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  • New practices of engaging everyday people in cooperative city making.

    Context and scope  

    Throughout the past decades, European cities have increasingly invested in a wide range of participatory initiatives and instruments that focus on giving voice to citizens and involving them in projects and policy decisions. Since the 1980s, also the City of Ghent developed a broad and ambitious idea of participation based on the explicit recognition of the life knowledge, the expertise and the agency of its residents. (check our best practices in this movie)

    Today however, just like other ‘participatory cities’, Ghent is confronted with gigantic challenges. One of them relates to the very premise of the participatory system: the trust in the local government in which people participate is eroding. Reasons for this are diverse and symptomatic of the chaotic timeframe in which uncertainty and unpredictability are a given. Meanwhile society is polarizing and like-minded people share their ‘truths’ both offline and online.

    Questions concerning who participates, where, why, in what situations, at what level and on what grounds become more and more prominent.  As a response, local governments try to move away from the ‘usual suspects’ and engagement mechanisms that involve one-way communication. They search for new types of connections between the existing political democratic system on the one hand and the power of the autonomous civil society on the other hand.

    In Ghent, in this vein, we choose to radically strengthen real connection and give citizens an effective and transformative role in political decision-making. We engage citizens on all steps of the participation ladder (communication, consultation, cocreation, coproduction, …).  
    Therefore, we experiment(ed) on three fronts:

    1.           Random selection of citizens: we approached citizens directly through drawing lots (regardless of any networks or commitments) by giving them an effective role in policy decisions. In 2017-2018 we organised a citizen panel called ‘Het Burgerkabinet’. 150 citizens (selected out of 800 candidates) debated on the implementation and adjustment of the newly introduced mobility plan. Their role was to evaluate existing policy. We achieved an inclusive conversation regardless of socioeconomic, demographic and cultural differences. It brought people with different truths together for a common concern that cuts across them. We experienced that through this random selection of citizens we met a group of people that don’t usually attend information meetings and more classical participation moments. The new instrument gives us better insight in ‘the silent majority’.

    2.           Crowdsourcing: we believe that citizens themselves have valuable information from their specific environment and expertise. Through an extensive network of neighborhood directors (civil servants) we are able to put the essential knowledge of the lifeworld as a starting point in new projects and planning processes. Different instruments and practices (open data portal, participation platform, space pilots, district budget, etc.) generate information to be transformed into action.

    3.           Participatory budgeting: we reserve a part of the city budget for ideas from citizens (Wijkbudget), citizens ideas receive tailored support from the City of Ghent, from support and facilitation to real co-management. We are currently working with 14 neighbourhood citizen panels (see 1) made up of 20 randomly selected inhabitants in each neighbourhood that make the final decision on the allocation of their budget, ranging from 150.000 – 350.000€ per neighbourhood. Their role is to advise and decide.

    Searching for cities

    In this project, we are looking for cities that want to join us in our search for new practices to engage everyday people in a cooperative city making.

    This approach demands a more open, accessible positioning of local governments and a will to share and redistribute decision power with citizens. As such, we are not aiming for the formally organised deliberative structures such as District Councils or thematic advisory councils such as Elderly Councils, Youth Councils, … where sector organisations are represented as spokesmen for their target audience.
    The focus of this project is on directly and actively engaging everyday people, the silent majority so to say, as a vital part in coproducing the city and tackling essential urban questions.

    In order to have focused exchange between partners, it is recommended that cities already have some experience in these new forms of citizen participation (such as citizen assembly’s, citizen panels (through drawing lots), participatory budgeting, crowdsourcing, .. ), but it could also be by other experiments that challenge, develop, test and implement ideas that trigger a process of broader local change.

    Express your interest asap! As the deadline for submission is 31/3, we want to have our partnership installed in the coming weeks. 

    emma tytgadt
    City of Ghent
    260000
    0
    Are you a candidate Lead Partner looking for partners
    Yes
    Are you a potential Partner looking for a Lead Partner
    Yes
    Your job title
    civil servant on policy participation
    Institution website
    https://stad.gent/nl/over-gent-stadsbestuur/stadsbestuur/speel-een-rol-het-beleid
    Governance
  • A roof over everyone’s head

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    19/10/2022

    What’s on the plate for cities? According to Laura Colini, URBACT Expert, it's due time to put ROOF’s pledge to eradicate homelessness into action.

