Error message

  • User error: "id" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
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    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
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    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
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    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
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    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->prepare(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->renderResponse(Array, Object, Object) (Line: 90)
    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
  • User error: "picture" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
    __TwigTemplate_949d449354140b22de465a6ce0ba0913->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
    Twig\Template->display(Array) (Line: 379)
    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 85)
    __TwigTemplate_4ab2402e670f0380ba158519814cd5ce->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
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    Twig\Template->render(Array) (Line: 38)
    Twig\TemplateWrapper->render(Array) (Line: 39)
    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array, ) (Line: 238)
    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
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    Drupal\Core\EventSubscriber\MainContentViewSubscriber->onViewRenderArray(Object, 'kernel.view', Object)
    call_user_func(Array, Object, 'kernel.view', Object) (Line: 111)
    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handleRaw(Object, 1) (Line: 76)
    Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\HttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 58)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
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    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array) (Line: 493)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 114)
    __TwigTemplate_46a2a91b4a29f97cd9b2cccd02607f4b->doDisplay(Array, Array) (Line: 394)
    Twig\Template->displayWithErrorHandling(Array, Array) (Line: 367)
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    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/node.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('node', Array) (Line: 480)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->render(Array) (Line: 475)
    Drupal\Core\Template\TwigExtension->escapeFilter(Object, Array, 'html', NULL, 1) (Line: 66)
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    twig_render_template('themes/custom/urbact/templates/views/views-view-unformatted.html.twig', Array) (Line: 348)
    Drupal\Core\Theme\ThemeManager->render('views_view_unformatted', Array) (Line: 480)
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    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->doRender(Array, ) (Line: 240)
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    Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\HtmlRenderer->Drupal\Core\Render\MainContent\{closure}() (Line: 627)
    Drupal\Core\Render\Renderer->executeInRenderContext(Object, Object) (Line: 231)
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    Drupal\Component\EventDispatcher\ContainerAwareEventDispatcher->dispatch(Object, 'kernel.view') (Line: 186)
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    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\Session->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\KernelPreHandle->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 28)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 32)
    Drupal\big_pipe\StackMiddleware\ContentLength->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 191)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->fetch(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 128)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->lookup(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 82)
    Drupal\page_cache\StackMiddleware\PageCache->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 48)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\ReverseProxyMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\NegotiationMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 36)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\AjaxPageState->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 49)
    Drupal\remove_http_headers\StackMiddleware\RemoveHttpHeadersMiddleware->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 51)
    Drupal\Core\StackMiddleware\StackedHttpKernel->handle(Object, 1, 1) (Line: 704)
    Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel->handle(Object) (Line: 19)
    
Country
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  • Space4People

    Lead Partner : Bielefeld - Germany
    • Arad - Romania
    • Badalona - Spain
    • Guía de Isora - Spain
    • Nazaré - Portugal
    • Panevėžys - Lithuania
    • Saint-Germain-en-Laye - France
    • Serres - Greece
    • Turku - Finland
    • Valga - Estonia

     

    City of Bielefeld - Head of Transport Department

    CONTACT US

    Timeline

    • Kick-Off Meeting Phase 1
    • Final Meeting Phase 1
    • Web-Kick-Off Phase 2
    • Web Meeting June 2020
    • Transnational Meeting October 2020
    • Webinar Dealing with sceptical business communities September 2021
    • Webinar Vision and measure selection September 2021
    • Webinar Dealing with a lack of support from decision makers September 2021
    • Webinar on Car-free livability programme Oslo and Spaces for People Scotland October 2021
    • Webinar Parking Management December 2021
    • Webinar Tactical Urbanism December 2021
    • Webinar Alternative Road Use January 2022
    • IAP Peer Review Session March 2022
    • Webinar Use of indicators and objectives in IAP March 2022
    • Webinar Tools and Methods to measure public space use April 2022
    • Site Visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye June 2022
    • Final Event Barcelona with RiConnect and Thriving Streets July 2022

    Integrated Action Plan

    Bielefeld Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Bielefeld - Germany
    Serres: walkable, sustainable, inclusive and accessible city for all

    Read more here !

    Sérres - Greece
    INTEGRATED ACTION PLAN (IAP) FOR THE VILLAGE OF NAZARÉ

    Read more here !

