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  • "What if our cities liberate women?!"

    As mentioned in the 2nd Gender Equal Cities Report, support from all levels of government is crucial in ensuring that women and men, girls and boys can freely and equally participate in society. Urbact is particularly committed to supporting local authorities incorporate gender equality into their policies.

    Gender inequality still significantly impacts work, travel, play, health and life in urban environments and unfortunately women experience the majority of gender-based inequalities.

    Gender equality is often and unfortunately, considered as an afterthought… but it is time to assume inequalities, to get out of stereotypes, to break habits embedded in all spheres, even the most unexpected, of our lives : here are the issues of gender equality that cities are facing. Collective actions, public and private, must be fostered to engage the movement of all the society, including companies and public bodies, including women and men, children and seniors. In 2022 everywhere in Europe, female citizens must have the right to decide of their lives and their choices, they should be able to benefit of equal opportunities to participate in a society and experience all possible freedoms in their city :

    Women's freedoms :

    - Freedom in public spaces, anywhere, anytime in the city (downtown and not)...

    - Freedom to learn, to be educated, to choose their training, their career...

    - Freedom to work, to get access to all trades, to create, to express themselves,

    - Freedom to not be limited (to adapt in order to help and not limit) by constraints: those imposed by the body (health, aging), by our society (gendered positions, leisure and sports activities, etc.), by the family context, etc.

    - Freedom to reveal themselves despite the stereotypes that freeze our society.

    Policies in favor of gender equality are mainly focus on reducing exclusion, discrimination and unfair treatment by lifting women up. It is through the action and mobilization of each one and all together, that we must formally act with all the stakeholders at local level and launch a movement for the empowerment and liberation of women in our European cities.

    virginie picard squizzato
    Clermont Auvergne Metropole
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  • Urb-En Pact


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

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


    Watch all the Urb-En Pact video stories here.


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


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


    Urb-En Pact Final Publication

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

    Together towards net zero energy cities
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  • "Inspiring other cities to take action": URBACT city Clermont-Ferrand at COP26

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    Clermont-Ferrand brings an important message to COP26: cities of all sizes have a central role to play in tackling climate change.

    Carbon neutrality

    Cities in the URBACT Urban Energy Pact network are meeting at the UN Climate Change conference in Scotland, where they will showcase their participative approach to reaching ‘net zero energy’ by 2050. Their key message: cities of all sizes have a central role to play in tackling climate change and reaching the COP26 goals. The network’s lead partner Clermont Auvergne Métropole (FR) will be represented by a team of elected officials and energy transition experts. Among them, Nicolas Bonnet, Delegate Councillor for Renewable energy, found a moment to talk to URBACT’s Amy Labarrière before boarding the train to Glasgow.

    What are you looking forward to achieving at COP26?

    In Scotland, we’ll hold our first face-to-face meeting with ‘Urb-En Pact’ [URBACT Urban Energy Pact] partner cities from around the EU since Covid. Many of us have only met via videoconference. It will be really useful to finally meet in person, share knowledge and exchange ideas on energy transition, then come back home and make changes to improve the lives of our residents.

    I’m excited about discovering how energy transition and climate issues are tackled in other countries. To drive global change, respond to a global problem, it’s important to understand each other, and identify hurdles so we can try to remove them. Energy transition is complicated if everyone does their own thing. So I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together! We have a long way to go, but I hope these talks will help us all progress.

    On Thursday, 4November, I’ll speak at an event on city energy transition: “When non-Capital Cities deliver the Green Agenda!”, along with mayors from Europe and the US, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, and hopefully other cities from our network. We’ll present URBACT, Urb-En Pact, our method, and highlight the role of non-capital cities like ours in reaching the COP aims of CO2 reduction.

    Why are cities so well placed to drive this move to renewable energy?

    It’s as the saying goes, “think global, act local”. Cities can act fast, innovate and make changes for a more sustainable future. Each territory is different, so if we want to implement solutions that correspond best to the needs of the territory and the expectations of residents, it’s important for reflections and dialogue to take place at city level.

    Nicolas Bonnet, Clermont-Ferrand (FR): "The best energy is the energy we don’t consume at all!

    What are the sorts of local actions cities can take?

    Mobility is one area where city authorities can make a big difference, reducing energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas emissions. In Clermont-Ferrand, the Métropole is responsible for managing travel between sectors of the city. It’s up to us to encourage people to take the bus or a bike instead of their own cars. Clermont-Ferrand – like many other cities – has a lot of catching up to do compared with Copenhagen for example. So, we’re launching actions to develop sustainable mobility: like cycling, walking, or public transport.