    Housing
    “Housing is a fundamental necessity and the access to housing is a fundamental right, as citizens who lack housing cannot participate fully in society of avail themselves of all their fundamental rights.”

     

    The report on the fundamental rights in the EU, adopted by the European Parliament in September 2022, comes at a right time when the ROOF Action Planning Network has wrapped up its activities. Through this network, for the first time in 20 years, the URBACT Programme has co-financed a project for cities to eradicate homelessness.

     

    The partner cities were led  to collaborate towards the same goal, building on several actions, commitments and initiatives. It’s a successful story of how local, national and European policies can be brought together by URBACT. In this case, tackling one of the most pressing issues: the right to adequate, dignified and affordable housing.

     

    Gathering the take-away lessons from ROOF, this article looks at the challenges lying ahead for our cities – which hopefully will inspire future Action Planning Networks’ partners.

     

     

    Encouraging cities to join forces

     

    Back in 2016, the EU Urban Agenda started its activities with the overall objective to create thematic and voluntary exchanges to group cities, Member States and international organisations in thematic partnerships to discuss better funding opportunities, knowledge production and regulations at EU level. At the time, none of the four pilot partnerships –  on migration, air quality , housing and poverty – officially had  the topic of homelessness in their agenda, nor did the URBACT III Programme.

     

    The European Federation of National Organisation Working with Homelessness (FEANTSA) – a major player at the EU level, providing studies, advocacy and annual reports on housing exclusion in Europe – was finally invited to join the EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Urban Poverty only a few months after its launch. Thanks to the knowledge and input provided by FEANTSA the partnership supported two actions: 

     

    • to end homelessness by 2030 through the reform of social inclusion strategies at national level; 
    • and to build capacities, so different funds – ERDF, ESF and FEAD – could be used to end homelessness. These actions were a plea for the participation of all levels of governance.

     

    URBACT came in in at the hinge of this call for action: the programme was timely ready to organise a lab session on the topic of housing and homelessness during the URBACT City Festival, which took place in Lisbon (PT) in September 2018; in addition to the ‘Cities fighting homelessness’ policy lab, which was co-organised by URBACT and FEANTSA in Paris (FR) later the same year, welcoming both beneficiary and new-comer cities.

     

    This policy lab was intended as follow up to the Urban Poverty Partnership, encouraging cities to engage and to take practical measures towards these two main partnership actions. Participants heard about the Housing First Hub, the re-use of vacant properties as temporary housing, homelessness prevention methods among vulnerable groups and the Housing Solution platform.

     

    The municipality of Paris shared its practices about the ‘Solidarity Night’ (“Nuit de la solidariété”) and a national representative from Finland presented the key findings of the Housing First model in Helsinki (FI), alongside national policy commitments. At last, the policy lab ended with a pitch from Patricia Vanderbauwhede, from Ghent’s city administration (BE), so other cities could join their 2019 bid to embark on the Action Planning Network journey.

     

    At the time, the city of Ghent had already committed to the United Nations’ pledge to #MakeTheShift and, today, it has successfully led nine EU cities in the framework of ROOF.

     

     

    It takes a village… a city, a country and the EU

     

    Ghent’s bid became a reality with the ROOF Action Planning Network, working at full speed to end homelessness using housing solutions. For three years, the cities of Braga (PT), Glasgow (UK), Liège (BE), Odense (DK), Pozńan (PL), Thessaloniki (EL), Toulouse Métropole (FR) and Timisoara (RO) have tested new ways of working and changing people’s mindset to change local and national policy-making, thus, putting the Housing First model in action. This is proof that it takes a city, a whole country and the EU to effectively end homelessness.

     

    Objective: end and prevent homelessness

     

    Following extensive documentation in terms of policy design, advocacy at all levels, capacity-building trainings and events – such as the network final conference and the Winter School – the ROOF Network has came up with four recommendations:

     

    • the EU must develop an Ending Homelessness Strategy 2024 – 2025, which must include tangible solutions to improve housing affordability and quality;
    •  the EU and the Member States should develop a joint monitoring system, with harmonized indicators and ad-hoc surveys, to inform policy decisions in regards to homelessness;
    • housing-led approaches, as the Housing First, should be promoted as key methods to tackle homelessness;
    • EU structural and investment funds should be allocated to tackle this challenge by expanding the affordable housing stock, while providing support to allow people to live and thrive independently.

