• Enriching the urban jungle with bees


    Connecting sites for bees freedom

    Natalia Majewska
    Department of Integrated Development and Environment
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    350 000


    Bees are rich in terms of biodiversity protection, education development and touristic attraction. Transferring the practice of Lubljana, Bydgoszcz develop its own approach of connecting sites in the city that are bee-friendly and where apiaries can be visited. This is also included in a wider campaign for bee awareness and protection.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Bydgoszcz is the eighth largest city in Poland, part of the Bydgoszcz–Toruń metropolitan area, set on the on the Brda and Vistula rivers in northern Poland. It is an increasingly important economic centre, but the city is well known for its water, Art Nouveau buildings, and urban greenery – including the largest city park in Poland (830 ha).

    The city has a dynamic approach to sustainable development as part of its efforts to improve the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants. Against this background, Bydgoszcz wanted to link its agricultural land and green spaces with ecological education and took a particular interest in Ljubljana’s approach to connecting sites in the city that are bee-friendly and where apiaries can be visited.

    The City started to test and promote the quality of Bydgoszcz honey and used World Bee Day to implement a campaign on the ‘Urban reality of bees and people - let’s create a more bee-friendly world’, including photos at bus and tram stops, and messages on billboards. A local biologist produced a brochure on proper human behaviour towards bees and an exhibition.

    But for ULG Coordinator, Justyna Olszewska, a highlight was local teachers getting enthusiastic about teaching children about bees. They developed a new educational programme called “With Bees Throughout the Year”, which gives children the opportunity to get to know about bees, beekeeping and related topics around health, plants and nature.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The approach undertaken by Bydgoszcz is fully aligned with the integrated approach of the Practice of Ljubljana that it transferred. Ecological practices related to beekeeping have been developed. The new EU project “Bez Lipy” introduces participatory approach to greenery development and a member of URBACT local group participates in the works.

    The practice is also focusing on children and their education and attitude towards bees. This has also meant the development of professional skills and capacity to raise their awareness and develop bee-related activities as well as the enlargement of the network of urban beekeepers in the city. The city also promotes new (touristic) products and services related to beekeeping such as educational workshops run by Dawid Kilon, a biologist, guide and draftsman and bee-keeping workshops run at WSG University of Economy in Bydgoszcz.

    Participatory approach

    Bydgoszcz municipality formed an URBACT Local Group (ULG) mixing around 30 members - beekeepers, teachers, entrepreneurs, researchers, local tour guides and interested individuals. The group identified 16 places in the city with apiaries and melliferous potential to appear on their own Bee Path map of 16 stops – from a roof on the university, through Shopping Mall with beehives, pollinator houses in city parks, sensory garden at school, Bydgoszcz Soap Works to the botanical garden.

    What difference has it made

    In 2018 the City of Bydgoszcz lifted the ban on beekeeping in the city centre. Within the project we have managed to get to know beekeepers and educators who are ready to share their knowledge – in the very 2021 there are new beehives in the city centre: in May an apiary was installed by Mateusz Andryszak in Ostromecko Park and Palace Ensemble, and in June another one was installed in the Biziel University Hospital (Mateusz guided the endeavour). There are more and more bees initiatives application within the city grants and Bydgoszcz Citizens’ Participatory Budget, e.g. in 2022 there will be a municipal beehive installed and a bee-themed playground. Bydgoszcz is also starting the promotion of the Bee Education Programme in schools and we celebrate World Bee Day by installing the exhibition on bees that is accessible and offered to download and use as an open source and to be installed in any other city that wishes to educate about bees.

    Transferring the practice

    Visiting Ljubljana in April 2019 - together with stakeholders of BeePathNet’s other partner cities - members of Bydgoszcz’s ULG were truly inspired by how they too could create their own story around bees, linking to history, architecture and natural values.

    The city hopes to install the popular bee educational programme across the whole education sector, from kindergarten up. There are also plans that Ania Izdebska with the local Tourist Office will create a ‘Bee Quest Game’ that will complement the town’s existing game for visitors.

    Finally, the city also plans to explore further business opportunities and promotion, to take advantage of the growing interest in the project - including in other towns in the region.

