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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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  • RU:RBAN

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting
    Rome Transnational Meeting
    Caen Transnational Meeting
    Vilnius Transnational Meeting
    Loures Transnational Meeting
    Thessaloniki Transnational Meeting + Mid Term Reflection
    A Coruña-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Krakow Online Transnational Meeting
    Krakow-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Vilnius-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Loures-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Caen-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Thessaloniki-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Network Final Event - A Coruña June 28 2021
    Thessaloniki Transnational online meeting
    Krakow TNM second part (in presence)

    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

    This Transfer network builds upon the "Management model of Urban gardens in Rome" Good Practice, in order to transfer to EU cities geographically distant from each other to ensure sharing of experiences to enhance the capacities of local governance. Transfer efforts will be given to 3 distinct, interlinked, thematic components/elements that the Good Practice is divided into: Capacity building in organizing urban gardens, Inspiring and training people to manage urban gardens (Gardeners) and urban gardens governance & regulations.

    Urban agriculture for resilient cities
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  • Urban gardeners in Caen (FR) had a busy summer!

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    RU:RBAN Transfer Network - Caen (FR)
    17/10/2022

    After several months of online meetings and communication via email, the members of Caen’s ULG (Urbact Local Group) finally met on 2nd July at the Arlette’s Gardens for what was to be a meeting with a very rich agenda: update on what is going on at European level in terms of urban agriculture, update on what is going at local level, on-going RU:RBAN actions…and what happens next – after RU:RBAN.  

    With regards to activities at EU level, ULG members were updated on what has been happening during the Covid-19 crisis in some of the  RU:RBAN cities: restrictions and anti-covid measures adopted by the cities in terms of activities in urban gardens, online ULG meetings and e-mails to keep in touch on what was happening at city level etc. Furthermore, during this out-of-the-ordinary period of time the Achen University presented the EFUA (European Forum for Urban Agriculture) proposal and was awarded funds as part of the H2020-FNR 2020 Call (Food and Natural Resources). The Normandy Region and City of Caen were promoters of the participation of Rome, on behalf of the RU:RBAN network, as partners.  The forum will see the participation of several  partners and networks such as RU:RBAN. As for this year’s  European week of regions and cities, it will take place over 3 weeks in October in Brussels and Mr Nicolas Joyau will represent Caen’s RU:RBAN experience at this event.

     

    Meanwhile, plenty of activity has been in place in the City of Caen during the summer and ULG members were updated accordingly during the meeting. The Association “Rive Droite”  increased its activity in linking producers to consumers during the pandemic, involving several stakeholders.

     

    The cooperative ‘’Toutenvelo’’ is settling in the Norlanda business incubator, situated close to RU:RBAN plot, for its project of an urban logistics platform for local products delivered by bicycle.

     

    The Normandy Chamber of agriculture is compiling the Territory food program (TFP) together with Caen Normandie Metropole and Aucame. With regars to this topic, Ms Noemie Gourtay, a new ULG member who recently joined the RU:RBAN team in Caen,  is in charge of following up Caen and Lisieux TFPs and promoting non-food agricultural supply chains for building materials (straw, hemp…). This common follow up of TFPs and climate, air & energy territorial plan confirms the growing interrelation between communities and farmers, as well as the synergies between different projects and initiatives in the field of urban agriculture. Partnerships are taking place within the ecosystem of local actors (Incubator, Normandie Amenagement, Fleury city, …). Ms Julie Calberg-Ellen has been elected as RU:RBAN manager for the City of Caen. A deputy mayor to ecological transition, Julie Calberg-Ellen is also in charge of the TFP monitoring and the setting up of a local and organic food plan in the city canteens, with an 80% target by the end of term in 2026. This new mission proves the rising importance of food issues in public policies and Caen assets. As for the association hosting the ULG meeting, Arlette gardens was created in 1995 to respond to a need of fresh products for a food charity (Hearty restaurants) and to get long-term unemployed people back to work with the means of 2 job centres. Their work shows the priority given to the human factor (employees’ support, strong social integration and partnership, a close-knit and enthusiastic team, shared governance) while leaving room for innovation. https://www.lesjardinsdarlette-mondeville.fr/(link is external)

     

    In relation to communication activities related to the RU:RBAN sites, Emilie Landerouin of the City of Caen presented some of the new graphic materials being prepared to inform citizens of activities taking place in the different sites: posters displaying info related to the urban garden, stickers showing the activities of the “Toutenvelo” and “La Maison” associations and a communication kit.

