Country
Geolocation
POINT (4.35171 50.85034)
  • Freight TAILS

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Suceava). Transnational meeting in October (Umea).
    Transnational meetings in February (Parma), April (Gdynia), May (Maastricht) and October (La Rochelle).
    Final event in May (Split).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    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
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    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

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    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

    CONTACT US

    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    Devoted to discovering Tailored and Innovative Logistic Solutions (TAILS) for the successful management of freight, this Action Planning network aimed on rethinking how freight can shape almost every aspect of our urban lives. The air we breathe, the noise we hear, the traffic we experience, the productiveness of our cities’ businesses, the quality of our surroundings and the liveability of our neighbourhoods. Everything can relate to a single question: how can we make freight transport more effective in cities?

    Tailored approaches for innovative logistic solutions
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  • 2nd Chance

    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

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Liverpool). Transnational meeting in October (Chemnitz).
    Transnational meetings in July (Gijon) and December (Brussels).
    Final event in April (Naples)

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email: DMC@Barnsley.gov.uk

    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
    Follow our Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/urbact-techrevolution/

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    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

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    The challenge of this Action Planning network is the activation of vacant buildings and building complexes for a sustainable urban development by self-organised groups. In many European cities smaller and larger derelict sites, underused premises, so called “voids” can be found in or near the city centre. These sites often have a negative impact on their surroundings, nevertheless they present a great opportunity: they can be used to complete a compact settlement structure, to provide space for needed functions in the city.

    Revitalisation of the sleeping giants
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  • Six solutions for city authorities to help us all waste less food

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    15/11/2022

    Each year, EU households throw away millions of tonnes of food. What can cities do to support the fight against food waste?

    Articles
    Food

    Approximately 20% of all food produced in the EU is wasted, leading to annual emissions of 186 million CO2, writes Antonio Zafra, Lead Expert of the URBACT FOOD CORRIDORS network, in a recent article, drawing on figures from the European Environment Agency. So, with more than 50% of that food waste coming from households – on average, 47 million tonnes a year – what actions can local authorities take to help us limit and prevent this waste? And how is URBACT supporting them? URBACT Programme Expert Marcelline Bonneau investigates…

     

    Globally, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that a third of all food produced for human consumption each year is lost or wasted. This corresponds to 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted every year in the world, worth a total of 750 billion dollars – equivalent to the GDP of Switzerland. At the European level, this accounts for 89 million tonnes of food annually, corresponding to approximately 179 kg per capita per year (throughout the whole supply chain).

    Although getting precise data is extremely difficult, we do have some figures. In the Region of Brussels-Capital (BE), for example, it is estimated that households waste an average of 15 kg of food per person per year, the equivalent of three meals a day for 30 000 people over the course of one year.

    Why do we waste so much at home?

    The reasons for wasting food are strongly connected with all daily activities: shopping, cooking, eating, sorting out waste, but also working, having hobbies and leisure activities, or moving around in the city, as presented in the image below:

    Activities related to wasting food

    These can also be explained as follows:

    • We are dependent upon production and consumption systems:
      • Available information (e.g. expiration dates, promotions…);
      • Food culture (e.g. providing large quantities of food to guests, understanding of food safety and aesthetics, “cheap” food…);
      • Available products (e.g. types of products, packaging…);
    • Daily habits:
      • Personal meaning (e.g. culinary traditions, not eating the same thing twice);
      • Knowledge and competences (e.g. being able to cook, improvise, knowing the content of the fridge and cupboards, anticipating…);
      • Appliances (e.g. for storage, transformation...);
    • Personal influences:
      • Capacities (e.g. professional framework, frequency of shopping…);
      • Life experiences (e.g. available time, family, tiredness…);
      • Values (e.g. enjoying eating outside, feeling guilty…).

    Six tips for cities fighting food waste

    Against this background, certain URBACT cities have sought to carry out a range of activities and initiatives to support households in reducing their food waste. Drawing on their experience, here are six solutions to inspire any town or city to do the same:

    1. Know the food waste facts

    First and foremost, it is vital to measure food waste in households in order to design adequate policy actions and instruments (see solution 2, below). But it can be extremely difficult to design adequate methodologies to ensure household food waste is monitored regularly, to collect comparable data, etc. Yet, some URBACT cities have managed to develop useful frameworks. Bristol, UK partner in the URBACT network Sustainable Food in Urban Communities, developed an approach based on food-waste hierarchy principles, underpinned by Bristol City Council’s 'Towards a zero waste Bristol’ strategy in 2016, leading to measurable successes in food-waste reduction.

