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  • BoostInno

    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 July (Wroclaw). Transnational meeting in November (Barcelona).
    Transnational meetings in March (Baia Mare) and November (Paris).
    Transnational meeting in January (Milan). Final event in April (Gdansk).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

    City of Piacenza
    piazza Cavalli 2 - 29121 Piacenza - Italia
    tel centralino 
    Phone +39 0523 492 111 

    City of Bilbao
    Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka nº1. 48007 Bilbao. Phone +32 944 204 200 

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań

    CONTACT US

    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    City of Gdańsk
    5 prof. Witolda Andruszkiewicza St.
    80-601 Gdańsk

    The work developed by the cities of this Action Planning network has proven that social innovation is not just a trend, but it could also be qualified as a fundamental change in the management of cities, in the management of impact and in the relations cities uphold and develop with their inhabitants. Some would describe this change as an equivalent of the industrial or the IT revolution: up until now, one of the basic assumptions of urban policy was that citizens were to accept what is decided, planned and built. Recent years have shown that it is often the citizens who make the city, in a collaborative perspective.

    Boosting social innovation
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  • CHANGE!

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (London). Transnational meeting in November (Amarante).
    Transnational meetings in April (Gdansk), September (Aarhus) and November (Dun Laoghaire).
    Final event in March (Eindhoven).

    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

    In times when personal sacrifices are much needed to tackle burning societal issues, fostering and enabling collaboration at local level of public administration is of the utmost importance. The partners of this Action Planning network had the opportunity to reflect upon social design, a process to think over alongside local stakeholders how to co-design their social public services towards a more collaborative service. This means to create an urban strategy that somehow engages volunteers to improve communities and public services, reducing costs at the same time.

    People powered public services
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  • Civic eState

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting, Naples (IT)
    Mid-term meeting, Iași (RO)
    26-28 May 2021, Final Network Event (online)
    Transnational meeting, Prešov (SK) / Transnational meeting, Amsterdam (NL)

    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

    The Civic eState network worked on new models of urban co-governance based on the commons. Two years of EU cooperation for promoting urban co-governance and experimenting public-community partnerships to enable inhabitants and local communities constitutional rights to self-organize and collectively act for the urban commons.

    The network outputs aim at guaranteeing the collective enjoyment as well as collective management of urban essential facilities, to secure fair and open access, participatory decision-making, sustainability and preservation for the benefit of future generations.

    Pooling Urban Commons
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  • Governing commons, is it even possible?

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    15/11/2022
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    Articles
    Participation

    Creative communities have long been a vital element for city regeneration: groups of people helping to improve urban spaces, buildings, initiatives or services, opening them up for neighbourhood use in order to answer local needs. For city administrations seeking sustainable ways to develop their territories, one approach is to improve such community participation. Naples (IT), for example, introduced a governance model that allows communities to manage public assets as ‘common goods’ – a solution transferred to six other EU cities through the Civic eState network. This collective management of so-called ‘urban commons’ was the focus of a recent URBACT City Festival session entitled “Governing commons, is it even possible?”. URBACT Expert Liat Rogel reports.

    In the context of urban commons the city is seen as “a platform utilised and optimised by citizens from all backgrounds and social statuses”, explained Cristijan Iaione, URBACT Lead Expert for Civic eState and an expert on urban commons. To be a successful platform, the public administration first has to recognise the benefits that could come from such collaboration. Second, it should adopt new tools and governance policies that enable and empower citizens.

    Also, the involved parties, including NGOs, and formal and non-formal groups, need to recognise themselves as collaborators, part of a joint movement promoting commons. Governing commons means finding the right path to regulate something as dynamic, spontaneous and agile as a community. Can this even be possible? Can a city guarantee a good governance of commons without the risk of compromising the character of urban communities? These are some of the key questions Naples and their Civic eState partners Amsterdam (NL) and Gdansk (PL) tackled at the URBACT Festival, alongside Turin (IT) from the UIA – URBACT network CO4CITIES.