     

    Ms Jeanne Duvergé of the City of Caen presented on-going actions in the RU:RBAN plots: it was reminded that the “Yummy” initiative has educational purposes and is an incentive to gardening, it will not function as a production site. Therefore, the designation of “sustainable food house“ is more appropriate than “urban farm”. The association “La Maison” obtained the keys for their plot in late March; the price quotes for pulling down a warehouse, repairing the concrete blocks that support the steel frame and the reinforcement and rebuilding of faulty parts of this frame are quite high but they could be covered by the City following the endorsement by the different departments of the City Administration ((buildings, sustainable city, urbanism, district committee, ecological transition, planning, community life). The Association organized throughout the summer some participate workshops to test a model water collector and planting in bins. ULG members were invited to join the association and meetings will be held every Wednesday to participate in the decisions to be taken and organize events on the site, as well as helping to co-build the project from the chore.

     

    In terms of governance, the ULG is not expected to stay in place after the end of the RU:RBAN project (June 2021) discussions are ongoing regarding the possibility to set up a cooperative.

     

    The next ULG meeting will take place on 15th October in Norlanda (Caen Peninsula). The  Gardeniser training, initially planned for the month of April, is postponed to October 2020, still to be confirmed. 12 ULG members have pre-registered.

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  • Finding the silver lining in empty heritage: tales of temporary use

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    15/11/2022

    In Ostrava (CZ) and Caen (FR), URBACT’s temporary use legacy lives on, creating new opportunities.

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    URBACT has prompted cities across Europe to embrace temporary use, saving abandoned heritage buildings, helping co-design new plans for former industrial sites, and boosting creativity and entrepreneurship in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

    Ostrava (CZ) and Caen (FR) are two towns where URBACT’s temporary use legacy lives on, creating new opportunities from pop-up cultural events and venues for creative start-ups, to urban gardening. Ostrava is a post-mining town that was part of the URBACT REFILL network, and Caen was a port city partner in the URBACT 2nd Chance network. Nearly two years after the REFILL and 2nd Chance networks closed, it’s time to take a look at how temporary use is evolving in these two cities.

    First, what is this thing called temporary use?

    Deindustrialisation, redevelopment battles, failing businesses, real-estate speculation, the draw of a bigger city... These are some of the factors fuelling local authorities’ growing struggles with empty, deteriorating buildings and heritage sites. URBACT champions temporary use as an answer. In other words, facilitate free or cheap access to empty heritage for creative, artistic associations and start-ups, in exchange for light maintenance. Later, if the project takes off, consider extending the deal or raising the rent.

    François Jégou, Lead Expert for the URBACT REFILL network helping cities reuse empty sites to drive local innovation (2016-18), recalls: “Cities started the project thinking that vacant spaces were a problem they should solve, and they finished saying vacant spaces are an opportunity they should use!

    So much so that in Nantes (FR) – where grassroots activists drove the transformation of a former shipyard into a valuable creative neighbourhood – when one last vacant heritage building remained, a former Alstom factory, the city renovated it as purposefully empty space for temporary projects. Nantes values vacant buildings because they “need space for inventing the city”.

    Not all local authorities, however, share the enthusiasm. “It’s a bit complex and counterintuitive to the mainstream way of thinking: that your main interest is to make money out of spaces,” says Jégou. “But what we see is that giving an opportunity to people who are economically not strong, to access certain urban places that aren’t always in an ideal situation, it’s a really strong positive dynamic for cities.”