    Ghent (BE) also conducted a food-waste benchmarking study to track goals, and all waste diverted through the Foodsavers Ghent programme, as well as calculating GHG emissions averted. As a member of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), Ghent is also seeking to incorporate the MUFPP Monitoring framework into its assessment strategy in order to ensure greater accuracy in measuring the impacts of its food policies. Another Belgian city, Bruges, member of Eurocities, also used a self-declaration survey for citizens to measure the impact of recipes and tips shared by the city for reducing food waste at the household level. And, still relevant eight years after its launch at national level, another very interesting study was carried out in France by ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) to have households measure their own food waste.

    2. Design an enabling food-policy framework

    As we saw above and in the article by Antonio Zafra, Lead Expert of URBACT FOOD CORRIDORS network, food waste covers a range of topics. To ensure that it is addressed in a holistic way, some cities have designed dedicated policies, not only on sustainable food, but also, more specifically on food waste. This is the case of Milan (IT), labelled URBACT Good Practice for its Food Policy, coordinator of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and Lead Partner of the URBACT NextAgri network. Indeed, as part of its Rethinking Milan’s approach to food waste framework, the main goal is to achieve a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030. Five main focus areas have been identified:

    • Inform and educate citizens and local stakeholders on reducing food losses and waste;
    • Recover and redistribute food waste;
    • Create local partnerships, such as among charities food banks, supermarkets and municipal
      agencies;
    • Improve and reduce food packaging;
    • Strive for a circular economy in food system management.

    Related actions and initial measurements have already been made by the city of Milan. For example, a campaign encouraging the separation of organic from non-organic waste also achieved a source separation of 56% in three years, up from 36% in 2012. A first step to raising awareness about the quantity of food wasted in households.

    3. Raise awareness and provide concrete tips

    Before citizens can actually start reducing their food waste, they need to consider it as an issue. As such, regions such as Wallonia (BE) with “Moins de déchetsand countries such as France with “Ça suffit le gâchis”, Germany with “Too good for the bin”, and the UK with “Love Food, Hate Waste” have developed dedicated information campaigns presenting the key issues at stake. More importantly, they also share concrete tips for daily life, and activities.

    ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ platform

    In particular, since 2007, the aim of the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign in the UK, implemented by the non-profit organisation WRAP, has been to reach out to consumers and cooperate extensively with companies, including supermarkets. They run poster campaigns, radio and newspaper announcements as well as bus-back adverts, using social media, cooking workshops and London-wide events. The ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ website also provides tips and tools for proper storage, left-over recipes, understanding expiry dates, and measuring food-waste amounts, as well as promoting the benefits of home composting.

    A ‘Money-Saving App’ also includes a portion and meal planner along with many recipes, and allows customers to keep track of the items they already bought and those they plan to buy. Avoidable food waste was reduced by an estimated 14% thanks to the campaign, with some households that actively focused on food-waste prevention reducing their avoidable food waste by 43%. Importantly, resources from these campaigns are designed for one-way communication and require minimal staff time to implement.

    4. Challenge citizens

    ‘FoodWasteWatchers’ tool in action

    Cities should provide dedicated tools to support households with their daily fight against food waste, as well as support intermediary organisations such as NGOs or schools. For example, in Alameda County, California, the ‘Stop Waste’ public agency designed signage, including an ‘Eat This First’ sign for the fridge to encourage households and businesses to designate a fridge area for foods that need to be eaten soon.

    Engaging households in activities directly has been key to ensure they are empowered to reduce their own food waste. As part of its ‘Good Food Strategy’, a direct outcome of the URBACT Sustainable Food in Urban Communities network that it led, the Region of Brussels-Capital supported the design of ‘FoodWasteWatchers’. This is an individual and targeted programme for households to identify what, how much they waste and why, as well as to design their own strategy in order to reduce it.

    Also, in 2019, the city of Oslo (NO) organised a challenge and training programme to help families halve food waste. During this four-week project, 30 families weighed their food waste, participating in a short workshop, with tools (e.g. kitchen diary and labelling) and information on how to reduce their food waste. The ‘winning’ family cut its food waste by 95%!

    5. Train citizens as relays

    Fridge Masters in action

    Who is better placed to talk to citizens and households than citizens themselves? Following the success of its experience on the topics of gardening and composting, the Region of Brussels-Capital supported the training and set-up of a network of ‘Fridge Masters’: over the course of nine modules, citizens exchanged experiences and were trained on various tips and tricks to reduce food waste, from improved organisation, cooking habits, and food preservation methods to shopping in different types of shops. They were also trained in facilitating events for the general public – which they did successfully with a series of tools they designed themselves. These included social media challenges and interaction, tasters on the site, and images representing ‘fake fridges’.

