Geolocation
POINT (-4.251806 55.864237)
  • URBinclusion

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting at Paris URBACT secretariat (Phase I)
    Thematic Seminar in February (Trikala), Transnational Meeting and Final Conference “Networking for social inclusion in Europe” in March (Barcelona), URBinclusion Manifesto, partners Operational Implementation Frameworks (OIF), Partners Solution Stories
    Transnational Meeting in February (Barcelona), Project Phase I closure, Project Phase II launch, Transnational Meeting in September (Copenhagen - Kick-off meeting Phase II)
    Thematic Seminar in January (Lyon), June (Glasgow), December (Naples), Transnational Meeting in April (Krakow), October (Turin), URBinclusion partners Implementation Plans

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    AYUNTAMIENTO DE BAENA

    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain

    CONTACT US

    Artur Katai
    City of Újbuda

    CONTACT US

    Barcelona City Council - Social Rights Area

    Lluis Torrens: ltorrens@bcn.cat

    Sebastià Riutort: sriutort@ext.bcn.cat

    Socioeconomic disparities and other forms of inequalities are a major issue in European cities which are threatened by social polarisation increase. Poverty does not only create social differences between people and groups; it also leads to spatial differences.
    URBinclusion implementation network focused on the co-creation of new solutions to reduce poverty in deprived urban areas, focusing on some key challenges to be tackled when going from the strategic to the implementation dimension: integrated approach and inter-departmental coordination, involvement of local stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation and financial innovation.
    Partners cities interchange showed that this requires integrated, cyclical and monitored processes made of recursive actions and feedbacks that produces stable conditions of engagement for continuous improvement.

    Combating poverty in deprived urban areas
    Ref nid
    8718
  • RESILIENT EUROPE

    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 (Katowice).
    Transnational meetings in March (Ioanina) and October (Malmo).
    Final event in March (Rotterdam).

    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

    Becoming more resilient means that a city strives to enhance its ability to bounce back and grow even stronger and better in the face of the chronic stresses and acute shocks. As such, city resilience is a continuous challenge for individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and infrastructure systems to address current trends and future transitions. This Action Planning network looked at the challenges of achieving resilience in and of our cities in a comprehensive and holistic way, by applying the lessons from the innovative governance approach of Transition Management. This approach is a process-oriented and participatory steering that enables social learning through iterations between collective vision development and experimenting.

    Improving city resilience
    Ref nid
    7522
  • 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
  • Global Goals for Cities

    Global Goals for Cities map

    Lead Partner : Tallinn - Estonia
    • Klaipèda - Lithuania
    • Braga - Portugal
    • Bratislava - Slovakia
    • Gävle - Sweden
    • Glasgow
    • Heraklion - Greece
    • La Rochelle - France
    • Manresa - Spain
    • Reggio Emilia - Italy
    • Schiedam - Netherlands
    • Veszprém - Hungary
    • Solingen - Germany
    • Mouscron - Belgium
    • Trim - Ireland
    • Ozalj - Croatia
    • Jihlava - Czech Republic
    • Dzierżoniów - Poland
    • Véliki Preslav - Bulgaria

    Summary

    Timeline

    • Kick-off meeting
    • Participation at the 2022 World Urban Forum in Katowice (PL)
    • Localising Sustainable Development Goals Conference in Manresa (ES)

    Library

    Articles

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    • How EU cities can localise SDGs through integrated action planning

      Global Goals For Cities Lead Expert Stina Heikkila shows URBACT cities taking steps to link local and global sustainability goals.

    • Senioral policy in Dzierżoniów and the goals of sustainable development

      The Sustainable Development Goals have been defined by the United Nations (UN) in the document Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This document lists 17 Sustainable Development Goals and related activities that are planned to be achieved by UN member states. The goals are achieved not only at the government level - the sectors of science, business, non-governmental organizations and ordinary citizens also have a great influence.

    • From Vision to Transformative Actions for the SDGs: co-creation of integrated actions in Manresa

      Around one hour and a half from Barcelona by train, in a hilly area of the Bages county, is Manresa - a small-sized city with around 78 000 inhabitants - one of several partners of similar size in the Global Goals for Cities network. On 21 April, I had the chance to stop by and attend one of Manresa’s URBACT Local Group (ULG) meetings organised by the local coordination team. Here, I share a few highlights of how the ULG and the participatory process is helping to shape the priorities of the Manresa 2030 Agenda and the integrated action plan that is currently in the making.  

    • Video from the transnational meeting in Gävle

      A very nice and colorful short movie showcasing our three full workdays in Gävle.
      #TransnationalMeeting7
      Authors: partners from Mouscron, Christophe Deneve.

