POINT (19.040235 47.497912)
  • Is the compact city model endangered?

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    Is the compact city model endangered? Article COVER

    Three Action Planning Networks (2019 - 2022) came together to gather inspiration on how people can experience and move through the city.

    Urban mobility
    From urbact

    The Walk’n’Roll initiative, 27 different towns, cities and metropolises from the RiConnect, the Thriving Streets and the Space4People networks had a common mission. Together, they reflected about how mobility can play an important role when building better public spaces and increase the quality of life for local communities.  Iván Tosics, URBACT Expert who followed their exchange and learning journey, shares with us some of the key take-aways, findings and open questions that were raised during the Walk’n’Roll many and which are compiled in a brand new Guidebook. Take a ride with us and enjoy the read!



    URBACT Walk'n'Roll


    The recent pandemic was an important episode in the history of urban development. Much can be learnt from the immediate reactions to the health crisis, especially in dense cities. There were many brilliant examples about innovative tactical interventions in public space, inclusive housing policies, new types of economic support and social protection mechanisms, from which we can take stock.

    As the peak of the pandemic has slowly come to an end, the life in cities has quickly returned to its pre-Covid pace. A negative legacy is the incessant growth of suburbanisation, a process that has exploded over the last two years not only in Europe, but also in almost all parts of the world...


    A common effect in different cities


    In Oslo (NO), internal movements in and around the city, have shown an increased outmigration in the past two years with people aged between 25-30 and 60-70 moving away from the city, towards its outskirts and beyond. The “working from home effect” can partially explain this phenomenon. People with higher wages had a tendency to move away. It’s interesting to note though that most of the outmigrants were people who were not born in Oslo, according to studies.

    Likewise, in American cities, a substantial reallocation of housing and office demand has become tangible. People chose to move to the suburbs, away from dense city centres. Some analysts have called this as the “doughnut effect”. Meaning the rise of the suburbs and the slump of the city centre, driven by a fear of crowds and the opportunity of working from home.

    In a very recent analysis on the situation of the Paris urban area (FR), the academia has tried to collect all available information about internal residential migration, using unusual data. Information from rural associations, from the post office regarding permanent re-direction of mails to new address, or even schools' registrations were used as unexpected, yet rich sources. As evidence shows, migration flows from the downtown to the urban fringe are visible. According to this analysis, such movement of people cannot be considered as an urban exodus though. So, if not an exodus, what are these new forms of migration then?


    The new intra-urban migration tendencies


    First of all, research suggests that no direct, causal links exist between the spread of the virus and urban density. According to an OECD, it’s not density alone that makes cities vulnerable to Covid-19, but rather a mix of factors. The structural economic and social conditions play a role in this regard with overcrowdness, inequality, insufficient living conditions and the spatial concentration of the urban poor.

    The consequences from this new suburbanisation, on the other hand, are very clear: growing climate and energy problems due to increasing car-use, intensification of social disparities, since those who are leaving the city centre are the ones who can afford to do so. Moreover, there are also more and more problems in places where people tend to move out from. In the Budapest area (HU), for example, there are growing complaints in the agglomerational settlements with physical and human infrastructure problems, caused by the quick, unplanned growth of new residents.

    That being said, the post-Covid city presents us with a silver lining, an opportunity to rethink the principles of the urban compact development. For instance the British professor, Greg Clark, offers us a vision with blended cities and a more spread planification process. He argues for a wider distribution of activities between urban areas to offer second and third tear cities more chances. He also makes the case for better disposition of services within functional urban areas, based on the growth of "neighbourliness" and the emerging social capital.  

    Clark argues that people living in the fringes might still travel to the larger city centers from time to time, and acknowledges that they might not always work from home. At the same time, they will also get a taste for the local life where they live. People will spend more time – and money – in their neighbourhoods and, by consequence, new opportunities might arise for towns, suburban and secondary downtowns. So, these are not simply places where people sleep and work from home, but also places of exchange and for gatherings. Where, eventually, communities might thrive.

    This idea raises challenges for future urban development, for instance, issues related to metropolitan planning. Where to build new housing and dwellings? And how to regulate transport fares? These are just a few of the questions that were discussed during the Walk’n’Roll conference in Barcelona (ES), held in July 2022. The findings are summarised below.



    How to improve existing dense areas?


    The most widely accepted definition for adequate urban density is the one that acknowledges the need for an accessibility shift: changing urban transportation and land-use planning on the basis of people's ability to reach destinations, rather than on their ability to travel fast. This vision relies on the principle of re-humanising cities.


    The proximity aspect


    In the Walk’n’Roll conference the topic of proximity was at the heart of the discussion. In order for residents to give up the frequent use of car and, in perspective, also the ownership of a car, urban areas have to be changed. They must allow people to reach the most important everyday-destinations in a short time on foot, by bicycle or using public transport rides. There are many ideas raised for this shift, like the concept of the 15-Minute city. Besides the innovative practices of superblocks, Tempo30 and parking management – which are thoroughly described in the Walk’n’Roll Guidebook, Booklet 2 – you can find below two other ideas.


    The pedestrian-priority city


    Pontevedra (ES) is a medium-sized city with 83 000 inhabitants. In 1999 it was just another car-oriented city, but things started to change with the election of a new mayor – who still holds this position until this day. Mr Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores told citizens back then that the act of buying a car didn’t magically grant people with 10 square meters from the public space for a parking spot.

    His ideas consisted of making a distinction of the need for mobility, according to social criteria. He put people in the foreground, with at least half of the surface of all original streets turned into pedestrian areas. Intersections without lights and raised promenades were created, alongside he limited of parking hours in the downtown to a maximum of 15 minutes. In addition, underground parking was built under a concession and free public parking spaces were provided within a 15-20 minute walk of the centre.

    The results of these interventions were staggering: a decrease of motorised traffic by 77% in the dense urban area and by 93% in downtown, besides a decline in traffic accidents with no fatalities at all. Pontevedra became a high quality place to live with all public spaces serving the people, instead of the cars.


    Car-free places in every neighbourhoodURBACT Walk'n'Roll


    Back in 2014, in collaboration with 24 parish councils, the municipality of Lisbon (PT) started a programme called “Uma Praca em Cada Bairro” (“A space in every neighbourhood”). Currently being implemented, the programme is helping to renovate areas in the city to get people out of cars and to create new public spaces. The squares and streets will become the meeting point of the local community and “microcentres”, concentrating activity and employment.

    Henceforth, walking, cycling and public transport will be favoured, as the car traffic will be significantly restricted. The citywide programme in 150 squares and streets, practically in all neighbourhoods of Lisbon, could only be carried out with the support of the population. The programme counted with strong public participation processes.


    Potential externalities of public space improvement policies


    It goes without saying that the improvement of living conditions, with more public spaces and fewer cars, can lead to raising rents, pushing the most vulnerable residents away from the city. This is why it’s fundamental for the public sector to control the gentrifying effects. The efficiency of the public intervention depends on the willingness and political power of the municipal leadership, as well as on the housing system of the given city. A good example is the city of Vienna (AT), where the majority of the housing stock is under direct or indirect public control, with little or no gentrifying effects as a consequence of mobility and public space improvements.

    The situation is slightly more difficult in Barcelona, where the share of rental housing represents 31% of the housing sector. Only a small portion of these houses is actually owned by the public sector, making it almost impossible for the municipality to defend tenants. To tackle this challenge and avoid a “New York Highline effect”, the municipality provides subsidies to the urban poor, regulates private rents, oversees the housing market and even negotiates with landlords.



    How to create efficient metropolitan cooperation in blended cities?


    In the post pandemic world it’s not enough to make the dense urban cores more attractive, attention has also to be paid to those peripheral locations where many families aim to move to. Planning in larger territories can bring to light different questions, as to where new housing stock should be constructed or how to regulate and tax different forms of transport. The key aspect for public intervention in wider territories is a metropolitan coordination, which can be illustrated by the examples below.