    6. Support solidarity

    Last but not least, combating food waste by sharing what would otherwise be thrown away can be a way of connecting with other people, creating new relationships and opportunities, as well as providing food to those in need. Solidarity fridges are an implementation of such a concept.

    Tartu’s ‘Food Share Cabinet’

    One example is the ‘Food Share Cabinet’ in Estonia’s second largest city Tartu. As a way to raise awareness, make food available for people who need it, and redistribute what would have been wasted, a temporary ‘food share’ cabinet was installed on Tartu’s ‘Car Freedom Avenue’ event as a Small Scale Action, with the support of the URBACT Zero Carbon Cities network. Shelves and a refrigerator enabled caterers from the event and neighbouring cafes to share their leftovers. This action is now part of the Tartu City Government reflexion with the food-share community to reduce food waste in the city, working with local food businesses.
     

    What will your city do next to reduce food waste?


    This listicle has shown a range of frameworks, instruments and activities used by cities to reduce food waste in households. But this is only one part of the equation. Food waste needs to be tackled along the whole supply chain.

    Check our Food Knowledge Hub page for further insights, as well as the Glasgow Food Declaration resources.
    Last but not least, look out for the upcoming activities of five current Horizon 2020 projects which will test further actions:

    What can you do to cut waste in your town? Let us know – we’ll be curious to read about your experiences – reach out to us via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

    Facts and figures

     

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  • Cities implementing the right to housing

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    15/11/2022

    The EU Cities Forum 2020, held in Porto, provided the perfect time and location to launch a new URBACT and UIA (Urban Innovative Actions) joint initiative on implementing the right to housing across urban areas in Europe.

    Articles
    Housing

    Blossoming cities, blooming rents!

     

    A visit to Porto as little as 15 years ago would show a fascinating city centre with little shops, abandoned buildings and facades eaten up by time. Today, this UNESCO world heritage site shows much of the attractiveness of urban renewal done well: refurbished apartments, new facades and well preserved narrow streets every tourist would be eager to explore. The flourishing urban centre hasn’t gone unnoticed: the Guardian newspaper recently named Porto in its 10 cities with the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe.

    However, such developments have also created many challenges and come at a cost. The city is blossoming, but the rental sector is booming too: from 2013 to 2018, rents went up by as much as 88%. This is not without consequence on the lives of the city’s inhabitants: according to official data, 1348 evictions were carried out in the same five-year period.

    Like Porto, many EU cities are struggling to keep the balance between competing tensions, such as between the economic thirst for tourism and increased mobility, and between the need for renewal of historic urban centres and the demand of citizens to access adequate and affordable housing. As cities successfully regenerate, they risk becoming the next frontier for residential real estate investments.

     

    A joint housing initiative, launched at the Cities Forum

     

    URBACT and UIA timely launched their new initiative on the right to housing during the Cities Forum in Porto (30-31 January 2020). Housing affordability was a recurring theme throughout the sessions of the Forum. From the Mayor’s debate to UIA and URBACT joint session on the right to housing, a sense of urgency emerged from the discussions.

    Throughout 2020, URBACT and UIA’s initiative will provide a platform for city administrations, civil society, research and practitioners to debate and exchange around key topics, strategies and practices for implementing the right to housing in cities.

    Participants at the launch event heard about a number of inspiring practices already in place across Europe (see examples below) as well as from other actors who will be valuable contributors to the joint initiative over the year to come, including the EU Urban Agenda partnership on housingHousing Europe and the European Investment Bank.

    The well-attended launch event generated lots of interest in how cities can act at local level to ensure that everyone – especially the most disadvantaged – can have access to safe, adequate and affordable housing. Presentations and the discussions that followed helped to reconfirm some of the core issues that the joint initiative will need to explore in more detail, in particular:

    1. Experimenting with new housing models and governance structures

    While the public provision of low income, adequate and affordable housing is still to be pursued, people have been experimenting with ‘alternative’ housing models such as limited equity cooperatives, community land trust (CLT) and co-housing.

    Brussels can serve as an inspiration in this respect with the Care and Living in Community (CALICO) project supported by UIA. This involves the creation of a community land trust among inhabitants and using public funds from local and EU levels to support citizen initiatives in the provision of socially mixed, low-income housing.

    1. Designing strategies for those locked out of the housing market

    There is a need to experiment with new affordable housing solutions in social and private housing specifically for homeless people and others locked out of the existing housing market. The new URBACT Action Planning Network ROOF, led by the city of Ghent, will be exploring just such ideas. It has the ambition to support city authorities to eradicate structural homelessness - making the shift from ‘managing homelessness’ through different services towards efficient implementation of the ‘housing first’ model.

