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  • Urb-En Pact

    Summary

    Lead Partner : Clermont Auvergne Métropole - France
    • Bialystok Functional Area - Poland
    • Palma di Montechiaro - Italy
    • CIM Alto Minho - Portugal
    • Métropole Rouen Normandie - France
    • Galati - Romania
    • Ecofellows - Tampere - Finland
    • Elefsina

    Clermont Auvergne Métropole - 64-66 avenue de l'Union Soviétique BP 231 63007 CLERMONT-FERRAND Cedex 1 - FRANCE

    CONTACT US

    Watch all the Urb-En Pact video stories here.

    Timeline

    • Kick-off Meeting
    • 1st Transnational Meeting in Bialystok Functional Area
    • Phase 2 Digital Kick-Off Meeting
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Best Practises
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Political Vision & Citizens Inclusion (Rouen)
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Inclusion of companies (Elefsina)
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Science & Innovation (Clermont Auvergne Métropole)
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Major Infrastructure & Integrated Policies (Tampere)
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - Midterm Reflexions
    • COP 26 Network Meeting
    • Digital Transnational Meeting - IAPs Peer Reviews (CIM Alto Minho)
    • Transnational Meeting in Grenoble, France - IAPs Restitution
    • Transnational Meeting in Brussels, Belgium - Finance & Dissemination Event

    Outputs

    The URB-EN PACT booklet bears witness to the experiences of each partner city and the moments they shared in this adventure.

     

    Urb-En Pact Final Publication

    The 8 partner cities and organisations involved in the Urban Energy Pact project embrace the ambitious goal of becoming net zero energy (NZE) territories no later than 2050. Urb-En Pact aims to define local action plans for the implementation of a local and sustainable energy balance by producing and delivering renewable and regulated sources of energy. Urb-En Pact will unite all of the stakeholders of this circular economy, especially the consumers included in this energy loop, in and around the metropolitan area.

    Together towards net zero energy cities
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  • The ‘Polish URBACT’ – the first national URBACT-style programme for cities!

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    15/11/2022

    Polish NUP Aldo Vargas tells us about an exciting national exchange programme for cities inspired by URBACT.

    Articles
    Integrated approach

    Anybody who has participated in an URBACT network and worked out constructive outcomes at local level can attest to the effectiveness of the URBACT method, but also to the fact that the ways of working it inspires can often seem more like the exception than the rule of ‘normal’ administrational functioning of cities.

    Encouraging and enabling urban decision-makers and practitioners to think bigger, adopt more integrated approaches and practise co-creation in their professional life is the URBACT dream. Participating in URBACT networks is a sometimes difficult, sometimes joyful experience of breaking the silos of municipal departments and between public and non-public sectors.

    But it can be difficult to imagine how a more integrated approach to city functioning can spread among cities that have never had the opportunity to participate in an URBACT network. I want to share a story about how just such a process has started to come true in Poland through the URBACT-inspired national ‘City Partnership Initiative’.

    How did the ‘Polish URBACT’ originate?

    The ‘City Partnership Initiative’ (PIM in Polish) started in 2016 with a common initiative by the Ministry of Infrastructure (now Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy) and the Polish National URBACT Point.

     

    The broader European context was propitious: after adopting the Pact of Amsterdam, the first four partnerships of the EU Urban Agenda had recently started their activities and the next four partnerships were planning to recruit partners.

    At the same time, the Polish government had just started implementation of the new national Strategy for Responsible Development – of which Specific Objective II (Socially and territorially sustainable development) opened the way for targeted projects for small and medium-sized cities. The Ministry of Infrastructure already had an idea for a specific City Partnership Initiative to reach small and medium-sized cities, but was not yet sure on the details of how to run such a project.

    Meanwhile, as the Polish NUP, I was organising a national training session for the Polish cities involved in the first round of Action Planning Networks under URBACT III. Together with non-URBACT cities, ministry representatives and URBACT experts, the three-day event brought together 80 people in December 2016. Thanks to the facilitation of Piotr Wolkowinski, Lead Expert of the BoostInno network, all participants had a feeling to have raised their awareness on the possibilities offered by the URBACT method and the needs of the cities.

    These parallel trends all leant towards the creation of a national initiative supporting exchange and networking among towns and cities in Poland towards the identification of local solutions for integrated sustainable urban development. The initiative would aim to combine the broader European approach to national urban policies with targeted support at the local level to provide city authorities with specific knowledge to address their identified needs.

    How does the Polish URBACT operate?

    The initiative was allocated a budget of 600 000 Zlotys for each network (approximately € 136 400 ) over three years and was designed to support many of the same actions as URBACT networks, including exchange and networking meetings among cities, PIM Local Groups of stakeholders in each participating city, and thematic experts to support each network.

    The discussions at the URBACT seminar helped formulate possible areas of interest of city networking and exchange in Poland and the appropriate working method of the City Partnership Initiative, based largely on experiences of the URBACT method and the EU Urban Agenda Partnerships topics.

