• TNM Skofja Loka of the Breaking isolation network met on December 13 and 14, 2023

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    26/12/2023

    The partners of the Breaking isolation network met on December 13 and 14, 2023 for their second TNM in Skofja Loka in Solvenia in order to present the Baseline Study and the Communication Plan but also to prepare the work to be carried out at the local level with the ULGs.

    https://youtu.be/6Xibt0W6zNY

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  • First TNM of the Breaking Isolation network in Agen

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    13/09/2023

    First TNM of the Breaking Isolation network in Agen (Lead Partner) on September 13 and 14, 2023 to launch the project, start getting to know each other within the network and prepare for the Study Visits with the partners and the Lead Expert. 

    https://youtu.be/3X8iXVt-zIg 

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  • 9 Cities to link issues of Public Procurement and Gender Equality

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    Vila Nova de Famalicão - Core Meeting 1
    11/12/2023

    The GenProcure Action Planning Network (APNs) is focused on the thematic topic of Gender Responsive Public Procurement. Over the next two years and until December 2025, it will seek to support 9 partner cities to develop Integrated Action Plans (IAPs) that enable Gender Equality to be a key consideration in Public Procurement. Public Procurement is the process utilised by public authorities, including local municipalities and regional governments to spend money on the goods, services and works that they require to function effectively. Public Procurement spreads from the design of goods and services to the tendering of opportunities to the monitoring of outputs and outcomes.

     

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    Historically, Public Procurement has been seen as a very dull and bureaucratic process, with decisions often made on the basis of lowest price, and the process driven by complex EU and National Level law. However, in recent years, and inspired by the activities of two URBACT Networks (Procure and Making Spend Matter), and URBACT capitalisation activities through an online course, cities across Europe have started to adopt a more ‘strategic’ approach to Public Procurement. By this we mean, as well as considering the price and quality of businesses bidding for Public Procurement opportunities, procurers are also thinking about how the process can contribute to realising wider local economic, social and environmental outcomes.

    As well as seeking to change cultures around Public Procurement, the URBACT Programme has been also through Networks and capitalisation activities seeking to create more Gender Equal Cities – ensuring that decisions around the design of services are made with the needs of both men and women in mind, ensuring that the Gender Pay Gap is reduced, and ensuring that the politicians that represent cities are representative of their communities. Indeed, Gender Equality is a key cross-cutting theme that is framing all 30 APNs that are currently evolving, and which are focused on a range of themes.

    So why has the GenProcure Network brought together the dual themes of Public Procurement and Gender Equality – well, the Lead Partner City of Vila Nova De Famalicão (Portugal) recognised that whilst cities are increasingly considering social considerations such as job creation and environmental considerations such as climate change in Public Procurement, they are not considering the implications their spending choices will have upon addressing Inequality, and specifically Gender Inequality. The GenProcure Network is NOT seeking to ensure that Gender Equality considerations are included in all Public Procurement procedures but shift cultures so that Gender becomes a consideration in relevant opportunities.

    Realising this objective around changing the cultures of our 9 partners around Public Procurement and Gender Equality is not going to be easy. Indeed, our partners face a range of key challenges around Public Procurement, and including bureaucratic and rigid procurement law, a lack of trained procurement officers around social and environmental considerations, a lack of willingness to take risks, and a lack of desire from the market to consider other aspects other than the price of the good, service or work they will provide. In addition, our partners face a range of challenges around Gender Equality and including around the traditional cultures of their countries, the lack of experience of addressing Gender Inequality, and challenges particularly around the pay and representation of women. All in all, there are a real lack of experiences in undertaking Gender Responsive Public Procurement.