    Aother interesting practice includes the city of Athens’ Curing the Limbo project (supported by UIA), which empowers recipients of asylum to transition towards long-term housing, taking on the role of intermediary between renters and landlords.

    1. Establishing effective anti-speculation measures

    A healthy housing market that meets the needs of ordinary people needs to address excessive speculation that unfairly distorts local housing markets to the exclusion of many groups in society. The City of Barcelona which developed an anti-eviction service (recognised as URBACT approved good practice in 2017) introduced a forward-looking Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025, through which it pursues place-based anti-speculation housing policies, including selective acquisition of privately owned housing units and mobilisation of vacant housing into the affordable rental market with the collaboration of non-for-profit entities.

     

    Get involved in the right to housing!

     

    Participants at the Cities Forum confirmed the urgency of implementing the right to housing, with land seen as the ‘turnkey’ of housing projects. More engagement from cities was called for to leverage and address land as a public good, encouraging community control and measures to regulate residential land price inflation. Effective engagement of the private sector was also seen as crucial, but challenging for many local authorities.

    However, it is also clear that cities cannot be expected to deal with these challenges by themselves. Housing exclusion is a systemic issue that requires not only local solutions, but also a national enabling environment. Cross-sectoral and multi-level solutions will be essential, since there are clear links with land-use, welfare and other policies designed and implemented at different levels.

    At European level, participants called for effective implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU’s Housing Partnership Action Plan as well as specific additional investment into the EU Pillar on Social Rights. They also highlighted the emerging European Green Deal as a potential opportunity for moving forward with an effective cross-sectoral response to the topic of housing across the EU. It was clearly argued that we need commitment, strong wording and adequate funding from the top.

    -

    This kicks off a one year learning activity. Want to get involved? Click here to find out more on UIA and URBACT’s action.

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  • Cities engaging in the right to housing

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    15/11/2022

    Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) and URBACT are joining forces on housing!

    News
    Housing

    Throughout 2020, UIA and URBACT have explored how cities can design housing policies and practical solutions to implement the right to housing.

     

    We have collected stories and concrete examples from European cities already implementing the right to housing that others can take inspiration from.

    Three questions were leading this work:

    • What are the most innovative practices at city level concretely delivering the right to housing?
    • What can cities do to ensure that everyone – particularly the most disadvantaged groups - have access to safe, adequate and affordable housing?
    • How can the EU and member States create an enabling environment for cities to innovate?

    The ultimate goal is to push the agenda on the right to housing EU wide and to further enrich the work done by the EU Urban Agenda.

    The launch of the joint initiative happended during the Cities Forum on 31 January 2020. Experimenting new housing models and governance structures, designing strategies for those locked out of the housing market, and implementing anti-speculation measures were some of the main themes arising from the discussions regarding the role of municipalities.

    Webinar series

     

    A series of webinars and more digital outputs were delivered on the following themes:

    Themes

    Save-the-date for our webinars

    Community-led practices: cooperative, co-housing and CLT practices

    24 April 2020

    No one left behind: addressing specific issues of accessibility to adequate housing by vulnerable groups

    26 June 2020

    Fair finance : municipal strategies protecting housing from speculation

    19 November 2020

    An additional session was organised during the European Week on How to implement the Right to Housing in Covid times.

    Beyond the cities working with UIA and URBACT on this topic, the success of this knowledge activity relies on the contribution of key stakeholders representing housing practitioners, administrations, EU wide organisations, academia and civil society initiatives. 

    To receive more information and get involved, click here.

     

    More activities are planned for 2021. Videos, podcasts and more inspiring content will be available through a new platform soon to be launched.

     

    If you have any questions, you can contact:

    Amélie Cousin, a.cousin@uia-initiative.eu
    Alice Fauvel, a.fauvel@urbact.eu

     

    Interested in the topic? Click here to read the article written by Laura Colini, Programme Expert coordinating the joint activity!

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  • 2019 URBACT Highlights

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    15/11/2022

    Gender Equal Cities, New Action Planning Networks, Contribution for a refreshed Leipzig Charter: a year at full speed! 

    News
    Gender equality

    Amidst the usual cycles of networks opening and closing, URBACT continues to give a platform for cities to scale up ideas and drive change at local, national and EU levels.

    From knowledge to action

    URBACT Knowledge Hub took off in 2019 with the Gender Equal Cities initiative, in collaboration with the CEMR. Building on the knowledge of women active in the URBACT community and beyond, URBACT created a space for raising awareness of gender-based inequalities at local level and highlighted how cities can take action.