    As for locally produced, renewable energy, we’re now planning a scheme to collect methane from organic waste. This biogas will power buses, bin lorries, heating…

    What are the main ways Urb-En Pact network is helping Clermont-Ferrand drive this energy transition?

    Using URBACT’s approach, we’re co-producing a plan of action together with local partners. We want to support new actions they’ve proposed – such as developing biogas-powered vehicles.

    The idea is to find solutions to improve the city so it requires less energy to function – and produces more renewable energy. For that to work, it’s important for public authorities to involve all the right stakeholders. When we agree on who can do what, actions are more likely to be implemented.

    Energy ‘sobriety’, encouraging people to consume less energy, is a big Urb-En Pact focus. We launched a survey, working with researchers, to meet local residents and get a better understanding of their views on saving energy, what actions they’re ready to take, and what their limits are. This is important for Urb-En Pact because energy-saving is one of the hardest issues to tackle in energy transition: it means rethinking our way of life. People will have to give up certain things, saying “I can live without this, it’s not in the general interest as I’m consuming energy and increasing Greenhouse Gas emissions: is it really worth it?”

    This is your first experience of URBACT: what have you found most interesting so far?

    Probably the way URBACT brings together communities, towns, cities, from all over Europe. French cities like Clermont-Ferrand, meeting cities in Romania, Finland... We’d have a hard time working together without URBACT putting us in touch around a common project.

    And through Urb-En Pact, we’ve started a dialogue between local stakeholders, many of them with different interests, different visions, who might otherwise never meet: people working in energy companies; climate action groups; public transport; construction; urban development... In small workshops with five people around a table, everyone has to talk to each other. It's constructive as it forces you to confront other points of view.

    Can you give a practical example of a local energy solution where it helped to bring such different groups together around a table?

    Our work on resident-managed solar power projects – a sort of citizens’ cooperative for renewable energy production. People invest in setting up the panels themselves, and the income from selling the energy pays back their investment. This was an action proposed during Urb-En Pact local discussions. Politicians can’t act alone: it takes time to convince people to step up and install solar panels on their roof. And not all roofs are suitable for solar panels. Local group discussions helped people understand why the project would take longer than they might expect.

    What factor is common to the eight Urb-En Pact partner cities?

    Our shared ambition to work together and develop a local, sustainable energy balance. In other words, each territory wants to produce the energy it consumes. And if we’re producing our own energy, the best energy is the energy we don’t consume at all!

    But we also have our differences: different countries, climates, environmental settings. That allows partners to go deeper into aspects specific to their own territory. And some cities are more advanced on certain points, so there’s an interesting exchange of knowledge.

    So you’re not all leaders in renewable energy?

    Not at all. In Clermont-Ferrand, we hope to find better renewable energy solutions, but we’re not aiming to be leaders: the importance is to make progress together. It’s to show what we can do, to pick up good practice from other cities within and outside the Urb-En Pact network, to find better ways of doing things, try them out, experiment. We want to prove by our actions that cities can make a big difference. And we hope to inspire other cities to take action too!


    Visit the URBACT climate action knowledge hub: a gateway to resources and good practices helping EU cities boost local actions to combat climate change and improve resilience.

    Find out more about the URBACT Urb-En Pact network.


    Cover photo by Jean-Louis Zimmermann

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  • URBACT goes (even) greener

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    From a carbon-neutral festival to new URBACT IV city support, URBACT is strengthening its decarbonisation commitment at all levels

    Carbon neutrality

    URBACT has had sustainability at the core of its work with European cities for over 15 years. Supporting urban areas to transform in an integrated and sustainable way, it has practically tested and built up substantial knowledge and identified valuable good practices in the field. In the run-up to URBACT IV, the programme is now going a step further: alongside European and global commitments for climate protection, the green transition will be promoted across URBACT’s actions on programme and network levels.

    The new URBACT IV programme, which launches in 2022, will mainstream the green transition as one of its cross-cutting elements. This is an opportunity to embed sustainable thinking and practice in every aspect of the programme’s work, including the future URBACT IV networks and the action plans their cities will develop.

    URBACT cities at the forefront of climate action

    Over the past few years, the conversation around climate change has accelerated from activist and scientific circles to mainstream media and society, leading to long-overdue political commitments such as the Paris Agreement or the European Green Deal. 2019 started unprecedented citizen mobilisation for climate, with young people at its forefront, taking to the streets weekly to demand climate action.