    Turning highways into urban boulevards


    The classic period of suburbanisation started in the late 1950s in the USA, with the construction of 40 thousand miles of motorways financed by enormous central state grants. Urban planners were unstoppably carving highways into the urban structure, eradicating vulnerable neighbourhoods with fewer abilities to resist and, finally, ensuring the separation of functions following the leading planning concepts of the time. A similar car-oriented “modernisation” wave also reached most of the European cities. During the Walk’n’Roll conference, city practitioners showcased examples of recent efforts to reverse this phenomenon.

    In the course of the work done by Metrex for the From Roads to Streets learning platform –with support from Eurocities and URBACT – many European cases are analysed, including the transformative strategies adopted in Helsinki (FI), Oslo (NO), Lyon (FR) and Brussels (BE). In these dynamically growing cities the leading model is the urban intensification to concentrate growth and avoid urban sprawl. One way to achieve this principle is to direct new development to areas along the highways – provided that these are transformed into urban boulevards, with more space given for non-motorised vehicles. In Utrecht (NL), for example, two alternative projections were calculated for future scenarios and, according to them, the "A Proximity Model" foresee 20% less car-use.

    The opportunities and challenges of these new urban boulevards are gathered in a project to humanise the N-150 road, which is the central element of Barcelona’s Integrated Action Plan for the RiConnect network. This project deals with the motorway-like national road at the fringe of the metropolitan area, which created a division between the settlements and was putting the speed of mobility as the top priority. In order to restore old connections between the peripheral municipalities, the concept of metropolitan roads was born: without building new roads the extinct links between areas should be revived. This shall calm down traffic on the national road and even enable people to cycle from one town to another, which was not previously possible with the highways.


    URBACT Walk'n'Roll


    Improving the rail network to ensure metropolitan cooperation


    The Krakow (PL) Integrated Action Plan for the RiConnect network shows another way how metropolitan cooperation can be created. The Skawina Mobility Hub aims to create a connection point in one of Krakow’s satellite cities, on the line of the fast speed agglomerational railway that is under construction.

    Besides exploring the future functions of the evolving mobility hub, the intermodal links, park and ride (P+R) facilities and how to connect the station with city centre of Skawina, many efforts are being made to change the mobility mindset of people. This includes co-creation workshops, which resulted in the establishment of the integrated ticket system.

    Krakow is a good example for bringing public transport to the overall reflection on the metropolitan area. Such strategies, however, have to face the financial challenge of running public transport. During Covid times the ridership of public transport decreased almost everywhere and the rebouncing is still slow.


    Bringing planning and governance together at metropolitan level


    The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) is a great example of how planning and governance can come together, not only at city, but also at metropolitan level. The AMB, the Lead Partner of the RiConnect network, is an agency with competencies in terms of mobility and public space in the metropolitan area – which counts with the double of inhabitants in comparison to the city itself. AMB is managing a very innovative mobility plan covering different aspects, such as generating safe and comfortable spaces for pedestrians, and sustainable methods of mobility, while reducing the use of private motorised transport.

    Unfortunately, not all cities have powerful metropolitan governance systems and/or strong agencies for planning and mobility. In the lack of these, urban planning cooperation between the municipalities of the urban area can help a lot. Sometimes these are initiated in bottom-up process, in combination with the national level, in order to use efficiently the EU Cohesion Policy resources. The Kraków Metropolitan Area (KMA), for instance, is responsible for coordination of transportation investments, which are implemented in the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) framework for the city and and its 14 surrounding municipalities.


    How to move towards an accessibility shift?


    Action Planning Networks labelThe new Walk’n’Roll Guidebook is split in three booklets – WHY, WHAT and HOW – and brings to light solutions that any city, regardless of its size, can use as a reference to drive change towards more blended and less compact cities. In order to tackle the most recent challenge of post-Covid suburbanisation, however, the practical interventions that are presented have to be combined with territorial visions. Regulation, planning and the support of governance institutions are equally important. Although this might sound challenging, there are different resources that can be particularly useful. Take for instance the EU Cohesion Policy, where investments in urban transport have more than doubled – from 8 billion EUR in 2007 - 2013 to 17 billion EUR in the 2014 - 2020, with even more opportunities in the next programming period.

    The first URBACT IV (2021 - 2027) call for Action Planning Networks is also a great occasion for cities to find partners to exchange, pilot ideas and develop an integrated set of actions at local level. While URBACT stresses the importance of the priorities of green - gender - digital, the RiConnect, the Thriving Streets and the Space4People networks are living proof of the wealth of themes that can be tackled within the spectrum of any urban subject, as today’s mobility challenge. These projects are in the crossroad of building more inclusive cities – for women and all – while also promoting the reduction of carbon emissions.

    Cities that wish to apply to the call are welcome to choose whichever network topic they deem relevant to their context. URBACT welcomes – and always will – bottom-up approaches that look at the big picture. Walk’n’Roll is bear fruit of the past round of Action Planning Networks and, hopefully, the next batch of URBACT cities will carry on its legacy and put its knowledge into action.

    URBACT Walk'n'Roll Guidebook

  • UrbSecurity – a városi közbiztonság megteremtése lakossági részvétellel

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

    A 9 városból álló UrbSecurity akciótervezési hálózat 2022 augusztusában zárta tevékenységét. A hálózat innovatív megközelítést dolgozott ki a városi biztonság és védelem javítására, integrálva azt a várostervezésbe, a társadalmi kohéziós és egyéb városi politikákba, a nyilvános helyek biztonságára vonatkozó Urban Agenda ajánlások nyomán. Az elmúlt időszak kihívásairól, a projekt eredményeiről Komádi Mónikát, a MEGAKOM munkatársát kérdeztük.

    From urbact

    1. Kik az UrbSecurity projekt partnerei? Kik a helyi URBACT csoport (ULG) tagjai?

    Az UrbSecurity projektben 8 település szakembereivel dolgozhattunk a mátészalkai közbiztonság javítása és a bűnmegelőzés céljából. A vezető partner a portugál Leiria városa volt, amelynek szakemberei – a vezető szakértővel, Pedro Soutinho-val közösen – hatékonyan koordinálták a projektet annak ellenére, hogy a COVID-19 járvány miatt személyes találkozásra csak a projekt zárásakor kerülhetett sor. A Szabolcs 05 Önkormányzati Területfejlesztési Társulás mellett a partnerség része volt még Faentina (Olaszország), Longford (Írország), Madrid (Spanyolország), Mechelen (Belgium), Michalovce (Szlovákia), Parma (Olaszország) és Pella (Görögország). Érdekes és inspiráló volt megtapasztalni, hogy mennyire más közbiztonsági kihívásokkal szembesülnek a városok mérettől, funkciótól, valamint a társadalmi és gazdasági adottságoktól függően – ezzel együtt a problémák megoldásához is változatos eszközöket használtak. A különbözőségek megjelenítésére az akciótervezési módszertan kiválóan alkalmazható, amellyel a helyi URBACT csoport tagjai is megismerkedhettek. Ők olyan szervezeteket képviselnek, amelyek közvetlenül vagy közvetetten befolyásolni tudják Mátészalka közbiztonságát, illetve rendelkeznek a szükséges információkkal és kapcsolatokkal: a rendőrség, a polgárőrség, oktatási és szociális intézmények, a közterület-felügyelet és az önkormányzat városfejlesztési szakemberei közösen dolgozták ki a város közbiztonsági akciótervét.


    2. Az UrbSecurity projekt keretén belül fontos cél volt a lakosok aktív részvételével a városok közbiztonságának növelése. Ennek kidolgozása során milyen eszközökkel próbálták bevonni az érintett lakosságot?

    Az UrbSecurity projekt keretében új eszközöket ismerhettünk meg a lakosság aktív bevonására. Az egyik legfontosabb az egyéni döntéshozatal kreatív befolyásolására alkalmas ún. „nudging”, amire nincs igazán jó magyar kifejezés. A belga partnerek hatékonyan használják többek között az utcai szemetelés megelőzésére úgy, hogy köztéri szemeteshez vezető lábnyomokat festettek a járdára. Faentinában nagy hagyománya van az egyébként angolszász országokban elterjedt „neighbourhood watch” (szomszédsági figyelés) mozgalomnak, amely kisebb városrészekben jelent összefogást a lakosok között – ezáltal erősíthető a helyi kötődés, a közösségi összetartozás és bizalom is. A Szabolcs 05 Önkormányzati Területfejlesztési Társulás a térség központját, Mátészalkát jelölte ki a projekt célterületeként: itt elsősorban a fiatal korosztályra fókuszáltunk, akik könnyen válhatnak bűncselekmény áldozatává, de akár elkövetőjévé is. Bevontuk őket a helyben megvalósított kisléptékű akció megvalósításába résztvevőként, illetve egy könnyen használható e-learning tananyag célcsoportjaként is.