    On March 7th, the day preceding International Women’s day, the Gender Equal Cities report was launched during a roundtable in Brussels with representatives of the Commission and UN Habitat. This triggered a series of actions in Europe to promote Gender Equal Cities, from presentations during the European Week for Regions and Cities in October, to online training sessions for URBACT cities and beyond.

    The momentum will continue next year as the new network: Gendered Landscape - a spin-off of the Gender Equal Cities work, as it enters its implementation phase. Led by the city of Umeå (SE), the network aims to develop new initiatives and projects with an understanding of gendered power structures in six other cities.

    Beyond gender equality, URBACT Knowledge Hub’s actions for 2020 will focus on the right to housing, the vitality of smaller cities and procurement.

    Contributing a city-level perspective to EU policy

    Next July, Germany will take on the crucial role of president of the European Council. URBACT will continue to work alongside the German Federal Ministry of Urban Affairs to input into the renewal of the Leipzig Charter. In 2007 this founding document underlined the principles of sustainability, integration and participation – all concepts that are now taken for granted by urban policymakers, but can still remain unclear to city practitioners. Between autumn 2018 and May 2020, URBACT organised a series of City Labs to explore what these principles mean for cities nowadays and what else should be in the refreshed Leipzig Charter.

    During the City Labs in Lisbon (PT), Brussels (BE) and Warsaw (PL), participants highlighted the impact of new global challenges on cities. They stressed that the climate crisis, migration flows, growing inequalities and distrust in government not only require new principles and words enshrined in documents, they also mean new ways of working for urban practitioners, closer to citizens, especially the most vulnerable. In addition, decision-makers need to accompany these fundamental changes with new policies, funding and regulations.

    City Lab on integrated policymaking in Warsaw, October 2018

    The next City Lab will look at the concept of balanced territorial development during the Cities Forum in Porto in January before a final event in spring 2020.

    Networks closing and opening cycles: a learning rollercoasteré

    The last call for networks of URBACT III saw 23 new Action Planning networks approved. Bringing together existing URBACT cities and newcomers, the networks will continue their action planning in 2020 to tackle issues such as homelessness, climate change and urban security.

    On top of their regular transnational meetings, city practitioners and local stakeholders will gather during URBACT Summer University. Bringing together more than 500 city leaders, this flagship URBACT event will equip the networks with the right tools to develop their integrated action plans whilst motivating and inspiring them to take action.

    Looking at 36 city examples, URBACT has identified five common challenges that cities are facing when delivering integrated and sustainable strategies for urban development such as participation, measuring performance and public procurement. For each challenge, URBACT published a series of guides and tools which can be used by cities to achieve success in implementation.

    These tools are only a sneak preview of the forthcoming URBACT TOOLBOX that will be available on our website in early 2020. This one-stop-shop for cities will gather all the tested tools of the now well established URBACT method.

    URBACT method in 3 minutes

    There is more to come in the second half of 2020. After going through an inward-looking process by which our 23 transfer networks have dismantled a Good Practice to assess how best to replicate it in other contexts, they should be ready this summer to share their findings with the rest of the world!

    These Good Practices are among the 23 selected from 97 entries submitted during an open call in 2016-17. In other words, this six month ‘sharing period’ will showcase the best of the best of URBACT’s networks – so stay tuned!

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  • BLUACT: Why the Blue Economy is an increasing sea of opportunity

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    15/11/2022
    A report by Darinka Czischke, Conor Moloney and Catalina Turcu
    Articles
    Carbon neutrality

    The origins of the Blue Economy concept can be traced back to the mid 90’s, when the Belgian businessman turned author, Gunter Pauli, was asked by the United Nations to think about innovative business models of the future.

    Originally conceived with the aim of reconciling the shared goals of stimulating entrepreneurship whilst also preserving marine eco-systems, today, the term ‘Blue Economy’ covers a range potential policy interventions ranging from;

    • Practical programmes for delivering any form of economic growth which is linked to the marine and maritime economy;
    • More complex economic philosophies which draw on a range of ‘circular economy’ concepts and frameworks to deliver growth in such a way which preserves, maintains and enhances the marine environment (and therefore delivers more significant, long run benefits to society).

    The latter concept is an ever-evolving model, which has come to particular prominence recently, over growing concerns about the invasive impact of single use plastics on the marine environment.

    In 2012 the European Commission estimated that the Blue Economy represented over 5 million jobs and a gross added value of around €500 bn per year – a figure which is roughly equivalent to 4% of the EUs total economic output. It also affects a large number of the EU residents with an estimated 40% of the EU population living within 50km from the sea.

    Over the last decade, some member states have seen the Blue Economy grow faster than their national economies. One city that has been at the forefront of trying to stimulate innovative, new Blue Economy businesses is the city of Piraeus in Greece.  