    Main cities
    Is a transfer practice
  • Shifting mindsets to involve local communities in urban regeneration


    Appointing community representatives amongst the residents of the target area Edgbaston Reservoir, to become permanent ambassadors, communicating with the City Council, and understanding their challenges – enabling Birmingham in this way to rebuild trust

    Karolina Medwecka
    Project Coordinator
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    1 140 000

    Birmingham’s population is growing rapidly: a predicted 80 000 more homes will be needed by 2032. However, when drastic national austerity measures were introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, severe budget cuts led to a 50% cut in Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) workforce. The Regeneration Team was among the first to be disbanded.

    From 2010 nearly all regeneration projects stopped – apart from ‘housing renewal’, which is driven by private developers and focused on capital investment, with little funding for associated social projects. Little space was left for social experimentation or risk-taking.

    In 2017, an Urban Innovative Actions-funded project ‘USE-IT’ enabled a fresh approach, with an innovative partnership adding ‘human-centred’ interventions to a housing Master Plan. The new approach was continued with further innovations in the course of the URBACT URBAN REGENERATION MIX transfer network.

    The focus of the Birmingham case is on improving the ways the local authority is communicating with their inhabitants. The goal is to promote inclusive growth in priority neighbourhoods. Given the 50% cuts in central government financing of local authorities in the UK, for the Birmingham Council the most important element in regeneration is what and how to finance, so that the competences of the communities become strong enough to be able to operate self sustaining actions, no longer needing permanent financial support from the public side. The city is very concerned by the results/impact of the actions, wanting to know if the few financial resources left have had a real effect in the communities. To achieve all these goals the role of mediators was further strengthened and extended with new tasks and responsibilities.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Whilst in Łódź a city administration mediator works with the community during the regeneration process, Birmingham went a step further, appointing community representatives in the target area – where some had lived for decades. Once trained, they become permanent ambassadors, communicating with the City Council, and understanding their challenges. This enabled Birmingham to rebuild trust in a community who had previously opposed all council plans.

    The role of the mediator (based in an NGO), as a link to the city, through the improvised role of the area manager (employed by the city) has proved to be a key element, giving real space to the participative process, putting aside professional intermediaries, as the “speed of trust” shared by the residents should at all costs be upheld. The same mediator, in the need to guarantee sustainability has become the CEO of a community enterprise in the local area and has led the coordination of the ULG with great success.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The project introduced a Community Economic Development Planning (CEDP) approach, encouraging local economic development that generates human wellbeing. The power to drive change rests within the community of residents, local businesses, and local service providers including councils, community groups and voluntary sector organisations with a direct stake in the area’s economic health.

    Integrated management is a big challenge to all public bodies. It’s been particularly inspiring for Birmingham to see changes introduced by Lodz. The cross-departmental approach of Lodz proved to be very inspiring to Birmingham in building up the localism agenda. In 2019 a delivery unit for the East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy has been established and the structure of this has been modeled on the Lodz Regeneration Team. It is a multi-disciplinary team and aims to link several BCC departments with the city-region administration (West Midlands Combined Authority) – its remit is to support the regeneration of the area and foster inclusive economic development. The main purpose is to involve communities and include them in the redesign process of their neighbourhoods to make sure that the benefits of the development are felt where they are needed the most.

    Participatory approach

    Setting up an URBACT Local Group (ULG) proved a very powerful mechanism” to significantly improve the city’s engagement with residents. The council forged new links with members of the community – and put the ULG in their hands. This successful community leadership around Edgbaston Reservoir has provided a powerful catalyst for the local authority’s Housing and Planning teams to alter their approaches for future regeneration projects, fully embracing the principles of inclusive growth, involve communities in the co-creation of the local master plan. This is seen as a wider work on culture and policy change and it is still on-going, based on the example of implementation within Urban regeneration Mix, which will be replicated elsewhere within the city (East Birmingham).

    What difference has it made

    Within the Community Economic Development Planning (CEDP) approach, encouraging local economic development Cooperation with the local community, the original idea was to bring a local sports field back to community use. In talks with the City Council, residents ended up creating an alternative, which led to co-producing an alternative Community-Led Master Plan for the whole Reservoir – instead of campaigning against plans that did not necessarily meet their needs.

    Through applying the integrated management model observed in Lodz, Birmingham City Council introduced similar solutions – setting up the Rapid Policy Unit for East Birmingham combining three local authority and creating a powerful body that would work on the regeneration of East Birmingham breaking silo working between directorates and service areas.

