POINT (-4.3244 37.617335)


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

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent



    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain


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

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter


    Kick-off meeting in June (Mollet des Valles). Transnational meetings in October (LAG Payd de Condruses) and December (Pyli).
    Transnational meetings in April (Sodertalye), June (Fundao), July (Jelgava) and September (Abergavenny).
    Transnational meetings in March (Mouans Sartoux) and April (Petrinja). Final event in April (Baena).

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


    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela


    Municipality of Udine (Italy)


    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email:

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

    Follow our Twitter: @Tech_RevEu
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    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora



    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801


    City of Rome

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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



    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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



    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council


    Municipality of Piraeus


    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029



    Riga NGO House


    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510


    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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


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


    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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


    City of San Donà di Piave Piazza Indipendenza, 13 – 30027


    City of Naples
    Urban Planning Department 
    Phone +39 081 7958932 - 34 - 17 


    The Barnsley Digital Media  County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
    Phone +44 01226 720700 


    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

    City of Piacenza
    piazza Cavalli 2 - 29121 Piacenza - Italia
    tel centralino 
    Phone +39 0523 492 111 

    City of Bilbao
    Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka nº1. 48007 Bilbao. Phone +32 944 204 200 

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań


    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    City of Gdańsk
    5 prof. Witolda Andruszkiewicza St.
    80-601 Gdańsk

    City of Baena
    Plaza de la Constitución 1
    14850 Baena (Córdoba) 


    Rethinking Agri-food production in small and medium-sized European cities is the aim of this Action Planning network. Agri-food production is a mature industry that continues to play an important role in terms of GDP, employment and environmental sustainability. That is why new growth potentials must be activated by means of innovation, new business models and strategies. Our vision is to place cities at the core of a growing global movement that recognizes the current complexity of food systems and the links between rural cities and nearby cities as a way to ensure regional development.

    The roots of the city
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  • How a small Spanish town is revolutionising its local food system

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    Baena (ES) supports sustainable agriculture for a resilient city developement model close to its citizens’ needs, beyond mass production.


    Antonio Zafra and Raquel Moreno Vicente were part of the coordination team of the AGRI-URBAN project which was led by the Town Council of Baena. They work in ADEGUA, an association which brings together town councils, civic associations, entrepreneurs and others who want to promote sustainable development in the surrounding region. They talked to the political journalist Jamie Mackay about the organic movement, the unique features of small cities and their experience working with URBACT.

    How did you get interested in agriculture?

    Antonio Zafra (AZ): I could say I am a rural man but at the same time I love cities. I don’t live in Baena but in a small village of 500 inhabitants with all the demographic problems you can imagine. Most of my family abandoned rural work to go to university, but my roots are in the rural way of life. I love living in small villages. I run a small olive oil production and am involved in organic consumer and producer groups, so I’m a bit of an activist too.

    Raquel Moreno Vicente (RMV): I was raised in Baena so I’ve always been surrounded by olive trees and the countryside that produced our food for generations. It wasn’t really until I became a mother, though, that I realised we were buying so many things from far away rather than eating what we were producing. This was a personal revelation. From that moment on I became more aware of food in society, in health, in art, and I saw the potential for change.

    How has the food industry around Baena evolved over the past decades?


    : Today Baena is a monoculture area, but it wasn’t always like that. In twenty years we’ve lost around 200 hectares that used to be cultivated with fruit and vegetables. The agri-industrial system has won the battle of food production. Most of our olive oil is sold in big containers to other countries, or taken to other cities to be put in bottles. The result is a terrible paradox. This high production rural area is now dependent on food from all over the world to feed its people. Maybe it’s a successful industry, but it’s not a successful system for the population’s health.

    RMV: Another big problem is unemployment. Because of automation, fewer agricultural workers are needed, and when they are, it’s only for a few months a year. This trend demands a reaction. If we want to keep people in the territory and halt depopulation - not only in agriculture - some changes are needed to better balance globalisation and local initiatives.

    What has Baena done to promote alternatives?

    AZ: One of the earliest steps was an analysis of the composition of the oil which we did with Cordoba university, to map and analyse the territory. Then we created some spaces – including a museum– so visitors and the local population could engage with the culture of olive trees. With the 2008 crisis our priority shifted to the social dimension of the problem. We supported the creation of small social gardens which were really successful at reconnecting people and food at the local level.

    How did URBACT help your efforts?

