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  • INT-HERIT

    https://twitter.com/INTHERIT2017
    https://www.facebook.com/Int-Herit-138269500020260/

    Timeline

    Project Launch - Phase 1
    Phase 2 Final Conference - Mantova (Italy)
    Phase 2 Kick Off Meeting - Baena (Spain)
    Phase 2 development

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    AYUNTAMIENTO DE BAENA

    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain

    CONTACT US

    The INT-HERIT implementation network brings together 9 European cities facing challenges related to the revitalisation of their cultural heritage. These cities learn from each other and help each other to develop local strategies in order to make their cities an attractive place to live, work and visit. The network focuses on the implementation of innovative models through integrated and sustainable local strategies. It will increase awareness of strategies and plans, improving the capacity of cities to manage their heritage and enable their social and economic development.

    Innovative Heritage Management
    Ref nid
    8826
  • INTERACTIVE CITIES

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (Alba Iulia).
    Transnational meetings in February (Lisbon), June (Tartu) and October (Ghent).
    Transnational meeting in January (Murcia). Final event in April (Genoa).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

    This Action Planning network explored how digital, social media and user generated content can improve today’s urban management in European cities, whatever size. This challenge has been tackled in two ways: as an opportunity to redefine and deepen the concept of citizenship and civic engagement today, providing a path to spark cohesion, commonalities and shared value as well as increasing sense of place. As well as a way to improve the quality of public services, in terms of efficiency and transparency, and even widen the current service chart provided by local authorities.

    Digital, social media and user-generated content improving urban governance
    Ref nid
    7465
  • RUMOURLESS CITIES

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Timeline

    First Transnational workshop and Kick Off meeting
    Second Transnational Workshop
    Fourth Transnational Workshop
    Third Transnational Workshop
    First online seminar
    Second Online Seminar
    Third Online Seminar
    Final event

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    The Rumourless Cities transfer network is focused on the transfer of good practice established by the municipality of Amadora which addresses a need across all partners, namely how to counter growing negative attitudes towards a cross section of groups in society, which includes long established migrants (Third country nationals), Roma, recently arrived refugees, LGBTI people, and general homophobic stereotyping. This is an issue that is recognized at an EU level. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency in its 2018 report highlights how discrimination is still widespread within the EU . The report highlights that discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin continues to be regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination in the EU (64%), followed by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (58%), gender identity (56%), religion or belief (50%), disability (50%), age (being over 55 years old, 42%) and gender (37%).

    Prevent discrimination, strengthen cohesion
    Ref nid
    12135
  • Find your Greatness

    Summary

    Lead Partner : Alba Iulia - Romania
    • Bragança - Portugal
    • Candelaria - Spain
    • Limerick - Ireland
    • 22nd district of Budapest (Budafok-Tétény) - Hungary
    • Perugia - Italy
    • Võru County - Estonia
    • Wroclaw - Poland

    Alba Iulia Municipality, Calea Motilor 5A, 510134, Romania

    CONTACT US

    Timeline

    Kick-Off Meeting

    2nd Transnational Meeting

    3rd Transnational Meeting in Alba Iulia

    4th Transnational Meeting in Wroclaw

    5th Transnational Meeting in Voru

    6th Transnational Meeting in Braganca

    7th Transnational Meeting in Alba Iulia

    8th Transational Meeting in Budafok

    9th Final Project Conference in Perugia

    Find your Greatness is a concept that reflects the most challenges addressed by AIM together with other EU local communities. Why Find your Greatness? Because the challenge is to build on the cities' potential. In the case of the partners of the project the need identified locally and which was built as a sustainable mechanism generating urban development, the need to explore and enhance the potential of the city, combining strategic marketing approach with innovative smart city tools.

    Europe's first strategic brand building program for smart cities
    Ref nid
    13509
  • 23 Action Planning Networks ready for Phase 2!