    Cycle of Public Procurement

     

    The GenProcure APN is therefore seeking over the next two years to enable our cities to learn about how they can consider and embed Gender Equality in Public Procurement and through the production of IAPs detail how they are going to shift Public Procurement cultures in the future so that Gender Equality is a key consideration. Our Network is framed by the ‘Cycle of Public Procurement’, and which details six key stages of the Public Procurement process at which social, environmental, and gender factors can be considered. Our partners will learn about how they can understand the number of women owned enterprises that form part of their existing supply chain, how gender focused outcomes can be included in Procurement Strategy, how gender considerations can be reflected in the design of services, the types of procedures that can be used to embed gender considerations in tendering, and how gender impacts can be measured into the delivery of contracts.

     

     

     

     

    Image from URBACT Online Course on Strategic Procurement

     

    Over the course of the last three months, we (the Lead Partner City and the Lead Expert) have visited each of our partners of: Koszalin (Poland), Satu Mare (Romania), Umeå (Sweden), Alcoi (Spain), Messina (Italy), Zenica-Doboj Canton Development Department (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zagreb (Croatia), and Újfehértó (Hungary). In this we have realised that our partners have very different experiences when it comes to Public Procurement and Gender Equality, with some already having Gender Equality Plans in place and accompanied by a set of activities, others already engaging with Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to make them aware of upcoming Public Procurement opportunities, and others having started to include social and environmental criteria. We have also realised that none of our partners are really doing work around Gender Responsive Public Procurement which makes GenProcure a fantastic opportunity.

    The activities of GenProcure will not just be restricted to the APN – indeed, the City of Famalicão has already been asked to present to the Procura+ conference in Lisbon in March 2024, and our Lead Expert continues to feed URBACT’s work around Strategic Public Procurement into the activities of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership for Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement. As a Network, we are very much looking forward to taking work around Gender Responsive Public Procurement to the next level.

     

  • Youth work starts where young people are - but how can youth workers get there?

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    NextGen YouthWork - group of youth outdoor
    06/12/2023

    Young people spend more and more time online. But do youth workers know where? And more importantly, how can they get there to provide them with the help they need? 

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    European youth spend much of their time online

    With the rise of digitalisation, youth spend much of their time online, mostly in communities on social media like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok or gaming platforms such as PlayStation, Discord and Twitch. Therefore, young people spend less time outside and in physical places like youth centres. According to the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway data (2021), the percentage of teenagers spending more than 2 hours on screens at the age of 11 is between 43-67% for males and 30-66% for females. At 15, these numbers are even higher: 53-71% for males and 50-75 for females. According to estimates, young adults spend, on average, 6-7 hours per day on screens. This phenomenon was amplified during the Covid-19 outbreak when researchers saw screen time almost double during lockdowns. They suggested that screen time may decline post-covid, but not to the level we saw before. In short, the trend of spending more time online is here to stay.
    The fact that youth spend an increasing part of their time online and, therefore, less in physical public spaces also means that they need to be reached in the digital sphere and need digital counselling and information. The demand for digital youth work is exceptionally high among youth who experience social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, stress, depression, and digital or gaming addiction. Because of their social anxiety or less-developed social skills, they may experience many mental and physical obstacles when reaching out to youth workers or other professionals in the physical world, such as youth centres and schools.

    Youth workers need to reach youth online and support to do so

    Youth workers are aware of behavioural change among youth and look for ways to better adapt to this phenomenon, thus using digital youth work. They want to be able to reach their target groups online and offline. However, this is challenging as it requires changes to how they work. Youth workers can use the key social media and gaming platforms to be accessible to 'their' young people, interact with them online, or promote their offline activities. In reality, most youth workers are reactive on these platforms; only a minority offer online services and create content more effectively. 
    Most youth workers need more insight into the online living environment of young people. They need to know the roles social media offers young people and what growing up in a digital environment requires regarding guidance. Nevertheless, there are many reasons for not tapping into the potential of digital youth work yet. These reasons range from a lack of funding from public authorities to a lack of education for youth workers. This leaves a gap between young people's needs and youth workers' professional development that requires to be bridged.
    Plenty of tools in digital youth work need to be taken advantage of, such as providing platforms for peer-to-peer discussion on a diversity of themes, using gaming for training and learning, and reaching out to youth who are more challenging to reach offline. Moreover, digital youth work can address many areas relevant to youth, not only mental health issues. Digital tools provide an excellent opportunity for non-formal and informal learning about various specific skills and general topics, such as training, employment, mobility, gender equality and diversity, financial literacy and sexual education. Digital environments support community engagement and social and political participation. There are tools to improve low-threshold access to care or help and have an accessible way to contact professionals.