    3. A városi közbiztonságól és védelemről készült e-learning tananyag az általános és középiskolás diákokat célozta meg. Elkezdték már beépíteni ezeket a tanmenetbe, illetve használják már az iskolák?

    A tananyag küldetése, hogy megmutassa: mi magunk is sokat tehetünk azért, hogy a városunk biztonságosabb legyen. Annak ellenére, hogy az elmúlt években nagymértékben csökkent a bűnelkövetések száma és javult a felderítési arány Mátészalkán, azonosítható néhány akut probléma, amely lakossági aktivitással jól kezelhető. Ilyen például a megelőzés és a közösségi felelősségvállalás, ami magától értetődőnek tűnik ugyan, mégis gyakran háttérbe szorul. A tananyagban nagy hangsúlyt kap, hogy mit tehetnek a fiatalok, hogy ne váljanak sem áldozattá, sem bűnelkövetővé, illetve, hogy mit tehetnek mások szubjektív biztonságérzetének növeléséért. A mátészalkai és a környékbeli iskolákban eredményesen használhatják az e-learning tananyagot osztályfőnöki, állampolgári ismeretek és etika tantárgyak keretében, és hasznos lenne elterjeszteni akár országos szinten is.


    4. Mátészalka egyes városrészein magasabb a bűnözési arány. Ennek mérséklésére a közvilágítás javításán túl milyen egyéb eszközöket látnak hasznosnak?

    Hiszünk abban – és az UrbSecurity projektben szerzett tapasztalatok ezt meg is erősítették –, hogy tartós eredményeket csak összefogásban és integrált megközelítéssel lehet elérni. Ezt a szemléletet tükrözi az integrált akciótervünk is, amelynek célja kettős: egyfelől a városi környezetet kell biztonságosabbá és vonzóbbá tenni, másfelől a bűnmegelőzésre kell hangsúlyt fektetni a helyi lakosok bevonásával – így javítható a közbiztonság nemcsak a veszélyeztetettebb területeken, hanem az egész városban. Az infrastrukturális beavatkozások között megjelenik a szubjektív biztonságérzetet szem előtt tartó várostervezés, valamint a térfigyelő kamerarendszer fejlesztése, míg a lakosságot elsősorban célzott kampányokkal lehet aktivizálni. A városvezetés nemrégiben növelte a közterület-felügyelet létszámát és a járműpark is bővült annak érdekében, hogy a bűnmegelőzési feladatait és a szükséges jelenlétet minél magasabb színvonalon tudja biztosítani a szolgálat. Emellett az önkormányzat komplex városrehabilitációs projekteket valósított meg és a jövőben is tervez olyan beavatkozásokat, amelyek nemcsak a fizikai környezet megújítását szolgálják, hanem a veszélyeztetett társadalmi csoportok felzárkózását és a közösségi kohézió erősítését is.



    5. A projekt eredményei alapján körvonalazódott, hogy milyen módszerekkel lehetne elkötelezetté tenni a helyi közösségeket a közterületek megóvása és a bajba jutott embertársaiknak nyújtott segítség kapcsán?

    Az említett szemléletformáláson túl számos eszköz áll rendelkezésre, amelyek optimális kombinációja hosszú távon segítheti ezeket a folyamatokat. A személyes elköteleződést és a kapacitásokat minden irányból erősíteni kell: ez vonatkozik a hivatásos rendvédelmi szervekre (pl. a Mátészalkai Rendőrkapitányságon egy fő kifejezetten a prevenciós feladatokért felel), az önkéntes polgárőrségre, a helyi URBACT csoportra és általánosságban a helyi közösségre is. Az utóbbi esetében azt tapasztaljuk, hogy a helyi véleményformáló személyek azonosításával és aktív bevonásával könnyebben megszólíthatók és mozgósíthatók a lakosok. Emellett támogatni kell az alulról jövő lakossági kezdeményezések életre hívását és életben tartását is, amit jól példáznak a közösségvezérelt helyi fejlesztések: aki tevőlegesen részt vesz egy ilyen beavatkozás megvalósításában – legyen szó példaképpen egy park rendezéséről vagy egy játszótér megújításáról –, lényegesen nagyobb elköteleződést mutat a végeredmény megőrzésében, mint aki „csak” használja az adott közteret. Hatékony eszközt jelentenek a szomszédsági beszélgetések is: még egy kisebb városban is előfordulhat, hogy kevéssé ismerik egymást és egymás problémáit akár egy utcában lakó emberek, a szomszédsági találkozókkal kialakítható a bizalom, ami minden emberi kontaktus alapja, így egyfelől könnyebben fordulunk egymáshoz segítségért, másfelől hamarabb észleljük azt is, ha valaki segítségre szorul.



    6. Az UrbSecurity partnervárosai közül melyek küzdenek hasonló problémákkal, mint a Szabolcs 05 Társulás települései? Melyek a legfontosabb tanulságok, amelyeket kiemelnének a partnerekkel folytatott tapasztalatcsere kapcsán?

    Leiria és Michalovce esetében szembesültünk hasonló, bár részben más tőről fakadó kihívásokkal: mindkét városban jelentkeznek társadalmi feszültségek, illetve azonosíthatók leromlott állapotú, elhagyatottnak tűnő, így közösségi használatra kevéssé vonzó településrészek (akár frekventált belvárosi területeken is). A nemzetközi tapasztalatcsere egyik legfontosabb tanulsága, hogy milyen kreatív és újszerű, mégis egyszerű megoldásokat lehet alkalmazni a problémák feltárására és kezelésére: Leiria az ún. „Serious Games” módszert adaptálta, amely során egy-egy problémás területre fókuszáltak térképes-társasjátékszerű megközelítéssel, míg Michalovce esetében a lakosság egy online térképes felületen jelölhette a közbiztonsággal kapcsolatos problémákat. A jövőben a Szabolcs 05 Társulás minél többet kíván alkalmazni és elterjeszteni a megismert módszerek közül a térség 44 településén.


    Az UrbSecurity projektje ugyan lezárult, de bízunk benne, hogy a hálózat munkája ezzel korántsem ért véget. A városi biztonság és védelem az EU modern demokráciáinak alapkövei, az UrbSecurity pedig azzal, hogy képes iránymutatásokat nyújtani más EU-városok számára a biztonsági és védelmi stratégiáik integrált és részvételen alapuló megvalósítása érdekében, sikeresen hozzájárul ezen Európai Uniós politikákhoz.

  • Az élelmiszervásárlás mezőgazdasági tevékenység!

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    Címlapfotó: Városi kert Mouans-Sartoux-ban (Franciaország).

    "Ezek a közösségi kertek zöldséget és gyümölcsöt termelnek, de mindenekelőtt biztosítják a kapcsolatteremtést a környék lakói között" - mondja Rob Hopkins a Citizen Feeds the City hat kertjének egyikében tett látogatása során, amely projektet a MEAD - Fenntartható Élelmiszerek Oktatási Központja dolgozta ki, és Mouans-Sartoux (Franciaország) helyi lakosai hozták létre.

    Amit a Transition Towns mozgalom híres megalkotója találóan "patchwork-gazdálkodásnak" nevez, az a környék néhány családjának ellátását biztosítja, de ahogyan az Sustainable Food in Urban Communities (Fenntartható élelmiszerek a városi közösségekben) URBACT városhálózat világosan megmutatta, valójában fontos szimbolikus eszközt jelent a helyi összejövetelek és a lakosok élelmiszerekkel kapcsolatos gyakorlatának átalakítása szempontjából.

