involved creatives. Inspired by the results during the first editions of the biennial project, a new non-profit organisation, Creative Cities vzw, was created by local entrepreneurs. Creative Cities vzw has gradually developed complementary activities by providing starter coaching and mediation between owners and creatives following the two-month rental period. Due to their involvement, the impact of the project in terms of the number of retail units and entrepreneurs involved has increased. LCB vzw and Creative Cities vzw have concluded a cooperation agreement to further fine-tune their partnership and maximise their collaborative impact towards Oud Berchem. Also, the involvement of Creative Cities vzw has taken the project to a new level by creating structural partnerships with SYNTRA (the regional Flemish Government Agency for Entrepreneurial Training) and UNIZO (Organisation for the Self-Employed and SMEs). A next step is the approved ESF Transnational funded project “The Suburb Start-up Guide”, in which a higher education institute is involved by analysing the policy measures.

    What difference has it made?

    After three successful editions, the results are remarkable: • The success ratio for the conversion of vacant retail units stands at 70%, with 60% long-term rented units and 10% of units sold to entrepreneurs. • The streetscape has visually improved due to the refurbishment of the commercial properties, which has raised the districts' appeal. • A majority of the entrepreneurs involved (18 so far, and 10 newcomers in 2017) have reported having either started a permanent shop in the city or are continuing their activities on a freelance basis or through web shops. Networks among the entrepreneurs involved outlive the project periods. • New qualitative retailers are opting for long-time residence in the refurbished units. • Native middle-class consumers are starting to visit traditional migrant shops, while local migrant property owners are renting out their properties to young creative multicultural entrepreneurs. • The commercial success of flourishing pop-ups has also inspired owners not involved in the project, to refurbish their own retail units and/or try out new innovative business concepts. • Other city districts and cities in Flanders are interested in or have already adopted, the project’s ideas. • The project has been displayed by the local and supralocal press, thus contributing to a positive image of the neighbourhood. • The neighbourhood now functions as an incubator for spilling over new retail entrepreneurs to other city districts.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    Creative placemaking is applied by many European cities as a method to both tackle building vacancy and foster entrepreneurship. Similar suburbs often harbour an equivalent of the creativity and diversity found in Oud Berchem. The power of the approach presented here lies in the win-win situation in which owners, creative entrepreneurs, local residents and local traders all benefit from the pop-up activities. This coalition of the winning provides a fertile ground on which the involved creative entrepreneurs can flourish. An important success factor is the involvement of a local cultural stakeholder like an arts centre, a community centre or local cultural or arts organisations. Its role is to monitor the artistic quality of the project, which largely determines its attractiveness for potential creatives. The project will work particularly well in urban or suburban areas with a pronounced neighbourhood character and easy access to public transport. The local authority needs to ensure local anchorage through close cooperation with all involved stakeholders. Likewise, it needs to develop a ‘feeling’ of how the area functions. To succeed, the organising city needs to build on its knowledge of the creative economy to generate qualitative commercial concepts that are able to attract visitors across neighbourhood/district boundaries.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9535
  • From empty housing to social inclusion

    Spain
    Vilafranca del Penedes

    25 years of housing rehabilitation for social purposes

    Carme Ribes Porta
    Head of Department International Relations
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    39 365

    Summary

    In the context of high poverty, exclusion and the increasing number of empty housing units, accentuated by the crisis, the Vilafranca (ES) Inclusion programme deals with the renovation and rehabilitation of vacant housing while reusing them for social purposes. 
    Bringing together the municipality, social actors, NGOs and house owners, the programme is built on a multiannual approach. It uses the renovation process for occupational training and boosting employment among the people risking social exclusion or long-time poverty. 
    So far, more than 250 houses have been renovated and offered on preferential lease to poor or homeless families, and 500 persons have gained professional skills through the training programmes. The Vilafranca Inclusion practice has already been recognised by Un Habitat Europe and the Pi i Sunyer Foundation. 