    Transferring the practice

    Birmingham was one of the six cities adapting the Lodz URBACT Good Practice within the framework of the Urban Regeneration Mix Transfer Network. Not having the financial means which were available for Lodz (predominantly Structural Funds resources), in the course of the transfer process Birmingham changed significantly the original model of mediators. The essence of the change was to empower community representatives to become mediators. The idea of the community connector role is a further development of the original Good Practice, with motivating and inspiring small groups of inhabitants to take bottom-up actions, building in them a sense of community and responsibility for the space and the neighbors with whom they share it.

    The experience from the Edgbaston Reservoir is already being rolled out across wider East Birmingham with a population of over 240 000. A multidisciplinary team has been set up to deliver a newly launched 20-year East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy modelled on the Łódź Regeneration Team. This enables several city departments to work together with the city-region administration and, crucially, communities will be included in the redesign of their neighbourhoods. So, the benefits of redevelopment will be felt where they are needed most.

    Is a transfer practice
  • BioCanteens#2



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


    • 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
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  • A municipal farm to supply local canteens


    Paving the way for city leadership in local food production

    Ivanka Dzhabrailova
    Project Coordinator
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    33 500


    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
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  • Municipality attendance vehicle


    A travelling van visiting villages geographically and socially isolated using information and communication technology (ICT)

    Joaquim Carapeto
    Staff of Palmela Mayor
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    62 831


    The Municipality Attendance Vehicle of Palmela (PT) is designed for citizens who live far from the central public services of the city, or for inhabitants who are socially and economically isolated. The vehicle is a living lab which provides all local public services, and several national ones in a technological way. Its schedule allows citizens from the most rural areas to easily access all the services provided by the municipality. With 32 bus stops, it is the first travelling citizen store in Portugal. This initiative shows how a city can combine an approach both human and connected. 

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    At first, the services provided by VAM were those treated at a municipal service desk and related to urbanism, water and sewage, advertising and occupation of public space, licenses for business activities (schedules and endorsement of licenses), acquisition of lunch passwords in schools, requisition of school transports, information and consumer support, miscellaneous licensing, presentation of opinions, suggestions or complaints, and information on cultural, sporting, touristic and leisure offers. Through an agreement with the Central Administration Agency (Agency for the Modernization of PublicServices in Portugal), VAM then became the first mobile one-stop-gov, providing services on social security, pensions, justice, registry and notary services, health, and much more. In addition, it’s also possible to pick up and return books requested via the internet from the municipal libraries of Palmela. In this way, VAM contributes to the reduction of bureaucracy and the reorganization of public services, thus increasing the quality of citizens’ life, good governance and simplification of public service processes, ensuring equal access to public services for rural citizens and citizens socially and geographically isolated, and a greater involvement of citizens in setting priorities in governance.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    VAM is part of the municipality of Palmela's integrated policy for urban development. It reflects the growing concern about the integration of urban and rural areas, viewed as complementary in a society with different lifestyles, thus requiring various modes of service supply. Considering the peri-urban territory and the citizens' needs, VAM is the best solution to satisfy these needs, engaging all stakeholders through an agreement between the local and central administration. This process contributes to local synergies, and promotes territorial sustainability and cohesion by taking into account the principals of subsidiarity and solidarity. To this end, VAM interconnects with the functional areas of municipal services, such as urban planning and strategic planning, that acts as the brain of the strategy. The opinion of citizens, companies and other stakeholders, as well as the holistic vision and the integrated work between several municipal services, are one of the crucial aspects to ensure the sustainable and integrated approach to tackle urban challenges and needs. It's a "less money, more innovation" policy that ultimately aims to increase resilience, the cohesion of territories, social inclusion and public shareholding without forgetting the compromise between the organisation, citizens and businesses (namely, maintain the quality of public services provided in different shapes).

    Based on a participatory approach

    Palmela started the co-design by organising some executive meetings including the population. This way, people could see who was ruling the place where they lived, they could talk about their needs and suggest solutions. Again, the beginning of VAM’s work was a way of squeezing the distance between citizens and executives. Citizens can solve their problems near the place they live and pass their concerns on to the person they talk to. On the other hand, municipality employees are much more motivated to listen and to try and help the population with issues. Inhabitants took part in the conception of VAM project through meetings with neighbourhood associations, “Parish Weeks” (decentralisation of the local government to the five parishes for a week) and public debates, as also thought communication with the different city hall employers. At the same time, a co-working process as an extern stakeholders work occurs inside the City Hall, that leads not only to a co-design process but also a co-production one. The implementation of the project includes various partners such as AutoEuropa (vehicle production), AutoVision and CEIIA (R&D Centers), in order to satisfy the citizens' needs, and provides the city hall with solutions in smart symbioses and synergies.