    Nazaré - Portugal
    City of Turku's developement programme for pedestrian and leisure areas 2029

    Read more here !

    Turku - Finland
    Valga Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Valga - Estonia
    Saint-Germain-en-Laye Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
    Panevėžys City Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Panevėžys - Lithuania
    Integrated Action Plan for the enhancement of public space

    Read more here !

    Guía de Isora - Spain
    Municipality of Arad Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Arad - Romania

    Space4People dealt with public space use in its cities and worked with its main use function: transport. Our focus was on walkability, quality of stay, mix of functions to achieve attractive public space for diverse user groups and a sustainable urban mobility scheme supporting such public spaces. Space4People has placed a user-centric approach at the core of its work that to assessed qualities and deficiencies, developed future visions and tested possible solutions to public space in our cities.

    Space4People - mobility solutions for attractive public space
    Ref nid
    13484
  • Covid walks, societal change, and rethinking public spaces

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    15/11/2022

    Take a stroll through the solutions URBACT towns and cities are finding to ensure shared spaces meet citizens’ evolving needs.

    Articles

     

    The Covid-19 pandemic has created temporary but also permanent societal changes. How can cities manage these changes and remain resilient? Lilian Krischer, National URBACT Point for Germany and Austria, explores how increased strolling in pandemic times has influenced public space, and how four URBACT networks are working together with citizens to adapt and ensure public spaces meet our needs.

     

     

    Strolling in times of the pandemic creates space for fleeting encounters

     

    Urban everyday life in times of the pandemic © Lilian Krischer

    For urban sociology as well as urban planning, it is clear that people's practices determine public space. So far, much focus has been on people's “quality of stay” in these spaces. But movement, such as strolling, is also relevant: and this became very clear during the pandemic.

     

    After strict Covid-19 lockdown rules prohibited many leisure activities, and even – temporarily – stopping in public spaces, many people discovered the benefits of strolling as a rare window to urban life. It was not only an opportunity to meet people at a distance, thus reducing risks of infection. It was also a way to see unknown people in the city – and to be seen oneself! Closely related to this was a new awareness of other people. In Germany, in order to keep the required distance of one and a half metres, even on narrow streets, people deliberately dodged each other. These moments of interaction, through eye contact, turned public space into a space of fleeting encounters. It is this kind of societal change that cities must respond to in order to remain resilient and attractive for their people.

     

    New hybrid forms of urban interaction

     

    What is interesting here is that this type of urban interaction in public space does not fit into classical categories. It sits somewhere between face-to-face encounters where people stop still in order to enter into dialogue with each other, and indifference and anonymity where people walk past each other, ignoring each other. For many, the possibility of these fleeting encounters based on an attentiveness to others was an important reason for strolling during Covid. This new form of urban behaviour should be taken into account in the future planning of public space.

     

    URBACT networks helping design public space according to people's needs

     

    Arad in Romania shows how important it is to ask citizens about their needs © Space4People / URBACT

    In order to make a city resilient, these societal changes must be perceived and addressed. If cities want to react quickly to societal changes and to adopt urban governance according to the citizens’ needs, they have to watch and listen closely and engage with diverse local interests.

     

    This is where URBACT, its method and its networks come in. Cities in the Action Planning Network Space4People, for example, have set themselves the task of designing attractive public spaces for diverse user groups by focusing on walkability, quality of stay, mix of functions and interchanges, and parking management. The cities of Arad in Romania and Guía de Isora in Spain have shown how important it is to ask citizens about their needs. It became clear in Arad, for example, that citizens want a continuous pedestrian zone in their city centre, while in Guía de Isora they would like more cycle paths and recreational spaces for young people. Being flexible and trying out new ideas also proved successful.

     

    Network partner Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France tried expanding its pedestrian zone in Covid-19 times, providing safe outdoor space to move around, and helping reach pedestrianisation objectives faster. Furthermore, they redesigned the public space with flowerpots, bicycle stands and more space for gastronomy. Surveys showed the approach was successful in regaining people's trust in public space.

     

    In order to build on their experiences of these practices, Space4People, together with the URBACT networks RiConnect and Thriving Streets, launched the exchange platform #WalkandRollCities on the topics of mobility and public space.