    URBACT cities have been taking the lead on the transition to climate neutrality. For example, the Action Planning Network Zero Carbon Cities led by Manchester (UK) is supporting cities to establish science-based carbon reduction targets, an initiative to align Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission cuts in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. On their carbon-neutral path, these cities are preparing local carbon budgets and zero carbon action plans for their municipalities.

    The eight partners of the Urban Energy Pact network, led by Clermont Auvergne Métropole (FR), are working to become net-zero energy territories by 2050. Each city in the network is bringing local stakeholders and citizens together to prepare action plans for local and renewable energy sources in their communities.

    Reduction and eradication of GHG emissions requires systemic change on many fronts – from the way we produce energy, food and goods, to the way we consume, travel, design and build our cities and protect nature and biodiversity. While individual commitments to climate protection, whether by citizens or single organisations, are very important, it is systemic thinking – accompanied by political will and ground-breaking policies – that is the real gamechanger. URBACT cities have long understood this.

    The RiConnect Action Planning Network is rethinking our transport infrastructures, while the BeePathNet Transfer Network promotes biodiversity and food self-sufficiency through the creation of ‘bee-friendly cities’. The FOOD CORRIDORS network connects European regions for sustainable food production, while Health&Greenspace is enhancing urban greenspaces to improve the mental and physical health of local communities. Name a sustainability-related challenge and URBACT cities are already tackling it.

    URBACT IV to provide new carbon-neutrality training for cities

    Among URBACT’s new green commitments is a Capacity-Building programme, planned for 2022, to help URBACT IV networks embed carbon-neutral perspectives into their work.

    Clémentine Gravier, URBACT Capacity-Building Officer, says: "it's very important that URBACT cities find the right tools and trainings to support them in their carbon-neutral transitions. There is so much we can already learn from some URBACT cities who have led the way to tackle climate change. We will package this learning and add it to the URBACT Toolbox to make it accessible to a wider audience."

    Meanwhile, the URBACT Secretariat has decided to evaluate its own carbon footprint to inform its future decarbonisation actions.

    The URBACT City Festival, set to take place in June 2022 under the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, is being organised as a carbon-neutral event. This is a challenge in itself – even using an eco-oriented venue powered by renewable energy, with local, seasonal and plant-based food, waste collection and composting, we cannot escape the need for carbon offsetting to compensate for participants’ travels and the remaining carbon footprint.

    This experience is not only a practical reminder of the complexity of the carbon neutrality challenge at any scale, but it is also proving to be a catalyst for human creativity and ingenuity to come up with exciting, more nature-friendly solutions. The 2022 City Festival will hopefully pave the way for further carbon-neutral events and project practices throughout URBACT.

    Climate action knowledge hub

    Last but not least, URBACT gathers and builds on all the sustainability knowledge and good practices developed by its cities, networks and initiatives. Recently, URBACT launched a climate action knowledge hub: a gateway to the good practices, ideas, articles and other resources on how cities are boosting local actions to combat climate change and improve resilience. The climate action knowledge hub is going to gain prominence in the upcoming months towards URBACT IV, so make sure you keep up-to-date!

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  • The road to COP26: climate change at the heart of URBACT cities of all sizes

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    Towns and cities must boost local actions to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Three URBACT cities show how…

    Carbon neutrality

    COP26, the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, is on its way. In November, governments from around the world will gather in Glasgow (UK) to reaffirm their commitment to tackling climate change. Meanwhile, without waiting for the next COP, many URBACT cities have already been developing their own strategies, activities, and partnerships to move towards greater integration and transversality in their local climate policies.

    Cities are the level at which most emissions are recorded. The world’s cities consume 60–80% of natural resources, producing 50% of global waste and 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. And this is set to increase: 75% of EU citizens live in urban areas; 66% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050; and cities’ global carbon footprint is predicted to triple by 2030. As a result, an estimated 93% of cities face threats such as floods, storms and heatwaves, and although many are taking action to improve resilience, up to 400 million people could be living in cities with no plan to tackle climate by 2030.

    As partners in URBACT networks, Manchester (UK), Mantua (IT) and Clermont-Auvergne Metropole (FR) all recognise the vital role of the local level in defining policies to actively reduce CO2 emissions.