    Amsterdam: recognising the commons movement

    Very often, working on commons starts with recognition and identity, according to Nathalie van Loon, Commons coordinator for the City of Amsterdam. She said: “in Amsterdam, there is a real old tradition of commons in practice. Civic participation has been part of urban development and people are used to protest, offer different solutions or collect consensus. However, there is no recognition of the term ‘commons’ and no sense of larger identity between the different stakeholders that are actually commoners. We need to build a new narrative and adapt to a worldwide movement. People do not recognise themselves as part of the movement.”

    One of the ways to start the sense of identity and begin a collaborative conversation was the creation of a commons catalogue. “In Amsterdam, we asked artists to make a city catalogue for commons. It tells the story of Amsterdam commoners, of change in the city, and gives concrete examples from the local context. We have a network of commoners now and we look for ways to work on neighbourhoods rights, but we will work better on collaboration.” Nathalie van Loon described integrating the term ‘public-common partnership’ as a way to increase collaboration, build a set of tools to facilitate this partnership, and to ensure the movement is both recognised by all stakeholders and sustainable in the long term.

    Naples: a city forced to think outside the box

    Public-community governance has proven to be successful in Naples, which has seen a major development of tools and methods for urban commons over the past decade. Experience the city shared during the recent URBACT Transfer Network Civic eState. Nicola Massella, from the City of Naples, described how the city administration was put in the position of having to come up with new tools. Citizens and communities reclaimed public abandoned spaces, occupying them and then making them available to residents, with cultural activities and even social services.

    “Our administrative tools were developed after things already happened,” said Nicola Massella. “As public servants, we understood that we cannot programme the future of a neighbourhood without collaboration with the people living there. We were forced to take action. We were linked to the idea of the government and the people forced us to think out of the box.”

    In Naples, the recognition of formal and informal groups is based on constitutional values. The community must allow open access and be socially inclusive and non-discriminative. If those principles are in place, the administration recognises the collaboration and provides services like water, electricity and other affordable services. Eight spaces in eight neighbourhoods are now up and running in this way. Whether it’s a park, or a beach, these spaces are mainly used for cultural initiatives that preserve local traditions. As well as this ‘immaterial’ gain, social infrastructure and services are also being set up by communities. Examples include spaces for teenagers to study, social spaces for the elderly or administrative assistance for immigrants. These structures are relatively economically accessible and maintain their quality over time.  

    Turin: experimenting with and testing tools in different contexts

    Change of mindset is a main topic when talking about commons in Turin. “Through experimenting with new tools, it became clear that this change is needed not only inside the municipality, but also in the local, not-for-profit organisations that usually are involved in offering spaces or services to the community,” said Giovanni Ferrero, city of Turin. “With Co-City, we tested local regulation with the aim of governing commons. In our testing period, the city developed the pact of collaboration. It is oriented towards a collaborative governance model. It implies a change of mindset, change of approach both from the public and the third sector. On one side, the public has an authoritative role that needs to change; on the other hand, non-for-profit organisations – and the citizens they support – are used to making requests from the public. Both need to change their roles here.”

    Turin developed two experimental spaces during their UIA Co-City project, and now, as a way to continue and develop the collaborative governance tools, they are working with three other cities in the UIA-URBACT network CO4CITIES. “We will continue working on local regulation with the aim of governing commons and will benefit from this European exchange.” One of the cities involved in the project is Gdansk, where the issue of trust and roles is also very relevant.

    Gdansk: building trust and letting go

    Magdalena Skiba, from the municipality of Gdansk, explained how encouraging work on urban commons “demands even more from the administrations than the communities. Communities of active citizens are ready for taking responsibility, but the municipality is not necessarily ready to ‘lose control’. The administration must learn how to become an enabler and not a ruler.” This topic was carried ahead first with a previous URBACT project BoostInno, where the city was defined as a ‘broker’. Magdalena Skiba added: “we have worked with local communities for about 15 years in Gdansk. We were happy to be pushed by the opportunity of working on a specific building, towards a related work on our Neighbourhood houses.”