     

     

     

     

     

    Identifying current social processes for demand-oriented design of public space

     

    Another URBACT network that shows how important it is to observe the dynamics of public space and then adapt it to the needs of the people is Genderedlandscape. This Action Planning Network seeks to create an understanding of the city as a place where gendered power structures are always present, and develop locally contextualised tools and approaches to promote gender equality in urban policies, planning, and services.

     

    They demonstrate this approach using the Place du Panthéon in Paris, France. From this square, a symbolic inscription is visible on the stonework of the Pantheon, "aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante": “to great men, the grateful nation”. The project partners noticed that there were fewer women than men using the space. One reason proposed was that the large area did not offer a real place of retreat – each person was very visible.

     

    With this data coming from close observation, the Genderedlandscape network implemented its measures: Diverse seating options were placed so that people could sit together in different situations. In addition, names of various female artists, but also queer artists and those with different cultural backgrounds, were inscribed on the benches. In this way, women became more involved in the use of the place, as well as in its representation.

     

    Place du Panthéon in Paris with different seating options © Genderedlandscape / URBACT

     

    Let citizens design public space themselves

     

     

    Next to designing public space for the people, it is also important to let them do it themselves. This bottom-up approach is evident in the Urban Innovative Action (UIA) and URBACT network CO4CITIES. It promotes the co-management of urban commons by the municipality and citizens’ organisations. Talking about urban commons, the city is understood as a platform that can be used and improved by citizens from all backgrounds and social statuses.

     

    This urban commons approach can be purposeful in the design of public space, as it is the people who use the public space who understand what the places – and they themselves – need. For this, it is important that a change of mentality takes place, both in municipalities and in non-profit organisations. Cities can benefit when public administrations give up their authoritarian role, allowing citizens more freedom, and the third sector learns to take more decisions for itself.

     

    One city that is starting to apply this approach in the context of public space is CO4CITIES partner Budapest, Hungary. The city authorities cooperate with civil society organisations and residents to discuss current priorities in the renewal of public space, and future approaches to co-management and co-creation.

     

    Designing public spaces that adapt to change

     

    The URBACT Playful Paradigm network is a good example of cities reacting to global challenges including those that emerged during Covid-19. In this network, gamification is used as an innovative concept to promote not only urban spaces, but also social inclusion, healthy lifestyles, energy awareness, intergenerational and cultural mediation, place-making and economic prosperity.

     

    People playing in Udine, Italy © Playful Paradigm / URBACT

    Partners in the first Playful Paradigm network, in 2018-2020, found that people need colourful, green, safe and comfortable public spaces that are free and open for children, young people and adults to play. These lessons learnt, and the consequences of Covid-19, led to a new edition of Playful Paradigm. The new project uses playful methods to look particularly at gender issues, intergenerational approaches, older people or people with chronic diseases, and adolescents, to re-think urban spaces and address specific health challenges, such as the prevention of loneliness and isolation.

     

    One module of the network deals with play for sustainable urban regeneration. The aim is to find out what possibilities games offer for re-thinking urban public spaces. In doing so, it builds on the experience of its first edition with the Ludobus initiative and the Playmaking project. The Ludobus is a bus in Udine, Italy, where residents can borrow games to play outdoors. The bus drives to different public places, according to demand.

     

    The Playmaking project in Udine and in Cork, Ireland, was about testing play as a method of placemaking. During the pandemic, when public space was already perceived in a new way, cities tested a playful festival and pop-up play events on streets closed for traffic. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and people were happy to use the street for play. These practices help to transform the pandemic’s fleeting encounters into a more classical understanding of public space, a connectedness or “positive proximity” as URBACT Lead Expert Wessel Badenhorst calls it with reference to the author Dar Williams.

     

    Resilient public spaces and strolling in them beyond the pandemic

     

    Discovering small details of the city while strolling © Lilian Krischer

    It has become clear that a city and its public spaces are only resilient if they adapt to new societal behaviour and structures, such as increased strolling during a pandemic. The URBACT networks presented above address this challenge accordingly and all engage in improving public spaces together with the people. They identify social dynamics and adapt to the needs of the people, to change or even let the people themselves adapt their urban spaces.

     

    But what about beyond the pandemic?  Cities will still need public spaces for walking. To create more space for pedestrians, temporary street closures offer the opportunity to explore street spaces that are otherwise occupied by traffic. But, as many URBACT cities have discovered, there should also be more permanent spaces for walking. In addition to shopping streets in city and district centres, these walking spaces should be evenly distributed across all neighbourhoods – including ‘consumption-free’ areas.