    What difference has it made?

    VAM is part of the Integrated Urban Development, Governance and Social Inclusion Strategies of Palmela municipality. The VAM project contributes to the improvement of quality services available to citizens, tailoring the services to their needs and thus avoiding long travels through the country, to reducing bureaucracy and streamlining processes, to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of services in a global quality perspective in accordance with the new model of decentralised attendance of public services (integrated and multichannel), to the organisational development and economic and financial sustainability of the municipality; to the promotion of innovation for the benefit of local communities, and to the increasing qualification of human resources. Therefore, VAM is an important project for territory development, increasing the ability to attract and support inhabitants and economic activities as well as promoting social and economic cohesion and governance-by-partnership processes. By using the Internet in order to find the best solution for citizens' needs, the VAM project is a crucial stage in the implementation of the Palmela Human Smart City Hall strategy.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The VAM could be replicated in the whole country, or in other European countries, because a territorial presence of public services in rural or isolated areas has been rethought in most countries in the European Union. Considering the need to provide public services to these populations, usually with specific needs, and the economic and financial unfeasibility to maintain the traditional fixed front desk administration, the bet on a format using a mobile unit promotes greater efficiency and effectiveness, allowing even greater personalisation of the service provided. The possibility of using vehicles with different functions of public services (i.e. health and education) could be considered.

    Is a transfer practice
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  • Bee path


    Building together the story of bees in urban areas

    Maruška Markovčič
    Senior adviser, City of Ljubljana
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    292 988


    The Bee Path was opened in 2015 by the city of Ljubljana (SI), a municipality aware of the importance of pollinators for the sustainability of cities. The path is designed in such a way that visitors can comprehend the importance of bees for our survival and our food safety, discover the necessity of honey in our daily diet, but also find out more about the city's beekeeping culture. Various stakeholders are involved in the initiative: educational, cultural and health institutions, businesses, NGOs, and of course, beekeepers. As a matter of fact, two-thirds of the total surface of Ljubljana are rural areas, in which 826 farms operate. The city puts great emphasis on self-sustainability. By doing so, Ljubljana tries to shorten food supply chains and ensure food sovereignty.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The City of Ljubljana is firmly linked to beekeeping. Around 300 beekeepers maintain more than 4 500 beehives housing as many as 180 million bees. In the Strategy for Rural Development of the City of Ljubljana (2014-2020), the quality of agriculture and forestry goods, with the aim of self-sufficiency, is one of the important goals which should be achieved by an increase of beekeeping in rural and urban areas. There is a support system for bees, and recommendations for all residents that want to keep bees in urban areas. Within the Bee Path program, the urban beehives and bee stands have been designed to meet the demands of urban space. The city has also planted melliferous plants and trees with an emphasis on indigenous plants. Thus, the biodiversity has been maintained, and due to the higher number of pollinators, the self-sufficiency of the city has risen. The city administration and Ljubljana Tourist Board have created a bee-keeping education trail for tourists that connects the main locations of Ljubljana’s bee-keepers. Numerous promotional actions and presentations create bridges of understanding between beekeepers and citizens.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The city encourages ecological good practices in beekeeping. Besides maintaining forest areas in the city, new boulevards and perennial plants on public green areas are planted. By co-financing bee associations in Ljubljana, the level of professional competence of beekeepers has risen.
    The Bee Path is also a good practice in the cities' circular economy, where all partners use ecological and reusable materials. We are also upgrading the content with the story of wild pollinators, and building environment-friendly wooden beehives with green roofs.
    The main focus of the Bee Path is children. All beekeeper associations have beekeeping clubs in schools or at home. Here, children learn about the importance of bees for our survival, develop a working attitude, socialise and acquire knowledge of the importance of honey for our health. Students also learn the basics of apitherapy in 10 beekeeping clubs, including over 200 students, currently operating within the city.
    Special attention is also given to the elderly. We carry out various educational activities, field trips and lectures, where experts talk about the importance of honey and bee products for their health. All activities on the Bee Paths (promotion, Honey Day, events, training, networking, collaboration, etc.) are a small part of the efforts of the Beekeepers Association of Slovenia, to promote the 20th of May as World Bee Day by the UN.