     

    When co-developing their local Integrated Action Plans, ROOF partners were able to experiment with different practices. For example, the Greek city of Thessaloniki set up a Social Rental Agency. This is a non-profit agency that, henceforth, addresses housing related issues from poor and vulnerable groups. It also works with generating affordable housing stock, piloting measures for future larger Housing First programmes.

     

    The city of Ghent has taken a more holistic approach. The municipality understood that mental health, drug care clinics and social were topics which should be dealt alongside housing solutions. That’s why the city has pilot a Small Scale Action where an Assertive Community Treatment team (ACT) was put in place, so different professionals could work together – from city planners, to public health and social workers. Using common data and an open dialogue approach, the ACT team collaborates to help vulnerable individuals and households. The results from this experience will feed the Housing First system and the training of future ACT members.

     

    Housing First - moving away from the staircase model

     

    The participation of the Tolouse Métropole in the ROOF Network has brought a shift in the territorial strategies: from the “staircase” approach to the Housing First model. This has led the metropolis towards a more precise knowledge around homelessness and a better overview of what can be practically achieved in the long run. This partner worked in its whole metropolitan area to raise awareness, to increase the affordable housing stock and to consolidate a multidisciplinary support offer.

     

     

    Call for long-term measures

     

    During the ROOF Network lifespan, a series of radical and sudden changes hit the world. The global pandemic showed the sheer evidence that those who experience homelessness are the most vulnerable. Covid-19 indeed made the misery more visible and harsh, but regardless of the virus, the conditions driving individuals towards homelessness are systemic.

     

    At the closure of the ROOF Network, housing has also proved to be an urgent matter in the context in Ukraine.  Back in July, the European Commission has approved the Safe Home Initiative, to support and guide Member and Partner States, regional and local authorities to organise and facilitate private housing initiatives  to prevent the risk of homelessness for those fleeing the war

     

    Likewise, the consequence of the skyrocketing electricity prices has increased an energy poverty, which will most likely affect people in vulnerable situations. According to the 2021 study by FEANTSA, energy poverty already touches about 50 million households in the EU. The study sees  ‘Just Transition Mechanism and Renovation Wave’ targeted to become decisive instruments of the energy transition towards a climate-neutral – and fair – economy. Thus, addressing not exclusively training and employment opportunities, but also the eradication of extreme forms of poverty through investment in adequate housing for low-income and vulnerable groups.

     

    Working to end homelessness means to rethink how societies function, how the economies and finance create inequalities, how all governments engage with their welfare, energy transition, social and housing policies. Not to mention urgent crisis, which are beyond anyone’s control.  This also shows that the actions pledged by the ROOF cities are fundamental to be prepared towards any kind of unprecedented scenario, because they work on reversing the mechanism of poverty.

     

    That’s precisely why local, national and European governments need to be ready for unexpected societal challenges, through long-term solutions. The ROOF cities have joined, with a manifesto, the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness (EPOCH), which is an important strategy to build a common understanding and commitment for concrete actions.

     

    As for now, many countries are taking the extra mile to re-design national plans and emphasise the Housing First model. In 2021, the Italian government has renewed its interest in homelessness prevention policies, via the ‘National Recovery and Resilience Plan’. It allocated 450 million EUR to the provision of Housing First services and it increased 2.8 billion EUR to the construction and rehabilitation of the social housing stock.

     

    In France, the draft for the ESF+ national programme on social inclusion (2021 – 2027) includes actions to support maintenance and access to housing. This shall be done via multidisciplinary support, which includes people based in temporary housing to promote access to permanent options.  This creates a new scope of use for the European Social Fund for tackling homelessness and pushing for the Housing First approach.

     

    Czech Republic, having first-hand witnessed the success of the Housing First pilot in the city of Brno (CZ) in 2016, has launched a national call on this subject with a budget of 6 million EUR, in 2018. Today, the country is trying to up-scale the initiative by drafting new calls, following a consultation process with the civil society. Both calls envisage a total budget of 35 million EUR until 2027, with the first one being published later this year.

     

     

     

    Cities needed NOW!

     

    It’s important to grasp what cities can actually do in terms of housing and homelessness – the ROOF Network represents an incredible experience in this regard, yet a lot more remains to be done. Climate adaptation growing concerns related to aspects as the staggering energy prices or the “renoviction” – landlords who evict their tenants, on the grounds of planned renovations in the building.

     

    The 2019 EU Green Deal aims to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050, which includes a “renovation wave” to improve energy performance in buildings. This inaugurated an investment in energy efficiency renewal in the housing sector. Although overall all well intended, if proper measures are not put in place to protect the vulnerable from the adverse effects of the “greening”, we might witness a steep increase of urban poverty.