     ASZTALHOZ! - Átalakulóban

    A "Mouans-Sartoux Élelmiszerfórum - Asztalhoz!" című megnyitóján a város gyermekekkel, oktatással és élelmezéssel foglalkozó alpolgármestere, Gilles Pérole megosztotta a résztvevőkkel a városi szinten elvégzett szén-dioxid hatásvizsgálat első eredményeit. A tanulmány a 2016 és 2022 közötti időszakban készült Andrea Lulovicovà diplomamunkája keretében a Cote d'Azur-i Egyetemen, az ADEME finanszírozásával. Az értékelés szerint, míg Franciaországban az élelmiszerek évente átlagosan 2 tonna szén-dioxidot jelentenek fejenként, addig Mouans-Sartoux városában ez az érték mindössze 1,17 tonna. A helyiek átlagos étrendje az országos átlaghoz képest 43%-os szén-dioxid-kibocsátással jár. Ráadásul a kevesebb húst fogyasztó lakosok száma kevesebb mint 10 év alatt 85%-ra nőtt.

    Tekintettel arra, hogy az élelmiszerágazat az európai életmódunk üvegházhatású gázkibocsátásának nagyjából ¼-ét teszi ki, Mouans-Sartoux élelmiszerpolitikai eredményei még hatásosabbak. Ezek az eredmények azt is bizonyítják, hogy a változtatásokat illetően nem mindig a "jutalom – büntetés” megközelítés a legjobb megoldás - vegyük például Hollandiát, ahol betiltották a húsreklámokat. A "Mouans-Sartoux megközelítés" meghozza gyümölcsét, mivel hosszú távon inkább a fenntartható átállás tudatosságára és oktatására épít.


    Csoportos megbeszélés az Asztalhoz! Mouans-Sartoux Élelmiszer-fórumon. (Fotó: François Jégou)


    A város "állandó közéleti aktivitását" a városi kertek hatékonysága bizonyítja, de mindenekelőtt a 100%-ban bio és szinte kizárólag helyi étkezdével taroltak, ahol 1000 általános iskolás gyermek étkezik minden nap - az ételek fele szigorúan vegetáriánus. Emellett számos sikeres intézkedés jellemzi a hálózat tevékenységét: a "nulla élelmiszerhulladék" családokra gyakorolt hatása, az iskolai konyhákat ellátó, a városközponttól 700 méterre található városi gazdaság, az évente 25 tonna zöldséget betakarító három városi megbízott-gazda, és az önkormányzat támogatása a fiatal biotermelők közösségi kertekbe telepítéséhez.

    Végre az önkormányzatnak sikerült létrehoznia a MEAD - Fenntartható Élelmiszerek Oktatási Központját is: a város valódi közétkeztetési szolgáltatását. A központ politikailag elkötelezett a tisztességes kereskedelem mellett, és támogatja a Pozitív Élelmiszercsaládok Kihívást. Ahogy Valery Bousiges - egy általános iskolás tanuló anyukája, akivel az első URBACT BioCanteens Network 2018-as indulásakor találkoztunk - összefoglalta: "A kérdés nem az, hogy mikor történik valami az élelmiszerekkel kapcsolatban Mouans-Sartoux-ban, hanem az, hogy mi történik ma. Minden nap megkérdezik tőlünk!".

     Az "Asztalhoz!" Mouans-Sartoux Élelmiszerfórum" 10 ország több mint 150 érdekeltjét - köztük 50 helyi hatóságot, több mint 20 nem kormányzati szervezetet és az élelmiszeripari átállásban részt vevő hivatalos struktúrákat - vonta össze az URBACT BioCanteens #2 Network 2022. szeptember 26-28. közötti zárása alkalmából. A rendezvény címe telitalálat volt: hogyan lehet az élelmiszerekkel kapcsolatos átmeneti kérdéseket újra az asztalra és az állampolgárok figyelmébe helyezni?

    François Collard-Dutilleul, a Lascaux Átmeneti Központ munkatársa szerint az élelmiszer-szuverenitás - amely a fórum központi témája volt - azt jelenti, hogy visszaszerezzük azt a képességet, hogy megválaszthassuk, mit teszünk a tányérunkra. Ez messze túlmutat az élelmiszer-autonómia túlságosan leegyszerűsített gondolatán, amelyet a világjárvány és az ukrajnai háború után oly gyakran hangoztatnak.

    Ahogy Andrea Lulovicovà - aki jelenleg a Greniers d'Abondance-nál dolgozik -, és Chantal Clément, az IPES FOOD munkatársa emlékeztetnek bennünket, az élelmezési átmenet három kritikus pilléren nyugszik: a mezőgazdasági átmenet, az élelmiszerek áthelyezése és az élelmezési gyakorlatok átalakítása. Nem elég bio- és helyi élelmiszereket termelni, ha nem változtatjuk meg az étkezési szokásainkat. Mouans-Sartoux és a többi, az élelmiszeripari átmenetben részt vevő város példája mindhárom tényezőt kipipálja.



    Kártyajáték bioszkeptikusok címmel: Mindannyiunknak jó oka van arra, hogy ne bízzunk a biominősítésben A kártyákat az asztalra terítik, mítoszromboló üzenetekkel. (Fotó: François Jégou)



    Claude Fischler "L'Homnivore" című könyvében elmagyarázza, hogy a "táplálék megtestesülésének" mechanizmusa révén azzá válunk, amit megeszünk. Ez mind fizikailag, mind szimbolikusan érvényes, ezért fokozott ellenállást tanúsítunk bármilyen étrendi változtatással szemben. Hacsak nem az életünk függ tőle, mint egykor az első emberek esetében, az étrendi változások teljes mértékben veszélyeztethetik az identitásunkat.

    A BioCanteens #1 és #2 hálózatok minden partner városában tapasztaltunk ilyen ellenállást a bioélelmiszerekkel kapcsolatban: "a bioélelmiszer nem megbízható, nem hasznos, nem egészséges, nem fenntartható, nem...". Tudomásul venni, hogy tudományosan bizonyított, hogy a bio jobb az egészségünknek és a bolygónak, azt jelenti, hogy tudatosítani kell, hogy a konvencionálisan termesztett élelmiszer, amit a legtöbben közülünk nap mint nap fogyasztanak, mérgező - nemcsak számunkra, hanem a világ számára is.

    A bioélelmiszerek mögötti rejtett pszichológia feltárására a BioCanteens csapata kifejlesztette a "Bioszkeptikus" kártyajátékot, amely összegyűjti a gazdáktól, kereskedőktől, fogyasztóktól, önkormányzati szolgálatoktól és másoktól hallott szkeptikus kliséket. A játék a mezei szereplők, toxikológiai és tanúsítási szakértők tudását és érveit adja át, hogy csökkentse a biotanúsítással kapcsolatos tévhiteket.

    Az ökológiai minősítés alapvető fontosságú az élelmiszeripari átmenet, az emberi egészség és a társadalmi rugalmasság szempontjából. Nem problémamentes, és kétségtelenül fejleszthető. A játék a területen lévő érdekelt felekkel játszva abból áll, hogy meg kell találni az összes érv-kártyát, amelyek az egyes bizalmatlansági kártyákra válaszolnak. Így megvitatjuk őket, megnyitjuk a vitát, megcélozzuk a fő ellentmondásokat, eloszlatunk néhány félreértést vagy irracionális félelmet, és ami a legfontosabb, rávilágítunk néhány konkrét problémára, amelyek még megoldásra várnak.



    Az Asztalhoz! Élelmiszerfórum résztvevői Mouans-Sartoux-ban (Franciaország), akik a Bioszkeptikusok kártyajátékot játsszák. (Fotó: François Jégou)



    De mit tesznek ezek a városok az élelmiszer-váltás időszakában, és hogyan támogathatjuk nemzeti és európai szinten a mozgalmukat? A Mouans-Sartoux-i Élelmiszerfórum második felében a résztvevők ezeket a kérdéseket tették fel a vásári standoknál, ahol szabadtéri piacot alakítottak ki, hogy ösztönözzék az eszmecserét és ötleteket kínáljanak.