    Neighbourhood houses are given to local NGOs by the municipality in exchange for the support they provide through activities for local residents. The city also covers some maintenance and management costs. Working on those, it was clear, said Magdalena, that “also local NGOs need a change of mindset: they usually act as if they were the owners and lack collaboration with the neighbourhood. We would like to move towards community ownership.” In a country with low levels of public trust in government, the last point from Gdansk is crucial: “we trust only our close families. In my opinion, the most important thing is to build trust between communities and the administration. The broker role, not to force solutions, but to enable them.”

    The answer to the question in the title is indeed tricky. One way to frame it may be a change of paradigm and approach. We do not have to see commons as something to govern, but rather something to enable. Perhaps the main question is not how to govern, but how we can support commons and guarantee their long-term sustainability.

    Further reading

    While local stakeholder participation is at the heart of URBACT’s approach, the recent URBACT networks Civic eState and Co4Cities focused specifically on the co-management of urban commons. URBACT experts in this field include: Christian Iaione, Director of LabGov; Levente Polyak, Lead Expert of CO4CITIES; and Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse, who recently published a book on the topic.  

    URBACT articles include:

     

    This article is part of a series exploring the latest challenges in sustainable urban development, based on discussions with cities and experts at the 2021 URBACT City Festival. Topics range from community participation in urban renewal and gender in public procurement, to cities tackling climate change. View Festival highlights here.

     

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  • BluAct second wave

    Timeline

    • SEPTEMBER / Kick-off meeting (hybrid event)
    • NOVEMBER 2021 / Ocean Hachathon in Boulogne sur Mer
    • JANUARY 2022 / TNM#2 / Location: Metaverse
    • MARCH 2022 / TNM#3 / Boulogne sur mer, France
    • JUNE 2022 / TNM#4 / Koper, Slovenia

    Lead Partner : Piraeus - Greece
    • Gdańsk - Poland
    • Boulogne sur mer - France
    • Koper - Slovenia

    Following the success of the first generation of the Urbact BluAct Transfer Network - in which 6 European cities were supported to transfer a Good Practice in Blue Growth Entrepreneurship from the city of Piraeus between 2018 and 2020 - a further 4 cities have now also been given the opportunity to learn from the Piraeus Good Practice. The new partners in the BluAct Network will benefit from the rich experience of the city of Piraeus and will work alongside a nominated lead expert who led the original Transfer Network. With much of the hard work already done to break down the Good Practice into understandable blocks, it should be easier second time around to apply the URBACT transfer method.

    BLUACT SECOND WAVE
    BluAct second wave
    Starting up the Blue Economy
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  • CO4CITIES

    About

    PARTNERS

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

    Timeline

    • 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
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  • UIA Transfer Mechanism: five pilot projects ready to take off!

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    15/11/2022

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

    News

    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.

     

     

    PILOT PROJECT

    DESCRIPTION

    PARTNER CITIES

     

    AS TRANSFER

    Smart specialisation in advanced services towards the digital transformation of industry

    Bilbao (ES)

    Bielsko Biala (PL)

    Tartu (EE)

    Timisoara (RO)

     

    CO4CITIES

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

    Torino (IT)

    Budapest (HU)

    Gdansk (PL)

    Cluj-Napoca (RO)

     

    USE-IT

    Unlocking social and economic innovation together

    Birmingham (UK)

    Rotterdam (NL)

    Trapani (IT)

    Poznan (PL)

     

    VILAWATT

    Innovative local public-private-citizen partnership for energy governance

    Viladecans (ES)

    Eriges Seraing (BE)

    Nagykanizsa (HU)

    Trikala (EL)

     

    NEXT AGRI

    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!

     

     

     

     

    Network
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  • Bringing (more) sustainability to cities: 5 golden rules

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    15/11/2022

    How are cities putting sustainable urban development into practice?


    Here are 5 golden rules from URBACT's City Lab.