     

    There’s definitely no time to waste. There are plenty of actions cities can take to seize opportunities at EU level to find socially, environmentally and just responses. That’s why the upcoming call for URBACT Action Planning Networks – the first one for this programming period – is a great occasion for cities to explore ideas and experiment with new solutions.

     

     

     

    Find you next network partners

     

    Do you have an idea for a Action Planning Network on this subject? Submit it to the URBACT Partner Search Tool and find other cities and peers who are interested in tackling this challenge!
    Network
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  • Stay Tuned

    Timeline

    Phase 1 kick-off
    Phase 2 kick-off
    Phase 2 development
    Final event

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    European cities face higher levels of Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) than their national averages, meaning that some urban areas have more ELET rates, than the countryside areas - contrary to the national trends of these cities' countires. This represents a serious challenge, as ELET has significant societal and individual consequences, such as a higher risk of unemployment, poverty, marginalization and social exclusion. Tackling this issue means breaking the cycle of deprivation and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality.

    Boosting the Frequency of Qualification
    Ref nid
    8874
  • INTERACTIVE CITIES

    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

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (Alba Iulia).
    Transnational meetings in February (Lisbon), June (Tartu) and October (Ghent).
    Transnational meeting in January (Murcia). Final event in April (Genoa).

    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

    This Action Planning network explored how digital, social media and user generated content can improve today’s urban management in European cities, whatever size. This challenge has been tackled in two ways: as an opportunity to redefine and deepen the concept of citizenship and civic engagement today, providing a path to spark cohesion, commonalities and shared value as well as increasing sense of place. As well as a way to improve the quality of public services, in terms of efficiency and transparency, and even widen the current service chart provided by local authorities.

    Digital, social media and user-generated content improving urban governance
    Ref nid
    7465
  • REFILL

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Amersfoot). Transnational meeting in September (Cluj Napoca).
    Transnational meetings in March (Helsinki), September (Ostrava).
    Political event in March (Athens). Final event in April (Ghent).

    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

    In many European cities one of the positive side effects of the financial-economic crisis is the growth of innovative forms of solidarity and commitment at local level. This Action Planning network pioneered, in terms of bottom-up civic initiatives, by co-creating solutions for social challenges in an urban context. Cities are often perceived as a laboratory and governments are no longer the only actor to solve complex challenges faced in cities. Therefore, temporary use is a powerful tool to make our cities "future fit". Since the concept of temporary use is interacting with many other urban dynamics it creates the right environment for social innovation to develop by: exchanging and evaluating of local supporting instruments; ensuring long lasting effects of temporality; building a more flexible and collaborative public administration.

    Reuse of vacant spaces as a driving force for innovation at the local level
    Ref nid
    7500
  • 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
    Ref nid
    12125
  • ROOF

    Lead Partner : Ghent - Belgium
    • Braga - Portugal
    • Glasgow
    • Liège - Belgium
    • ODENSE - Denmark
    • Poznań - Poland
    • Thessaloniki - Greece
    • Timisoara - Romania
    • Toulouse Métropole - France

     

    Housing Department, City of Ghent +32 9 266 76 40

    CONTACT US

    Summary

    Timeline

    • Phase 1: Kick-Off Meeting in Paris (FR)





       
    • Final meeting phase 1 in Ghent (BE)
    • Phase 2: Kick-Off Meeting in Glasgow (UK) - online
    • ROOF workshop on storytelling - online
    • ROOF workshop on advocacy - online
    • Transnational meeting in Odense on data - online
       
    • Winter School Braga - online
    • Transnational meeting in Timisoara & Poznan - online
    • Advocacy network meeting discussing proposal of housing first/funding key messages for Europe - online
    • Advocacy network meeting discussing proposal of data key messages - online
    • Transnational meeting in Thessaloniki - online
    • Transnational meeting in Toulouse - online
    • Final event in Liège
    • Final event in Ghent

       

    Outputs

    • ROOF Methodology - Why arts?

      The ROOF Call for Artists project - how did we do it?

      The fields of arts/creativity and homelessness don’t immediately seem to fit together – one is about celebration, joy, expression; the other about poverty, trauma, isolation. And yet, these worlds are colliding together more and more in powerful and unexpected ways. 