    All cities participating in a network were expected to develop an integrated action plan (called a ‘City Action Initiative’ in the Polish context). Like URBACT Integrated Action Plans, these should be a co-designed set of concrete solutions to previously identified local challenges and problems.

    On top of that, each network as a whole had to develop an Improvement Plan, a set of recommendations for the Ministry, to feed into future urban policies at the national level.

    The City Partnership Initiative was given some more specifically defined objectives by the Ministry of Infrastructure:

    • Strengthening and encouraging partnership cooperation and exchange of knowledge between cities;
    • Capacity building among city officers and decision-makers;
    • Knowledge capitalisation and developing bottom-up system solutions;
    • Dissemination of the principles of social participation in city management;
    • Involving cities in the implementation of national and European urban development goals.

    An initiative of this scale needed a thorough preparation of its building blocks. The Ministry, in close cooperation with the National URBACT Point, which provided the necessary knowledge, prepared a set of programme documents. These included “Rules of realisation of the City Partnership Initiative”, a “Guidebook for City Action Initiatives” and a “Guidebook for Local Partnerships”.

    Katowice

    The PIM network on Urban Regeneration was led by Katowice and counted 11 Polish cities.

    A first round of pilot city networks in Poland

    The initiative launched its first call for city networks in 2017, focused on three pilot thematic networks on: 1. Urban Mobility; 2. Urban Regeneration; and 3. Air Quality.

    The call was open to all urban areas in Poland, as well as associations of local governments. The initiative applied no restrictions on city size, but was clearly targeted and marketed at building the capacity and knowledge of small and medium-sized cities in Poland, which are starting to experience serious waves of depopulation.

    Over 105 applications were received, indicating a high demand for this type of project. Of these, a total of 34 cities and associations of local government were selected across the three networks. Each network had an appointed thematic expert, designated by the Ministry. Their role was, as in URBACT networks, to support each network with substantive knowledge.

    At each phase of the works of the three pilot networks, the National URBACT Point provided knowledge and know-how based on the long experience of cooperation with cities. However, the quantity of work quickly forced the Ministry to also open a call for an external body to provide practical support in the facilitation of the PIM Local Groups and guide them on a more daily basis.

    Network meetings were organised on a regular basis, as well as combined meetings of the three networks together. For those used to URBACT national and transnational networking meetings, these occasions had a familiar atmosphere of friendly collaboration!

    The final meeting of the three pilot networks took place in October 2019. A report was prepared to summarise their achievements, to finalise the Improvement Plans of each network, to compare the effectiveness of both the PIM and URBACT programmes and formulate the broad lines of the future activities of the project.

    Szczecin zamek4

    Szczecin Metropolitan Area was Lead Partner of the Urban Mobility network of nine Polish cities.

    What have been the results so far?

    The PIM initiative was an opportunity to test a new model of developing municipal initiatives and solutions for the development of towns and cities in Poland, based on exchange, partnership and cooperation. Its results have been entirely positive.

    The PIM has succeeded in initiating cross-sectoral and multilevel cooperation around urban policies, involving representatives of the public, social and private sectors. It has proved to be an accelerator for municipalities to join efforts and establish cooperation in specific dimensions of urban policies.

    This cooperation between local government units participating in the project allowed for the implementation and creation of better, more interesting and more inspiring ideas for the development of cities with the support of local stakeholders. The initiative gave the opportunity to practise new forms of cooperation with residents and consultation methods, as well as the opportunity to test innovative solutions in specific areas of urban policy –  conducting pilots in local conditions.

    All this might sound normal for URBACT veterans, but is an important leap forward for so many cities in Poland that had never had the opportunity to experience it.

    The formula of the project allowed for effective learning – the greatest results were achieved when the participants worked together, when they were driven by joint discussions with people with different experiences. Network partners had the opportunity to avoid mistakes or use proven solutions.

    For example, larger municipal units, more advanced in implementing policies related to air quality, urban mobility and revitalisation, showed smaller cities how to implement comprehensive policies, building the capacity and competence of officials from smaller centres.

    In addition, the initiative enabled enhanced collaboration between participating cities and the national level - to streamline a new communication channel that allows better, more effective adjustment of urban policies created in the national ministries to the needs of local self-government communities.

    Bazylika w Białymstoku - Emilia Ernst

    Bialystok Funtional Area took over the role of Lead Partner of the Air Quality network from Nowy Sącz.

    Further information

    Drawing on this experience, a new call of the Polish ‘City Partnership Initiative’ is expected to be launched by the end of 2020 for three new networks, the topics of which are yet to be defined.

    Cities have already signalled their interest in participating in the project. The new call will also develop further the ties with EU urban policies at national level.

    As this initiative has demonstrated its attractiveness to cities and the ministry responsible for urban affairs, other countries have started to work on similar initiatives, aimed at involving more cities in new ways of developing local level urban policies.

    Anyone interested in more information about this initiative can contact the National URBACT Point in Poland or the representative of the Ministry listed on the Polish NUP website.

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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.

     

    -

     

    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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  • Preparing Net Zero Energy for cities and regions

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    15/11/2022

    The URB-EN PACT project will develop a method for city-regions to prepare Net Zero Energy action plans.