    • Insights from REGGIO EMILIA

      The city of Reggio Emilia (Italy) was the co-host of the 7th Transnational Meeting, which was held between 23-25 May 2022 in Sweden, along with the cities of Gävle (Sweden) and Dzierżoniów (Poland).

    • Video from transnational meeting in Solingen

      A short video of our first physical meeting in Solingen, Germany.
      The meeting was dedicated to the next phase of action planning and implementation on governance, partnerships, and policy coherence levels.

    • First face-to-face meeting in Solingen

      Together with the cities of Tallinn and Heraklion the TM#6 was hosted by Solingen and was held from April, 6 to April, 8 in the Theater and Concert Hall in Solingen. After one year of work in
      the GG4C project participants from 14 different countries took the chance to meet in person.

    • Insights from Heraklion, the co-host of TM6

      The city of Heraklion was the co-host of the 6th Transnational Meeting which was held between 5-8 April 2022 in Solingen, Germany along with Solingen and Tallinn.

    • SDG Story: Gävle

      Gävle and the other 18 cities (from 19 countries) of the EU URBACT pilot network ”Global Goals in Cities” (GG4C) are already one year into the 20 months project on localising the SDGs.
       

    • SDG Story: Mouscron

      Just halfway towards our goals following the marked route, the AGRI-URBAN Network (URBACT III Programme) held a transnational meeting in the Swedish city of Södertälje from 21 to 24 May 2017. A turning point in the agenda of this project, the meeting focused on the AGRI-URBAN topics linked to the experience of this city and also put the emphasis on shaping the Integrated Action Plans of all partners of the project with the participation of their respective URBACT Local Groups. Watching this video, produced after the visit, you can discover how inspirational was this Swedish city in the project design and later, fostering innovative actions in other partner cities involved in the development of local food systems.
    • SDG Story: Tallinn

      Guidelines for the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals in the framework of Tallinn 2035 Development Strategy.

    • SDG Story: Jihlava

      Jihlava vision concept: aim is to be safe, socially cohesive, green and accessible city.

    • SDG Story: Bratislava

      Where are we coming from?

      Even though the first mention of Bratislava appears in 907, Bratislava is one of the youngest capitals in Europe (1993).

    • SDG Story: Reggio Emilia

      Where are we coming from? The city profile.

      Reggio Emilia is renowned in educational circles, with the philosophy known as the “Reggio Emilia Approach”; for pre-school and primary school children developed in the city shortly after World War II. At the same time, contemporary art, ancient monuments, and exhibitions such as Fotografia Europea have made the city rich in culture and social change —supported by the business community, services and the university. The city is connected by high-speed train to Milan, Bologna and Florence, and is within 45 minutes’ reach to all those cities. Reggio is the city of relations with Africa, the city of cycle paths and of Parmigiano Reggiano.

    • SDG Story: Veliki Preslav

      The third newspaper of tomorrow is here and it's from Veliki Presav, Bulgaria.
      Very inspirational article of how the city looks like beyond 2030, and as they declare - Veliki Preslav will be the most sustainable small city in their land.

    • SDG Story: Klaipėda

      In the visioning phase of our network, partners worked hard to co-create their visions for localizing the SDGs in their cities. The stories tell their vision for how to localise the SDGs in their cities.
      Here you can get a glimpse of Klaipėda - vibrant, smart, inclusive.

    • SDG Story: Heraklion

      In the Visioning phase of our URBACT Global Goals for Cities network in the second half of 2021, partners worked hard to co-create their visions for localizing the sustainable development goals in their cities.
      We’re happy to launch our ,campaign showing the diversity and creativity of the 19 stories.
      First up: Newspaper of future Heraklion -smart, resilient and livable city.

    • The RFSC a relevant tool for the city partners of the GG4C network

      In the course of the life of the Global Goals for Cities (GG4C) network, the 19 city partners used an existing self-assessment tool: the RFSC, or Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities. Based on European principles for sustainable and integrated urban development, the tool available online was used during the diagnosis and visioning phase of the network (as an analytical tool), and partners will use it again in the planning phase (as a planning tool). What is the RFSC? And what did it bring to the network?

    • The Citizen Committee of the La Rochelle Territory Zero Carbon project: How to build trust?

      On January 25, La Rochelle Urban Community presented to the Global Goals for Cities partners its ‘La Rochelle Territory Zero Carbon’ (LRTZC) project towards 2040, highlighting the following main characteristics and innovations : a shared and multilevel governance, an evaluation and financing tool 'the Carbon Cooperative', and a citizen co-construction approach through the establishment of a Citizen Committee.