    • Gent OCMW

      Housing First in Ghent: why tailor-made guidance is so important

      Housing First in Ghent: why tailor-made guidance is so important

    Integrated Action Plans

    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - City of Ghent

    Through the ROOF project, Ghent takes the ambition to end homelessness for legal residents by 2040. The Integrated Action Plan is a long term policy plan that describes the vision, the model and the necessary actions to reach the goal of Functional Zero. Read more here!

    Ghent - Belgium
    Toulouse Metropole (FR)
    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - Toulouse Métropole

    Toulouse Metropole benefits of an institutional commitment in policies contributing to the eradication of homelessness, at national, regional and local level making it easier to mobilise stakeholders. Read more here!

    Toulouse Métropole - France
    Ending Homelessness Across Europe - ROOF Integrated Action Plan Glasgow (UK)
    Co-design, collaboration and storytelling to prevent homelessness

    In recent years, Glasgow has made significant progress in addressing homelessness. The Glasgow Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan (RRTP) runs until 2024. Read more here!

    Glasgow - UK
    ROOF Pozńan Integrated Action Plan
    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - City of Pozńan

    As part of the project, the Housing Affairs Office created a Local URBACT Group to co-design an integrated strategy. Read more here!

    Pozńan - Poland
    Towards ending homelessness in Timisoara - ROOF Integrated Action Plan
    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - City of Timisoara

    High costs of living in Timisoara makes it very difficult for one person receiving minimum wage, disabilities benefits, social benefits, minimum pension or working half time. Read more here!

    Timisoara - Romania
    ROOF Liège Integrated Action Plan
    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - City of Liège

    The City of Liège has a long experience in the field of homelessness. Until the 2000s, the approach was mainly emergency oriented: low threshold reception, street work and accommodation. Read more here!

    Liège - Belgium
    ROOF Odense Integrated Action Plan
    ROOF Integrated Action Plan - City of Odense

    At the start of 2009, there were 4 998 homeless people in Denmark and at the last count in 2019, there were 6 431 homeless people. Read more here!

    Odense - Denmark
    ROOF Thessaloniki Integrated Action Plan
    Social and Affordable Housing and Combating Housing Exclusion and Homelessness in Thessaloniki

    Housing in Greece has been dealt with primarily as an individual matter with sporadic and defunct interventions in the field of social housing. Currently, Greece has 0% social housing stock, an exception among all EU countries. Read more here!

    Thessaloniki - Greece
    Braga House of Skills - ROOF Integrated Action Plan
    Braga House of Skills

    The House of Skills project aims to create an innovative permanent housing solution to gather people who are homeless or at risk of housing and social vulnerability. Read more here!

    Braga - Portugal

    To end homelessness through innovative housing solutions at city level is the main driver from the Action Planning network. It is not about managing homelessness, but rather putting an end to it using the Housing First model and gathering accurate data. ROOF aims to achieve the strategic goal of Functional Zero (no structural homelessness).

    ROOF - Ending homelessness
    Ending homelessness
    Ref nid
    13448
  • Six solutions for city authorities to help us all waste less food

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    15/11/2022

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

    Articles
    Food

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

     

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

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

    Why do we waste so much at home?

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

    Activities related to wasting food

    These can also be explained as follows:

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

    Six tips for cities fighting food waste

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

    1. Know the food waste facts

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

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

    2. Design an enabling food-policy framework

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

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

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

    3. Raise awareness and provide concrete tips

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

    ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ platform

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

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

    4. Challenge citizens

    ‘FoodWasteWatchers’ tool in action

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

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

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

    5. Train citizens as relays

    Fridge Masters in action

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

    6. Support solidarity

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

    Tartu’s ‘Food Share Cabinet’

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

    What will your city do next to reduce food waste?


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

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

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

    Facts and figures

     

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  • Small Scale Actions: an URBACT innovation helping cities experiment local solutions

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    15/11/2022

    From community assemblies to green city walks, trials are improving urban policymaking across the EU.

    News

    Small Scale Actions (SSA) have added a new dynamic to URBACT networks. Carried out with the support of EU partners and URBACT experts, these ‘trial runs’ enable cities to prototype local solutions and de-risk future actions, while engaging local stakeholders in ‘doing’ as well as ‘thinking’ together to tackle urban challenges. URBACT Programme Expert Sally Kneeshaw investigates…

    The latest round of 23 URBACT Action Planning Networks, launched in 2019, have benefited from the introduction of a new feature – Small Scale Actions. For the first time, a budget of EUR 10 000 was made available to each partner city to carry out experimentation that could inform their so-called Integrated Action Plan, or IAP. This final document is co-produced in each city to encapsulate planned actions tackling a specific urban challenge, with diverse topics ranging from digitalisation to waste management.