    Youth and the digital transition are at the forefront of European policies

    Youth work has developed differently across Europe for historical, social, cultural and economic reasons. These differences are further nuanced by digital divergences within the EU. However, both youth work and the digital transition are at the forefront of European policies and represent a vital backstop for the development of the field. The European Commission formulated the European Youth Strategy to engage, connect and empower young people in 2018. and published the agenda of Shaping Europe's digital future in 2020, focusing on digital transformation for the benefit of people and an open, democratic and sustainable society. And finally, 2022 was the European Year of Youth, putting youth at the forefront and shining a light on its importance in building a better – greener, more inclusive and digital – future.

    NextGen YouthWork helps cities address digital youth work at a strategic policy level

    These policy developments provide significant support to European cities to address digital youth work challenges. In addition, the URBACT programme, through the NextGen YouthWork network, will provide tangible, concrete support to 10 European cities to address this challenge and develop a hybrid and sustainable future for youth work at a strategic policy level. Eindhoven, Aarhus, Cartagena, Iași, Klaipėda, Oulu, Perugia, Tetovo, Veszprém and Viladecans will share their best practices and experiences and engage, connect and empower young people. And there are plenty of inspiring practices! Some cities succeeded by transitioning offline youth work tools to the online environment. Others excel at using gaming to engage with youth or even developing new tools for the digital environment. There are good examples of implementing digital shifts at the local level, as well as of pooling resources and knowledge at the regional or national level to ease the financial burden of going digital. Cities often initiate new tools, but grassroots initiatives by youth are also notable examples.

    Are you passionate about empowering the next generation and creating a better future? Stay up to date with NextGen YouthWork cities to learn about truly inspiring practices in youth work!

  • S.M.ALL

    LEAD PARTNER : Ferrara - Italy
    • Larissa - Greece
    • Komotini - Greece
    • Associação de Municípios de Fins Específicos Quadrilátero Urbano - Portugal
    • Sofia - Bulgaria
    • Druskininkai - Lithuania
    • Eurometropolis Strasbourg - France
    • Škofja Loka - Slovenia
    • Bucharest Metropolitan Area Intercommunity Development Association - Romania

    Timeline

    First transnational meeting on 6-7 December 2023 in Ferrara, Italy.

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    Lead Expert

     

     

    The S.M.ALL network  addresses urban challenges, promoting and implementing sustainable mobility solutions for all, including safe home-to-school journeys, accessible routes and tailored Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, realizing targeted action plans for vulnerable groups. Using a transnational approach to reduce urban inequalities, harmonize sustainable mobility practices and enhance inclusivity, the S.M.ALL consortium brings together different experiences and expertise in sustainable urban mobility aiming to foster significant changes in the urban spaces, making them more inclusive and accessible for all.

    Sharing urban solutions towards Sustainable Mobility for ALL
  • 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

    Timeline

    • 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. 

    Library

    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.

    Logo
    Youth and urban regeneration: let's take back public spaces!
  • Residents of the future

    LEAD PARTNER : Sibenik - Croatia
    • Alba Iulia - Romania
    • Mangualde - Portugal
    • Saldus - Latvia
    • Plasencia - Spain
    • Kalamata - Greece
    • Iisalmi - Finland
    • Saint-Quentin - France
    • Mantova - Italy
    • Trebinje - Bosnia-Herzegovina

    Timeline

    First transnational meeting on 26-28 September 2023 in Sibenik, Croatia.