    Articles
    Leipzig Charter

    The second URBACT City Lab took place in Brussels (BE) on 2nd and 3rd July 2019: “How are cities putting sustainable urban development into practice?” wa

    s the core question that drove us through general and specific considerations in the fields of Air Quality and Mobility, Energy Transition and Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Food Systems. When seeking to feed into the work of the updated Leipzig Charter, it appeared that on the one hand sustainability is still a complex paradigm to get into and embed for a city, but on the other hand, cities are leading the way in what can be done.

    Here are 5 golden rules for cities to become sustainable.

    1. Sustainability is polysemic

    Angeliki Stogia, Councilor at the City of Manchester (UK) asked us: “what do you, what do we, actually mean by sustainability?”. Although its official definition from the 1992 Brundtland Report is unambiguous, but, what does it mean and how should cities approach it? The realm of participants showed a variety of understandings. For example, for Filipa Pimentel from the Transition network it is for society to become more resilient, which in turn would make our ecosystems more resilient. From a people-based approach, to a planning-based one, focusing on regeneration (or the inclusion of environment in local policies) can only bring in consensus and a chance for all stakeholders to adjust their visions and priorities.

    2. Sustainability should be tackled at all levels

    Our discussions started with Thomas Béthune from DG REGIO, European Commission, stating his needs to be in touch with cities themselves to feed sustainability into European policies. They were wrapped up by Filipa Pimental who expressed the leadership of citizens who become actors of change. In between the two, the Leipzig Charter is focusing on neighbourhoods and Alicja Pawlowska, Head of EU projects and mobility management at the City of Gdynia (PL) stressed the importance of this in their daily work. Cities are where changes take place and these considerations stress the need for territorial and contextual approaches. This would be impossible without the collaboration and inputs from member states, as Olli Maijala, Adviser at Finnish Ministry of the Environment suggested.

    3. Sustainability requires a new mindset

    Experimenting in cities is not new, yet they need to keep on being innovative, combining social and technological innovation (e.g. Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) Vilawatt project in Viladecans (ES), developing market-based instruments (e.g. Stockholm’s successful congestion charges), in addition to nature-based solutions (e.g. Chinese sponge cities, which mainstream urban water management into the urban planning policies and designs), and consumption-based approaches (e.g. URBACT BioCanteens network) and to focus on processes.

    Increasingly, cities need to change their vision, and to think out of the box and take risks. The inner change needs to look beyond traditional city-makers, including other profiles such as psychologists (as strongly supported by the Transition network and already tested in Gdansk (PL).

    4. Sustainability applies to all

    Sustainability applies to jobs and skills creation such as a Food Innovation Hub in Milan (IT) within the UIA OpenAgri project, as well as to the city of Gdynia seeking to make freight transport more effective in cities within URBACT FreightTails. Not to mention the H2020 Ruggedised where Rotterdam (NL) experiments smart city developments.

    Mobility. Energy. Food. Air quality. Digitalisation. Health and well-being. Urban planning. Sustainability should be a transversal approach, and “business as usual” as Angeliki Stogia phrased it. In order to support this process, city governance should be rethought to be bold and to be participatory, with citizen scrutiny.

    New forms of involvement and partnerships should be promoted as with the engagement of citizens in air quality control within Helsinki’s (FI) UIA Hope project; the public-private-citizen partnership for energy production in Viladecans’ UIA Vilawatt project; or the use of culture and arts to mobilise citizens to address climate change in the URBACT C-Change network.

    Sustainability also requires cross-departmental collaboration such as in the City of Schaerbeek (BE) cross-cutting solutions which tackle social environmental and neighborhood issues within an action-research project on organic waste transformation, Phosphore.

    5. Sustainability requires strong leadership

    Leadership for sustainability can happen at all levels of cities. Angeliki Stogia from Manchester, Gilles Perole from Mouans-Sartoux (FR) (lead partner of BioCanteens) and Laura Rodrigues from Torres Verdas (PT) (2015 Green Leaf Capital City) are the elected representatives who took part in this second URBACT City Lab, confirming their city’s commitment to this challenge. This is just the beginning of a global movement of awareness and action towards more sustainability in cities.