     

    Furthermore, the mixed use of the streets is relevant here. People like to walk where they can see people, but also have interesting surroundings to discover. Monofunctional shopping streets are counterproductive for this. A mixture of different uses initiated by the cultural and creative industries, gastronomy, educational institutions, and communities, creates varied, attractive street spaces that also encourage walking.

     

    URBACT and the URBACT method help cities to adapt actively to societal change and create needs-based spaces for, and with, the people who use them. The programme acts as a catalyst by developing processes and tools that decision-makers, city practitioners and citizens can use to help shape new models of local governance. The process of continuous exchange between different European cities and the bottom-up approach are particular success factors on this path.

     

     


     

    Further reading

    Walk and Roll Cities: a transformation towards people-centred streets: meet the URBACT cities exploring links between mobility and public space to promote sustainable, inclusive, attractive urban areas.

    Join URBACT #WalkAndRollCities on LinkedIn to discover more innovative ideas on improving mobility and public spaces in towns and cities across the EU – and meet partners of the URBACT networks Space4People, Thriving Streets, and RiConnect.

     

    Cover photo: ©Lilian Krischer

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  • Walk and Roll Cities: a transformation towards people-centred streets

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    15/11/2022

    Meet the URBACT cities exploring links between mobility and public space to promote sustainable, inclusive, attractive urban areas.

    Articles

    In recent decades, mobility in cities has become strongly dominated by cars. The moving and parking of quickly expanding numbers of cars led to the shrinkage of public space available for residents.

     

    In order to reverse the dominance of cars, since the 2010s many European cities have started to explore new measures to deter the use and storing of cars on streets, and support alternative uses of public spaces. Three ongoing URBACT Action Planning Networks address these issues: Space4People, concentrating on parking management and pedestrianisation; Thriving Streets, on streets as public spaces and placemaking; and RiConnect, dealing with the links between regional and local aspects of mobility infrastructures.

     

    Under the banner of #WalkAndRollCities, these three URBACT city networks decided to set up a collaboration to explore the links between mobility and transport and public space use, and collect good practices on progressive changes in cities. Set to run until summer 2022, their joint activities include a series of three seminars, and a LinkedIn group for case studies and debates.

     

    The first URBACT #WalkAndRollCities webinar

     

    The first webinar of this collaboration was held on 29 November 2021. In his keynote presentation, Tiago Lopes Farias, CEO at CARRIS – the Lisbon Municipal Bus and Tram Operator, and associate professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon (PT), highlighted Lisbon’s main efforts. The starting point was the strengthening of powers at metropolitan level – stretching over 18 municipalities, and 2.9 million people, only 0.5 million of whom live in Lisbon itself. This enabled new efforts to streamline the public transport system across the whole metropolitan area, starting with a ticketing reform to introduce a new, integrated tariff model. This was followed by efforts to establish a joint public transport company for the whole area.

     

    Cities from the URBACT networks Space4People, Thriving Streets, and RiConnect have been sharing their experiences of strengthening urban sustainability by giving more ground to active mobility modes and enhancing the people-friendly use of public spaces. Here are a few interesting examples presented during the recent webinar. (See the #WalkAndRollCities LinkedIn group for more details.)

     

    Arad (RO) implemented pilot pedestrian interventions on one of the main boulevards of the city. The majority of people supported the idea to expand walking areas, mainly as a leisure form, especially on weekends or during warmer weather. The city recognised the importance of building trust through active communication, complemented by delivery, in the form of pilot interventions.

     

    Bielefeld (DE) focused on parking management, to give public space back to people, reducing street parking and changing vehicle access regulations to the city centre. The five-month period of idea raising was followed by a five-month-long testing phase, during which opinions about the pilot projects were collected. The process will end with a four-month evaluation and decision-making phase.

     

    Nova Gorica: removing a car, installing a kiosk

    Nova Gorica (SI) aimed to restructure a square in the historic core area of the city by removing parking spaces while installing a pop-up kiosk to enhance public activities – as shown in the photo. A detailed insight into the issue of space only became possible when the vision-building period was followed with a concrete action, making the idea visible for residents. The pilot intervention sparked heavy debates between residents, which led to further changes being made.