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Rehabilitate vacant homes and reuse them with a social purpose • Use the process of rehabilitation for occupational training and boosting employment of unemployed. • Provide homes to families and / or people with a low income and on a situation of emergency residential risk. • Improve housing park standards: prevent the progressive deterioration of buildings and parts of the city. • Reduction of empty housing. • Using housing as a tool for socio-educational work. • Promote employability.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

     Vilafranca Inclusion exemplifies the three pillars of the URBACT principles: Horizontal integration: incorporates the cross-work of various municipal services for the analysis and implementation in different phases. Carried out in the period 2013/2015, it has a direct relation to the tasks performed at the C.R.I.T. (Resource Centre for Inclusion and Employment) aimed at people at risk of exclusion. It deals with the subjects of: urban planning, improving degraded areas of the city; environmental, upgrading homes to optimal levels of energy efficiency; new economies creation, area of housing rehabilitation, specialized training; promotion of cooperative economics, etc. Vertical integration: its development involves promoters and beneficiaries. There are three lines of work in parallel: A) Urban Planning: properties to be rehabilitated are evaluated, designed and valued. Also, private foundations, the Town Hall itself and financial institutions can provide housing to be included in the rehabilitation programme. B) Social Services: selection of participants and the design of the employment plans. C) Training and Employment: training options. From there begins the execution phase of the work, and training of participants is done through a company (cooperative) of social integration. Territorial integration: rehabilitating housing in degraded areas helps the greater integration of the whole town, reducing the risk of having marginal areas.

    Based on a participatory approach

    Among those involved has woven a network of co-operation. Whilst Caritas supports the training of the participants in the project, the insertion cooperative insert Nou Set does the contracts. Moreover, the Town Hall, through C.R.I.T. manages the program, partly funded by the Diputació de Barcelona. The partnership also extends to the active participation of property owners and end users. Apart from the three lines of action involved in the project (Social Services, Town Planning, and Training and Employment) parallel tasks of development are established.

    What difference has it made?

    The impact of Vilafranca Inclusion is multiple and has benefited its citizenship as a result of the change that occurred in the mechanics of the programme from 2012, when - as a result of the economic crisis - rehabilitation and social integration were put at the same level as axes. Since its implementation in 1992, it has allowed the family core to have a regular income, it has standardised the employment status of participating workers, has allowed us to train them in professional skills, and also, significantly, it has equipped them with the capacity to be able to find a job in the present circumstances of the labour market. Otherwise, participation has been opened to members of the family who are unemployed. The profile of participants and attended has changed in line with social changes experienced in the types of families: for example, in 2015, 84 families were assisted (a total of 243 people), of which 49% were single-parent families and 42% of users were under 16 years of age. 250 dwellings have been rehabilitated, of which the Town Hall still manages 90 through Social Housing. The rest - leased to the town council - have already been returned to their owners. • People trained: approximately 500 (data from 1992) • Families inserted: 50 since 2013.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    From its beginnings in 1992, the practice has been adapted to the current social context, characterised by the strong economic crisis that has forced many municipalities to adapt expenditures allocated to social issues. Vilafranca implemented "Vilafranca Inclusion" aiming to rehabilitate and reuse dwellings for social purposes. The 2012 programme is reoriented and focused on the social and labour inclusion of unemployed people and families at risk of exclusion. The impact of the practice is satisfactory and strengthens their impact on policy and management of the municipality. We believe that this course of action can be useful and interesting for any European city facing these issues.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9519
  • Long-term unemployed take the lead

    Denmark
    Aarhus

    An experiment challenging traditional welfare system and empowering long-term unemployed in their efforts to find or create a job

    Anne Marie Frederiksen
    Project Manager
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    264 716

    Summary

    What would happen if the long-term unemployed were allowed to decide for themselves how the money that is spent every year to prepare them for the labour market - at least some of it - should be used? The municipality of Aarhus (DK) decided to find out and, in collaboration with the University of Aarhus, The Social Development Centre and the Velux Foundation, it has initiated a two-year pilot project which has made it financially possible to give a cash grant of up to DKK 50,000 (approx. €6,700) to 100 long-term unemployed citizens to help them in their efforts in finding or creating a job. The beneficiary is therefore responsible for how the money is used and what it is spent on. 
    In 2017, the results have been very promising, with 14 of the 27 participants being no longer on unemployment benefits. The participants themselves expressed that they feel a larger amount of responsibility and control over their own lives since they are treated with trust and confidence by the job counsellors. At the same time, they experience the new initiative as something “fresh” and tailored to their situation, and so they avoid the typical “one size fits all” courses. 