    ***

    Read on the first City Lab: URBACT’s City Labs on Participation: Refreshing Europe’s urban policy principles

    The key principles of the original Leipzig Charter provided the focus for each URBACT City Lab.

    Explore the related outputs on Participation, Sustainability, Integration and Balanced Territorial Development.

     
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  • URBACT’s City Labs: Refreshing Europe’s urban policy principles

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    15/11/2022

    The 2007 Leipzig Charter established the EU’s urban policy principles. Ahead of its 2020 EU Presidency, Germany is refreshing this key document. URBACT’s City Labs, linked to the Charter’s principles, are supporting this process. The Labs will identify what works, where cities are struggling, and how we can build their capacity to build a bright sustainable future.

    The Leipzig Charter

    News
    Leipzig Charter

    What comes to mind when we think about effective urban policy? We’d probably say that it should be sustainable, focusing o

    n the best use of our resources and the wellbeing of the planet. We might add that it should involve different levels of government – including cities themselves – in decision-making. As levels of trust in politicians are historically low, we might also underline the need for participation – particularly the involvement of citizens – in our processes.

    Back in 2007, the principles behind this approach to urban policy were captured in a single EU document for the first time. Under the German EU Presidency, the Leipzig Charter proposed a model of effective urban policy – sustainable, integrated, participative, multi-level – which anticipated much of what we take for granted today. For example, we can see these principles reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Urban Agenda for the EU, which continue to shape much of our work in cities.

    URBACT City Labs

    In the second half of 2020 Germany will assume the EU Presidency again. In anticipation of that, work is under way to refresh the Leipzig Charter’s relevance for Europe of the 2020s and beyond.

    URBACT will support this through a series of City Labs related to the Leipzig Charter principles. The first, exploring the principle of Participation took place in Lisbon (PT) in September 2018. The second, in Brussels (BE) on 2nd and 3rd July, examined the principle of Sustainable Development. The final City Lab in Berlin (DE) will combine our key messages in the spring of 2020.

    Each Lab will explore how these principles are understood now. There will be space to examine what works well – how cities are embedding these principles in their approaches – as well investigating where the barriers are. A key question relates to the obstacles preventing more cities from adopting these principles – and what needs to be done to support them.

    Participative Cities

    From our City Lab on Participation it was clear that 2019 looks very different to 2007. Linked to diminishing levels of trust in established institutions, we see declining levels of political participation, particularly at the local level. There are also rising incidences of civil unrest, combined with the growth of populism in many parts of Europe.

    These are fast changing developments to which many city authorities are struggling to respond. However, our City Lab activity shows that many cities are adopting a proactive approach, with a willingness to experiment and to redefine the working relationship with citizens. The driver for this is recognition that our established governance tools no longer meet our needs – particularly in the digital age.

    Our first City Lab report captures some of the headline activities. Amongst these is Decide Madrid, a leading digital platform for engaging citizens in urban decision-making. It has grown from a modest process to redesign a city square to one with almost half a million registered members.

    Citizens have submitted more than 20 000 proposals via the portal, which commits the city to implementing those receiving enough backing from citizens. Voting is a mix of postal and digital platforms, with over 200 projects funded to date through a budget of EUR 100 million.

    The importance of mixing digital and face-to-face mechanisms is also a clear message from other cities. Influenced by their monumental and greatly missed former Mayor, Pawel Adamowicz, Gdansk (PL) has also pioneered new ways to engage citizens in decision-making, not least through the design and implementation of Citizens Assemblies, a methodology which is attracting a growing volume of interest amongst decision makers. At the City Lab, officials from Gdansk spoke about the influence of URBACT in shaping their approach to citizen engagement.