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    15/11/2022

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

    News

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

    NETWORK

    PARTNERS

    DESCRIPTION

    Research, technological development and innovation

    UrbSecurity

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

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

    Find your Greatness

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

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

    Access to and use of ICT

    DigiPlace
    (previously DI4C)

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

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

    IoTxChange

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

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

    Competitiveness of SMEs

    iPlace

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

    - Saldus (LV)

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

    Tourism Friendly Cities

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

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

    Low carbon economy in all sectors

    Urb-En Pact

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

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

    Zero Carbon Cities
    (previously ZCC)

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

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

    Environmental protection and resource efficiency

    RiConnect

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

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

    URGE

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

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

    Healthy Cities

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

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

    KAIRÓS

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

     

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

     

    Resourceful Cities
    (previously UrbReC)

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

     

    This network seeks to develop the next generation of urban resource centers to promote the positive economic, environmental and social impacts for the circular economy. They facilitate waste prevention, reuse, repair and recycling. The centers also work as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers and the public sector to co-create new ways to close resource loops at the local level.

    FOOD CORRIDORS
    (previously Rurban Food)

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

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

    Health&Greenspace

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

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

    Sustainable transport

    Space4People

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

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

    Thriving Streets

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

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

    Employment protection and resource efficiency

    SIBdev

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

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

    Social inclusion and poverty

    ROOF

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

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

    ActiveCitizens

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

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

    Access

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

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

    Genderedlandscape

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

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

    Education, skills and lifelong learning

    Cities4CSR

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

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

     

    -

     

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

    From urbact
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    Ref nid
    13928
  • It's time to Find your Greatness

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    15/11/2022

    Eight cities have joined the URBACT Action Planning Network (APN) 'Find Your Greatness' aiming to boost their sustainable urban development by defining their strategic brand position and increasing their attractiveness and competitiveness.

    Articles
    City Branding

    The need for city branding

     

    Cities are competing for people, resources and business, therefore a demand for a unified city strategy has been constantly increasing. Since the 1990s, city branding has been a key factor in urban development policies. Cities all over the world take specific actions to manipulate their image and perceptions, both in the eyes of the inhabitants and those of potential tourists, investors, users and consumers.

    While capitals and other large cities typically enjoy the advantages of a strong metropolitan vibe, population diversity and higher financial resources, mid-sized and smaller towns and cities often struggle to attract attention. Without making themselves recognisable on the broader regional or global map, they can face decreasing recognition, relevance and competitiveness on the global market.

    City branding is a complementary tool to strategic urban planning. It defines what the place is (brand essence), what the place would like to become (brand vision), what differentiates the place (positioning), the voice of the place (personality) and key messages and experiences (emotional benefits). A strong integrated city brand provides strategic guidelines for city growth, sets priorities for capital investment and services, and is a vehicle for long-term sustainable urban development.

     

    Building on an URBACT success story

     

    Alba Iulia in Romania was a partner in the URBACT CityLOGO network (2013-2015). Through this, it improved its promotion locally and abroad, and witnessed a significant increase in interest from national and international tourists, business developers and investors.

    These results inspired Alba Iulia Municipality to want to develop their thinking even further. It launched the idea of a network of small and medium-sized cities in Europe to exchange and learn on city branding, marketing and communication. The ‘Find Your Greatness’ APN was the successful result, a partnership of eight cities launched in late 2019: Limerick (IE), Perugia (IT), Braganca (PT), Candelaria (ES), Wroclaw (PL), Budafok (HU) and Voru (EE), led by Alba Iulia (RO).

    All the partner towns and cities are aware that they need to become visible, to communicate their brand vision and to increase their competitive position. At the same time, each city has its own profile, challenges, objectives, and expectations.

    Alba Iulia wants an updated branding and marketing strategy that would include smart city developments. Limerick has just launched its city brand and would like to

    achieve improved ownership of the brand by Limerick’s inhabitants and to use this to build community spirit.

    Perugia wants to enhance its strategic brand positioning, building on its cultural heritage - including its great Etruscan walls - and other cultural assets. Braganca looks for an update of its marketing and communication strategy that would position it as the first choice for digital and smart industry development, tourism and gastronomy, attractive natural environment and high quality of life in Portugal.

    Candelaria, on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, attracts mass pilgrimage to venerate the ‘Virgin of Candelaria’ in its famous Basilica di Candelaria. The municipality would like to diversify and enrich its touristic and gastronomic offer in order to achieve a more economically efficient and sustainable tourism.