    AZ: There are lots of problems when trying to innovate in small cities. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a department or even a single professional working on a topic in a small town or village. Occasionally you don’t even have a councillor in the area. Through AGRI-URBAN we wanted to share expertise. We had 11 cities in our network, but all coming from different starting points. Over time, though, we managed to find a common interest in the food system. We also wanted to promote the importance of the rural urban connection. Lots of small cities are connected with big cities around them so we wanted to discuss how they might interact more effectively.

    RMV: The URBACT methodology was an inspiration for us too. If you don’t connect networks with local realities you can’t promote grassroots change. In AGRI-URBAN our local stakeholders had direct access to the experience in other cities, to understand how they might be applied here in Baena. Seeing that connection, coming from European to local and back to European level has been really important in allowing us to make changes.

    What were the most inspiring practices shared in the network?

    AZ: 40 years ago the municipality of Mollet Del Vallès (ES), in the suburbs of Barcelona challenged the industrial expansion of the city by creating an agrarian area. Today they have a protected natural park of around 500 hectares where they promote organic food and food start-ups. They’re even developing social governance and researching with Barcelona University how to protect biodiversity and collect seeds.

    RMV: Fundão (PT) have been really successful in uniting the food sector and promoting change. Their producers have support from a central unit where they can try new things in the way they pack and present their food. We need something like that here. We’re actually working with them now on another project, promoting the use of new technologies in relation to food.

    Your plans include social orchards, a food hub and a farming incubator to support young businesses. Which look the most promising at this stage?

    AZ: At the moment only 5-10% are being implemented, though some of the proposals just need a small commitment to get going. Making organic canteens in high schools, for example, only needs the school staff and the municipality to be a little more proactive.

    RMV: All the political parties in the town council support our plan. There’s no majority at the moment, but some of the manifestos in the elections last month actually included AGRI-URBAN initiatives. What happens next depends on political willpower but also on individuals. If someone has the interest and engagement they can really make things happen.

    AZ: We’ve developed a pilot action to remind the politicians of what they approved. It’s a kind of social garden, not for just families but on a bigger scale involving NGOs, ecologist groups and other organisations. There’s a plot in the very middle of the city so nobody can forget about us!

    Have you got a message for other small cities working to tackle big issues like these?

    AZ: Some intellectuals say the spirit of Europe was created in cities. From a historical point of view maybe it’s true. But many important values in Europe - freedom, sociability, care for the environment – are rooted in rural areas. Personally, I like the idea of a Europe in which we are able to ruralise urban areas and urbanise some rural areas, to exchange the good things we have in both directions. Small and medium sized cities have a unique capacity to connect the two worlds and food is one of the best interconnectors we have. In this age of new communication, I think we can redefine both areas together.

    Find out more at

    From urbact
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  • Local food in urban forks

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    Agri-food production can help with social inclusion says Miguel Sousa the Agri-Urban Lead Expert following the workshop held during URBACT City Festival in Lisbon in September 2018.

    Agri-food production is key for cities.


    Agri-food production is a mature industry that plays an important role in terms of GDP, employment, environmental sustainability and social integration. Here we share the knowledge of Agri-Urban and Semear projects.

    Food is actually one of the main urban challenges, but food is also at the centre of the debate on sustainable development. Food systems are essential for sustainable development: they are at the nexus that links food security, nutrition and human health, the viability of eco-systems, climate change, and social justice.

    More than 7 500 million people need to be fed healthily, equitably and affordably while maintaining the ecosystems on which life depends. The evidence of the impact of diet on the health of people and the planet has grown enormously during recent decades, yet changing consumer eating habits, even for public health alone, not to mention planetary health, is proving difficult.

    Power in the food system is becoming increasingly concentrated with mega-mergers in the seed, agri-chemical, fertiliser, animal genetics and farm machinery industries; this reinforces the industrial farming model, exacerbating its social and environmental costs. Globally, farmers are increasingly reliant on a handful and suppliers and buyers, squeezing their incomes. There is an urgent need to connect research and policy around an innovative and more integrated sustainable food security agenda.

    That is why innovation, new business models and strategies must activate growth potential. Small and medium size European cities, especially those located in rural areas and with a local economy linked to agriculture and the agri-food system can play a leading role to face this urban challenge.

    Visit to the SEMEAR agricultural land in Oeiras (ES)

    As part of a workshop during the festival, the team went out onto the field - literally - and visited Oeiras, near Lisbon. 