    Based on a participatory approach

    Besides the city of Ljubljana, the Bee Path includes five beekeeper associations, the University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Architecture, the Biotechnical Faculty, the National Farming Institute, the University Botanic Gardens of Ljubljana and the Biotechnical Educational Centre of Ljubljana. Very important are also private companies (BTC City, Park Hotel, Ljubljana Pharmacy, Ljubljana Castle, Medex), NGO’s (Beyond a Construction Site Community-Based Garden, Eneja Institute-social enterprise, Beekeeper Society Barje, Urban Beekeeper Society) and several cultural institutions. The most important however are the 13 beekeepers. Members of Bee Path connect with each other and build new, successful stories. Pedagogical programs, prepared by the city, connects four partners – the Botanical Garden, the BIC Ljubljana (a culinary educational centre), the Plenik house (museum) and the Biotechnical faculty. The programme presents four contents – honey plants, sensory properties of the honey, bee cultural heritage and the life cycle of the bees. The Bee Path concept is designed to cover any possible level, from the education of the young to the training of beekeepers, to connect cultural and natural heritage, to promote different public events (Honey day) where citizens get to know bees, their products and their importance for our existence. Beekeeping also became a tourist attraction in Ljubljana.

    What difference has it made?

    As the good practice city, Ljubljana has used the BeePathNet project to:

    • Prove that the BEE PATH good practice can be transferred to other cities and can sucesfuly function in other cultural, natural and operational environments. Subsequnetly, proving that the Bee-friendly Cities Network could be established on a transnational level.
    • Develop BEE PATH Transfer Guidelines as a tool for attraction and expansion of the Bee-friendly Cities Network.
    • Evolving the ULG with new ULG members and enablin ULG members to network and exchange experiences with ULG memebers from other cities, thus reenforcing teir efforts.
    • Develop a Long-term BEE PATH Development Vision and open the discussion with ULG memebers about its future development and potential changes in its management model.
    • Finalize the touristic/educational path, mark it is space, develop a map for visitors and promote it amongst visitors and citizens.
    • Upgrade the educational programme and kick-off the api-kindergarten programme in Ljubljana.
    • Start cooperating with other cities in Slovenia and kick-off the trasfer proces on the national level with the City of Maribor.

    Transferring the practice

    Over 2.5 years, Ljubljana has led the BeePathNet network, transferring its practice to 5 other cities: Cesena (Italy), Amarante (Portugal), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Nea Propontida (Greece), 12th District of Budapest – Hegyvidék (Hungary). You can, in particular, check Bydgoszcz’s Good practice here. The approach was based on 9 modules which adaptable to each city’s reality: Active partnership establishment and management, Higher municipality administration involvement, Awareness rising and promotion for citizens, Development of a “Bee Path” as a tourist and/or bee-product promotional platform, Education programmes for kindergartens and primary schools, Biodiversity maintenance, Support mechanisms for new bee-products, Conceptual design of a local product promotion and selling point and Awareness increase monitoring system.The modules are all available in the form of the BEE PATH Tranfer Guidelines on the URBACT website. There you can also find BeePathNet Lerning Logs providing transfer journeys and key results of all involved cities. Furthermore, Ljubljana sucesfully adressed other cities in Slovenia and even kicked-off off the transfer proces on the national level with the City of Maribor. With succesfull implementation of the BeePathNet project, Ljubljana sucesfully established the Bee-friendly Cities Network – an initiative with substantial growth potential thanks to URBACT and its transfer networks operational model.