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The City of Aarhus is experimenting with models for self-budgeting in employment activities. The plan is to allow 100 unemployed citizens to receive up to 50,000 kroner (6,700 euros) that he or she decides how to spend in order to get a job. The Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture theme is “RETHINK”, and our project rethinks the relations between citizens and authorities. The project is run from the perspective that the citizens are experts in their own lives. Therefore, it makes sense that they have a greater influence on what should be done in order to find a job. The vision is that the individual becomes the driving force in his or her own job performance and that this will increase the chances of getting a job. The project is organised in three parts: • Testing and developing a model for self-budgeting in employment activities; • Developing tools for the case managers and supporting them in this new way of working with the citizens; • Validation and analysis of the data that is produced in the project by Aarhus University. The first results are promising. At the time of this writing, 9 of the 16 participants who wanted to become self-employed have succeeded in doing so.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    “Long-term unemployed take the lead” is based on at least two of the URBACT approaches. In relation to horizontal integration, the project combines both the social perspective and the perspective of economic thinking, in the sense that it aims at helping long-term unemployed people out of their unemployment - which is an economic benefit to society, but also a social, emotional and economic benefit for the individual citizens. Regarding Vertical integration, the project builds on both a local strategy for strong cooperation between the municipality and businesses (the business strategy) and the local policy of active citizenship. The background of the business strategy is a vision of establishing Denmark's strongest partnerships with local companies - partnerships for jobs, social responsibility and growth. The municipality is working to become the local companies' preferred partner in finding and hiring new employees and finding solutions for employees on sick leave. Businesses are our number one customers, and the strategy for cooperation with more companies focuses on a more service-oriented approach, benefiting both companies and unemployed citizens. This good practice in many ways also taps into the City of Aarhus Citizenship Policy with its focus on active citizenship, new solutions, inclusion, and diversity. Based on the first results (of 27 participants, 14 are no longer in the system), the project contributes to a more sustainable welfare service.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The city council of Aarhus decided on 6 November 2013 to set up a Citizenship Committee with citizens and politicians. The job of the Citizenship Committee was to challenge the municipal practice of public involvement and inspire a new practice for citizen participation, collaboration, and co-creation. The result of this work is a new Active Citizenship Policy (the policy is part of the Support Package). The Committee has on several occasions helped to inspire the work in the project. Both individually and in groups, they facilitated citizen perspectives and have made a number of concrete proposals which have been put into the project. As stated in the Citizen Policy, managers and employees in the municipality demonstrate openness to new initiatives, help citizens help one another, and are prepared to accept the consequences of the new expectations regarding our cooperation with citizens. From the start of the project, the employees have been closely involved in the development of a methodology to ensure: • Ownership; • Safety and making it possible to apply the method in practice; • The opportunity to contribute with social expertise and knowledge of the local context. So, both during the planning of the project and afterward there has been a high degree of co-creation and participatory activities.

    What difference has it made?