    In light of COP26, these three URBACT cites of very different sizes have committed to going further in their strategies and actions against climate change. The City of Manchester will be represented and aligned with the global movement C40 Cities. Mantua is leading a group of Italian cities to move towards fewer climate emissions, with URBACT support. And Clermont-Auvergne Metropole is promoting the voice of local territories in Glasgow, leading a delegation of 45 representatives of the URBACT Urb-En Pact network, including elected officials from seven cities, all of whom are taking local actions to become net zero energy territories by 2050. They  have, in particular, identified the following responsibilities for cities:

    • Cities can act as brokers of knowledge and ideas and stakeholders by implementing the URBACT methodology and ensuring co-creation of the city of today and of tomorrow.
    • Cities are the place to carry out Living Labs, prototyping and testing new methodologies for policy action. Local territory has to be the architect of the future, the place where a pact for and by society towards a new society can take place.
    • Cities have a high level of independence and should act as local guarantors of leadership and actions, as well as influencers to other governance levels.

    Cities can lead paradigmatic transformation in the way public administration works and the ways to co-design integrated local polices.

    So how are these three URBACT cities tackling climate change locally?

    West Gorton Community Park ©City of Manchester

    Manchester, which led the recent URBACT C-Change network, has a long experience of seeking to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It developed its first strategy in 2009 and declared a climate emergency in 2019. Its latest plan, the Manchester Climate Change Framework, introduced the goal of carbon neutrality by 2038. The UK government also granted the city with a budget for decarbonisation. Yet, says Adrian Slatcher from Manchester City Council: “making climate an important policy statement is key. But even more crucial is to turn ambitions and strategies into a set of actions.”

    As such, Manchester aligned with the Paris Agreement and has sought to develop its own understanding of what science explains about climate change. It has, in particular, developed the notion of carbon budgeting, which it is using through the Manchester Climate Change Agency, while further developing it within the URBACT Zero Carbon Cities network. As a carbon budget aims to articulate the extent of challenges and related actions, Manchester set its own target as a maximum of 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from homes, workplaces and ground transport between 2018 and 2100; and a reduction of direct CO2 emissions by at least 50% between 2020 and 2025. Projects include a new ‘sponge park’ in West Gorton, developed during the Horizon 2020-funded Grow Green project. The park features nature-based solutions, such as ‘rain gardens’ and trenches to re-use rainwater and reduce flooding.

    Manchester also works actively with its arts and culture sector on making its practices more environmentally friendly, as well as raising broader awareness of the climate emergency. This has been the scope of the URBACT C-Change network in which Mantua (IT) also participated.

    As a UNESCO World heritage site, Mantua has long been a city with a strong focus on culture, a sector that shapes local strategies and serves as a key economic driver. At the same time, the city acknowledges its role in the reduction of CO2 emissions and energy consumption, for example with the implementation of its Sustainable Energy Action Plan, and various adaptation and mitigation resiliency plans and policies, including a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, and policies to tackle water pollution and improve energy efficiency in built heritage.

    The success of combining arts and culture with climate action has brought Mantua extra national funding of EUR 300 000 to continue its activities. The city is also coordinating a new URBACT National Practice Transfer Initiative cascading the learnings and methodology from C-Change to seven other Italian cities – Rovereto, Cuneo, Ferrara, Siena, Avellino, Corigliano-Rossano, Sestri Levante.

    As for the newly emerging Clermont-Auvergne Métropole, created in 2018, the focus has been to become a net zero energy territory, focusing on two aspects combined in the URBACT Urb-En Pact network: reducing energy consumption, while increasing the production of green and sustainable energy in and around the city. As the economic hub of the Centre region of France, the metropolis’ industry is largely related to transport, housing, and heating. It can therefore work on changing habits, and adapting the needs of companies, inhabitants, and public services while acquiring new knowledge and research and development (R&D) towards smarter and greener growth.


    Fighting climate change needs to be done together

    More than for any other policy area, working with relevant stakeholders has been a challenge, but also an extremely useful new opportunity for these three cities, in their fight against climate change. Manchester City Council is collaborating with Manchester University on science-based policy-making. While City Council emissions account for only 2% of the city’s overall emissions, the municipality has partnered with other stakeholders responsible for 25% of local emissions – housing associations, hospitals, large businesses, media and communities – as part of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership. All these are working together on setting up carbon budgets and on paving the way to reach agreed targets. Within the scope of the C-Change network, the municipality in particular worked with small community players and the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, known as MAST, made up of diverse cultural organisations. Last but not least, it also managed to get onboard both elected representatives and civil servants – key in ensuring the success of these actions.