    The main focus of thematic brand development of Wroclaw is its important industrial heritage of trams, tram lines and tram depots. Meanwhile, the basis for the thematic branding of Budafok, the 22nd district of Budapest, is its long and rich wine tradition, including a unique heritage of 130 km of wine cellars. It seeks to further exploit its sparkling wine production and thematic wine tours combined with gastronomic and cultural events.

    Voru, the smallest partner city in the network is aiming to define its identity as a safe, relaxing and family-friendly town that is also a smart town, making it an attractive location to develop a business, to live and to visit.

     

    City branding: a challenging topic

     

    Already, my visits to the network’s partner cities, site visits and meetings with politicians, municipality administrations, business entities, academics, NGOs and media representatives have highlighted the complexity of the project theme.

    Generalising across the individual situations of each city, we have been able to identify the following groups of themes/policy challenges that will be addressed by international learning and exchange in the 2nd phase of the project:

    • Branding, brand strategy and logo development
    • Marketing and communication strategy development
    • Use of smart e-solutions in marketing and communication fitting in the smart city programme
    • Building community spirit
    • Innovative, creative, digital (smart) business development
    • Cultural and industrial heritage protection, promotion and exploitation
    • Tourism, excursions and experience-based activities
    • Green and sustainable development

    Half of the towns and cities have already developed either overarching or thematic brands, with a visual identity, and marketing and communication plans. Each has good practices, knowledge and experiences to share; and each has also a need to enrich their understanding, learn new skills and knowledge, and develop new ideas to be introduced into their local actions.

     

    Some busy years ahead

     

    Despite the complexity of the challenges, in each partner city I have found a strong commitment from all stakeholders and project teams to work intensively and professionally in the project and to achieve its objectives. ULGs – URBACT Local Groups have been formed in all partner towns and cities. In most, participation and co-creation are already applied methods in city governance and decision-making.

    Integrated Action Plans (IAPs) for each project partner city will be the main output of the network, setting out the objectives, policy challenges, actions and expected results of improved branding for each city. Each IAP will be complementary to the broader urban and strategic development plans of the cities. In other words, the strategic development vision of cities will be supported by their strategic brand vision.

    This will need to be communicated to citizens, visitors, business developers and investors. The final effect should be increased satisfaction and quality of life of citizens.

    Cities gathered in the Find your Greatness network are aware of the importance of brands, branding and marketing and are also aware that this will require their full engagement during the project duration and afterwards. They recognise and highlight that there is no shortcut in the definition of a strategic brand vision or its practical implementation to build the image of the city.

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  • FOOD CORRIDORS

    LEAD PARTNER : Union of Bassa Romagna Municipalities - Italy
    • Alba Iulia - Romania
    • BSC Kranj and Gorenjska - Slovenia
    • Larissa - Greece
    • Region of Coimbra - Portugal
    • Szecseny - Hungary
    • Tartu - Estonia

    Timeline

    Kick-Off Meeting - Phase I

    Kick-Off Meeting - Phase 2

    Webinar "Culture, Gastronomy and Territorial Food Brands"

    Integrated Action Plans

    IAP Region of Coimbria
    Da natureza para a sua mesa - Coimbra region food strategy

    Read more here!

    Region of Coimbra - Italy
    Integrated Action Plan Gorenjska Region

    Read more here !

    Gorenjska Region - Slovenia
    Empowering rural & urban food connections within European regions

    Read more here!

    Union of Municipalities of Bassa Romagna - Italy
    Integrated Action Plan Alba Iulia

    Read more here!

    Alba Iulia - Romania
    ‘FROM FARM TO FORK AND BACK AGAIN’ BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN METROPOLITAN GASTRONOMY AND SMALL SCALE FARMS OF THE PERIPHERY

     

    Read more here!

    Szécsény - Hungary
    Tarty County Food Strategy

    Read more here

    Tartu - Estonia

    Recent experience suggests that it is necessary to promote a transition towards regional food systems. FOOD CORRIDORS encourages the creation of a network of cities committed to the design of food plans that extend from the urban and peri-urban areas through a corridor that facilitates an urban-rural connection. This approach enhances the generation of production and consumption environments founded on a base of economic, social and environmental sustainability.

    Empowering rural & urban food connections within European regions
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  • What now for the EU’s urban policy agenda?

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    15/11/2022

    Camelia Coporan tells us about Romania's EU presidency, the benefits of transnational city networks and territorial cooperation.