    Ostrava: agency Refill junior

    First stop Ostrava, where the URBACT REFILL network boosted the municipality’s collaboration with active citizens, sparking several cultural events in vacant buildings. Thanks to popular initiatives, such as holding the 2017 Ostrava Kamera Oko international film festival in the iconic old Grossman’s Villa, more people in the city started seeing temporary use as a valuable tool for urban development.

    As a direct result of Ostrava’s involvement in the URBACT REFILL network, Lenka Hochová and Tomáš Zetek were recruited in June 2018 to run the city’s new, aptly-named, Refill Office, via the cultural centre Cooltour. “Under URBACT, the REFILL project became known among Ostrava’s politicians, activists, cultural organisations… It really resonated among the group that we target, so we decided to call it Refill,” says Hochová.

    Zetek adds, “The key decision to establish Refill Office was on Ostrava politicians. Without URBACT, the politicians’ consent, and money from the city, we wouldn’t be here now.”

    Now part of a new city-funded organisation focused on urban development and planning (MAPPA), the Refill Office monitors Ostrava’s vacant places, then links up owners with users who might bring places back to life: creative non-profit and commercial initiatives, particularly start-ups. “Refill focus is on reviving the city through reviving empty spaces,” says Zetec.

    One example is Atelier Umeni, a painting studio founded on the long-empty ground floor of an art deco building in a quaint, but relatively unpopular area, near the station and factories. “They wanted to be in the centre, but we managed to persuade them to go to this building. It’s quite safe along the main street,” says Hochová. Once Refill had connected them, the owners and users signed a temporary contract, with rent rising slowly from zero to low.

    Another is RAPZZZ Place. Here, the administrators of an empty music club and adjacent former bakery agreed to lend space to a group selling rap music-related products. After a year’s free use, the building’s administrators and the RAPZZZ community will consider next steps together.

    By making it easier to launch new projects locally, whether or not they are successful in the longterm, Refill Office hopes more young people will find work and inspiration in Ostrava, rather than heading for Prague or Brno.

    Hochová and Zetek have so far registered over 100 vacant places in a database, and received over 60 project applications. Two long-term projects are up and running, and one three-month project has been completed, along with eight short-term events, from one-day pop-up activities to week-long artistic exhibitions.

    By creating the right conditions to spin the process, temporary use has evolved from random informal interventions organised by groups of individuals to a concept supported by the city,” explains Katerina Bonito of City of Ostrava’s Strategic Development Department.

    But she says temporary use is still “not that big” in Ostrava due to various legal and administrative obstacles.

    We still have to fight for the idea of temporary use,” says Zetek, “Not everybody agrees on it.” With no legislation or tax incentives to do otherwise, private owners can be reluctant to give their property for free, even temporarily. They choose to leave it empty and focus on other more profitable buildings. Certain district-owned buildings also stand empty. So Refill raises awareness about the financial and social advantages of keeping buildings occupied, taking hundreds of visitors on pop-up tours round abandoned heritage.

    The agency is also working with city council lawyers to make Ostrava’s temporary use process more efficient and accessible. Their aim, as a trusted partner, is to vet temporary users for both private and district-owned public spaces, selecting projects with potential benefits for owners, users and other city residents.

    An effective temporary use requires the owner and the temporary user to build a common strategy,” says Jégou. To help parties clarify possible longer term developments and other key elements together, the URBACT REFILL network proposed a Temporary Use Value Creation Plan tool.

    Caen: green city experimentation and territorial marketing

    Temporary use has also created new opportunities in the northern French city of Caen (who by the way will be at the upcoming Cities Forum 2020). Here, a 600-hectare harbour area near the city centre was abandoned for decades after the shipyard closed. It became a wasteland scattered with derelict buildings. As redevelopment preparations were being launched, the city used “territorial marketing” to revive interest in the Peninsula. Temporary artistic and cultural events have so far included sketching walks, bike rides, canoe tours, children’s workshops – and the renowned Palma street art festival.