    Helping Blue Growth Entrepreneurs become ‘investment ready’

    The Piraeus Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) is a structured entrepreneurship and innovation competition focussing on the marine and maritime economy. It was the first EU level innovation competition for the marine and maritime economy (Blue Economy) originally established in 2014. It was successfully awarded an URBACT Good Practice status, last year.

    The BGI helps early-stage entrepreneurs develop and realise innovative business concepts and create jobs in the Blue Economy. Operating as an annual business plan competition, the initiative is effectively a programme of activities to help aspiring Blue Growth entrepreneurs get ‘investment ready’ – to effectively prepare their business ideas to the stage where they can secure external investment.    

    The Blue Growth Initiative is structured around a number of elements;

    1. Governance: Establishment of a strong multi-agency Blue Growth governance structure for overseeing the delivery of the programme.
    2. Competition preparation: Building the partnership-based delivery programme and developing the marketing collateral;
    3. Competition delivery: Includes business plan idea generation, proposal evaluation, preparing the successful applicants for a demo day; and organising the demo day/award ceremony 
    4. Incubation Programme: Supporting the successful entrepreneurs to scale their business; and
    5. Ongoing celebration and promotion: to build the profile of the exercise, to recreate it again the year after.

    Transfer of the practice to other cities across Europe

    Having been awarded with the URBACT Good Practice Label, the City of Piraeus was subsequently successful in securing funding to work with Burgas in Bulgaria, and Matosinhos in Portugal, to explore the potential to establish an URBACT Transfer Network, to examine how best to transfer the programme to seven other cities across Europe.

    This process will conclude in October this year when Piraeus submits its application for Phase 2 of the URBACT Transfer Network programme with its seven partners cities.

    If successful, this project could establish a pan-European Investment Readiness programme for aspiring Blue Growth Entrepreneurs and a network of cities keen to build on their marine and maritime assets.

    A European Platform for Investing in the Blue Economy

    What makes this URBACT project particularly timely is that the European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, announced at the 2018 European Maritime Day in Burgas, that DG Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is building a European investment platform dedicated solely to the blue economy.

    This builds on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, in which the Commission proposed;

    • That the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will focus on ‘promoting the blue economy in fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, ocean energy or blue biotechnology, in coastal communities, at EU level to provide real EU added value by encouraging EU governments, industry and stakeholders to develop joint approaches to drive growth, while safeguarding the marine environment’.
       
    • That ‘synergies for the maritime and blue economy will be exploited in particular with the European Regional Development Fund for the investment in blue growth sectors and for sea-basin strategy, with the European Social Fund+ to re-train fishers in acquiring skills and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for support to aquaculture. The collaboration and synergies with Horizon Europe for marine research and innovation will be achieved, for instance by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises for the deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth and by supporting a thematic investment platform for research and innovation in the blue economy.’; and
       
    • That ‘the InvestEU Fund will play an important role with financial instruments for market related action, in particular by supporting a thematic investment platform for research and innovation in the Blue Economy’.

    The same document goes on to explain that one particular element of the EUInvest Programme InvestEU Assistance will be established by partners, to provide advisory support and accompanying measures to foster the creation and development of projects, helping projects get off the ground and make them investment-ready.

    However, InvestEU Assistance will need to reach deep into the Blue-Growth entrepreneur community across Europe, if it is to be successful at stimulating innovative, new businesses ideas that possess the potential to add value to the European economy. That’s where a close integration with initiatives like Piraeus’ Blue Growth Initiative can really help.

    As Petros Kokkalis, the Councillor for Local Economic Growth & Entrepreneurship in the Municipality of Piraeus remarked “The Piraeus Blue Growth Initiative has created a value for the city and for Europe, in that it has created a platform for bringing together different parts of the innovation eco-system, to support aspiring Blue Growth Entrepreneurs”

    “One of the major challenges for many of the early stage businesses that we see is raising the funds they need to develop and scale their business. We welcome the establishment of a central Blue Economy investment platform, as it will help address this critical area of market failure and look forward to working with it to support Blue Growth Entrepreneurs.” 

    An increasing sea of opportunity?

    It’s actually a little-known fact, but the word ‘opportunity’ comes from a Latin seafaring phrase, ‘ob portus’, which is made up of the terms ob, meaning “toward”, and portus, meaning “port”. The word came about, because sailors used to have to wait for the right combination of wind, current, and tide to successfully sail into port. They had to seize the right opportunity.

    Today, the opportunity presented by the Blue Economy across Europe is significant and growing. Despite the well-developed nature of the blue economy, there is a scope to further increase its productivity, potential and contribution to the European economy.