    News
    Air quality

    As Finland step-up to lead the EU Council, Jamie Mackay spoke with Camelia Coporan, Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration in Romania, about her country’s outgoing presidency, the benefits of transnational networks for cities, and vital role of territorial cooperation in tackling the climate emergency.

    JM - Looking back on the last six months of Romania’s EU presidency, what do you see as its biggest achievements for cities?

    CC - Our biggest success was to secure the continuation of interregional programmes in the 2021-2027 period. This is a big chance for European cities to continue networking, increase cooperation and exchange experiences with the aim of improving urban development policies, using the method and governance process of the URBACT programme.

    JM - What are the biggest challenges facing Romanian cities today? How do they reflect and differ from other European contexts?

    CC - After a difficult economic transition period, small and medium cities in Romania are struggling to find an identity and keep pace with modern development. Differences, especially compared to western European cities, are not only economic but also reflected in the way that urban policies struggle to put people first. Romanian cities need ideas from across Europe or a validation of their ideas by other cities facing similar challenges. Mutual learning by common experiences and experimenting with new informal procedures and solutions using imaginative approaches is absolutely vital.

    JM - The URBACT Monitoring committee met in Alba Iulia (RO) this year. How did you decide on it as a venue?

    CC - Alba Iulia is not only a Romanian but one of Eastern Europe's most impressive success stories. URBACT and EU funds have contributed to the restoration of the Alba Carolina citadel and the transformation of the historic part of the city. This has made the city one of Romania’s most important tourist destinations, with more than 500,000 visitors a year. In the process it has created an economic environment in which local entrepreneurs can develop businesses and generate employment. Alba Iulia is also the first Romanian lead partner of the URBACT Programme, so we wanted to highlight these achievements.

    JM - What other urban solutions have been pioneered in Romania over the past few years?

    CC - There are many examples of quality projects in which Romanian cities are involved. Slatina has been developing a long-term strategy to clear up the city’s roads and encourage public transport use. Thanks to participation in URBACT CityMobilNet network, they formed a local group to finalise their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and received EU funding to build a fleet of hybrid buses.

    Another example is Baia Mare, a municipality that is restructuring its economy away from industry towards services and manufacturing. As part of the URBACT BoostInno network, the city experimented with new tools to help stimulate civic engagement, starting with a participatory budget.

    I’d also like also to mention Cluj-Napoca as the first Eastern European city to benefit from European funding through the Urban Innovative Actions program. The EUR 5.6 million project aims to analyse and test scenarios that allow the cultural, academic, business and administrative sector as well as the community more generally to prepare for the inevitable changes to the labour market which will be seen over the next 20 years.

    JM - The Finnish presidency have just published their programme. One of their priorities - along with security, promoting social inclusion and strengthening common values - is to further position the EU as a global leader in climate action. What role can cities play in that process?

    CC - 55 % of all humans live in urban areas, where they account for about 70 % of all annual carbon emissions. Cities are therefore a key contributor to climate change. At the same time, cities have the power to change the world. It’s important that decision makers at all levels acknowledge that we are facing a real environmental emergency. Our Presidency’s motto was Cohesion, a common European value. We chose this to demonstrate our belief that cohesion is as important an element as competitiveness for the European paradigm. The European territorial cooperation policy that we advocate can likewise build this trust between cities. This will be essential for taking climate action among other things. 

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  • Rumours or reality?

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    15/11/2022

    Programme Lead Expert, Ruth Essex, shares her insights into promoting social cohesion and challenging the nature of rumour- ideas from her experience with Amadora, Portugal (PT)

    Articles
    Migrants

    Immigrants take work off Portuguese people

    Immigrants live off grants from the state” 

    Foreign children create problems in schools

    These were some of the rumours found to be circulating in Amadora… not unfamiliar comments heard in many cities across Europe.

    Indeed, immigration continues to be one of the most prominent political issues in Europe. In recent years the exceptional migratory flows together with the global economic crisis have inflamed political extremism and led to growing distrust from local communities towards migrant populations - both established and new. Voters in many countries consider immigration to be one of the most pressing challenges facing their country, and ‘radical right’ political parties who oppose immigration continue to find support in many countries

    Amadora, a dynamic and multicultural municipality located in Lisbon’s North Metropolitan area decided that it was time to do something about these unfounded rumours. A local network of people and organisations set out to spread more positive and factually accurate messages about the city and it’s inhabitants.