    Is a transfer practice
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  • Collective school catering


    A sustainable initiative for a territorial agri-food policy

    Gilles Perole
    Elected representative of Mouans-Sartoux
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    10 331
    • Adapted by the BioCanteens Transfer Network
    • and by the BioCanteen#2 pilot


    Mouans-Sartoux is a city of 10,000 inhabitants located on the French Riviera. Since 1998, the city has been connecting food, health and environmental issues. To overcome the lack of a local organic food offer, a municipal farm was created, and two farmers hired to grow vegetables for school canteens, thus meeting 85% of the needs of the three local schools (1,000 meals per day). Public procurement rules were changed so that local producers could answer calls for bids.
    Since then, the city has been serving daily meals in its schools that are 100% local and organic. Developing this approach, Mouans-Sartoux is now working on local agri-food systems and education to extend the initiative at national, European and international levels.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    This initiative offers multiple benefits:

    • 100% organic meals, by a progressive increase of organic sourcing (adaptation of the public procurement policy) with no extra costs;
    • Dramatic reduction of food waste by a set of simple solutions. The economic savings made it possible to offer 100% organic food, served in the canteens at a constant cost. Public procurement rules were reoriented towards local products, using a set of criteria focusing on food quality, environment preservation and cost;
    • Creation of a municipal farm to deliver local organic vegetables to the canteens;
    • Employment protection: two municipal farmers collaborate with cooks, a nutritionist, managerial staff and elected representatives. Short supply chains and local consumption have increased employment;
    • Shift to a healthy diet: food quality, nutritional standards (PNNS), providing fresh, seasonal and balanced non-industrial products, local and organic, cooked on-site from raw products. An effort is put into vegetable proteins in the diet, a savings that enables the purchase of better quality meat;
    • The MEAD (House for Sustainable Food and Education) aims at developing a set of projects related to municipal agri-food policy;
    • Behavioural change: an Observatory of Sustainable Food was created to follow up on actions and families’ food and consumption habits and evolution of their practices;
    • Sustainable land use: to deal with urban sprawl, the local urban planning strategy protected 112 ha. of agricultural land, thus tripling the area dedicated to farming.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    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 jobs (2 jobs at the municipal farm, 2 jobs at the local grocery store), and a social dimension by supporting a "Jardin de Cocagne" as part of a national network: an organic farm that employs 50 people offering social integration through economic activity.
    The other social aspect is the access to sustainable food in the canteens for every pupil, who pays a price adapted to his or her parents’ income. Shifting to 100% organic with no price increase can also be considered as sustainable. Moreover, educating children in nutrition, health, food origin and products, fair trade, etc., is a core action of the project.
    Territorial integration: the project is well integrated in the overall strategy of the city since it manages its own public services (water supply, canteens, farming, etc.), giving autonomy in decision making.
    The project adopts a transversal approach and shared governance through the collaboration of many internal services such as youth and education (through animation, school catering, health, prevention and sustainable development sectors), environmental services (managing the municipal farm), the city urban planning office (especially for the agricultural land area project aiming to install new farmers), with crucial cooperation among all stakeholders.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The project triggers empowerment. Many citizen initiatives have emerged, like local grocery stores (Boomerang: unpacked-food shop, MCE: Fair-trade NGO), community gardens, local groups working on sustainable development actions (Collectif Mouansemble), Incredible Edible, etc. People are particularly involved in the city's activities, and there are many project leaders.
    Multi-level governance: through the MEAD and the Observatory for Sustainable School Catering steering committees, the project associates a wide range of actors in the field of agriculture, health, environment and sustainable development who take part in the governance of the whole good practice: consular chambers (Chambre d’Agriculture), NGOs and national networks of the organic sector (Agribio06, Un Plus Bio), public health NGOs (CODES, CRES: regional and local health committees), decentralised state services (DRAAF: Ministry of Agriculture Regional Service), universities and research institutes (INRA Avignon: agronomy, Côte d’Azur university, LASCAUX: research on food access and food laws, ITAB: organic farming research institute, etc.).
    Being part of the AGRI-URBAN project, local stakeholders are associated as members and partners of the URBACT Local Group (AGRI-URBAN): citizens, parents’ associations, private sector (cooperatives, NGOs, farmers), multi-scaled administrative and educational institutions, etc. By changing their eating behaviour, parents as well as the local population are significant stakeholders of the project.

    What difference has it made?