    The SEMEAR team (SEMEAR - Exploração Agrícola SEMEAR - Terra de Oportunidades at Oeiras), Joana Santiago, Raquel Monteiro and Cecilia Duarte, explained how their sustainable program of social inclusion for children, young people and adults with intellectual and developmental difficulties works through training and development of skills, employability and socio-professional insertion, as well as agricultural production and transformation.

    The preparation of the land took some months to be ready for agricultural production due to the lack of water. With the first crops consumed by local workers, a B2C approach was adopted, and it still works very well. SEMEAR doesn’t foresee a business agreement with retailers because of the lack of capacity to supply the market on a regular basis.

    Agricultural production is a tool to facilitate people’s integration into society, commercialisation and profitability is not a final goal” insists Joana Santiago.

    Sustainability is always a key issue for organisations like SEMEAR and the participants tried to understand how the operations work in terms of financial sustainability. The revenue streams for SEMEAR were summarised by Cecilia Duarte and are based on a strong network with local donors, public grants from regional or national funding schemes and by selling their products to families around SEMEAR.

    It’s a goal to move to an organic production, but at this stage the transitional period is preparing the land”, says Raquel Monteiro.

    The main outcome of SEMEAR is the social inclusion for young people and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), through professional training, developing soft skills and promoting employability in agricultural and food industry trades

    The agri-food sector as social integration 

    SEMEAR and Agri-Urban both work on social integration in agriculture for the young population, addressing the capacity of agriculture to promote (or to generate) therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education and social services.

    Agri-food to increase urban-rural links

    Small and medium-sized towns are key in providing a meeting point between urban and rural businesses, turning into hubs for employment, entrepreneurship and training for rural youth.

    One can look more specifically at the examples of Fundão (PT), Mouans-Sartoux (FR), Petrinja (HR), Mollet del Vallés (ES) and Baena (ES). These cities’ Integrated Action Plans intend to improve links between urban centres and smallholder farmers and their organisations. Enhancing links between smallholders and market opportunities across agri-food value chains, creating decent employment in them, and fostering shared sustainable arrangements between urban and rural groups are necessary preconditions to create inclusive and sustainable rural-urban linkages.

    Practical take-aways from SEMEAR and agri-urban experiences

    Open agri-business to young people

    Youths can become “agri-preneurs” along agri-food value chains, from production and aggregation to processing and marketing. Supporting their access to productive resources can help them invest in profitable smallholder agricultural activities.

    Invest in hard and soft infrastructure

    Access to energy, roads, communications and water infrastructure is essential, as well as facilitating the flow of goods, labour, money and information.

    Operate both on labour supply and demand

    Youths need access to quality training in order to develop relevant skills for the labour market (supply), and decent farm and non-farm employment opportunities within agri-food value chains (demand).

    Integrate decent work aspects

    Policies should improve working conditions of young women and men employed in agri-food value chains by extending social protection, workers’ rights, occupational health and safety, and rural workers’ groups.

    Share and learn with successful case studies

    Here are some Portuguese initiatives of the social and solidarity sector:

    • PROVE: creating jobs and bridging the rural-urban divide;
    • FRUTA FEIA: adding social value and reducing food waste;
    • CABAZ do PEIXE: between the sea and the city, delivering fish protein and reducing fish waste;
    • BIOVIVOS: tiny urban spaces can produce simple, healthy and nutritious food.

    The engagement and commitment of local policymakers, social organisations, entrepreneurs and retailers is a key aspect for the sustainable development and the resilience of small and medium sized European cities.

    From urbact
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    Phase II Kick-off meeting Łódź 21-23 Januray / Transnational meeting Zagreb 02-04 April / Transnational meeting Toulouse 17-19 June / Transnational meeting Łódź 17-19 September/ Mid-term reviev &Transnational meeting Bologna 10-12 December
    Phase I Kick-off meeting Łódź.
    Transnational meeting Braga 3-5 March/ Concluding Network Exchange and Learning seminar Birmingham 20-22 October (online meeting)
    URM Final Virtual Conference: Let's do it together - How to revitalisea city with its residents? 20-21 May

    The Good Practice to be transferred through the URBAN REGENERATION MIX Transfer network is a collaborative city model that increases the participation of city residents, promotes their equal involvement and strengthens relations between the main stakeholders in urban regeneration processes. The network will focus on the study, identification and application of key success factors that bring back life to degraded urban areas and help to realise the potential of their inhabitants.

    Improving the social dimension in process of urban regeneration
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