     

    Antwerp (BE) wanted to stimulate change in a peripheral neighbourhood where the share of younger people, preferring bikes instead of car use, is increasing. The temporary installations of the city, aiming to create more space for pedestrians and slow down car traffic, however, were not prepared and discussed properly. The municipality has learnt a lot from this failed experiment: how temporary interventions should be prepared; what needs have to be taken into account; and how important it is to engage residents fully in discussions, by municipal employees who get enough resources to organise that.

     

    The Métropole du Grand Paris (FR) is aiming to calm traffic on a four-lane national road running through the centre of a peripheral municipality. The attempts to ‘localise’ the road by creating new crossings and green spaces will hopefully incentivise private actors to invest in housing and prompt the regeneration of heritage buildings. For the idea to succeed, coordination between different levels of governance is of crucial importance.

     

    Transport for Greater Manchester (UK) aims for similar interventions in a peripheral sub-centre of the Greater Manchester metropolitan area. The aim is to ‘humanise’ the entry area of a motorway by improving the crossings, creating streets for all, and introducing a quality bus service. Manchester hopes that this will lead to longer-term changes in the mobility behaviour of local residents.

     

    Then came COVID

     

    All these efforts in URBACT cities started a few years ago. Then suddenly, in March 2020, Covid-19 hit. The quickly introduced lockdown measures brought dramatic changes in the first months, which planners couldn’t have dreamt of earlier: huge decreases in car use, alongside much more intensive use of public spaces. In some cases, areas originally used by cars were even ‘stolen’ for temporary measures.

     

    A few months later, however, a very unfortunate rearrangement started: the use of cars increased again, and in many cities reached higher levels than before the pandemic – not least because people continued to avoid public transport. As a result, pressure was growing to eliminate new measures favouring walking and cycling in cities. Municipalities now face the dilemma of how to react to the anger of car drivers while listening to the (often less well-articulated) opinion of pedestrians and cyclists who are satisfied with the public places which were expanded for their use.

     

    In Budapest, one of the newly installed bike lanes had to be redirected to the pavement in order to give back partially a lane to car drivers.

    Claus Köllinger, Lead Expert of the Space4People network, told the URBACT #WalkAndRollCities webinar: “Due to increasing car use, if nothing changes in centres, depopulation and retail extinction can happen. There are many alternative futures for central areas possible, such as Disneyland, large gastronomy bars, entertainment centres, or good mix of different functions. Wise interventions are needed to favour the last option, and this requires to push back car access to the central areas.”

     

     

    Positive visions for mobility and public space use in the post-Covid city

     

    Over the course of the webinar, important statements were articulated towards a positive vision for the post-Covid city. As Béla Kézy, Lead Expert of the Thriving Streets network, said: “Mobility – how far you can go in a given amount of time – should be replaced by Access – how much you can get in a given amount of time. The '15-minute city’ idea aims to provide access instead (or besides) mobility, for which you need proximity, diversity, density, ubiquity.”

     

    There are no standard solutions for changing existing neighbourhoods along these principles; the concrete needs of people always have to be studied and understood first. It might be useful to ease strict zoning regulations – such as allowing a café to open in a residential area – and handing over places to community functions, for example opening up existing public buildings in the evenings and putting in new community buildings wherever possible.

     

    Rebuilding a transfer station area

    Roland Krebs, Lead Expert of the RiConnect network, emphasised the need for integrated solutions. He said: “Old infrastructures, which were once in the centre of activities, are overdone by new layers, totally changing the earlier important places, making these peripheral and through-locations. Over time, transfer places become monofunctional, losing identity and human scale. The task is to re-arrange earlier-built infrastructures by new uses, urban intensification and urban regeneration, assuring more mixed functions than just stations for exchange between mobility modes. In peripheral areas, all this needs strong multi-level government cooperation.”

     

    In his keynote address, Tiago Lopes Farias addressed the question of how to build on the pandemic-created momentum of changes towards less car dominant mobility and public space use, by raising new aspects for consideration:

     

    1. Customer needs and mobility patterns will change due to teleworking, e-commerce, growing expectations of customers due to accelerated digitalisation, increased attention to the ’local’ (15-minute city), safety concerns.

    2. New mobility players are coming in, and an innovative and dynamic ecosystem will be built up, based on more electrified, shared technologies. All these need space and raise the challenge of how they can be connected.