    Do Not Feed the Rumour was the communications campaign and programme of integration activities developed and implemented by Amadora in 2014-15, through participation in the Council of Europe (CoE) project “Communication for Integration: social networking for diversity (C4I)” - a network of 11 cities from 7 European countries. Based upon practice originally developed in Barcelona, Amadora produced their own bespoke and holistic approach to an anti-rumour strategy.  This approach directly and assertively addresses the issue of prejudice and misinformation through dispelling rumours and deconstructing stereotypes.  It also emphasises the potential and positivity of cultural diversity, both promoting inclusion and strengthening community cohesion.

    Amadora firstly undertook a process of local intelligence gathering in order to discover what were the most common rumours being spread locally and to compile the factual (counter-rumour) information. Based on this research, they developed a targeted anti-rumour strategy composed of a viral communications campaign with a strong visual identity, public actions, community discussions, participatory art and theatre workshops and a schools programme. 28 local people attended specialised training to become ‘anti-rumour agents’ and these people acted as advocates for the programme, becoming trainers in their own organisations, cascading knowledge and skills throughout local communities. A perception change evaluation was built into the programme in order to measure the effectiveness of the activities.

    All of this was underpinned by the creation of a strong local network and process of co-production with local stakeholders active in the planning and implementation of the campaign. The project in Amadora involved 75 organisations and reached about 2,500 people. Local participation and political support were key to the success of the campaign.

    According to Carla Tavares, Mayor of Amadora, "It is a project that is intended to continue in a natural and informal way throughout the city. All of us - local authorities, associations and citizens - have some work to do to demystify the many rumors that still exist in our society"

    "School communities, associations and groups in our municipality now have a better awareness regarding the diversity and individuality of each one of us. Even if outsiders do not look at Amadora differently, at least those who are here are proud of their city and realise that this difference we have is what distinguishes us and distinguishes positively. So, in this way the campaign was a catalyst to a new approach to inter-culturality."

    Do Not Feed the Rumour has been recognised by URBACT as a good practice and now Amadora is very excited to be sharing experiences, ideas and a passion for the practice with other European cities through the URBACT Transfer network, Rumourless Cities - a partnership of seven cities - Amadora (PT) (Lead Partner), Cardiff (UK), Hamburg-Altona (DE) , Warsaw (PL), Alba Iulia (RO), Ioaninna (GR) and Messina (IT). Rumourless Cities is one of 25 transfer networks approved by URBACT to support the understanding, adaption and reuse of good practice from cities across Europe through process of peer support and capacity building.

    According to Dina Moreira, programme manager of Do Not Feed the Rumour, “We in Amadora have had such a successful experience with positive results. We are keen to take the opportunity to continue sharing with other cities facing similar challenges and problems and at the same time develop and improve what we are doing in our own territory.” Indeed it was intended that an outcome of the C4I programme would be that participating cities would subsequently form new partnerships and networks to transfer and share anti-rumour strategies. This is becoming a reality through Rumourless Cities.

      While Amadora focused on countering rumours around immigration and immigrants, this network will see the approach adapted and reused to counter existing and growing negative attitudes towards a wider cross section of groups in society which includes long established migrants (Third country nationals), Roma, recently arrived refugees, LGBT people, and general homophobic stereotyping.

      In addition to learning from and adapting practice from Amadora, partner cities will be bringing their own approaches and innovation to anti-rumour activity. For example, Warsaw aims to develop an app and city game focused on combatting prejudice and Cardiff aims to tie in an anti-rumour campaign with developing a new and inclusive narrative for the city. In fact, all partners will bring their own unique contexts, expertise and initiative to the network to create a web of experience and ideas sharing.

      Rumourless Cities will create a rich learning and exchange programme for cities to learn from the good practice Do Not Feed the Rumour and to thereby address some urgent challenges facing cities around cohesion, inclusion and the rise of fake news. It deals with some of the critical challenges of our time:

      • How to build cohesive and open cities
      • How to counter the false stereotypes that lead to racist caricatures and growth of far right groups
      • How to balance the needs of new arrivals with “native” citizens experiencing difficulties
      • How to communicate truth in a “post fact” context that is generated by popular mainstream media

      Despite European anti-discrimination legislation being among the most extensive in the world, the findings of the EU Fundamental Rights Report (2018) confirm that discrimination and unequal treatment on different grounds remain realities in key areas of life throughout the EU. Discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin continues to be regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination in the EU (64%), followed by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (58%), gender identity (56%), religion or belief (50%), disability (50%), age (being over 55 years old, 42%) and gender (37%).