    SSAs were introduced in response to requests from previous networks to be able to spend resources on testing ideas before deciding if they should, or could, be part of the finalised plan. URBACT defined them as “an experiment. It is an idea or a concept, perhaps already tried in another city, which can be tested to check the relevance, feasibility and added value of its implementation in different local contexts. The Small Scale Actions are limited in time, scale and space and by their nature have the right to fail.”

    Daring to fail

    Inherent in the process of experimenting is the possibility of failure, and the opportunity to learn from failing. This is often a new departure in policy development for cities. The SSA was therefore also a process to allow public administrations to adopt more agile ways of acting, adapting methods from other sectors such as design and tech, and to be able to test ideas for sustainable change before creating long-term action plans. It can allow cities to design and build better and quicker, to iterate, or provide evidence that something should be discontinued rather than wasting public funds.

    Cities take up the SSA challenge

    According to our most recent survey, 85% of cities in these URBACT networks took up the challenge of piloting at least one Small Scale Action over the course of 2021. With the action plans due to be finalised by June 2022, we looked into how these new SSAs have worked in practice. Did they improve the urban realm, governance processes or the lives of citizens, and what can we, as a programme, learn from them?

    Given the wide variety of urban challenges undertaken by URBACT networks – from the circular economy, to sustainable tourism, to city branding – very different approaches to SSAs emerged. Most networks engaged in a process to identify which action would be most useful for them, in relation to their priorities and information gaps. In the end, events, information campaigns, new tools/methods for implementation, and small infrastructure interventions were the most popular SSAs, overall.

    Mini solutions emerge

    Here are just a few examples of the scores of local solutions that URBACT cities have trialled in 27 countries this past year, and are now ready to scale up.

    CULTURAL INCLUSION
    To improve inclusion in neighbourhoods with low levels of cultural and community activity, new interventions were tested in Vilnius (LT). They offered different formats and elements of interaction in different neighborhoods, such as musical picnics, open-air libraries, history rooms and ‘Tea & Chats’ inspired by Dublin (IE). Meanwhile, Sofia (BG) experimented with an info campaign on access to culture for 11 to 16 year old students, a group identified as having low levels of participation. The testing included a survey among students, training for teachers, and working with a popular blogger to communicate in ways that resonate with the students. (Find out more about the ACCESS network.) 

     

    RE-USE and RECYCLING
    In our environmentally focused networks, repair and re-use interventions, citizen engagement and awareness raising were tested. A project on circular textile consumption looked at how to mainstream leasing/renting models for fashion businesses, and start an operational model for the Belgian city of Mechelen. Bucharest 3rd District (RO) tried out a composting unit. (Find out more about the Resourceful Cities network.)

     

    NEW HOUSING SOLUTIONS
    In relation to homelessness, the aim was to try out, evaluate and verify what direction to take on the road towards implementing the ‘Housing First’ approach. Ghent (BE) tested a new form of collaboration between different support agencies by working in a new coordinated approach with three beneficiaries. In Toulouse (FR), a unique campaign to attract private renters through a single communication channel increased affordable private housing offers. This action proved the viability of extending the concept to the wider Métropole area. (See more information on the ROOF network.)

     

    SMART SENSORS
    New sensor technology was tested in several cities, for instance to analyse urban air quality data in real time in Razlog (BG) and communicate water temperature in the local bathing lakes in Ange (SE). Very practical lessons were learned, for example, how to avoid damage to sensors measuring rubbish collection. As a result of the testing, it is now easier to cost the amount required for scaling up.
    Lead Expert Eurico Neves said: “SSAs have been very successful for us – maybe because it’s a tech-oriented project, around Internet of Things and sensors, and is easy to conceptualise and implement small solutions around a number of sensors that can be later upscaled. All cities in our network are now well advanced into the drafting of IAPs and they’re in the process of planning this upscale of SSA as part of the IAP.”
    (Read more about the IoTXchange network.)