    Articles

    The Paris Agreement covers greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. Its  terms were finalised at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, held in Paris, France. It was signed in 2016. The 196 participating countries agreed to a global pact, called the Paris Agreement or Paris Protocol, to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible”. They also committed to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 degrees C” compared to pre-industrial levels. Countries also agreed to "pursue efforts to" limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C where possible. The 1.5 °C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, and this is what is driving cities to take action now.

    Cities and energy consumption

     

    In 1900, just 13% of the global population lived in cities. By 2015, the figure was more than 50%.  So it is not surprising that it is cities where most of the world’s population live. This explains why   around 70% of total global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions comes from urban areas.

    Some cities are already well advanced in their implementation of Net Zero Energy processes.  For example, Copenhagen has a plan to become a Net Zero Energy city by 2025 .  But Copenhagen has been at the forefront of sustainable urban policies for many decades.  What about other cities - “typical cities” - whose experience of implementing environmental policies is less developed? 

    The URB-EN PACT Project

     

    URB-EN PACT is a partnership project for “typical” European cities, not just those that are well advanced in achieving energy sustainability. The Project’s partners are diverse in terms of their geographic location, size, demographic profile, industry profile, and experience of implementing energy efficient measures.  The nine partners represent seven European nations, each of which has distinctive energy policies and energy mix. This can be seen clearly from the following table that provides summary data for each partner.

     

    The diversity of the partners is a key strength of the project. It ensures that the challenges faced by quite different city regions in reaching Net Zero status can be assessed. For example, at least one of the partners has a steel-making plant (carbon generator) within its boundary while another has a large urban forest (carbon sink). The profile of stakeholders who must be engaged in each of these cities will be very different.  Having the opportunity to develop and test a process that is applicable to both of these cities will make the project output more robust.

     

    Partner

    Country (and approx location)

    Population

    [‘000]

    City-Region Type

    National Energy mix

    Alto Minho [Region]

     

    Portugal (region North of Porto)

    231

    Urban, low density territory comprising several small cities

    Thermal (65%), Wind (20%), Hydro (13%), Other (2%).

    Bialystok

    Poland (North East)

    416

    Urban, medium density

    Coal (79%), Gas (5.8%), Renewable (7.2%), Hydro (1%), Other (6.1%)

    Clermont-Auvergne Metropole

    [Lead Partner]

    France (Central)

    288

    Urban, medium density

    Nuclear (75%), Hydro (10%), Gas (7%),Wind (4%), Coal (3%), Solar (2%)

    Elefsina

    Greece (West of Athens)

    31

    Urban, low density

    Oil (49%), Coal (21%), Gas (19%), Biofuels & Waste (6%), Geothermal, Solar & Wind (5%)

    Galati

    Romania (East)

    303

    Urban, medium density

    Hydro (28%), Coal (27%), Oil & Gas (21%), Wind (14%), Nuclear (6%), Solar (3%)

    Metropole Rouen Normandie

    France (North West)

    490

    Urban, medium density

    Nuclear (75%), Hydro (10%), Gas (7%), Wind (4%), Coal (3%), Solar (2%)

    Palma di Montechiaro [Region]

    Italy (Region South Sicily)

    22

    Urban, Low density

    Gas (38%), Oil (38%), Renewables & Waste (13%), Coal (10%) [for Italy]

    Tampere

    Finland (South West)

    237

    Urban, medium density

    Nuclear (33%), CHP (heat 20%), Hydro (19%), CHP (Industry 15%), Condensing (12%) Wind (1%)

     

    Broad Stakeholder Engagement is essential

     

    The scope or reach of the URB-EN PACT project is wide. The partners are focused on how energy is produced as well as consumed. They wish to stimulate a greater awareness of energy issues within their populations and to develop a culture of energy conservation amongst all consumer types (citizens and industry).  Like COP21, URB-EN PACT recognises that it is essential for there to be a ‘pact’ between all of the cities’ stakeholders - focusing on one group or area will not lead to the required sustainable change.

    URB-EN PACT’s goals include reducing demand for energy by both industry and citizens while also identifying how to replace fossil fuel generation with renewable sources.  Each city’s energy mix will be unique to their needs and available resources.  Already we have seen innovative solutions such as generating bio-gas from waste.

    URB-EN PACT will also focus on activities that minimise our broader environmental impact. Thus, carbon reduction and circular economy principles will be included within its scope.

     

    Although very early in the process, the kick-off meeting helped identify immediate areas of experience, which the partners could share.  These included high efficiency street lighting, hydrogen for mobility, commercialising University research, community energy production, energy storage, citizen engagement and district heating enhancements. After just two City Visits, we have a range of suggestions for Small Scale Actions.

     

    Active Engagement of Civic Leaders

     

    The project recognises the central role that strong civic leadership plays in driving change.  We are looking at how the partners’ Mayors can be engaged individually and collectively in an innovative way. URB-EN PACT is shaping up to be a very interesting project!

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