    3. All this leads to the scarcity of space: how to better manage urban space and mobility services towards more sustainable cities. Where to put the bike-share rack, the e-roller rack within the same physical space? To whom to give parking space: residents, long-term visitors, loading of goods? But first other questions have to be asked: is the space for parking, or a bus lane, or pedestrians…?

    4. Added to all that, there is a growing pressure to reduce our carbon footprint. In Lisbon, the bus fleet will be zero emission by 2040… the first 15 electric buses are already running, but depos also have to be changed…

     

    Tiago Lopes Farias said: “We need to change, adapt how we live, plan, manage our lives. This means that also mobility patterns have to be changed. But it should be ensured that public transport remains the backbone of urban mobility, and that cities remain the centres of urban areas.”

     

    Serious barriers endangering sustainability changes

     

    The first webinar of URBACT Walk And Roll Cities ended with an emphasis on the need to connect changes in mobility and public space use to each other. The leading role has to be played by the public sector, based on the cooperation of municipalities in the metropolitan areas, in partnership with private actors and in active consultation with the population.

     

    It is, however, not at all easy to reach the envisioned changes. There are already signs in many cities of an approaching financial austerity, which would heavily affect services, public transport amongst the first. If the next decision has to be about which line to shut down or how to save money by decreasing the frequency of services, little room will remain for innovative ideas about the future. Thus, financing and resourcing of mobility services is one of the most important questions for the near future. This will be the topic of the next URBACT #WalkAndRollCities webinar, planned for the first quarter of 2022.

     

    All the materials of the first webinar will be available on the URBACT Walk And Roll Cities LinkedIn group, open to all. Join up to discover new information about Walk And Roll Cities, and contribute with innovative ideas for improving mobility and public space in towns and cities across the EU.

     

     

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  • 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.

     

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    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!

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  • How transport adds to public space meeting people’s needs?

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    15/11/2022

    Space4People, challenging the use of public space!

    Articles

    It is not the latest news to tell that our cities are growing. To put it in figures: population forecasts show an increase of population from 72% to 85% in urban areas in 2050. And cities have seen a 50% faster growth in terms of GDP, and saw an increase in jobs of 7%, in comparison to other areas which have stagnated over the last years. Many cities are busied with developing new residential areas, space for businesses or mixed-use districts. Looking in the back-mirror, cities have not just started their growth periods. The facts presented in the future forecasts base themselves on the steady growth history of the past decades.

    Nor is it the latest news that traffic in our cities is growing. And this is only the logical consequence of the growth pathways of population, businesses and new building developments – more people and more opportunities result in more traffic needs. The growing traffic figures have been met by supplying enough space to accommodate those traffic needs for over at least five decades. The most prevalent solution followed the most dominant transport mode, which was and still is car traffic.

    The consequence of these developments is more space for motorised traffic – for cars. City development dedicated the largest part of public space to accommodate car traffic, through roads and parking facilities alike. The ruling paradigm for traffic planning was to forecast future traffic figures and to prepare for the steady growth of traffic volumes by constructing infrastructure able to meet these growth figures. Consequently, more and more public space was used to cater the needs of motorised transport mainly for cars, which at the same time increased the attractiveness of car use fostering more car traffic. In the end, supply of public space to meet car traffic growth projections and the connected increase of car traffic formed a self-perpetuating process.

    The result is that a high share of public space is dedicated to motorised transport. Roads, parking facilities and other traffic infrastructure for motorised means shape the image of our cities. Other use forms of public space such as areas to meet and linger, to take a stroll or to cycle are rather the exception compared to the overall average public space use. Of course, and luckily, some cities are demonstrating how a different public space use can look like, such as in Danish Copenhagen, Spanish Vitoria-Gasteiz or Italian Bolzano. These and further good practise examples give good reason to engage in the reallocation and redesign of public space in our cities.

     

    Is the solution easy and at hand? The argumentation of growth of cities and their traffic volumes alongside the knowledge on past and recent public space use might create the image that both, challenges and solutions are known. But in fact, our cities’ realities are much more diverse and complex to apply a one-fits-all solution.
    Differences start with the nature of growth by e.g. population groups, need to face the existence of shrinking cities, have to deal with demands on public space from various sectors, like industry, businesses, retailers, tourism, children, seniors, gender aspects, education, sports, leisure activities, greening and more.