    Devolving financial decisions also emerges as an important way to increase levels of citizen engagement. Participative budgets are another effective tool to enable this, as two URBACT good practices demonstrate. Paris (FR) has a large sophisticated model operating at city and neighbourhood level as well as involving young people through schools. However, the city of Cascais,

    in Portugal, shows that these approaches work in cities of all sizes. Its model now accounts for 18% of the total investment budget and has directly involved 115 000 citizens, more than half the population.

    Nearby, the Portuguese capital, Lisbon (PT), has also experimented successfully with the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) model. The subject of an earlier URBACT article, this approach has focused on the city’s most deprived 67 neighbourhoods, enabling investment of over €9 million channeled through over 250 projects. Two interesting dimensions of the approach are its strong focus on neighbourhood capacity building and the requirement placed on grassroots organisations to collaborate. This URBACT Good Practice is at the heart of a Transfer network called Com.Unity Lab.

    The City Lab also underlined ways to involve specific sections of our communities that may be under-represented. Braga (PT) explained their approach to youth engagement, building on their URBACT experience, whilst Parma (IT) shared their work to encourage women to be more actively involved, a key dimension of URBACT’s Gender Equal Cities campaign.

    What's ahead?

    The URBACT City Labs are shining a light on effective city solutions. They are also underlining where we are getting stuck, and what must be done to implement more effective urban policy. In this way, they are feeding directly into the future version of the Leipzig Charter, and a better future for Europe’s cities.

    You can join us, by following our City Lab news (@URBACT #CityLab), and by participating in future events.

    Consult URBACT's City Lab Report "Reflections on citizen's participation in Europe's cities"

     

    The key principles of the original Leipzig Charter provided the focus for each URBACT City Lab.

    Explore the related outputs on Participation, Sustainability, Integration and Balanced Territorial Development.

     
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  • Pooling urban commons: the Civic eState

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    15/11/2022

    Naples’ Urban Civic Uses policy is characterised by the way artists, creatives, innovators and city inhabitants are entitled to organise themselves to establish forms of self-government for critical social infrastructure including urban commons such as abandoned, unused or underused city assets. Christian Iaione, URBACT Lead Expert, tells us how Naples’ Good Practice is being transferred to other European cities thanks to the Civic eState project.

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    The Civic eState network is all about the policy challenge of recognising and/or co-designing legal and sustainable urban commons governance mechanisms enabling city inhabitants and local communities constitutional rights to collectively act in the general interest.

    The urban commons are tangible and intangible assets, services and infrastructures functional to the exercise of fundamental rights considered by the city of Naples as collectively owned and therefore removed from the “exclusive use” proprietary logic to be governed through civic “direct management”.

    The revitalisation of the urban historical heritage represents a cultural, economic and social challenge, but also a spur for the city to re-elaborate its identity, creating a new bond with and between the local activists, civic entrepreneurs and the active citizenship scene.

    The city of Naples carved out a policy based on several city council and mayor’s office resolutions to overcome the traditional top-down command-and-control approach bringing city inhabitants to the centre of the decision-making and city assets management process, strengthening participation in political decisions relevant for the care and regeneration of the urban commons.

    These are new policy tools that aim to give back to the community public and private abandoned properties.

    Transferring Naples’ Good Practice on urban commons collective governance

    Naples’ Good Practice consists of enabling collective management of urban essential facilities conceived as urban commons. This public-community governance approach secures fair and open access, co-design, preservation and a social and economic sustainability model of urban assets and infrastructures, all for the benefit of future generations.

    Collective governance is carried out through the involvement of the community of neighbourhood inhabitants in designing, experimenting, managing, and delivering new forms of cultural and social services.

    The network’s objective is to transfer, with appropriate adaptations and improvements, Naples’ Good Practice to partner cities: Barcelona (ES), Gdansk (PL), Ghent (BE), Amsterdam (NL), Iasi (RO) and Presov (SK).