    Excursion carried out by Alkemica during the L.E.N.T.O project, in collaboration with Pantacon @Municipality of Mantua

    Mantua has been able to achieve its results only by working with a group of local stakeholders set up during the URBACT network: one key learning from the URBACT method. Giulia Longhini explains: “CO2 emission reduction and Carbon Neutrality could be reached only with all stakeholders involved! This is also inspiring us for other local policies!” It is already foreseen that this new approach of creating local groups will the biggest challenge for cities in Italy’s new URBACT national transfer network!

    For the first time through the Urb-En Pact network Clermont-Auvergne Métropole gathered energy producers and consumer associations. This brought varied, sometimes conflicting, viewpoints together to contribute to the design of local policies and implementation strategies. “We expected the collaboration to be difficult and it actually appeared to be extremely constructive! We are very proud and happy about the results,” says Virginie Squizzato, project coordinator at Clermont-Auvergne Metropole. “It is only altogether that we can sign a pact at city level for actual change,” she adds.


    Cities are key players in the fight against climate change

    While climate change is an emergency, local and national governments take time to decide and act. Public policies take time to change. However, Virginie Squizatto concludes: “the recent and ongoing pandemic has shown that governments can act fast. If we decide to act fast for climate, we can also decide to do so. It is a question of deciding and prioritising”.


    Further reading

    See the diverse ways URBACT is helping cities tackle climate change.

    This article is part of a series drawing on key sessions at the 2021 URBACT City Festival. Revisit the session ‘The road to COP26: climate change at the heart of URBACT cities, from the smallest to the largest’, with recordings of ‘Clermont Ferrand Metropole on the road to COP26!’ and ‘Manchester on the road to COP26!

    Other articles in the series include:

    Find out more about COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021


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  • 23 Action Planning Networks ready for Phase 2!

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    On 7 May, URBACT's Monitoring Committee has officially approved all Action Planning Networks to proceed to Phase 2.



    The main objective of Action Planning Networks is to bring together between 7 and 10 cities across Europe to exchange their experience in a particular thematic urban development challenge and to share their ideas about possible solutions, during a period of over 2 years. The Phase 1 (from late June 2019 to February 2020) focused on the development of baseline studies, city profiles and the production of the Application Form for Phase 2.

    Following the Monitoring Committee's approval of the networks, cities are now ready to focus on the exchange and learning activities using a range of learning tools and approaches in line with the URBACT Method. Every partner city will consolidate an URBACT Local Group, which will co-design Integrated Action Plans for future implementation. The Phase 2 also presents a novelty for the projects, from now on cities are encouraged to undertake pilot actions (Small Scale Actions), to experiment with new ideas for projects gained from other network exchanges and in line with the cities’ network topic.

    As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the URBACT Secretariat will follow up with a series of adapted activities to support these networks and their partners, including the delivery of trainings using online formats and a 3 months extension of the network life-cycle, meaning that projects will run until August 2022. Thus, networks will respect the following calendar:


    • Activation Stage (May - December 2020): putting together an Integrated Action Plan roadmap
    • Planning Actions (December 2020 - December 2021): drafting the Integrated Action Plan
    • Planning Implementation (December 2021 - June 2022): finalising the Integrated Action Plan
    • Integrated Action Plans Finale (June - August 2022): sharing knowledge


    You can find all approved networks in the table below, the Lead Partner city is indicated is bold. To find out more about each one of the projects, check the network's webpages.
    Congratulations to the 23 approved projects!





    Research, technological development and innovation


    Leiria (PT)
    - Longford (IE)
    - Madrid (ES)
    - Mechelen (BE)
    - Michalovce (SK)
    - Parma (IT)
    - Pella (EL)
    - Unione della Romagna Faentina (IT)
    - Szabolcs 05 Regional Development Association of Municipalities (HU)

    Security and safety are two common goods and fundamental components of European democracy. This network intends to analyse strategies and concepts of urban design and planning, which could contribute to prevent segregation and anti-social behaviour. Additionally, this network wishes to co-create an integrated approach towards urban security focusing on improving citizens’ quality of life and the city’s smart, sustainable and inclusive growth towards a good living environment.

    Find your Greatness

    Alba Iulia (RO)
    - Bragança (PT)
    - Candelaria (ES)
    - Perugia (IT)
    - Wroclaw (PL)
    - Võru (EE)
    - Limerick (IE)
    - Budafok-Tétény 22nd district of Budapest (HU)

    The challenge is to build on the cities' opportunities. The partners of the project need to identify locally a strength, which was built as a sustainable mechanism generating urban development. The goal of this network is to explore and enhance the potential of the city, combining strategic marketing approach with innovative smart city tools.

