• URBACT takes stock of 2023

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    Viladecans EU City Lab - site visit

    For URBACT, this has been a year of new beginnings with new networks, people, partnerships and landmark events!  

    Site visit during the EU City Lab in Viladecans (ES).
    From urbact

    Before shifting focus to a new year and new priorities, URBACT looks back on the touchstones and flashpoints that have taken the programme to new thematic and geographic heights. You will also find some hints about what’s in store for 2024.


    1. URBACT approves 1st round of Action Planning Networks


    A total of 254 project partners have joined the URBACT IV Programme, following the approval of 30 Action Planning Networks by the programme’s Monitoring Committee. The new beneficiaries primarily represent small and medium-sized cities across 28 European countries. From the technical to the practical, the holistic to the segmented: these project partners will develop Integrated Action Plans to tackle common local challenges.  

    Get a glimpse of the 30 networks whose topics range from sustainable mobility plans for urban and rural areas, place-based climate action and digital inclusion, to industrial renewal, migrant support, gender equality, green growth and public procurement.


    2. URBACT University welcomes the class of 2023


    From 28-30 August, the URBACT University was held in Malmö (SE). The 2023 edition marked the first in-person gathering of 430 partners from the recently approved Action Planning Networks.  

    Following in the footsteps of previous editions, this year’s landmark capacity-building event provided participants with tools and guidance on how to better define their local challenges and vision for change with the help of civil society. On day 1, participants got familiar with tools like the Problem Tree and the Newspaper of Tomorrow, followed by stakeholder mapping and engagement on day 2, and a new tool (the Action Planning Canvas) on day 3

    Get the main takeaways and watch the video for more highlights, including a bike tour of Malmö’s sustainable urban development initiatives! 

    The URBACT University 2023 was one of a kind, but not the first of its kind. Looking ahead to 2024, national campus events will take place for network beneficiaries. 

    URBACT university days 3rd day


    3. URBACT plugs in to the 1st EU City Lab


    From 23-24 November, the first EU City Lab on Energy Transition was held in Viladecans (ES). This thematic event, co-organised by URBACT and the European Urban Initiative (EUI), is part of a series of labs aiming to bring together stakeholders from local, national and EU levels to increase their knowledge on good practices related to energy, food and other related urban challenges. 

    This event gathered energy specialists and representatives  from European cities. The packed two-day agenda featured presentations from Viladecans’ Deputy Mayor Jordi Mazon, representatives from URBACT, the EUI, the European Energy Research Alliance and valuable insights on local learning practices, energy communities and governance. The walking tours were a highlight of the event programme, featuring site visits to the Vilawatt energy company, municipal buildings, the municipal market and Enxaneta School. 



    How will the EU City Labs help cities face pressing societal and environmental challenges? Read the article and take note of upcoming topics. Starting in March 2024 in Mouans-Sartoux (FR), the next EU City Lab will cover cities’ role in changing behaviours when it comes to food production and consumption. More topics are still to come! 


    4. URBACT National Points put words into action 


    The URBACT Method is all about providing cities with the tools and support to address local challenges. Yet, it’s not a surprise that language can present a barrier to these types of cross-border exchanges.  

    Over the last year, 25 National URBACT Points (NUPs) have sprung into action supporting local partners in European cities and, most recently, in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).  

    This year, most of the National URBACT Points were appointed to also act as Urban Contact Points for the European Urban Initiative, providing a common line of information for both entities in their respective countries.   

    Find your NUP on the URBACT website or search for ‘@URBACT_country abbreviation’ on social media. 


    5. The URBACT Secretariat welcomes new faces 


    This year, as every year, the URBACT team is here to support cities. Now with 16 staff members, the Secretariat is working at full speed, and the team is still growing! Find a familiar or a fresh face here.  

    Interested in driving change for better cities? Check out the latest opportunities here to join the URBACT team. 

    URBACT Secretariat group picture during the URBACT University Days in Malmö (Sweden)



    The future is calling…for more URBACT networks! 


    Lots more activities to come, the first being the URBACT call for Innovation Transfer Networks (ITNs) opening on 10 January 2024. Through these networks, cities previously funded under the Urban Innovative Actions initiative will be sharing their innovative projects with other cities across the EU as well as in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.  

    Interested in transferring an innovative project in your city? Get a taste of what to expect and go to urbact.eu/get-involved on 10 January to learn even more. Last but not least, save the date for the first online info session on 16 January

    ITN call 2023




  • Remote-IT

    LEAD PARTNER : Dubrovnik Development Agency - Croatia
    • Heraklion - Greece
    • Câmara de Lobos - Portugal
    • Brindisi - Italy
    • Tartu - Estonia
    • Murcia - Spain
    • Bucharest 6th district - Romania
    • Tirana - Albania


    Kick-off meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 13 - 14 July 2023


    2nd transnational meeting online. 15 - 16 November 2023

    3rd transnational meeting in Murcia, Spain. 5 - 6 March 2024

    4th transnational meeting in Tartu, Estonia. 19 - 20 June 2024


    Lead Expert



    Remote-IT network tackles the new challenges cities are experiencing connected to the future of work. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation around how work is organised, with hybrid and remote work models significantly impacting the lives of citizens, as well as the organisational culture of major employers (public/private). Remote-IT partnerships of cities is collaboratively exploring this emerging topic in order to implement proactive policy making.