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    Residents of the future wants to address the issue of urban depopulation within small and medium-sized cities. By focusing on digital transformation, economic diversification and city branding, it will explore innovative approaches towards evolving trends in work, lifestyle and communication, to enhance the cities’ attractiveness for prospective investments and inhabitants. The network enables cities to redefine their advantages in comparison to larger metropolitan areas, and develop holistic, citizen-centric solutions that support demographic revitalisation and sustainable urban growth.

     

    URBACT - Residents of the future
    Finding solutions to influence the urban shrinkage
  • NextGen YouthWork

    LEAD PARTNER : Eindhoven - Netherlands
    • Aarhus - Denmark
    • Cartagena - Spain
    • Iași - Romania
    • Klaipèda - Lithuania
    • Oulu - Finland
    • Perugia - Italy
    • Tetovo - North Macedonia
    • Veszprém - Hungary
    • Viladecans - Spain

    Timeline

    Next NGYW transnational meeting on 20-21 February 2024 in Oulu.

    Also planned: NGYW transnational meeting in Viladecans on 24-25 October 2023.

    Library

    Lead Expert

     

     

    • NextGen YouthWork - group of youth outdoor

      Youth work starts where young people are - but how can youth workers get there?

      Young people spend more and more time online. But do youth workers know where? And more importantly, how can they get there to provide them with the help they need? 

      Zsolt Séra

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    NextGen YouthWork aims to develop further and improve online youth work through innovative digital solutions at the city level. By this, the network works towards better aligning youth work with the opportunities and challenges posed by the online world in which young people spend a lot of time nowadays.

    Developing a Hybrid and Sustainable Future for Youth Work
  • GenProcure

    LEAD PARTNER : Vila Nova de Famalicao - Portugal
    • Zagreb - Croatia
    • Koszalin - Poland
    • Messina - Italy
    • Satu Mare County Intercommunity Development Association - Romania
    • Umea - Sweden
    • Ibrány - Hungary
    • Department for Development and International Projects of Government of Zenica-Doboj Canton - Bosnia-Herzegovina
    • Alcoy - Spain

    Timeline

    Transnational Meeting on 21-22 November 2023 in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal.

    Online Meeting: 7 February 2024

    Subject: Spend Analysis

    Transnational Meeting on 19-20 March 2024 in Umea, Sweden

    Library

    Lead Expert

     

     

    GenProcure will address the gender equality in public procurement, many times referred to as Gender-Responsive Public Procurement. It consists of promoting gender equality through working purchases, supplies and services by the public sector, meaning that both suppliers and buyers include, in the agreed contracts, a part that concerns the interests both of men and women, paying particular attention to its development in a way that leads to a reduction of gender inequalities.

    Gender Inclusion in Public Procurement
  • FEMACT-Cities

    LEAD PARTNER : Clermont Auvergne Métropole - France
    • Szabolcs 05 Regional Development Association of Municipalities - Hungary
    • Postojna - Slovenia
    • Comunidade Intermunicipal da Região de Coimbra
    • Torino - Italy
    • Länsstyrelsen Skane - Sweden
    • Krakow - Poland
    • Cluj Metropolitan Area - Intercommunity Development Association - Romania

    Timeline

    First transnational meeting on 5-6 December 2023 in Coimbra, Portugal.

    Transnational meeting on 22-23 Febuary in Vienna, Austria.

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    Lead Expert

     

     

    The objective of FEMACT-Cities is to support the drafting of eight “Local Action Plans on Gender Equality” about main challenges regarding women's liberty and empowerment:

     

    - a society that adapts and protects,

    - a society that enables education and personal development,

    - a society that enables emancipation and economic autonomy.

     

    These challenges come together in a transversal fight against stereotypes.

    Transforming cities for women