      According to a Eurobarometer survey (2016), Europeans as a whole consider immigration the second (after terrorism) most important issue facing the bloc. A 2016 YouGov poll showed that 52% of Italians, 47% of French 44% of Germans and 38% of Spaniards agree that their country “doesn’t feel like home anymore”. The majority of Belgian, French, German and Italian people support the idea of ending migration from all mainly Muslim countries.

      The issue of community cohesion has become a hot issue not just because there has been a steep increase in numbers of migrants but it is also linked to the growing concerns regarding security, which in turn is linked to the rise of extremism. With high levels of labour migration to many western European countries, as well as continuing pressure to accept refugees and asylum seekers from war zones around the world and a future of rising climate change induced migration, this topic is unlikely to lose its significance in the foreseeable future.

      It is more important than ever that cities join forces look beyond their own limits in order to find already worked out solutions to these difficult issues and work together to maintain peaceful, open societies.

      Find more information and resources about anti-rumour strategy here.

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    • While you were designing your city logo, they built an entire city from scratch

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      15/11/2022

      Adrian Docea gives cities a long overdue wake up call, suggesting they take a leaf out of the private sector to build their brands before it’s too late.

      He says: ‘We’re completely out of time. Europe needs to speed up or we will lose the global battle for attracting investors, tourists, students, ‘startupers’ and the best engineers, inventors and creative minds out there. We’re too slow, too conservative, way too relaxed about our future. Meanwhile the whole world is changing.’

      Articles
      City Branding

      While you were designing your city logo, in Asia they were building entire cities from scratch.

      Europe needs to start invest strategically in city brands. Not logos. Brands.

      In the private sector, companies have been spending billions building their brand. Because they understand that people don’t just buy products, they buy stories. Perception. And the science of managing perception is called Brand Strategy. For all the leading global companies in the world, brand strategy is the foundation of their success. Because brand perception is everything. Research shows that 50% up to 100% of everything we buy is intangible, it’s pure perception. It’s brand.

      Less than 1% of all the European cities have a professionally managed brand

      So then how come less than 1% of all the European cities have a professionally managed brand? If the brand is the single most important ingredient in the success of every single important organization in the history of the humankind - even before we were calling it branding - how come we completely forgot to build brands for our cities?

      A few possible explanations:

      1. People often mistake brands for logos

      Many cities have contracted a logo design and now they’re happy that their city has a ‘brand’. It’s not a brand. It’s a logo. Creating brands is hundreds of times more complex than designing a logo. Without strategy, your logo means nothing. Your brochures are less effective. Your ad campaigns are less effective. Your online presence is less effective. Without a solid city brand strategy, your city is not protected on the global arena, where thousands of cities are competing for the same precious resources: investors, tourists, students, startupers, engineers, inventors, creative minds. Why would they choose your city? Because it has a pretty logo?

      2. The city branding science is new

      Many mayors have never met a city brand strategist to discuss how to differentiate their city from other cities. They don’t know how to find that thing that makes their city unique and capture that unique thing in professionally made campaigns, managed by actual professionals in communication. Most cities in Europe don’t even have a marketing department. Out of the few cities that do, the vast majority of them are led by people with no experience leading major brands in the real world. In the private sector, you are considered an expert brand strategist if you have at least 10 years in high level positions with relevant companies and you have managed at least 20 brands. In the public sector, it’s ok to lead the marketing team if you managed 0 major brands in your career but you have participated to fancy workshops and symposiums and graduated from a decent university. Why is that? Is your city less important than a bag of potato chips? Because the potato chips brand gets better marketing talent than your city marketing team does. And that can’t possibly be right.