    Access to and use of ICT

    (previously DI4C)

    Messina (IT)
    - Botosani (RO)
    - Oulu (FI)
    - Portalegre (PT)
    - Roquetas de Mar (ES)
    - Saint- Quentin (FR)
    - Trikala (EL)
    - Ventspils Digital Centre (LV)

    This network aims to set up an acceleration mechanism to enable cities to catch up the digitalisation opportunities in hard & soft infrastructure. Remove all the obstacles encountered by mid-sized cities in their digital journey: lack of strategic & global vision lack of technical and engineering capacities difficulties in incorporating the digital innovation. Municipalities need to guaranty the uptake of digital innovation by the local stakeholders: citizen and entrepreneurs.


    Fundão (PT)
    - Dodoni (EL)
    - Jelgava (LV)
    - Nevers Agglomeration (FR)
    - Razlog (BG)
    - Ånge (SE)
    - Kežmarok (SK)
    - Åbo Akademi University (FI)

    The objective is to encourage the creation of a network of European cities committed to the design of digitalization plans based on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to increase the quality of life in small and medium sized EU cities, guiding us through a new age of digital transformation.

    Competitiveness of SMEs


    Amarante (PT)
    - Balbriggan (IE)
    - Pori (FI)
    - Pärnu (EE)
    - Grosseto (IT)
    - Gabrovo (BG)
    - Heerlen (NL)
    - Kočevje (SI)
    - Medina del Campo

    - Saldus (LV)

    This network aim to produce 10 different and unique robust economic development strategies, targeting their own genuine niches, and generating urban innovation ecosystems. City partners will focus on deepening the understanding of their own local economic strengths and establish strategic methods to revitalise their economy, adapt their city to the next economy and to future economic changes, establishing methodological bases for generate resilient cities.

    Tourism Friendly Cities

    Genoa (IT)
    - Braga (PT)
    - Rovaniemi (FI)
    - Venice (IT)
    - Utrecht (NL)
    - Krakow (PL)
    - Cáceres (ES)
    - Druskininkai (LT)
    - Dún Laoghaire Rathdown (IE)
    - Dubrovnik Development Agency (HR)

    This network aims to explore how tourism can be sustainable in medium-sized cities, reducing the negative impact on neighbourhoods and areas interested by different types of tourism to reach this ambitious aim, the project will create integrated and inclusive strategies which can keep a balance between the needs of the local community, in terms of quality of life and of services available, and the promotion of sustainable urban development at environmental, social and economic level.

    Low carbon economy in all sectors

    Urb-En Pact

    Clermont Auvergne Metropole (FR)
    - Bialystok Association of the Functional Area (PL)
    - CIM Alto Minho (PT)
    - Rouen Normandie Metropole (FR)
    - Elefsina (EL)
    - Galati (RO)
    - Palma di Montechiaro (IT)
    - Tampere EcoFellows (FI)

    Local authorities embrace the ambitious goal to become a zero-net energy territory within the next 30 years. Thus, the aim is to define the local action plans to become zero-net (ZNE) territory by producing and delivering local, renewable and regulated sources of energy by the implementation of an energy loop which gathers all the stakeholders of this circular economy, especially the consumers included in this fair trade business in and around the metropolitan area.

    Zero Carbon Cities
    (previously ZCC)

    Manchester (UK)
    - Bistrita (RO)
    - Zadar (HR)
    - Modena (IT)
    - Frankfurt am Main (DE)
    - Tartu (EE)
    - Vilvoorde (BE)

    The network will support capacity building of cities to establish science-based carbon reduction targets and their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) aligned to Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Working with 7cities to adopt different approaches to carbon budgeting and science-based targets, the network will undertake a programme of capacity building in order to support their local activities and integrated action plan and influence Covenant of Mayors' signatory cities.

    Environmental protection and resource efficiency


    Barcelona Metropolitan Area (ES)
    - Porto Metropolitan Area (PT)
    - Krakow Metropole Association (PL)
    - Paris Metropolitan Area (FR)
    - Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area (PL)
    - Amsterdam Region (NL)
    - Transport for Greater Manchester (UK)
    - Thessaloniki Major Development Agency (EL)

    The overall goal is to rethink, transform and integrate mobility infrastructure aiming at reconnecting people, neighbourhoods, cities and natural spaces. The project will develop planning strategies, processes, instruments and partnerships, fostering public transport and active mobility, reducing externalities and unlocking opportunities of urban regeneration with the objectives of structuring the territory, and achieving a more sustainable, equitable and attractive metropolis.