    It is not yet possible to say anything conclusive about the programme, but the first results are so comprehensive that It makes sense to launch a good practice call. As of January 2017, 14 of the 27 participants had found a job, and reported other benefits: • A boost in confidence; • That the job consultants can finally give them an offer that is usable; • That they get a customised offer; • That the offer is based on trust rather than control; • That they have great personal ownership in the process to find jobs. Phases 2 and 3 are no longer on unemployment benefits, while the participants in phase 4 began their activities in February 2017. As already mentioned, 9 of the 16 participants that wanted to become self-employed succeeded in doing so, and as such, the experiment has shown that there is a considerable amount of unemployed that wish to take a step into the world of entrepreneurship, which may be worth paying attention to. There has been a great desire among the participants in the project to start their own business. It is remarkable because within the current legislation is not possible to help unemployed citizens who want to start their own business. Another important result is that the citizens feel that they are consulted and involved to a much greater extent than in the usual employment process. Through qualitative interviews, we have documented what the citizens experience: they are met with trust.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The 2008 -2009 global recession and the Eurozone debt crisis significantly affected European economies, decreasing growth and increasing unemployment in many EU countries. Despite some signs of recovery, many EU countries continue to struggle with sluggish growth, high unemployment (especially among young people) and dissatisfied publics. Across Europe, we are in the middle of a fundamental transformation of the welfare state. We are breaking with the traditional conception of welfare as a standard benefit or service, and challenging the time when a case manager could offer a standard product to all of our citizens. Instead, welfare should be created in the space between citizen, companies, businesses, the case manager and civil society. What we see in these years is that the municipalities are making experiments with new forms of welfare – co-created with citizens and businesses. We go from system to person – from expert to “sparring partner” and from giving answers to asking questions. However, one thing is to realise the challenges and put up new visions. Another thing is how it is done in the daily work in the employment department. “Long-term unemployed take the lead” is an example of how we try to make the vision concrete.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9513
  • A home for everyone

    Bulgaria
    Dupnitsa

    Social housing & soft measures to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups

    Boriana Sapundzhieva
    Senior expert “Europrojects”
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    31 868

    Summary

    The city of Dupnitsa (BG) recently constructed 15 buildings providing 150 modern social houses to at least 460 vulnerable, socially and economically disadvantaged citizens in a district where 90% of the population are Roma. To further improve their living conditions, the city established a new community centre for counselling, retraining, vocational guidance, housing, professional advice on situations leading to poverty and social exclusion. The aim is for the beneficiaries to find permanent jobs after the project so that they are able to maintain the dwellings in which they are housed, pay rent and provide a better quality of life to their families.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The solutions offered by the good practice are: • Construction of modern social houses - 160 homes with an average size of 66 square metres in single-family and multifamily residential buildings with up to three floors, located in a new regulated urban area adjacent to other residential areas and access to infrastructure and public services. • Estimates for municipal social housing use the following output parameters: average living area per person of 25 square metres; area provided housing of 12,000 square metres; the average number of persons per household, 2.7; • Intervention to avoid segregation, as representatives of the target groups coexist with other residents of the municipality, enjoy the same social, health and public services and jointly address common problems of the territory in which they live through participation in maintenance activities of areas for public use, joint neighbourhood councils and participation in joint initiatives. This partnership provides civilian control of the sustainability of the project and the protection of newly built social housing; • Neighbourhood with construction planned for an outside corporate housing project allows for rapid adaptation and motivation of the target group among the community of Dupnitsa. The realization of the social measures contributed to increasing the quality of life of the vulnerable groups and their families and made the integration process easier.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    In today’s Europe we are experiencing a transformation in the perceptions of the role cities can play in developing sustainable communities of common interest and shared values. Cities are increasingly seen in a wider societal context, linking place, territory and scale with governance, inclusion and participation. They are perceived as economic, political and social assets in Europe’s changing societies. Integration refers to a variety of processes by which individuals and groups of people are incorporated into various social arenas and segments of society. The essence of integration is the acceptance and tolerance of and respect for other people possessing different values and beliefs and behaving differently, while being committed to and working towards a common future, in which all will have a fair share. This is why policy at the regional, national and European levels needs to have an urban dimension: to exchange experiences and best practices, to help overcome urban (social and cultural) ruptures, and finally to bring forward new investment in social capital. The integration of the social groups in the urban mix and providing of complex social services are the keys for sustainable and integrated urban development. Cities have also been engines of economic and social development, creating growth, innovation and employment. Economic and social sustainability is a key concept in urban policies. Economic growth means lack of poverty, social exclusion and urban problems.