    Remote and hybrid work for thriving cities
  • Re-Gen

    LEAD PARTNER : Verona - Italy
    • Business Innovation Centre Albacete - Spain
    • Daugavpils - Latvia
    • Vila Do Conde - Portugal
    • Kapodistriaki Development S.A. - Greece
    • Pula - Croatia
    • Dobrich - Bulgaria
    • Milan - Italy
    • Lezha - Albania


    • 18/19/20 September – Daugavpils, Latvia: study visit
    • 25/26/27 September – Dobrich, Bulgaria: study visit.
    • 16/17/18 October – Albacete, Spain: study visit.
    • 24/25/26 October – Corfu, Greece: study visit.
    • 01/02 November – Lezha, Albania: study visit.
    • 20/21 November – Pula, Croatia: study visit.
    • 23/24 November – Milan, Italy: study visit.
    • 28/29 November – Verona, Italy: first transnational meeting.
    • 06/07/08 December – Vila do Conde, Portugal: study visit.


    • 06 March – First Online Meeting.
    • 15 March – Verona, Italy: Local Event, ULG Launch Local Experiment.
    • 31 May / 01 June –  Daugavpils, Latvia: Second Core Meeting. 


    Lead Expert



    Re-Gen is a European network of cities that aims to support sustainable urban development and social inclusion thanks to the protagonism of secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Young people, aged between 10 and 18, will be involved in the transformation of abandoned public areas into urban sports hubs, with the approach of tactical urbanism and inclusion of green and gender criteria in architecture.

    Youth and urban regeneration: let's take back public spaces!
  • U.R. Impact

    LEAD PARTNER : Cinisello Balsamo - Italy
    • Bielsko-Biala - Poland
    • Bovec - Slovenia
    • Broumov - Czech Republic
    • Hannut - Belgium
    • Kamëz - Albania
    • Longford - Ireland
    • Mértola - Portugal
    • Murcia - Spain
    • Târgu Frumos - Romania


    First transnational meeting on 4-6 December 2023 in Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.


    Lead Expert


    U.R. Impact focuses on addressing a key policy challenge: to develop effective strategies for empowering local communities during processes of urban regeneration. The goal is to prioritize social impact and community-based practices by reimagining the way urban regeneration actions are conducted. This entails placing citizens and their social and ecological well-being at the core of the strategy, and defining a methodology for collective decision-making and civic participation in local urban regeneration strategies. 
    Stakeholders will be involved to contribute to the definition of what can be considered indicators of positive social impact of urban regeneration projects, modeled on the different territories of the partnership.
    By prioritizing social impact, with a focus on community involvement, urban regeneration actions are rethought by placing citizens and their social, economic and environmental well-being at the center of the processes. It also allows for an increased sense of belonging and civic participation.

    Prioritising social impact in urban regeneration

    LEAD PARTNER : Cesena - Italy
    • Kazanlak - Bulgaria
    • Krakow - Poland
    • Gdańsk - Poland
    • Vila Nova de Cerveira - Portugal
    • Bétera - Spain
    • Leros Island - Greece
    • Leipzig - Germany
    • Përmet - Albania


    First Transnational meeting in Cesena (IT) on 30 November to 1 December 2023.

    Second Transnational meeting in Gdansk from 9th to 10th April 2024


    Lead Expert



    ARCHETHICS network brings together nine European cities that share the presence of heritage linked to a complex and controversial historical past (totalitarian regimes, contentious borders, etc). Architecture, People, History and Ethics will be the four project dimensions to activate urban community labs to transform this heritage, composed of formerly abandoned spaces, into places for locals and visitors for sharing knowledge and coming to multi-perspective understandings of the past and new visions for the future.

    Dissonant European heritage as labs of democracy

    LEAD PARTNER : Munich - Germany
    • Riga - Latvia
    • Cluj Metropolitan Area - Intercommunity Development Association - Romania
    • Guimarães - Portugal
    • Kapodistriaki Development S.A. - Greece
    • Granada - Spain
    • Oulu - Finland
    • Lisboa E-Nova Agência de Energia e Ambiente de Lisboa - Portugal
    • Malmö - Sweden
    • Tirana - Albania


    First transnational meeting on 25-27 September 2023  in Munich, Germany: Kick-off and best practices (sustainable mass tourism, industry programs and repair cafe/second hand department store)

    2nd transnational meeting on 5-9 February in Guimarães and Lisbon, Portugal: Governance, innovation, methodologies (circular economy commitments, governance, education, tools)

    Lead Expert



    LET‘S GO CIRCULAR! network is paving the way for a sustainable, just and productive transition of cities towards a functioning Circular Economy. It addresses all issues relevant to a holistic strategy of circular city ecosystems, fostering innovative solutions. The concept of the 10 R Ladder (from REFUSE to RECOVER) serves as an underlying principle for the action planning. 

    Paving the way for a circular transition of cities