    Utrecht (NL)
    - Riga (LV)
    - Oeste CIM (PT)
    - Copenhagen (DK)
    - Granada (ES)
    - Munich (DE)
    - Kavala (EL)
    - Prato (IT)
    - Nigrad (SI)

    URGE (circUlaR buildinG citiEs) aims to design integrated urban policies on circularity in the building sector – a major consumer of raw materials – as there is a gap in knowledge on this topic. The result is an in-depth understanding of this theme and a first plan for a tailor-made methodology that allows the circular dimension to be widely integrated in the large construction tasks the URGE partnership is facing. URGE thus accelerates the transition towards a circular economy.

    Healthy Cities

    Vic (ES)
    - Anyksciai (LT)
    - Bradford (UK)
    - Alphen aan den Rijn (NL)
    - Falerna (IT)
    - Farkadona (EL)
    - Loulé (PT)
    - Pärnu (EE)
    - Malta Planning Authority (MT)

    This network aims to deepen the relationship between health and the urban environment, planning actions that focus on improving the population’s health, while developing a rigorous health impact assessment methodology around it. Urban Planning can become a health generator on many grounds, and this network of cities reflects the multiplicity of possible approaches to tackle the issue: green areas, mobility, social cohesion or promotion of sports are some examples.


    Mula (ES)
    - Belene (BG)
    - Cesena (IT)
    - Malbork (PL)
    - Roskilde (DK)
    - Heraklion (EL)
    - Šibenik (HR)
    - Ukmergè (LT)


    The ultimate goal is to represent a moment of change, improving the urban environment of cities involved, developing heritage-led urban regeneration. It will enhance the potential of heritage in small and medium cities developing strategies for economic and social cohesion, inclusion and sustainable urban development. This network fosters the transnational exchange of experiences to test an innovative policy framework, combining a sound integrated approach with a real transformation purpose.


    Resourceful Cities
    (previously UrbReC)

    The Hague (NL)
    - Bucharest 3rd district (RO)
    - Ciudad Real (ES)
    - Mechelen (BE)
    - Cáceres (ES)
    - Patras (EL)
    - Oslo (NO)
    - Opole (PL)
    - Vila Nova Famalicão (PT)
    - Zagreb (HR)


    This network seeks to develop the next generation of urban resource centers to promote the positive economic, environmental and social impacts for the circular economy. They facilitate waste prevention, reuse, repair and recycling. The centers also work as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers and the public sector to co-create new ways to close resource loops at the local level.

    (previously Rurban Food)

    Coimbra Region (PT)
    - Alba Iulia (RO)
    - Córdoba (ES)
    - Larissa (EL)
    - Szécsény (HU)
    - Bassa Romagna Union (IT)
    - Tartu Tartumaa Arendusselts (EE)
    - BSC Kranj and Gorenjska (SI)

    Recent experience suggests that it is necessary to promote a transition towards regional food systems. This network encourage the creation of a network of European cities committed to the design of food plans that extend from the urban and periurban areas through a corridor that facilitates urban-rural re-connection. This approach enhances production and consumption environments founded on a base of economic, social and environmental sustainability, integrated into development policies.


    Hegyvidék 12th district of Budapest (HU)
    - Espoo (FI)
    - Limerick (IE)
    - Messina (IT)
    - Breda (NL)
    - Poznań (PL)
    - Santa Pola (ES)
    - Suceava (RO)
    - Tartu (EE)

    As a response to the various health risks related to rapid urbanization and the densification of cities, this network project promotes health-responsive planning and management of urban green infrastructure with an overall aim to bring health and wellbeing benefits for citizens across Europe. The network applies a holistic approach that addresses the main functions provided by urban green infrastructure that deliver health and social benefits.

    Sustainable transport


    Bielefeld (DE)
    - Arad (RO)
    - Badalona (ES)
    - Nazaré (PT)
    - Turku (FI)
    - Guía de Isora (ES)
    - Panevèžys (LT)
    - Saint-Germain-en-Laye (FR)
    - Sérres (EL)
    - Valga (EE)

    This network improves quantity and quality of attractive public spaces in urban areas. For this, it tackles the main public space use being transportation in 3 aspects: improving user experience and adding space to pedestrian networks and (semi) pedestrianised places, upscaling intermodal hubs to urban centres of mixed use as well as reducing and optimising parking in public space. The project takes a user-centric approach by users assessing and creating future use and design of public space.