    As a result of this initiative, a circular economy approach was developed. Projects were born thanks to the change of mentalities (i.e. direct marketing of food goods such as AMAP (Community Supported Agriculture), and small local grocery stores like Boomerang). Jobs linked to local agri-food systems were created (production, retail, sales, organisation). The demand for quality local products is high.
    Other results involve:

    • Environmental protection: zero pesticides, increase of biodiversity by organic crop production and use of melliferous plants that attract pollinators, short low carbon supply chain;
    • Agriculture: the Local Urban Plan Strategy has tripled the agricultural area, allowing the installation of an organic farmer who sells his production locally. In 2016, the municipal farm produced 24 tons of organic vegetables for schools, covering 85% of the requirements;
    • Food waste: 80% decrease in canteens, 30g/meal are now wasted instead of 150g (national average);
    • The observatory: public health and food diets have evolved. Surveys done in 2013 and 2016 revealed that the proportion of families in Mouans-Sartoux who eat 100% organic food has increased from 6% to 13% (in France, less than 2% eat 100% organic, BVA survey 2014). In 2016, 85% of the sample declared that their food practices, behaviour and way of consumption had changed. 31% of parents buy at the producer’s once a week (vs. 19% at national level), 20% weekly at the farmers’ market, and 99% of parents are satisfied with the city’s food policy.

    Transferring the practice

    It has also improved its own practice on the following objectives identified in the city’s improvement plan at the beginning of BioCanteens transfer network Further involving citizens and local stakeholders in the city’s food project Launch of the project Citizen feeding the town (Citoyen Nourrit la Ville) in 2020. In this project, citizens are invited to carry out a participatory mapping of unused public and private lands with the view to turn them into family plots self-managed by small groups of participants, who commit to redistribute a share of their yields to the city’s social grocery. More importantly, a group of citizens was created to ensure a smooth project steering, and to progressively raise their awareness on a wide diversity of food-related policy topics (ex. Food sovereignty, preservation of agricultural lands, food poverty etc.) beyond the issue of market gardening. This group will become the first basis and test-bed of Mouans-Sartoux’s future local food policy council. Taking stock of the relative failure of Mouans-Sartoux ‘s ULG (progressive disengagement of participants because of an overt-intellectual approach), the MEAD team opted to support people’s mobilisation into the city’s food governance through a progressive , flexible and concrete manner. Strengthening the social dimension of the Good Practice A study to better understand the eating and purchase habits of the social grocery’s beneficiaries was carried out enabling to better adapt the service delivered by the city’s centre for social action (upcoming organisation of workshops of sustainable food , better (more attractive) presentation of vegetables on food stalls, partnerships with local organic suppliers to improve the quality of food distributed...) Increasing action-research activities and partnerships with academia, research centres and relevant practitioners. (Pending approval in June 2021): Application to a call for project at national level (Programme National pour l’Alimentation) to carry out an action-research project on how to ensure the coordination of different local authorities’ food project at different governance levels (city, group of cities/metropolitan areas, département). The project’s hypothesis to be verified through 4 case-studies (City of Marseille/Métropole Aix-Marseille- Provence/Bouches du Rhône, Mouans-Sartoux/Alpes Maritimes, Plouguerneau, Epinal) is to show that a food project needs to be developed at each level of local governance, that there is not one better level to coordinate them than the others, but that coordination is needed to build a common narrative and objectives, despite possible different actions. (Approved in June 2021) : A research project will be launched in the second half of 2021 for 2 years in collaboration with the University Hospital of Nice to measure the impact of the sustainable canteens project onto children health (epigenetics study). (Also relevant for the point below) Greater dissemination of the city’s food project and know-how at regional, national and international levels Over 2.5 years, Mouans-Sartoux has led the BIOCANTEENS network, transferring its practice to 6 other cities: LAG Pays des Condruses (Belgium), Vaslui (Romania), Trikala (Greece), Rosignano Marittimo (Italy), Torres Vedras (Portugal) and Troyan (Bulgaria). You can, in particular, check Troyan’s Good practice here. The approach was based on 8 modules which adaptable to each city’s reality: a municipal farm platform, kitchen micro good practices, organic demand and offer, food governance, food sovereignty vision, open dialogues and outreach, working with public procurement, and food education micro good practices The modules are all available as handbook on the URBACT website. Mouans-Sartoux also shared its practice more widely:

    • At national level:
      • via the Cantines durables – Territoires Engagés, French transfer of the practice of Mouans-Sartoux, making it a French BIOCANTEENS network;
      • via a training programme called Management of Sustainable Food Projects for Territorial Communities, in order to adapt and develop projects according to each city's individual situation, together with the University of Côte d’Azur; and,
      • as a significant stakeholder of the national community network Un Plus Bio.
    • at European/international level:
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  • Atlas of metropolitan spaces


    An atlas of interdependency and interconnections, with a view to implementing efficient partnerships across the territory as a whole