    Whilst a wide range of opportunities exist to further this aim, expanding Piraeus’ Good Practice in the field of Investment Readiness to a range of other cities across Europe and connecting this into a central Investment Platform like the one being developed by the Commission will help to establish a coherent cross-sectoral strategy to tackle one of the major obstacles to growth in the sector.

    ***

    Visit the network's page: BluAct

     

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  • Damaged (by) goods? The case for sustainable urban freight logistics

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    15/11/2022
    Viaggio tra le esperienze di riuso temporaneo realizzate a Ravenna, punto di partenza dell'azione di rigenerazione creativa del territorio al centro del network URBACT Creative Spirits
    Articles
    Urban design

    Our wallets, lungs and nerves deserve better

    According to the definition proposed by the CIVITAS Initiative, urban freight logistics concerns “all movements of goods in to, out from, through or within the urban area made by light or heavy vehicles, including also service transport and demolition traffic, as well as waste and reverse logistics”[i]. It is the critical life support system of the city that – as long as everything is working fine – remains almost invisible. It is probably not one of the issues that first come to mind when we think about the quality of life in urban areas and yet, as the story above illustrates, it has a direct impact on our wallets, lungs and nerves.

    “Cities are places for the exchange of goods and information which are at the heart of our economy and way of life. For cities to be successful they need to optimise the exchange of goods and information while remaining attractive places to live and work.”[ii]

    The estimates provided by the CIVITAS Initiative[iii] are helpful in grasping the sheer scale of freight movements in European cities. An average European city would see 300-400 vehicle trips per 100 inhabitants every single day, with 30-50 tons of goods per person being transported annually. Urban freight accounts for:

    • 10-15% of kilometres travelled,
    • 3-5% of urban land use (reserved for logistics activities), and
    • 6% of all transport-related GHG emissions.

    From an environmental policy perspective, cleaning up urban freight logistics is an important step towards achieving local and European goals, particularly with regard to air pollution, CO2 emissions and resource efficiency. If we add to this the economic importance of the sector plus its social impacts (such as e.g. noise or traffic safety), it becomes clear that cities need to get urban freight logistics right.


    Source: Nightime deliveries, CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Initative 2015, p.22

    Destination is clear but we are moving too slow

    The European Commission strongly supports the shift towards sustainable urban freight logistics, not only through policy documents but also through related funding opportunities and research. The 2011 Transport White Paper set the goal of achieving essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030[iv], encouraging the exchange of best practice, development of integrated strategies and improved public procurement procedures. The 2013 Urban Mobility Package proposed further actions to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact of urban freight logistics, e.g. integration of urban logistics into Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

    However, despite a clear policy direction and a number of possible measures identified, the implementation is lagging behind. The 2013 Commission Staff Working Document recognizes that “efficient urban logistics is essential for the economy and the quality of life in cities where most European citizens live but is largely neglected in urban transport policy and planning”, adding that “despite the general agreement on the problems, and in many cases the solutions, there is a broad lack of attention to urban logistics issues”[v]. The document identifies 3 major gaps to be addressed:

    • lack of focus and strategy on urban logistics,
    • lack of co-ordination of urban logistics actors,
    • lack of data and information.

    Compared to the mobility of people, the mobility of goods is an even more complex governance challenge. First of all, we are dealing here with multitude of actors: from multinational companies to local microentreprises, from invidual residents to large private and public sector institutions[vi]. Secondly, freight movements operate on different scales, from global to very local, often just passing by through a city in question. Lastly, the sector is not only an important economic player but also essential to the economic success of the city and its surroundings. Add to this the changing urban form, such as increased density in some areas and urban sprawl in others, plus growing popularity of online shopping  (shopping might be online but deliveries are usually very real!) and you end up with an urban planner’s nightmare.

    How to move forward with the much-needed implementation of sustainable urban logistics? The URBACT programme, with its focus on integrated strategies and stakeholder engagement, can offer a valuable contribution to the European community of planners and mobility experts.

       Freight TAILS to the rescue

    Freight TAILS (Tailored Approaches for Innovative Logistics Solutions) is an URBACT Action Planning Network dedicated to taking sustainable urban logistics one step further, exploring innovative freight solutions in various geographic, socio-economic and policy contexts. The network is a partnership of 9 local and regional authorities:

    • City of Westminster – Cross River Partnership (London, UK) 

    • Brussels – Capital Region (Belgium) 

    • Municipality of Gdynia – ZDiZ Gdynia (Poland) 

    • La Rochelle Urban Community (France) 

    • Maastricht – Maastricht Bereikbaar (Netherlands) 

    • Comune di Parma (Italy) 

    • City of Split (Croatia) 

    • Suceava (Romania) 

    • City of Tallinn (Estonia) 

    • Umeå Kommun (Sweden) 


    Cities embark on this project to "review what is working and why to improve city logistic activity patterns, to identify obstacles and re-evaluate solutions, to explore real transferability, to focus on developing appropriate packages of complementary and jointly reinforcing measures"[vii]. Most of the partners have considerable experience in addressing urban freight issues, raising high expectations for what they can achieve together.