    A standoknál a résztvevők megismerkedhettek az átalakulóban lévő városok, különösen a BioCanteens #1 és #2 partnervárosok útkeresésével: Gavà (Spanyolország), LAG Pays des Condruses (Belgium), Liège (Belgium), Rosignano Marittimo (Olaszország), Torres Vedras (Portugália), Trikala (Görögország), Trojan (Bulgária), Vaslui (Románia) és Wroclaw (Lengyelország). Az említett partnerek különböző módon adaptálták és ültették át Mouans-Sartoux jó gyakorlatát.

    A folyamat során a városok összegyűjtötték saját helyi Mikro-Jó Gyakorlataikat is a főzés és az étkezdékben történő élelmiszer-oktatás terén. A standokon az érdeklődők megtekinthették a BioCanteens eszköztárát is, amely egy, az egyes városok élelmezési szuverenitását és élelmiszertermelő földterületeinek jövőjét 2040-ig bemutató projektív feladatból, továbbá egy szimulációs játékból - amely egy városi élelmiszer-platform létrehozására szolgál -, egy többszintű élelmezésirányítási tervet felvázoló poszterből és a Bioszkeptikusok kártyajátékból áll.


    Piactér az Asztalhoz! Élelmiszerfórumon Mouans-Sartoux-ban (Franciaország). (Fotó: François Jégou)


    Az egyik standon arra kérték a résztvevőket, hogy mérlegeljék, milyen intézkedéseket kellene tenni az élelmiszerek iránt elkötelezett városok mozgalmának erősítése érdekében. Az összegyűjtött javaslatok közül innovatív tendenciák rajzolódtak ki. Ilyen például a városok élelmezési kompetenciájának elismerése, az élelmiszerrendszer aktív termelői és nem csak szervezői szerepének elismerése, az elővásárlási jogok használata - mint az önkormányzatok mezőgazdasági földterületek megszerzésére irányuló lehetőségei -, valamint a közüzemi gazdálkodók státuszának megszilárdítása. Az alábbiakban egy pillanatképet mutatunk be az elképzelésekről: 




    A javaslatokat öt kategóriába soroltuk: - Helyi köztisztviselők - Finanszírozás - Szabályozás - Földterület - Hálózatok


    Az összegyűjtött javaslatok európai szinten ugyanabba az irányba mutatnak: alapvető fontosságú, hogy közvetlen kapcsolatot teremtsünk Európa és azon városok között, amelyek képesek a magas színvonalú helyi mezőgazdasági struktúra újjáépítésére. Különösen az állami mezőgazdasági termelés közvetlen finanszírozása tekintetében, mint például a "városi vezető" vagy "város-vidék közötti együttműködést támogató " projektek lehetséges létrehozása. 




    A javaslatokat négy kategóriába soroltuk: - A projekt finanszírozása - Közpiacok - Területek - Hálózatok.



    A fórum utolsó részében egy kulcsfontosságú kérdésre reflektáltak: mi a helyzet az élelmiszerekkel kapcsolatos kivételekkel? "Nem vásárolhatunk élelmiszert a közösségi étkezdék számára, mintha írószert vásárolnánk" - mondta Gilles Pérole. "Az áruknak az európai piaci kódex által garantált szabad forgalma ellentétes az élelmiszerek helyben történő elosztásával és a helyi mezőgazdasági átmenet támogatásával. Kivételre van szükségünk az élelmiszerpiacokra vonatkozó európai kódex alól".

    Ez a felvetés már 2021 elején felmerült, nevezetesen a BioCanteens #1 Network zárórendezvényén: "A COP26 már zajlik, csatlakozz a demokrácia és az élelmiszer-szuverenitás mellett elkötelezett európai városok mozgalmához". De ugorjunk előre napjainkig, ez a vita még mindig ellentmondásokkal terhelt. A fórumon elhangzott különböző vélemények közül Fabrice Riem, jogász és a Lascaux Átmeneti Központ koordinátora érdekes álláspontot mutatott be arról, hogyan lehet a kivételeket a szabályok megsértése nélkül alkalmazni.

    Míg Davide Arcadipane, Liège városából a közbeszerzési pályázatok több tételre való felosztásának folyamatát ismertette - annak érdekében, hogy megkönnyítse az iskolai étkezdék számára a helyi kistermelőktől származó készletekhez való hozzáférést -, Fabrice Riem rámutatott, hogy ez az eljárás, amely ma már mindennapos, a közbeszerzési szabályzat megkerülésének egyik módja anélkül, hogy aláásná azt. Ennek ellenére a pályázatok 300-400 tételre való felosztása, ahogyan azt Dijon (Franciaország) városa alkalmazza, olyan humánerőforrás-kapacitást igényel, amellyel a kisebb városok nem rendelkeznek, és ezért első körben különbséget kell tenni a különböző városok mérete alapján.

    Az európai piaci kódex olyan védelmet jelent, amely alól néhányan nem vonják ki magukat, és amely a helyi viszonyokat is figyelembe veszi. Az európai piaci kódex olyan védelmet jelent, amely alól talán veszélyes, és talán szükségtelen is kivételt tenni". Ha a városok "vásárlóerejüket akarják kifejezni a helyi élelmiszerrendszer megvalósítása érdekében", hogy Kevin Morgan Cardiffi Egyetem tudósának saját szóhasználatával éljek, akkor ezt a jelenlegi vidéki törvények felhasználásával és az önkormányzatok meglévő hatásköreinek megragadásával lehetne megtenni. Legalábbis Franciaországban ez a módja a területi lehorgonyzás biztosításának, az élelmiszer-ellátásra vonatkozó olyan pályázati felhívás megtervezésének, amely megköveteli a helyi élelmiszerrendszer kiépítéséhez való hozzájárulást, és amely végső soron összhangban van egy területi élelmiszertervvel. 

     A pályázónak ezután olyan kérdésekre kell válaszolnia a pályázatában, mint például: amikor ellátja az adott étkezdét, hogyan járul hozzá a helyi élelmiszer-ökoszisztéma kiépítéséhez? Ez még mindig egy lehetséges forgatókönyv, amely további munkát igényel, és amely még továbbra is tiszteletben tartja a Közbeszerzési Kódexet. Riem jogi megfogalmazásai lefordították az élelmiszer rendszerszintű jellegét, és visszhangozták azt az álláspontot, amelyet a fórum során más felszólalók is képviseltek.

    Léa Sturton, a MEAD-tól például elmagyarázta, hogy a Mouans-Sartoux hogyan kéri a beszállítóitól, hogy ajánlatuk mellékletében írják le a logisztikai útvonalakat és a szállítási rendszert. Benoît Bitteau, az Európai Parlament képviselője kifejtette, hogy amikor támogatásokat fizetnek a kis agrár-ökológiai gazdaságoknak, azok nem az élelmiszertermelésük értékét hiteltelenítik, hanem éppen ellenkezőleg, inkább a természeti területek gondozásával és a biológiai sokféleség megőrzésével kapcsolatos másodlagos munkájuk díjazását jelentik.

    Mindezek a gondolatok gyakorlati és gyakorlatias módon képviselték azokat az elveket, amelyeket Carlo Petrini, a Slow Food mozgalom alapítója vázolt fel: az élelmiszerfogyasztás sokkal több, mint egyszerű evés, ez egy mezőgazdasági tevékenység. Hasonlóképpen, az élelmiszertermelés és -vásárlás nem egyszerűen a városi étkezdék ellátását jelenti, hanem egy koherens helyi területi élelmiszerrendszer kiépítését.


    A cikket írta: François Jégou vezető szakértő, BioCanteen projekt

    Címlapfotó: Városi kert Mouans-Sartoux-ban (Franciaország).



    Eredeti cikk angol nyelven:


    Érdekel az ételek témaköre? keresd fel az URBACT tudástárt.

    Szeretnél csatlakozni egy URBACT akciótervezési hálózathoz ebben a témában? Oszd meg projektötletedet a Partnerkereső eszközben!


    From urbact


    Kick-off meeting in July (Birmingham). Transnational meeting in November (Liepaja).
    Transnational meeting in March (Rieti).
    Final event in April (Loule).