     

    PEOPLE-CENTERED STREETS
    Placemaking SSAs made a huge difference in engaging stakeholders. Implementing concrete physical changes, such as opening up streets, provoked a mix of positive, negative and unexpected reactions, and the realisation that more communication is needed, for example with shopkeepers. Actions will be modified based on these outcomes. (Find out more about the Thriving Streets network.)
    Dubrovnik (HR) was very ambitious and tested a new route to move tourists and residents around. Another city took an open approach to review their accessibility to visitors with reduced mobility, wanting to learn and improve the experience. (Find out more about the TOURISM-FRIENDLY CITIES network.)

     

    What were the challenges and what was learnt?

    The short time scale allocated to these local ‘test-runs’ within each URBACT network, combined in some cases with the need for procurement, made it difficult for certain cities to launch their actions as planned. And several found that by implementing pilot actions they had less time available to devote to building Integrated Action Plans.

    However, in many cities the SSA succeeded in getting local URBACT groups on board, boosting stakeholder engagement. It provided a great opportunity to act, not just discuss and plan, and for stakeholders to discuss specific tangible changes, not just ideas.

    For small cities, who often have less capacity to prototype and pilot, this new process has brought a winning combination of knowledge, skills and trust. For example, thanks to the iPlace network, city partners ran hackathons to generate ideas. As a result, the Latvian town of Saldus will continue to hold hackathons regularly and allocate grants to the winners.

    What next?

    At local level, each city is now bringing the learning that emerged from the testing into the wider planning process. At programme level, URBACT is monitoring cities closely to see how to refine SSA guidance for the future. It seems the great majority of URBACT partner cities surveyed are convinced that piloting is a helpful tool for implementing their Integrated Action Plans, especially in gathering evidence and establishing proof of concept.

    Liat Rogel, Lead Expert of the ROOF network, said: “Failing or succeeding, the Small Scale Actions all help the cities to make more effective action plans. There is a real strength in the opportunity to iterate through one’s own experience and that of others.”

    “In many cases SSAs introduced a new dynamic, that should be continued and embedded in future planning and delivery,” said Adele Bucella, Head of Programmes and Projects at URBACT. “Cities took ideas from each other and learned together, for instance how to work with stakeholders, how to measure impacts. This local testing de-risks the intended actions and makes them more investable. The next stage of the process is to make sure that the learning from the SSA is well-integrated into all the IAPs.”

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  • Bringing the commons to life

    Belgium
    Ghent

    A new ecosystem of spaces for public-civic cooperation

    City of Ghent Policy Participation Service Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    260 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Despite the strong tradition of civic engagement and participatory governance dating back to the nineties, the city of Ghent could not count on a regulatory framework supporting the wide range of civic initiatives from inhabitants. The occasion to experiment a new  policy framework came with the example of “civic uses” in Naples about reuse of abandoned buildings as commons. In this frame the city of Ghent wanted to co-design a frame of co-management of public goods through a pilot project in the reuse of the 2018 desecrated Saint Josef Church  located in the Rabot-Blaisantvest neighborhood.  Rabot is one of the poorer ones in the city, known as an arrival district with  70,5 % of foreign descent residents (District Monitor Ghent, 2019) and with more than 90 nationalities.  In 2019 the City of Ghent purchased the church  to give it a new purpose in the form of public-civic management.

     

    In the past, the city had been experimenting with civic-led temporary use of brownfield sites and empty buildings for over a decade (e.g. DE SITE in REFILL URBACT project) providing subsidies via the Temporary Use Fund with a budget of €300,000 available for citizens managed initiatives. Despite this, the public-civic management of the saint Josef Church presented a series of challenges new to the city, not least given the fact that the church was classified as historical heritage.

     

    In order to realize the project, the City of Ghent has used several instruments. An open call to find a project coordinator was launched and a real estate agreement was closed between the manager and the City of Ghent.  The project coordinator provided a threefold plan that encompasses the organisation of the use of the Church by citizens and organisations, the maintenance of the Church building and the creation of the democratic and economic management models for the Church. The coordinator must do so in respect of the guiding principles, e.g. all aspects of the plan must be community-oriented and take into account the specific needs of the diverse and colourful neighbourhood the Church is located in.

     

    Throughout this procedure, the Policy Participation Service of the City of Ghent organised a Urbact Local Group (ULG), made up of members of different city administration offices, so that the citizens and organisations could be directly involved in the management plans of the building, given the opportunity to visit the site and express their wishes while giving their input on the uses. The scope is to strengthen collective responsibility, so that each member of the community contributes to the site’s management.