    A new tram station and huge library have been built, and housing construction has begun. If all goes to plan, homes will be ready for people to start moving in from 2021 onwards, with a total of 461 homes completed by 2025.

    Caen’s harbor area was unused and unknown,” said URBACT 2nd Chance network Lead Expert Nils Scheffler. “Through different activities the city drew attention to the site, getting people there so they could see how it could be used.”

    Thanks to growing popular interest – and an URBACT Local Group (ULG) of activists, councilors, business people and the Greater Caen District Council – more temporary uses sprung up in former industrial buildings.

    From 2016 to 2018, the ULG met regularly in “Le Pavillon”, a former steam-ferry terminal, and the site’s first building to be reactivated. Since 2014, the city has used Le Pavillon to exchange with citizens about the Peninsula’s redevelopment, and showcase wider aspects of architecture.

    “Waking up the peninsula: yes we Caen!”

    During 2nd Chance, the ULG worked with city residents and other stakeholders to select top buildings to preserve for their heritage value, potential, and location. As a result, in March 2017, Caen City Council bought an old prefab concrete factory, named The Tunnel, to be renovated for cultural groups. The aim is to bring new uses and footfall to a district otherwise avoided by city centre inhabitants. Managed by the Culture Department, the project benefits from European Structural Investment Funds and will be completed by 2025.

    The council also signed a temporary agreement with the owner of a former 1410 m² warehouse, The Barrels, allowing free use of the land for three years. This gives time to test pilot urban farming, seek funding and define future uses – with support from a 2018-20 URBACT transfer network Ru:rban, and a 30-strong local stakeholder group.

    As part of this new project, possible urban garden experiments on The Barrels’ land include the upcoming testing of a farm bot, gardening workshops for schoolchildren, and catering using products grown onsite.

    Meanwhile, a two-year trial composting scheme yielded its first compost in November. “We’re trying to collect bio-organic waste from city centre inhabitants who don’t have their own garden, compost it on our site, and share it with the city,” explains Camille Varin, European Project Manager, Greater Caen District Council. Waste is collected by bike, thanks to Toutenvelo, a “Cooperative and participative society”. Compost will go to local urban gardens, and city inhabitants who ask for it.

    For URBACT expert Jégou, temporary use is “a form of laboratory for city-making”. He says, “It’s a way to experiment urban planning to try out how the area could be redeveloped in a certain direction.

    Varin adds, “I would say temporary use is very valuable because it raises awareness and brings more opportunities, and agility: you can go forward step by step, which is great, and you can design projects with the city inhabitants.”

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  • 4 ways cities are breathing life back into empty spaces

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    15/11/2022

    URBACT’s new online resource Remaking the city presents a selection of space-related city solutions: remakingthecity.urbact.eu

     

    Cities across Europe are looking for ways to make better use of their empty buildings and spaces. Many have found simple, innovative approaches to bring people, businesses, and variety back into unused office buildings, former industrial sites, and mono-functional districts.

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    URBACT’s new online resource ‘Remaking the city’ presents a selection of such space-related city solutions. Cases can be found depending on their stage in the urban planning process, and by type of problem: empty or underused buildings; underused areas; rundown segregated areas; mono-functional areas; and unsustainable areas.

    Urban expert Ivan Tosics set up the site together with Nils Scheffler from the URBACT 2nd Chance network, François Jégou from the URBACT REFILL network and Maarten van Tuilj from the URBACT sub>urban network. Here, Ivan shares four ways cities are connecting better with residents and other stakeholders to breathe life back into neglected buildings and spaces, one step at a time:

    1. Organise cultural activities to put vacant land back on the map

    The harbour area of Caen (FR) became a no-go area after the shipyard closed. A first step towards redevelopment was ‘territorial marketing’ to attract people back – at least to safe parts of the site. The city set up artistic and cultural events, such as drawing walks, bike rides, canoeing tours and guided site visits. Thanks to growing popular interest, temporary uses then sprung up in former industrial buildings.