    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
    Follow our Linkedin:




    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


    Seeking answers on how to combat social exclusion through the redesign of public spaces in deprived residential areas by using the power and common language of sport, this Action Planning network found solutions through innovative urban sport actions, physical equipment and better orchestrated service delivery. Active living positively contributes to social cohesion, wellbeing and economic prosperity in cities. However, currently cities are challenged by the opposite: dramatic increase in the frequency of diseases as a result of sedentary life style and social exclusion. To tackle these challenges, European cities have invested in large scale sports facilities over the past decades. These strategies have a limited success, hence a new approach is needed: instead of ‘bringing’ the inactive citizens to the sports facilities, public space itself should be turned into a low threshold facility inviting all citizens to physical activity.

    Urban sports promotion for social inclusion, healthy and active living
    Ref nid
  • Greening as a pathway to resilience in urban areas

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

    Leafy places in cities can greatly improve health and happiness. But here’s the thing: green isn’t always good for everyone.

    City planning

    Most people now agree that green is good for health and resilience. Greening urban areas and connecting them to water, or ’blue’ areas, is high on the agenda in most towns and cities. Yet, says URBACT Programme Expert Iván Tosics, even this seemingly self-evident issue is not without contradictions. In this article, he looks beyond the general “green is good” statement and finds a more nuanced picture.


    It has been said many times, almost to the point of banality, that during Covid times, the demand for outdoor activites grew dramatically, leading to a marked increase in the use of parks and outdoor spaces. We all saw this in our cities in Europe. However, this did not necessarily happen to the same extent everywhere in the world. There is an interesting website, based on Google data, showing how the number of visitors to parks and outdoor spaces has changed compared to the selected baseline period, January 2020. Although it is not easy to interpret the data due to factors such as seasonal differences between North and South, we can hypothesise that in Europe and the global North, green areas were able to meet the increase in demand more easily, being generally more secure and better maintained than those in many parts of the global South.

    There are many good summaries about the immediate, easy-to-reach interventions by cities as a reaction to Covid – see for example my article on temporary interventions in the use of public spaces, such as closing streets and creating pop-up bike lanes, or encouraging street play. Key questions discussed in this article are: what kind of tactical interventions into greening are observable? And how can these be turned into long-term, strategic programmes, avoiding potential pitfalls?

    Many people think that all greening efforts are good for the wellbeing of citizens in general, and their health in particular. However, it is necessary to go beyond this cliché, understanding the different ways to implement the greening of cities, highlighting the efforts made to achieve synergy with other aspects of sustainable and resilient development, and calling attention to potential unwanted externalities of greening projects – among which the most important is the potential increase in socio-spatial differentiation through gentrification.

    Types and benefits of green places

    Owen Douglas, of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly in Ireland, listed the benefits of green spaces in his presentation at the URBACT Health&Greenspace Academy in December 2020. These include: enabling physical activities; improving mental well-being; supporting social interactions; and reducing environmental risks of air pollution and extreme weather events.

    Green infrastructure planning can do a lot to mitigate stressful city life in compact cities, with strategically planned networks of natural and semi-natural areas, and creating new green and ‘blue’ spaces – areas of water. To achieve that, green infrastructure planning has to be multifunctional, including a diversity of green elements, such as: large natural areas as hubs; forests and parks as green parcels; smaller private gardens, playgrounds, roadside greenery, or green roofs as individual elements; corridors connecting the hubs, parcels and elements; and finally land use buffers, as transition areas, separating dense urban spaces from the suburbs.

    In another presentation at the December 2020 URBACT Health&Greenspace Academy, Eduarda Marques da Costa, of the University of London, listed different types of green space interventions, from overarching development of new neighbourhoods through regeneration of residential areas and brownfield areas, including smaller-scale improvements to public spaces and support for urban gardening.

    Innovative greening examples

    Let us see now a few examples of the different types of greening interventions and their potential consequences.

    Certain European cities have conducted large projects of strategic importance to improve sustainability and resilience.

    Barcelona, Parc de les Glories (photo by Iván Tosics, November 2021)

    Barcelona (ES) provides an excellent example, with its efforts to renaturalise the densely built-up city. One of the emblematic projects is the rebuilding of the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes: besides the demolition of the elevated roundabout for cars and the building of a new High Speed Train station, a large new park is being erected under the motto of renaturalisation.

    Utrecht (NL) has put re-canalisation into the core of its urban development strategy. Forty years after the historic mistake of converting the canal that encircled Utrecht’s old town into a 12-lane motorway, in 2020, the city opened the canal back up again. The restoration of the waterway was the central piece of the 2002 referendum in which residents voted for a city-centre master plan with the aim to replace roads with water. With the reopening of the Catharijnesingel, Utrecht’s inner city is again surrounded by water and greenery rather than asphalt and car traffic.

    Paris (FR) has undergone large changes since the election of Mayor Anne Hidalgo in 2014. One of the key elements of the changes towards more sustainable urban development is the permanent pedestrianisation of roads along the river Seine and certain canals, which made the access to waterfront areas much easier.

    Another pathway towards more sustainability is to renovate, animate, and improve the safety of existing green areas. A prime example of this is the case of Bryant park in New York (US). This was one of the no-go areas of the city, getting the nickname 'Needle Park' in the 1970s because of the large number of drug addicts who frequented it. Changes started in 1988 with an extensive renovation of the park, including radical physical restructuring of the area, making the green space attractive, transparent and lively, clearing areas to let in light, installing many moveable chairs, and creating coffee places. The park has been transformed from an insecure to a lovely space. 


    Breda, Valkenberg Park

    A similar story is the redesign of the Valkenberg Park in Breda (NL) to improve safety, presented at the URBACT Health&Greenspace Academy in October 2021 by David Louwerse, project manager, Municipality of Tilburg.

    The most common greening interventions in European cities are smaller interventions, such as creating urban gardens, or greening streets and rooftops. An article by Tamás Kállay, Lead Expert of the URBACT Health&Greenspace network, gives a good overview of such initiatives. He mentiones Tartu (EE), where “meadow boxes were placed on the road. A beach bar was opened, and the street section accommodated also an outdoor reading room, a market, picnic tables, an outdoor cinema, and various programs”. Another example from the Health&Greenspace network is Poznań (PL), where “as part of a pilot activity natural playgrounds were created in the yards of several kindergartens providing direct contact with nature and supporting creative play”.

    Such examples demonstrate that “… small green space interventions, both physical changes and social activities can trigger a massive change and lead to larger actions promoting positive health outcomes.” This conclusion is further supported by another URBACT article, arguing for the importance of walking, not only in shopping streets, but also across all neighbourhoods – including ‘consumption-free’ areas.

    Besides punctual interventions, many cities aim to ensure fair distribution of green across the whole city and to connect green areas into networks. Poznań is good example for the latter, aiming to protect the green belt around the city from real estate development and urban sprawl, while also increasing forest cover within the city boundaries and preserving and improving existing parks and green spaces.

    Changing people's mindset and reorganising the structure of local government

    Hegyvidék, district 12 of Budapest, Lead Partner of Health&Greenspace, provides innovative examples of public spaces being improved and used more frequently thanks to new ideas, rather than concrete physical greening interventions. In order to change people's mindset, the “…municipality identified ‘green prescription’ as an appropriate tool for linking cardiac rehabilitation with the Active Hegyvidék program. Green prescription is a written advice of a health professional to a patient to participate in some sort of nature-based activity.”

    Hegyvidék is also pioneering an institutional restructuring of the the municipality, creating a so-called Green office. Changes can also be achieved without reorganising the municipality. For example, the URBACT network UrbSecurity presents an Urban Planning Game where Leiria’s municipal technicians develop step-by-step new approaches to increase the security of public spaces in the city. Cities can also use nudging techniques to influence behaviour, as many of the publications of Pieter Raymaekers (Leuven) show.

    The positive effects of greening and their link to urban planning

    Another URBACT network, Healthy Cities, focuses on including health considerations systematically into urban planning. To make this easier, a new tool has been developed, enabling users to quickly assess the health impact of their whole urban plan, and see how small adjustments could make a big difference to the lives of local people. This Healthy Cities Generator is a practical planning tool designed to give actionable indicators for anyone looking to integrate health into planning. It is based on a systematic review of scientific peer-reviewed publications linking urban determinants and their impact on health, through which the tool automatically calculates the health impact of urban planning actions.