    Based on a participatory approach

    Emphasis in the selection of the target group of the project was put on a neighbourhood shown by data to have the greatest housing problem and a lack of normal household conditions. The district has a total area of 85,000 square metres. There are 372 homes with 1,655 inhabitants, of whom 735 are men and 920 are women. Children under 18 years make up 532 of the residents, while those 18 to 64 years make up 1,040. There are 83 persons over age 65. These data are for the entire neighbourhood, as 90% of the residents are Roma, according to self-determination of their ethnicity. Over 50% of the population in the neighbourhood live in very poor conditions. All the participants involved in the project were the subjects of research for identifying their living conditions, social inclusion, etc. Two organisations were partners in the projects: Foundation Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria, a division of Habitat for Humanity, and Amala Friends. Both organisations have extensive experience in the implementation of similar projects, including in the Dupnitsa area.

    What difference has it made?

    Fifteen multifamily buildings were built, housing 150 families from the target group and 460 direct users of the project. As part of the implementation of the project, the direct beneficiaries underwent training to enable them to seek and find a permanent job. As a result of determining the roles of representatives, conditions were created to provide practical knowledge and experience as well as employment. This ensured the newly established service a community centre for counselling, retraining, vocational guidance and housing to improve the living conditions of the population. With this service, the representatives of marginalized groups are able to receive not only social and psychological counselling, but are able to use the services of mediators and lawyers in cases of job loss or other risks leading to poverty and social exclusion. The project aims to give marginalized groups the opportunity to retrain, have internships and remain in permanent jobs so that they are able to maintain the dwellings in which they are housed, to pay rent and provide a better quality of life for their families. The creation of a social enterprise that caters newly homes, commit at least 10 percent of the families of the target group.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The good practice would be interesting for other European cities because the whole implementation is connected not only with the construction of housing, but also with the implementation of ‘’soft measures’’ which lead to improving the quality of life through training and courses for raising people’s professional qualifications. The activities are combined with actions to ensure access to education, employment, health and social services for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Implementing each phase aims to achieve an integrated approach - activities in support of intervention in the sector for housing combined with other interventions, including those in education, health, social inclusion and employment. Dupnitsa Municipality has stressed the integrated approach. It targets social and economic cohesion in parallel, removing barriers to employability and investment at the same time as promoting social and environmental goals. The concept of sustainable communities and inclusive cities holds that cities will succeed best when they integrate economic, social, environmental and physical dimensions, alongside public services, leadership and quality of place. Local strategic partnerships need to ensure that citizens are fully involved in local democratic processes and may fully participate in an intercultural dialogue.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9509
  • SPAZIO 13 - Creative Hub for urban regeneration

    Italy
    Bari

    Transforming a former disused school into a Creative Hub as part of (sub)urban regeneration process.

    Vitandrea Marzano
    Mayor’s Staff
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    321 008

    Summary

    SPAZIO13 is the conversion of a former disused school into a creative hub in a suburb of Libertà (IT). It is a community experience of social innovation and reuse of a decommissioned public building, having triggered the involvement of residents and stakeholders in the transformation process affecting the neighbourhood. This urban regeneration process includes an extensive network of 15 youth associations.
    In addition to the public multicultural nursery school set up by the city, the property of 1,000 square metres is composed of three areas:
    1) Informal Education (architectural/engineering design, photography, startup businesses, digital communication);
    2) Making (fabLab 3D printing, carpentry, audio/video production, recording music, photo printing); and
    3) Events and social spaces (co-working, public library, public events and conversations).