    2. Create an agency to help start-ups and families move into unused buildings

    In Bremen (DE), the municipality contracted an NGO to act as an intermediary agency connecting owners of empty properties with entrepreneurs and other people who could use the space. The agency now initiates and supports temporary use projects city-wide, helping local business, developing deprived neighbourhoods, and cutting running costs.

    Chemnitz (DE) created a public consulting agency to connect owners of historic apartment buildings with investors to provide affordable homes and workspaces. Grants are channelled to buildings that need it most, and contracts signed with new owners prevent speculation.

    3. Support NGOs matching temporary cultural projects with empty properties

    In Riga (LV), while many hundreds of buildings were left empty and uncared-for after the 2008 financial crisis, the cultural sector was booming and needed space. There were just a few local temporary use projects, unknown to most property owners. But, Free Riga activists worked increasingly with the municipality – and the Free Riga NGO emerged as a go-between organisation, scouting cultural projects to match up with vacant spaces offered by public and private owners.

    4. Bring students in to renovate social housing – and learn new skills

    Porto (PT), launched a summer school for architecture, design and construction students to refurbish homes, cultural centres and public spaces. The educational programme combines the theory of sustainable architecture with hands-on construction work. One summer, 40 international students refurbished a large property whose owner couldn’t afford renovation work – providing new, affordable family housing. Close cooperation between the public administration and social services was vital before, during and after the renovations, as well as a non-speculative contract with the owner.

    Visit Remaking the city website and watch Ivan Tosics' interview about the project.

    The show must go on

    Do you know an interesting example of a European city improving the use of empty spaces or abandoned properties? URBACT is looking for contributions! The idea is to expand Remaking the city and inspire urban practitioners to make changes for better cities. Contribute to Remaking the city now!

    More on Culture and Heritage on URBACT Website: https://urbact.eu/culture-heritage

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  • Are Urban Gardens the place for modern community hubs?

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    15/11/2022

    From Rome (IT) to Vilnius (LT) and A coruna (ES), Urban Gardening plays a key role in creating social links and is at the forefront of social innovation.

    Urban Gardening is a now widespread concept. That is how Wikipedia proposes to define it: "Urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around a town, or city. The concepts in Urban Gardens and the associated facilities have received significant attention and popularity in the last 10 years and are growing to meet the needs of the ever-developing urban life."

    But what happens in real life in European cities and towns? How can one build and manage urban gardens? Are Urban Gardens just about gardening in public or private plots, or are they creating something else, that one could call real community hubs?

    Articles
    Ageing

    Implementing successful actions that result in improved citizens’ quality of life, actions that are also supported by local authorities, is both a target and a great challenge for modern cities and societies.

    During the last decade intra - and peri – urban agriculture expanded rapidly. It went beyond the initiative of self-organized citizens or associations. Urban and peri-urban gardens are becoming a promising trend in some cities & towns all over Europe.

    Benefits of Urban Gardening

    Urban gardening and agriculture plays an important role in enhancing urban food security. Urban agriculture contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion of the urban poor, as well as to the greening of the city. The importance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognized by international organisations like UN-Habitat & FAO (World Food and Agriculture Organization).

    Today associations managing urban gardens already often at the forefront of innovation: they put in place new techniques such as permaculture, use new technologies, create green parks for leisure and therapeutic purposes, stimulate citizens participation to all environmental activities through the abolition architectural barriers – in particular of those with motor disabilities and the visually impaired – they improve social inclusion and integration, disseminate the culture of sustainability and resilience by raising awareness among citizens, families, groups, associations and institutions on the need to safeguard and regenerate the territory through self-management processes of common goods and self-organization.