    The integration of green considerations into planning can best be achieved by regulating the access to green areas at metropolitan level – this proved to be very useful during the Covid pandemic in those urban areas, where metropolitan coordination was strong enough.

    A word of caution: potential dangers of greening interventions

    Against all good will, greening interventions can also have negative effects, if not applied in an integrated manner, without creating synergies with other aspects of development.  

    Greening usually goes well with sustainable urban mobility interventions. When regenerating public spaces, areas taken away from cars can give place to green elements, for example changing motorways into urban boulevards with trees, pedestrianising streets, turning parking spaces into ‘parklets’ with moveable plant pots. However, if large green developments are concentrated in peripheral areas of cities that are difficult to access by public transport, they can easily result in increased car use. In a broader sense, this is a danger in all green developments that create large spatial imbalances in cities, i.e. new green areas far away from many residents who would like to use them.

    When managed in the right way, greening can have very important social advantages: it is a good tool to better involve disadvantaged groups into society. Greening can help the social involvement of the elderly and school children – see for example the OASIS project, converting schoolyards into green cooling islands in Paris. Even so, the biggest danger of greening interventions lies in their negative social externalities, through the gentrification process.

    Gentrification can take various forms. The direct form is the regeneration of socially contested areas into high-quality neighbourhoods. If no parallel efforts are made to support disadvantaged groups, the outcome will be socially unacceptable: pushing out disadvantaged social groups to other parts of the city. I described this process in an earlier article, on the case of Teleki tér, Budapest (HU), comparing this one-sided, gentrifying regeneration to the more integrated approach used in the case of Helmholtz square, Berlin (DE). The latter, through ongoing social assistance, is much closer to the URBACT-supported integrated approach, despite the fact that participative planning was also applied in the Budapest case. 

    Budapest, Teleki square with fences around, 2015.

    Berlin, Helmholtz square, 2015.
    Source: Imre Pákozdi

    A more common and less direct form of gentrification prevails through the increase of property values and rents in areas of improving quality of life, for example due to green interventions, which leads to the gradual displacement of people of lower socio-economic status. This well-known market mechanism can be kept under control with public regulations on rents, housing allowances and/or maintaining a substantial share of publicly owned housing. Unfortunately, such public interventions to control gentrification are rarely applied (or even considered) along with urban greening.

    Greening is an essential form of environmental intervention. The principle of integrated development requires a certain balance between economic, environmental and social aspects of development. This, however, is not easy to achieve, even in cases when there is strong determination to keep the balance. The comparison of two European cities, developing new ecological areas, illustrates the difficulties, showing how overly strong insistence on high environmental standards might lead to the deterioration of social goals, if public resources are limited. If greening aspects are given preference over social protection aspects, the outcome is again gentrification, against the original will of the politicians.

    Vienna, Aspern Seestadt, 2018. Source: Iván Tosics

    Stockholm, Hammarby Sjöstad, 2006. Source: Iván Tosics

    This article aimed to show that greening is usually a very advantageous aspect of urban development. However, certain dilemmas and potential pitfalls must be taken into account when planning green policies and interventions. With careful procedures, including green infrastructure planning as part of an integrated vision, and measuring the green and social outcomes of all investments, these pitfalls can be avoided.

    Come and meet us!

    This topic will be discussed at the upcoming URBACT City Festival on 15 June 2022 in a session titled ‘Greening as pathway to urban well-being and resilience’. The session will feature good practices from three URBACT Action Planning Networks, Health&Greenspace, Healthy Cities, and UrbSecurity.

    From urbact
    Ref nid
  • Covid walks, societal change, and rethinking public spaces

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

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

    City planning


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



    Strolling in times of the pandemic creates space for fleeting encounters

    Urban everyday life in times of the pandemic © Lilian Krischer

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

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

    New hybrid forms of urban interaction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Let citizens design public space themselves

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

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

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

    Designing public spaces that adapt to change

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

    People playing in Udine, Italy © Playful Paradigm / URBACT

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

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

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

    Resilient public spaces and strolling in them beyond the pandemic

    Discovering small details of the city while strolling © Lilian Krischer

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

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

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

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


    Further reading

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

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


    Cover photo: ©Lilian Krischer

    From urbact
    Ref nid



    Lead Partner : Turin - Italy
    • Budapest - Hungary
    • Gdańsk - Poland
    • Cluj-Napoca - Romania


    • Launch of pilot network (03/09)/21
    • Kick-off Meeting (05/10)
    • 1-TNM-Kick-off meeting - Virtual (08/01)
    • Boot Camp in Ljubljana (SI) (09/06)
    • Kick-off meeting (09/08)
    • Kick-off meeting (09/13)
    • Kick off meeting (09/14)
    • Gdańsk Meeting (09/16)
    • Kick off meeting (09/17)
    • Kick-off meeting (September), Transnational Meeting (November) (09/21)
    • SEPTEMBER / Kick-off meeting (hybrid event) (09/22)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Osijek (HR) (11/08)
    • NOVEMBER 2021 / Ocean Hachathon in Boulogne sur Mer (11/10)
    • Budapest Meeting (11/25)
    • Algeciras Transnational Meeting (12/15)
    • 2-TNM-Grosuplie (Slovenia) - Virtual (12/16)
    • JANUARY 2022 / TNM#2 / Location: Metaverse (01/26)/22
    • 3-TNM-Jelgava (Latvia) - Virtual (02/11)
    • Cluj-Napoca Meeting (02/21)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Bansko (BG) (03/21)
    • MARCH 2022 / TNM#3 / Boulogne sur mer, France (03/22)
    • Carlow Transnational Meeting (05/04)
    • World Play Day 2022 (05/28)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Bergamo (IT) (06/06)
    • JUNE 2022 / TNM#4 / Koper, Slovenia (06/22)
    • Alexandroupolis Transnational Meeting (06/30)
    • Torino Meeting (06/30)
    • 4-TNM-Igualada (Spain) - In presence (07/07)
    • Thematic Transfer meeting in Sosnowiec (PL) (09/26)
    • Split Transnational Meeting (09/28)
    • Transnational Meetings (April, June, September), Final Event (December) (10/14)
    • Final Conference in Ljubljana (SI) (10/24)
    • RU:RBAN 2nd Wave Final Event in Rome (11/09)

    CO4CITIES is the UIA - URBACT Transfer Mechanism pilot network that transfers the methodological structure of UIA CO-CITY: the Regulation on collaboration between citizens' organizations and the Municipality in the co-management of urban commons; the Pact of collaboration, a legal tool providing for a change of attitude in the public/communities relationship; the essential role of Community Hubs in the process of community empowerment and in the path of building a new collaborative approach between the citizens and the public administration.

    Collaborative Tools for Cities in Urban Regeneration
    Ref nid
  • UIA Transfer Mechanism: five pilot projects ready to take off!

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

    Urban Innovative Actions and URBACT come together to put into practices the lessons learnt from the Transfer Networks. 


    Last week, on the 9 March, URBACT's Monitoring Committee have approved five pilot networks to transfer innovative solutions. In 2020, the UIA first call projects came to a close and a proposal was made to test a new URBACT tool which aimed to support the transfer of innovation. The UIA Transfer Mechanism experiment will support a group of EU cities to understand, adapt and prepare to re-use the UIA practice through the co-creation of an investment plan. The 18-month journey of these networks builds on the success of the URBACT Transfer Networks model.


    Following a competitive call, 7 pilot projects were submitted for approval. When considering all the 28 potential city partners, 6 candidates were URBACT newcomer cities from 5 different countries, while 16 cities were also newcomers to UIA. This shows what a unique opportunity this networks represented for cities discovering the universe of EU cooperation! As foreseen by the Terms of Reference, eligible proposals have been assessed by a two assesors from URBACT and UIA. Scroll down to find out more about the five newly approved networks.  

    The URBACT Programme acknowledges and thanks every city that has submitted proposals and used the URBACT Marketplace for this call. URBACT also warmly welcomes the new UIA Transfer Mechanism partners, who will take their first steps in the kick-off meeting on 23 March.