      3. Mayors don’t see their city as a product

      They think cities are such complex creatures that city brands can’t be designed using methods that have been tested for decades in the private sector. And they’re right, a city is indeed a complex thing. And you do need experts specialized in city branding. But don’t blame it on complexity. Everything is complex: a global company - often bigger than whole countries - is a complex entity. Even designing personal branding for a celebrity is a complex matter, because humans are complex and it’s difficult to design a brand strategy for a human being. But you can’t postpone building a brand strategy for your city just because a city is a complex thing. Everything is complex. Since when did we stop doing things because it’s difficult, Europe?

      Let’s go back to basics: if there’s an audience that needs to know things about your city and you’re trying to reach that audience with the right message, what you’re dealing with is a product. Whether you like how ‘product’ sounds like, your city is a product. Its success or failure depends on how people perceive your product. And brand = perception. So unless you are prepared to treat your product as a brand and manage it strategically and professionally, your city is on its way to lose the battle.

      Brand building is necessary for your city to be visible in the international arena

      Let’s play a little game: pick 10 random cities in Europe. Normal cities, smaller than 1 million people, not megacities and country capitals - Now Google “visit [name of the city]” and “invest in [name of the city]”. You will realize that most cities use the same cliché phrases and pictures, same online strategies and tools to promote themselves. Moreover, even their slogans are almost identical: “Come to [name of the city], a city for people” (like there are cities out there that were not designed for humans). Or “[Name of the city], more than you expect” or “[Name of the city] is a [wonderful/amazing/fantastic] experience” or “Invest in [name of the city], a great place for business”. Their communication is so mediocre that you will forget what you’ve seen before you even get the chance to share it with another human being.

      The human brain is exposed to more than 3000 commercial messages every day. Every. Single. Day. It remembers 1%. Unless your city brand communicates better, smarter, more creatively than 99 other cities, your message will be wiped out from their brain so fast, they won’t even know they’ve ever seen it. Why is that? Why is it so hard to come up with great advertising campaigns, slogans, websites, social media content for your city? Because we don’t treat city branding seriously. Because it is priority #326 on our list. And it’s never important enough to dedicate time, energy, money and hire the right people to do it right.

      Brand building is so important that, for many successful global companies out there, it is often the #1 priority. The one thing that can determine their success. Because perception is everything. And brand = perception. And brand strategy = managed perception. And without a professionally managed brand, your city’s reputation is in danger. Don’t forget you’re in competition with thousands other cities from all around the world. And they’re all competing for the same finite resources.

      The success story of Alba Iulia (RO)’s branding

      Alba Iulia is not even in the top 30 largest cities in Romania but the ancient capital of Transylvania is the first city brand in Romania and one of the first professionally built brand strategies in Europe, the first Smart City in Romania, the only city in South Eastern Europe to be invited in the CityLogo URBACT Network, first city with a long term marketing strategy, first city with a direct partnership with the World Bank and the list goes on. How was that possible? One of the explanations is that 10 years ago Alba Iulia was already working on its brand strategy, a strategic vision that brought consistency across all the initiatives launched by the city.

      Discover Transylvania Regions’ brand

      The regional brand of Transylvania is most probably the first in the world to be created 100% by private initiative, without any help from public institutions and government. The project attracted private funding and managed to launch a series of initiatives, among them the official travel website, the most complete source of information for tourists interested in Transylvania and the region's most important business conference, that brought together company founders, 7 European embassies and chambers of commerce, start-upers, cultural projects, media. The launching campaign of the regional brand aimed to attract to Transylania the British start-upers unhappy with the Brexit results. The campaign made it to the global media and was covered by The Guardian, Stern, Business Insider, RFI.

      The brand of Transylvania is the living proof that you don't need initial public funding, huge teams and a lot of resources to build a local or regional brand. "Build it and they will come": the project is today completely self-sustainable and growing every year."

      See your City as a Startup

      This is why Europe needs ‘City-as-a-Startup’; a method so simple, so agile, yet so brilliantly effective to help European cities build solid brand strategies. A method designed to help cities find their greatness, tell their story to the world and attract investors, tourists, students, ‘startupers’, engineers, inventors and creative minds. The only downside is that the current ‘City-as-a-Startup’ transfer network led by Alba Iulia can handle up to 7 European cities at the same time and help them build their brands. There are more than 700 other cities in Europe that need help.

      Europe, it’s time to get to work and build strong brands for our cities. It’s time to find our greatness.

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