    Thriving Streets

    Parma (IT)
    - Antwerp (BE)
    - Igoumenitsa (EL)
    - Klaipèda (LT)
    - Nova Gorica (SI)
    - Oradea (RO)
    - Santo Tirso (PT)
    - Radom (PL)
    - Southwark London Borough (UK)
    - Debrecen Economic Development Centre (HU)

    This is a network that addresses the bottlenecks in sustainable urban mobility. The project will focus on the economic and social benefits of sustainable mobility, rather than on the widely demonstrated environmental effects. The network argues that working with local amenities and social networks at neighbourhood level could unlock the hidden demand for active mobility in cities, and thus act as enabler of behaviour change towards more resilient and liveable neighbourhoods.

    Employment protection and resource efficiency


    Heerlen (NL)
    - Aarhus (DK)
    - Baia Mare (RO)
    - Fundão (PT)
    - Kecskemét (HU)
    - Pordenone (IT)
    - Zaragoza (ES)
    - Võru Development Centre (EE)

    This network aims to explore how social impact bonds can be used to improve public service delivery in areas such as employment, ageing, and immigration. Often, the delivery of services is hindered by fragmented and siloed agencies and budgets, financial and political shorttermism, and an aversion to risk and difficulty creating change. The social impact bond is a promising model that ameliorates these issues by increasing collaboration, prevention, and innovation.

    Social inclusion and poverty


    Ghent (BE)
    - Braga (PT)
    - Glasgow (UK)
    - Thessaloniki (EL)
    - Liège (BE)
    - Odense (DK)
    - Poznań (PL)
    - Toulouse Metropole (FR)
    - Timisoara Department of Social Assistance (RO)

    This project aims to eradicate homelessness through innovative housing solutions at city level. It will exchange knowledge on how to gather accurate data and make the conceptual shift from the symptomatic management to the actual ending of homelessness, with Housing First and Housing Led as guidance model. This network will guide the partner cities towards integrated local action plans linked to the long-term strategic goal of Functional Zero (no structural homelessness).


    Agen (FR)
    - Bistrita (RO)
    - Cento (IT)
    - Dinslaken (DE)
    - Hradec Králové (CZ)
    - Santa Maria da Feira (PT)
    - Saint-Quentin (FR)
    - Tartu (EE)

    The aim of this network is to rethink the place of the citizens in the local governance by finding a balance between representative democracy and participatory democracy. This network of European small and medium-sized cities, with the same expectations and similar challenges, will notably take into account, to do this, new digital tools while integrating the issue of citizens away or not comfortable with digital tools.


    Amsterdam (NL)
    - Dublin (IE)
    - Lisbon (PT)
    - Riga (LV)
    - Sofia (BG)
    - Tallinn (EE)
    - Vilnius (LT)
    - London Greater Authority (UK)

    This network addresses the importance of inclusive cultural policies. A challenge all cities in this project face is that culture does not enrich or empower all people equally. We need to gain a better understanding of our communities in order to engage all citizens in our cities. We have identified four topics to work on that will enable us to gain that understanding and support us in reaching all population groups in the participating cities from the west, east and south of Europe.


    Umeå (SE)
    - Frankfurt am Main (DE)
    - Panevèžys (LT)
    - Trikala (EL)
    - La Rochelle (FR)
    - Barcelona Activa SA (ES)
    - Celje JZ Socio (SI)

    Creating conditions for gender equality through a holistic understanding of how gender inequality is created in the specific place. This network creates an exchange on challenges faced by cities with an understanding of gender inequality that is globally understood but locally contextualised.

    Education, skills and lifelong learning


    Milan (IT)
    - Bratislava (SK)
    - Budaörs (HU)
    - Guimarães (PT)
    - Molina de Segura (ES)
    - Nantes Metropole (FR)
    - Rijeka (HR)
    - Kekava (LV)
    - Sofia (BG)
    -Vratsa (BG)

    Through intensive capacity building of local actors, the network will increase collaboration among municipalities, businesses and the civic society in order to promote sustainable, inclusive & innovative urban change. The project aims at increasing the role and added value of companies’ CSR activities at local level, towards urban regeneration and social innovation, with a special emphasis on education, in order to better address emerging and unmet local needs.




    Interested in finding more about the approved networks and what they will do? Watch the URBACT Method video and check out the Action Planning Network's infographic!

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