    Smart specialisation in advanced services towards the digital transformation of industry

    Bilbao (ES)

    Bielsko Biala (PL)

    Tartu (EE)

    Timisoara (RO)



    The collaborative management of urban commons to counteract poverty and socio-spatial polarisation

    Torino (IT)

    Budapest (HU)

    Gdansk (PL)

    Cluj-Napoca (RO)



    Unlocking social and economic innovation together

    Birmingham (UK)

    Rotterdam (NL)

    Trapani (IT)

    Poznan (PL)



    Innovative local public-private-citizen partnership for energy governance

    Viladecans (ES)

    Eriges Seraing (BE)

    Nagykanizsa (HU)

    Trikala (EL)



    New skills for new jobs in peri-urban agriculture

    Milan (IT)

    Almere (NL)

    Stara Zagora (BG)

    Vila Nova de Gaia (PT)

    *Bold letters used for UIA cities who will act as Lead Partner



    Interested in the findings of the URBACT Transfer Networks?
    Check all related activities here!





    From urbact
    Ref nid
  • How are URBACT cities reacting to Covid-19?

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

    At a time when the impact of the pandemic has changed our way of life, cities are showing their resilience.

    Digital transitions


    Cities are intervening in novel ways to support frontline health services, food supplies, the local economy and people’s mental well-being. Several are building directly on capacity built during their experiences in URBACT networks, showing that the programme’s principles of local stakeholder engagement and transnational exchange can support cities to achieve their objectives, even in times of crisis.

    Volunteers in action in Altea (ES)

    We asked some of our URBACT experts what examples of city responses had caught their attention. Read their thoughts, then check out the interactive map of other great city examples that the URBACT Programme is collecting from across Europe. More in-depth analysis will follow in the next few weeks so stay tuned!


    Cities supporting front-line health workers


    Cities are finding novel ways to support hospitals and health workers. “Right now, cities are throwing everything at the short-term problem,” stresses Eddy Adams. “That means supporting the medics, like in Pireaus (EL), whose Blue Lab has repurposed 3D printers to make protective faceshields for health staff.” This initiative builds on the experience of the city in supporting local innovation through the ‘BlueGrowth’ competition, recognised by URBACT as a good practice in 2017 and currently the focus of the URBACT Transfer Network BluAct.

    Meanwhile, in Hungary, Ivan Tosics highlights that “despite the increasing centralisation of government in recent years and severely restricted local budgets, the city of Budapest (HU) has reacted by ordering medical instruments from abroad and is distributing these to health institutions, homeless shelters and elderly homes. The city also signed agreements with private health institutions to test employees in key professions for the functioning of the capital.”

    Citizen-led solutions have also been an important aspect of the human response to the crisis affecting health services and city authorities can still learn more about how to support and encourage such initiatives. Laura Colini has been impressed that the URBACT Transfer Network Volunteering Cities - based on the experience of the Athienou (CY) Municipal Council of Volunteering (MCV) – “is now sharing how volunteers are engaged in different cities to provide first necessity products, producing masks or any other needed materials.”
                                                                                                    Also from the Volunteering Cities network, a volunteer in Capizzi (IT)


    Cities supporting the local economy


    Given the impact of lockdown policies on people’s economic activities, many urban authorities have swiftly introduced measures to freeze rents and business taxes, and are helping local companies to access support. Ivan Tosics flags that Budapest has “increased the wages of employees of municipality-owned enterprises and introduced a moratorium on rent payments for small and micro enterprises which rent space from the municipality. The local authority has also offered free signs to shops in the city to call attention to the right distance to maintain between customers.”

    Many cities are looking at opportunities to extend their digital service provision, including to local companies who cannot access traditional support in the current circumstances. Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, the URBACT network TechTown was stressing the importance of the digital economy and its Lead Partner Barnsley’s (UK) Digital Media Centre was identified as an URBACT Good Practice - going on to form the basis of the current URBACT Transfer Network TechRevolution.

    Sally Kneeshaw has seen how the city has built on these experiences to step up its response to the current crisis: “Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre last week pivoted to virtual delivery to support businesses with chat and call centres, and made a commitment to bankroll the Government's grant scheme for those in the most impacted sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality.” The platform is also providing tips and guidance for more secure remote working.

    Supporting the local economy also means supporting families most affected by job losses and loss of income. Whilst many national unemployment schemes are being adapted in response to the specific current challenges, Laura Colini highlights that exchanges within URBACT’s Volunteering Cities network have also included “brewing ideas and exchanging practices on the involvement of local companies or individuals in offering products or financial aid to families in need”.


    Cities ensuring local food supplies


    Many European citizens are concerned about ongoing supplies of food as production and distribution systems come under strain from threats to workers’ health and restrictions on movement. The URBACT network AGRI-URBAN was addressing ways of improving local food supply in urban areas back in 2016. The AGRI-URBAN partner city, Mouans-Sartoux (FR) saw its collective school catering recognised as an URBACT good practice in 2017 and became the Lead Partner of the Transfer Network BioCanteens in 2018.

    Marcelline Bonneau has kept in touch with their response to the current crisis: “The municipal farm - initially producing organic fruit and vegetables for three school canteens providing a thousand lunches per day - has diversified its distribution channels to meet broader needs and protect jobs. A part still goes to the canteens providing food for the few dozen children of health workers and municipal agents who can still access school, a part is processed and frozen, and another part goes to the social grocery of the city.”

    The municipal authorities are already thinking about how to respond to the ongoing food supply challenges. “Soon-to-come lettuces, which cannot be frozen, will probably be given to the neighbouring hospital in Grasse,” continues Ms Bonneau. Meanwhile; the city is exploring ways “to increase production in the next plantation schemes in order to anticipate potential issues in conventional food supply chains” in the near future.

    Eddy Adams observes that ‘cities are throwing everything at their short-term problems’. In Vic (ES), this “means supporting communities.Lead Partner of the new URBACT network Healthy Cities is mobilising closed food-market vendors to feed isolated vulnerable individuals”. Such targeted approaches can be crucial for bridging the gap between supply and demand in the context of a lockdown.

    Mouans-Sartoux’s municipal farm (FR)


    Cities supporting education and mental well-being


    National education systems are struggling to rapidly adapt to the situation of students' confinement. Mirella Sanabria, Lead Expert the URBACT Transfer Network On Board tells us: “This is keeping some of our partners - in particular in big cities - busy and stressed. On the positive side, however, some local initiatives are putting into practice innovation related to the use of digital tools in education projects, which is a central aspect of the Educational Innovation Network that On Board is working to transfer.”

    For example, the On Board Lead Partner Viladecans (ES) has developed a dedicated School at Home! webpage which provides new creative and educational activities for children and families every day. Meanwhile, in the partner city of Halmstad (SE), a vocational school is now teaching cooking classes online. The municipality delivers grocery baskets to the students who prepare the meals, which are then supplied to people in particular need.

    Beyond education, Sally Kneeshaw is keen to highlight that “We are all learning, if we didn’t already know, how much we need culture to sustain us. I love that the librarians of the Tallinn Central Library are reading books on request via Skype or phone for children at home. Meanwhile, Zaragoza (ES) has launched a photography competition #DesdeMiVentana (From my window) open to people aged between 12 and 30, targeting young people who find it the hardest to stay indoors.”

    Marcelline Bonneau flags a different example from the city of Mollet del Vallès (ES) which “has created a Leisure at home programme proposing leisure activities to its citizens who are totally prevented from leaving their home without good reason. Launched on Friday 27 March, anyone interested can enjoy a selection of proposed activities alone or in the family. These range from physical classes to memory exercises and from cooking to robotics. The platform is updated and expanded regularly.”

    Laura Colini also highlights the work that the URBACT Transfer Network ON STAGE - working on introducing new curricula in schools based on music and arts - is doing in “keeping people together through music. They recently shared a video performance of young students from the school #ZsOsmec from the partner city of Brno (CZ)”. Such initiatives are a reminder of the importance of keeping our spirits high in these challenging times.




    Don’t forget to check out the interactive map of other great city examples that the URBACT Programme is collecting from across Europe.

    Have you seen another city response that has inspired you? Help us to share it by tagging @URBACT in a tweet or sending it directly to

    From urbact
    Ref nid
  • Cities engaging in the right to housing

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

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


    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,
    Alice Fauvel,


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

    From urbact
    Ref nid