       Sticks, carrots and strategic plans

    European cities have long experimented with various measures designed to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of freight movements. The tricky part here is to find the balance between boosting economic gains and satisfying customer needs on one side, and safeguarding the environment and providing good quality of life on the other. Luckily, many of the measures tested can provide both economic and environmental benefits, e.g. urban consolidation centres, eco-driving programmes or real-time information systems.

    Source: "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable”,
    CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Ini
    ative 2015

    CIVITAS Initiative distinguishes between 6 types of measures[viii], ranging from market-based ones (e.g. tax incentives for clean vehicles) to regulatory ones (e.g. various types of access restrictions), from sticks to carrots, from low-hanging fruit to advanced schemes. However, the challenge is to find the right mix for a particular urban context and mobilise political leadership needed to secure implementation.

    The 2013 Strategic plan for goods traffic[ix] in the Brussels-Capital region (one of the Freight TAILS partners) provides an interesting example of how to approach urban freight logistics in an integrated manner. The plan, developed with participation of various regional stakeholders, includes 36 actions organized in 5 priority areas that – if successfully implemented – will turn Brussels into a model for sustainable and efficient urban distribution of goods by 2050. The following priority areas have been included:

    • organise the urban distribution structure, a framework allowing to group and transport goods more cleanly and efficiently;
    • integrate urban distribution in regional land-use planning and development;
    • quickly improve the efficiency of urban deliveries and reduce nuisances;
    • encourage research and innovation and collect regional data;
    • develop a regional framework favourable to an efficient, sustainable urban distribution.

    Today goods traffic only represents 14% of the overall traffic in Brussels, even if that already translates to 16.000 lorries and 26.000 vans entering every day. However, with an 80% increase of merchandise flows expected by 2050, it is clear why Brussels-Capital Region is intent on addressing the issue before the city suffocates.

    In preparing and implementing the plan, Bruxelles Mobilité – the public body responsible for its development, has been drawing heavily on best practices coming from cities across Europe and hopefully this spirit of collaboration will continue with the Freight TAILS project. The first transnational meeting that took place in Brussels in February 2016 was definitely a good indication, with all partners visiting Brussels’ Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC), operated by City Depot and discussing its business model.

    The establishment of the UCC is a pilot project, with plans to create a multi-centre network across Brussels. The trial was implemented as part of the European project LaMiLo that aimed to improve the “last mile” in a logistics supply chain journey.


    The Freight TAILS morning: visit to the Urban Consolidation Centre in Brussels. Source: Freight TAILS

     

    5 questions to be answered by Freight TAILS

    So where next for Freight TAILS cities? During the start-up phase of the project, the partners have identified 5 common challenges to be addressed by the network:

    • how to overcome technical, economic and political factors limiting integrated freight management?
    • how to encourage public sector, businesses and consumers to demand more sustainable freight services?
    • how to use sustainable public procurement practices to stimulate the market, reduce costs and achieve better environmental outcomes?
    • how to promote zero emission vehicles for fossil fuel free urban logistics?
    • what kind of smart management solutions work best at the local level?


    Source: Charlotte Knell (Lead Partner, Cross River Partnership, UK)
    and Philipp Stein (Freight TAILS Lead Expert) representing the project during URBACT meeting in Paris. Source: Cross River Partnership

    If these questions resonate with you, if you have good (or even better, bad) experiences you would like to share, please get in touch with the Freight TAILS network. You can follow @freight_tails on Twitter or get updates on their progress via the URBACT website.

     



    [i] "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable”, CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Initative 2015, accessed 7 April 2016, p.9

    [ii] A call to action on urban logistics, SWD (2013) 524 final, Brussels 17.12.2013, accessed 8.04.2016, p.2

    [iii] Smart choices for cities, p.7

    [v] A call to action on urban logistics, SWD (2013) 524 final, Brussels 17.12.2013, accessed 8.04.2016, p. 9-10

    [vi] See above "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable", p.12 for a comprehensive overview of urban freight stakeholders

    [viii] "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable", p.16

    [ix] Strategic plan for goods traffic in the Brussels-Capital Region, Bruxelles Mobilité 2014

     

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