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    SPAZIO13 offers a virtuous and subsidiary solution of community conversion of an abandoned public space strongly integrated with urban regeneration through social innovation levers and the leadership of a local youth network. A good practice of conversion, participation and innovation focused on communities, residents and local economies. SPAZIO13 is a learning space and its concept was started by a collective research action conducted on the neighbourhood identity by 15 associations of young architects, urban planners, designers, photographers, communication experts and European policies experts with residents, families and young residents. Through its participatory methodology approach to conversion of public space, SPAZIO13 is an antidote to gentrification in city suburbs. Its cultural offering, stratified into different sections (education, production and collaboration), provides interdisciplinary and multi-target methods for dialogue with the neighbourhood, highly integrated with the local networks and strongly oriented objectives of economic rebirth.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    SPAZIO13 fully complies with the URBACT principles and challenges both in the sustainable development dimension and integration. SPAZIO13 is a community experience of reuse and conversion that seeks the social inclusion of vulnerable groups in the processes of regeneration, activating education courses, participation, social innovation, promoting new opportunities and job skills. As reuse experience stands in contrast with the soil consumption policies, the prominence of 15 NGOs ensures a very broad urban partnership. SPAZIO13 also responds effectively to the horizontal integration and vertical principles promoted by URBACT. In terms of horizontal integration SPAZIO13 is characterized by being simultaneously a physical redevelopment of a public space, a social experience of shared management, a cultural laboratory of participation and an enabler of local economies in the neighbourhood, promoting new skills and collaborative networks. In terms of vertical integration, SPAZIO13 is a virtuous experience of PPP between the city of Bari and civil society. SPAZIO13 was inspired by the will of the city to convert the former school in the target neighbourhood of its regeneration strategy. A local group was selected after a national tender. Governance involves the municipality of Bari, neighbourhoods, civil society, local economy representatives, university and residents.

    Based on a participatory approach

    SPAZIO13 is a collaborative project that is based on the participation of civil society and local networks preliminarily involved in the co-design phase of conversion. The city of Bari established a partnership with the local group. Subsequently, the partnership involved the local university, representatives of the local economy, cultural stakeholders and residents' associations to define the best proposal. The start of the conversion has been marked by two important experiences: a photo contest opened to all residents to attest to the school’s identity before the change with a hashtag on Instagram (#nontiscordardimelo) and Huffington Post as a media partner, an experience of collective self-building to adapt the spaces at the new functions. The space was furnished through an open call to residents to donate disused furniture and fittings in exchange for participation in the courses. Neighbourhood focus groups were held to define priorities and activities. More info: http://spazio13.org/

    What difference has it made?

    Some results of SPAZIO13 have already been achieved, and other objectives are being realized. The results achieved and expected are: 1) promote the conversion of the former school through a collective self-build path and co-design workshops with associations and residents, 2) activate an urban laboratory of education, production and social innovation serving communities, 3) promote a collaborative network at the neighbourhood level composed by associations, professionals, institutional, economic and research that can play an active role in the regeneration process. Regarding the first, SPAZIO13 has involved 15 NGOs and 80 young people (16-35 age group) in the co-design of 1 000 square metres and same path was made on branding that has been marked by a visual identity defined in a participatory way. On the second result SPAZIO13 is involving 630 young people in informal educational courses and trainings and hosts five start-ups in co-working. On the third objective, SPAZIO13 has managed the involvement of 1 110 people, including residents and local stakeholders (universities, schools, local economy representations, cooperatives, youth associations etc.) in public events and discussions. In terms of social impact, SPAZIO13 proposes an overall increase of awareness on participatory planning (+25%), an empowerment of new skills (+ 15%), an increase of knowledge about the neighbourhood regeneration plan involving 10 000 inhabitants, other 25 NGOs and more than 10 local schools.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    SPAZIO13 is part of a holistic approach to urban regeneration and enhancement of young people that Bari started three years ago in compliance with the regional political framework that has represented a vanguard on the European scale for urban creativity issues (European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012, Regiostar 2015). The city has led a regeneration focused on the reuse of public properties and the redevelopment of open spaces through the levers of culture, leisure, theatre, contemporary arts and commerce, with a strong focus on youth capabilities. An urban programme that includes: the conversion of a large former barracks (20,000 square metres) into an extensive urban park with a public library and the new Academy of Fine Arts; the conversion of a former theatre into the Museum of Contemporary Arts (10,000 square metres), an old parking garage into a theatre research centre (2,000 square metres), the conversion of a tobacco factory (40,000 square metres) into a huge campus of scientific research and technological innovation. Knowledge from Bari on reuse, urban regeneration and social innovation has already been shared at URBACT level. SPAZIO13 may be interesting to all European cities that are involved in regeneration processes because it demonstrates how social innovation models and creative hubs can play a key role in activating and involving people in deprived neighbourhoods.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9502