    Rome (IT) has been awarded the URBACT Good Practice label for its participatory urban gardening project. The city has a long tradition of urban gardens but the novelty is that the City Council of Rome recently approved a regulation for Urban Gardens. Urban Gardens are now on expected to fulfil social, environmental and cultural goals for the inhabitants following clear steps for their establishment, but also their management.

    Ru:rban: Transferring the Urban Gardening Good Practice

    The Ru:rban project is one of the 24 new “Transfer Networks”. It focusses on the aspect of urban gardening, transferring knowledge and valuable experiences from the lead partner to the other participating cities and backwards. Urban gardening is a tool to include disadvantaged people (including refugees), to encourage citizens to reconnect with nature, notably if it involves schools, the young and the elderly. In terms of social inclusion, urban gardening also helps reduce the risk of mental health diseases, promote a

    healthier diet and lifestyle. Urban Gardens can combine cultural activities with societal wellbeing and spread democratic values, as it offers the occasion for social and political engagement, citizenship rights.

    Ru:rban Transfer Network is an opportunity to make urban agriculture a valued and essential element of policy in favor of green urban infrastructures.

    The cities involved in the network (Rome, A Coruna, Vilnius, Thessaloniki, Krakow, Caen and Loures) will exchange on methodologies in order to improve the impact of their urban gardening practices focusing on the policy topic management. The project will involve a wide range of stakeholders that have a strong relation with the existing gardens in each city, but also people responsible for the management of city gardens on behalf of the cities.

    The targets set for the network are to enrich Rome urban gardens regulation with new ideas, to transfer this updated regulation to the other cities, to assist these cities in improving their urban garden practices, to train in a vocational way people to manage urban gardens (Gardenisers) as parts of a small scale action plan for each city that will be prepared early 2019. The small scale actions plans will aim at increasing inhabitants’ interest, in order for them to be involved for the first time in urban garden projects and make of these places interesting community hubs.

    3 different views and practices of urban gardening from 3 cities visited so far within Ru:rban.

    While comparing the cities experiences, different approaches appeared. The first community Urban garden in Rome was implemented in 2009: Orti Urbani Garbatella. Today more than 200 community-run green areas are mapped. A regulation for the Assignment and Management of Municipal Green areas and Allotments was approved by the COR in July 2015. According to this Regulation, community gardens are considered as agricultural activities places, public spaces, green areas and community associations, all at the same time. They must conform to the prescriptions that each of these domains imply. Consequently, they are expected to fulfil social, environmental and cultural goals.

    The city of A Coruna uses its own budget and human recourses to fund the urban gardens infrastructures and organisation. This self-government policy challenge is a core element of the city action plan.

    Vilnius has a long history of urban gardening. They were mostly created by the institutions. There are very few examples of community based gardening actitivities but the potential is huge due to the amount of green public and private spaces avaialble in the city.

    Identifying common challenges beyond each city’s expectations Each of the city visited by the partnership so far has expressed its own expectations as regards to the network:

    • Rome would like to learn from the other cities in order to improve its existing regulation.
       
    • A Coruna would like to transfer elements of the good practice about management of urban gardens and would like to understand how to access funding to support of this specific policy challenge.
    • Vilnius would like to design a model for the continuous growth and expansion of community led gardens in the city; one that is sustainable and beneficial to everyone, notably by engaging public and private stakeholders. Vilnius would also like to review - and if necessary revise – the functioning of the municipal company in charge of public parks (Vilniaus Parkai) for it to focus more on community gardening.
       
    • There is also a critical common challenge for all cities participating to the the network: to improve their governance effectiveness in managing urban gardens through an improved city regulation.

    Through the Ru:rban project, the partners want to meet those objectives, notably by exchanging on the existing knowledge and practices that exist today in Europe.

    They wa

    nt also to work in the direction of building a European Urban Gardens City Network. It is a great opportunity to explore the situation of urban gardening in Europe.

    But above all these objectives there is also a very ambitious goal: that of inspiring new people to involve in community gardening and to make of urban gardens modern community hubs, in which people meet daily and act together with other people.

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