    François Cougoule
    Urban Designer, a’urba
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    For the Agence d'urbanisme Bordeaux métropole Aquitaine (AURBA), accepting that society functions as a network is central to understanding the changes at work in urban and metropolitan systems. In 2016, they produced an atlas of the metropolitan spaces of Bordeaux (FR) that not only analyses the evolution of factors like population, employment and mobility, but also shows exchanges with other territories.
    The idea is that this “relational approach” to certain spaces enables the notion of changing reality to be integrated into their development and urban management. In this way territories can be understood according to their interdependency and interconnections, rather than in terms of distribution and localisation alone.
    The atlas builds on the conviction that in a context of diminishing public resources and inward-looking attitudes, improving familiarity with, and understanding of, our neighbours fosters greater openness and new forms of partnership.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Metropolisation is a process. Our analysis does not focus on a finished geographic object, but rather seeks to shed light on dynamic processes and trends. Our angles of interpretation and perimeters are multiple. Pre-existing limits are discarded in favour of explorations of territories fashioned by exchange networks. The Bordeaux metropolitan area is varied in nature - Bordeaux exchanges employees with the Arcachon basin and Libourne, patients with La Rochelle and Toulouse, clients with Bayonne and Langon, second home owners with Royan and Périgueux, spectators with Angoulême and Toulouse, engineers and editors with Paris and Lyon, tourists with Barcelona and London, students with Bucharest and Dakar, researchers with Munich and Los Angeles, and bottles of wine with the whole world. Our aim is to promote ways of developing territorial strategies in full knowledge of the forces at work, the existing stocks, interactions and exchange networks. Whether metropolisation is to be endured or desired, ignored or regulated, it concerns everyone. The issues at stake are thus extremely numerous - demography, migration, employment, the economy, public facilities, services, the environment, tourism, local resources. In addition to exhaustive monographs of stabilised perimeters and detailed indicators, dynamic explorations are also presented, with a view to comparing and contrasting different scales, themes and objects of observation (as well as exchanges and stocks).

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Over and above urban challenges, specifically territorial challenges lie at the heart of this atlas. Understanding the functional reality of a territory, by comparing and contrasting themes and scales is the raison d’être of this work, as a means of shaping a global, structuring vision of how territories function. This approach examines a variety of interrelated themes: the environment (water resources, nature reserves etc.), the economy (links between head offices and branches, patents, exports etc.) or social factors (residential migration, utilities and public facilities, etc.). Horizontal thematic integration is essential if we are to gain a full grasp of the metropolisation phenomenon. This comparative approach is also adopted in terms of spatial scale, as a means of exploring this subject on a comprehensive level. Metropolisation is of course a large-scale phenomenon, taking place on the European or world scale, but it is first and foremost a daily development, clearly observable in cities and neighbourhoods.

    Based on a participatory approach

    A participative approach has not been implemented in the development and production phase. The complexity of the phenomenon under study is such that it demanded the formation of an academic committee comprising researchers in the field of geography and experts in data analysis and cartography. The most significant phase is now commencing, with the delivery of our first results for discussion. These findings were initially addressed to political decision-makers, as they are directly responsible for managing territorial resources. The light shed on existing and upcoming partnerships makes it possible to make budget savings by offering support to ongoing dynamics (be they social or economic). The results are also of interest to people living in the areas studied. People across the region have shown a clear interest in our research and cartography during public presentations of our work.

    What difference has it made?

    As described above, our research aims to shed light on areas of effective partnership between territories, towns and cities. In the current climate, it is becoming increasingly necessary for services, facilities and resources of all natures to be pooled, and towns will be able to build on our findings to begin to work with rather than against each other. This will make way for the creation of new structures on which partnerships may be founded, such as the “Metropolitan Poles” already in action across France, through which territories commit to clearly defined cooperation goals in a range of precise areas (e.g. academia, culture, economic development).

    Why should other European cities use it?

    Metropolisation is a process which affects the whole of Europe, both in urban, peri-urban and rural environments. While major conurbations often see it as a positive element, rural and outlying areas seem to endure rather than control it. Tracing the contours of the process shows that, in reality, all territories have their part to play and that rather than merely modifying the size of our towns, a whole set of measures and policies of an inherently local nature are driving this trend. If metropolisation is inevitable, then it is important that it be understood by all, and that all territories should play their role to the full.

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