     

    Following Covid-related delays, Ghent made the church building temporarily available in a city tool called ‘room finder’, giving citizens access to the building for their own projects up to 12 times a year.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The approach undertaken by the City of Ghent is fully aligned with the integrated approach of the Good Practice of Naples that it transferred. Ghent is a good example of combining vertical and horizontal integrated approach proposing a balanced coordination among soft and hard measures. In particular, the horizontal Integration was enhanced through the creation of a cross-departmental working team: the Local Administrative Working Group (LAWG), made up of members of the Policy Participation Service, the Real Estate Service, the Urban Development Service and the Legal Service. This has represented a key highlight and added value to the project. Some representatives of the city’s participation and legal departments met and started working together for the first time through this pilot.

     

    The LAWG task force has worked so successfully that it will keep existing after the project and make a regular consultation between different services involved in making urban real estate accessible, for example encouraging the re-use of abandoned buildings and developing the necessary tools for this purpose.

     

    In addition, a legal-administrative incubator will be established, which will offer support to starting-up residents' initiatives.

    Participatory approach

    The city of Ghent has a long tradition of participatory governance, boosted with the former Mayor Daniël Termont (2007-2018) as the strongest supporter of civic participation and co-creation.  Before that, already in the 1990s, Ghent  had created a Participation Unit to encourage a bottom-up approach to planning and decision-making. Civil servants of the Participation Unit function as Neighborhood managers in order to connect with citizens and with society in the 25 districts of the city. They deliver tailored work to create more livable, more social and more sustainable districts. They are the go-between between various stakeholders in order to find solutions to urban challenges existing in the neighborhood, linking the city council and the city’s residents.

     

    Over the years, the unit has developed different instruments (Participation platform, Crowdfunding platform, Temporary Use of vacant buildings, Participatory budget, neighborhood management projects, including subsidy agreements, permits for using public space et al.) to enable and support citizens’ ideas and initiatives.  More recently, citizen initiatives and civil servants co-wrote Ghent’s 2017 Commons Transition Plan for a sustainable and ethical economy. The political will and support in participation extends after the Termont mandate with the assignment of a Deputy Mayor of Participation.

     

    As for the specific case of the Saint Josef pilot, the URBACT Local Group (ULG) methodology has been fundamental in enhancing citizens and organization participation and involvement, as it entailed various activities and tools not only to make citizens actively engaged in the process, but also to listen and debate about their views and concerns on the management of the building.

     

    Differents identifications and monitoring tools are been used to listen to people to people's concerns, such as:

    • Neighbourhood of the Month;
    • sounding board groups & think tanks;
    • a participation platform;
    • think tanks with long-term participation projects (En Route, "Room for Ghent", citizens' cabinet);
    • SWOT analysis and monitoring table for indications (neighbourhood analysis, recording and following up on indications);
    • detection of indications by means of stories (testimonies).

    What difference has it made

    The positive influence of Civic eState network can be felt at many levels in Ghent. It has given a boost to the cooperation between city services and in the cooperation between residents' initiatives and the city administration; it helped in creating a stable task force in the municipality called the Local Administrative Working Group ( LAWG) to make a regular consultation between different services involved in making urban real estate accessible; and implemented a pilot project in the reuse of the Saint Joseph Church.

     

    The tangible result is that Saint Joseph Church is now returned to the neighborhood as an open space that gives local residents the opportunity to develop activities and a social network based on their own needs and possibilities.

     

    Ghent plans to bundle a lot of ideas and work towards a kind of step-by-step plan of how as a city they can improve their organization for the benefit of the commons. To help a long-term focus on citizens initiatives, a “catalogue” was elaborated by  the Local Administrative Working Group to make a concrete step-by-step plan together with the two services: the Policy Participation Service & the Real Estate Service of the city.

     

    This will help to sum up the work done and what forms of involvement the city organizes for and with the neighborhood, providing a basis for replicating the pilot approach in other areas.

    Transferring the practice

    Through Civic e-State the City of Ghent joined a community of European municipalities that experimented in their local contexts the creation of urban commons regulation in a transnational  peer-learnig mode of cooperation. Ghent learned a lot from the legal documents (city regulations and agreements) received from Napels and Barcelona. These documents contained interesting definitions and principles, which have been adopted for the open call of Ghent's pilot project. At the same time, Barcelona and Amsterdam opened Ghent's eyes to the importance of measuring the social return of certain projects.

     

    Then, after visiting similar initiatives in the other partner countries, the City of Ghent has succeeded in applying the practices and learnings in the Saint Joseph Church pilot project.

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