     

     

    Example from Arad (RO) on traffic loaded streets and pedestrianised solutions

    The Space4People approach. Our network is approaching the challenge of public space use from the perspective of its largest “user” – transport. We aim to work for a more fair and valuable use of public space for cities and their stakeholders and inhabitants; striving to contribute to the overall goal of more liveable cities – with people at the centre of future developments.

    By this, we are challenging the current “inhuman” main use of public space by transport focusing rather on vehicles than on people’s needs. Among the many aspects connected to urban transport, we chose to focus on three areas where we see most potential, due to their effectiveness and the fact that these potentials have been neglected or underused so far. Our focus areas are:

    • Walking: to assess and improve quality and quantity of public space dedicated to pedestrian movement and pedestrianised areas
    • Parking: to increase parking management options for higher efficiency of public space use by parking, to re-allocate parking space to more valuable use forms of public space and to use supply of parking and connected conditions as a steering element for transport mode choices
    • Intermodal hubs: to improve user experiences at focal transport locations such as public transport interchanges and exploit their potential to work as centres of city development uniting more than just transport functions

    Clearly, our selling point is the efficient use of the scarce resource public space. We aim to create a more liveable transport reality by steering modal choices in favour of active modes and reducing the needed space for transport. This tackles the current use forms like infrastructure supply by shifting its purpose to the actual user needs. Space4People consequently puts the diverse user perspectives and stakeholder views at the centre of work, which is an at least twofold challenge: to accommodate the needs of underrepresented population groups in decision making such as seniors, children and youth of women as well as working with the difference in perception of what people want against others’ - like decision makers’ -  views on this.

    Reasons for these two aspects are easy to recognise. To quote Jane Jacobs, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs 1916 – 2016, American Canadian journalist, author and activist.

    ULG meeting of stakeholders in Serres (EL)

    Perception on the other hand can be a trigger for better planning in the case of better understanding of each other, but otherwise as well source for misinterpretation and wrong-guided albeit well-intended actions. The following example from German Leipzig showcases the need to work on perception: taking the opinions of citizens to investing in public transport or car transport, actual opinion and the perception of stakeholders vary greatly (compare illustration below).

    Source: Socialdata

    Within Space4People, we work with 10 cities and their different challenges:

    • How to push sustainable modal choices connected to the inner-city area to mitigate high emission loads and improve high quality public space in Bielefeld (DE)?
    • How to meet the reality of a large and disperse municipal area promoting walkability and safeguarding accessibility for locals and tourism at the same time in Guía de Isora (ES)?
    • How to cater the needs of locals and tourism connected to accessibility, quality of stay and the topographical challenges at hand in Nazaré (PT)?
    • How to design attractive public spaces for creating civic pride in a shrinking town facing a cross-border twinning city reality and the challenge of historical monument protection in Valga (EE)?
    • How to deal with the overuse of existing parking spaces and the dominance of car traffic infrastructure in the city centre and provide more pedestrian spaces for people at the same time in Arad (RO)?
    • How to push for higher attractiveness of the inner-city area facing major traffic volumes at peak hours, different perceptions of stakeholders as well as overcoming the natural and artificial divide in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (FR)?
    • How to cater for the needs of all population groups in walking infrastructure and to supply attractive public spaces facing diverse current use forms in Serres (EL)?
    • How to solve the challenge of heavily undersupplied parking options in residential areas leading to misuse of public space as well as high traffic volumes and parking loads at central points of interest in Panevėžys (LT)?
    • How to solve the conflicts of public space use between transport modes and other use forms in the central area of Turku (FI) and safeguarding good pedestrian connections crossing major natural and artificial barriers?
    • How to improve pedestrian conditions facing competing demands from private traffic and last mile deliveries connected to the perception of people that walking is unpleasant and unsafe in Badalona (ES)?

    Example on road space design in Serres (EL)

    Taken the challenges at hand from there, we aim to provide fitting solutions for each city by exploiting our own knowledge and experiences and investigating what to learn from examples of other cities and how to apply them in our diverse realities. Possible solutions are at hand, such as Arad delivering first ideas on how to solve the parking challenges of Panevėžys in higher density residential areas or Bielefeld demonstrating inclusive design of walking infrastructure that might be of value for Serres. We are excited to dive into the challenge of planning for better public space – a space for people.

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