    The path to civic use

    During the last decade, the city of Naples has been experimenting with new urban governance tools to give new life to abandoned and/or deprived buildings. Different movements and informal organizations have highlighted the need for such spaces to be used and managed by city inhabitants in common through self-organization mechanisms that turn such spaces into new institutions. The civic use of these empty buildings implied a temporary use and it represented a starting point for their “renaissance”. It also created a stimulus to start searching for innovative mechanisms to use such spaces as community-managed or a community-managed estate.

    By revisiting the ancient legal institution of “civic use” and adapting it to the urban context, the administration structured a new form of participatory governance that intends to go beyond the classic “concession agreement model”, which is based on a dichotomous view of the public-private partnership.

    The civic use recognises the existence of a relationship between the community and these public assets. This process makes community-led initiatives recognisable and institutionalised, ensuring the autonomy of both parties involved. On one hand the citizens are engaged in the reuse of the urban commons and on the other hand the city administration enables the practice.

    Urban commons

    The first asset recognised as common property, to be managed through the collective governance mechanism of the civic use, was the ex-asilo Filangieri, an URBACT Good Practice (resolution of Naples City Council n. 893/2015). It is there that the first Declaration of Civic and Collective Urban Use was carved out.

    One year later, 7 other public properties were recognised by Naples City Council as “relevant civic spaces to be ascribed to the category of urban commons”: ex-Convento delle Teresiane: Giardino Liberato; Lido Pola; Villa Medusa; ex-OGP di Materdei; ex-Carcere Minorile – Scugnizzo Liberato; ex-Conservatorio S. Maria della Fede; ex-Scuola Schipa (resolution n. 446, 27 May 2016).

    The recognition will be finalised with appropriate agreements after the communities managing the spaces draft a Declaration of Civic and Collective Use, on the model of those of the ex-asilo, securing inclusivity, accessibility, impartiality and usability of the governance of the assets.



    In the future, the list can be enriched with more urban common resources. These assets were unutilised or under-utilised urban buildings and spaces, informally occupied and re-generated by informal communities that animate them and still contribute to their regeneration (in many cases, the renovation works could not be completed at the beginning of the informal management and were carried out through self-funding schemes). These assets constitute the civic heritage of the city of Naples, co-used and co-managed by Naples’ city inhabitants in the general interest.

    Public-civic partnerships: a transferable model

    Naples’ Good Practice (i.e. the civic uses resolution) has forged one of the first examples of a new generation of public partnerships, the public-community or public-civic partnership (PCPs). PCPs are aimed at transforming city assets into sustainable social infrastructures that produce public value and social impact through social & solidarity, cultural & creative, collaborative, digital and circular economy initiatives.

    Nicola Masella, lead partner, stresses the value of the Naples’ Good Practice for the EU by saying that “the mechanism proposed by the city of Naples, although anchored in the Italian legal system, is certainly characterised by a high degree of adaptability to other European urban contexts as it is based on largely shared ethical, legal and social values. In contrast to the models proposed by other Italian and European cities, where the municipality is in charge of setting up of the rules for the management of commons, the tool implemented in Naples has been built by recognising the citizens’ self-organization models, through a continuous exchange between the community and the municipality.

    A blueprint for the future?

    The Civic eState approach could generate a prototype methodology for cities to generate a new breed of cooperative agreements or projects between city governments and civic, social, local businesses aimed at developing cities through an integrated approach. In particular the civic uses resolution could be considered a blueprint for a larger category of legal tools in compliance with EU law, especially the relevant EU legislation on public procurement and state aid, stifling cooperation among urban actors in order to build and deliver social infrastructure and services such as education, healthcare and housing.

    It might also be able to generate through the hybridisation of these places and economic models new community-based job opportunities and forms of civic entrepreneurships. These cooperative agreements, partnerships or projects could be the basis for more sophisticated and solid forms of financing that could fund social projects through new funding mechanisms including social impact bonds, social project finance schemes and many other new public-private partnerships that involve the participation of long-term investors to generate a sustainability model through social bonds and impact investing mechanisms.

    ***

    Visit the network's page: Civic eState

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