    • Debating the future of Schiedam

      The future of the city of Schiedam is a recurring topic in the city council and the executive board and, of course, also in the city. These views and discussions have been reflected in the city vision for some time now.

    • Jihlava's successful collaboration with developers

      Every new construction in the city burdens the surrounding area with growing demands on transportation, social and health infrastructure, and other needs for a functioning urban society. Such externalities can be relatively reliably quantified, predicted or simulated. However, cities often must develop and maintain the infrastructure themselves. Is there a method to share costs with private developers and collaborate to build more sustainably with the needs of the citizens in mind?

    • Glasgow’s Journey towards the 2030 Agenda

      Race to net zero and climate resilience: localising the SDGs through meaningful participation and co-creation.

    • Manresa 2030 Agenda: localising the SDGs through meaningful participation

      Since the end of 2018, Manresa is working on its local 2030 Agenda: an integrated sustainability strategy to respond to the environmental, social, and economic challenges of the current decade. A strategy whose design, implementation and monitoring must be shared with all the local stakeholders and citizens.

    • Awareness-raising around the SDGs – a practical example from La Rochelle Urban Community

      On 25 November, Stina Heikkilä had the opportunity to participate in an exciting event organised by our Global Goals for Cities partner La Rochelle Urban Community: the bi-annual Participatory Forum for Actors for Transition (Forum Participatif des Acteurs de la Transition). For this Forum, the team from La Rochelle Urban Community had planned an “SDG edition” with the aim of raising awareness about the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs among local stakeholders.

    • Ozalj best practices on meaningful participation

      The city of Ozalj was the co-host of the 4th Transnational Meeting which was held virtually between 24-26 November 2021 along with Manresa and Glasgow. Our main theme was Meaningful participation and co-creation and each co-host city shared best practices and introduced other cities to local customs.

    • Trim: Raising awareness of the SDGs

      The courthouse in Trim stands in the centre of the town, with the castle in the background, it is a reminder of the history and heritage of Trim. Both grey stone buildings have been here longer than us and could tell a story or two.

    • In Swedish: Gävle is developing urban sustainability

      Nätverket Global Goals for Cities arbetar med Agenda 2030 och de globala målen. Gävle kommun ska tillsammans med 18 andra städer i nätverket under kommande två år skapa och dela kunskap för att utveckla den urbana hållbarheten.

    • Klaipeda Case Study: Virtual hackathon “Unlock SDGs”

      To achieve Agenda 2030 and make sure that we leave no one behind, everyone needs to get involved in the work towards a more sustainable world. Youth continuously are an important factor in this work. The Klaipeda city has Forum of Youth Ambassadors, which is a new body put in place with the hope of creating lasting and strong youth engagement. The forum is designed to generate ideas for the Youth Affairs Council of Klaipėda, which consists of 7 youth representatives and 7 municipal representatives.  This process is in progress according to national law.

    • Mouscron: Story of Transnational Meeting

      On September 28th, the transnational meeting with the co-host cities of Trim, Mouscron and Klaipeda was held by videoconference (thanks to covid…). Nevertheless, it was an opportunity for us to practice our English. 
      Through this activity, we were able to learn more and discover local traditions. We were therefore able to introduce other cities to our customs and to share with them our culture. 

    • URBACT cities join forces in a quest for global sustainability

      A new URBACT network aims to lead the way in delivering on the UN SDGs in cities. Find out why this matters.

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call of action to protect our planet, end poverty and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. "Global Goals for Cities” is a pilot network and strategic partnership aimed at accelerating progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 19 cities of the EU, through peer learning and integrated action planning. The partnership is funded through the European Regional Development Fund's URBACT III European Territorial Cooperation program.

    Strategic partnership for peer learning and planning to localise SDGs
    Ref nid
    16049
  • Engaging cities to reject housing exclusion as a ‘fact of life’

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    15/11/2022

    The article is based on the joint URBACT-UIA web conference ‘No one left behind’ of 26 June 2020.

    Articles
    Urban design

    Could Covid-19 prove a turning point in the fight against homelessness? The second URBACT-UIA web conference on the right to housing engaged cities to find out.

    Covid-19 gave an alarming impetus to suffering among the most vulnerable all over Europe, but also showed what a sense of urgency, political will, and mobilisation of resources can do to tackle structural problems, proving that solutions to eradicate homelessness are available. The urgent need is to maintain such initiatives as we emerge from the crisis.

    This was the key message from the second web conference that was jointly organised by URBACT and Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) on ‘cities engaging in the right to housing’ held on 26 June 2020.

    Government decisions can save lives

    During Covid-19, officials and public authorities have faced an unprecedented surge of challenges in dealing with the growing number of people in need. Such dynamics have only exacerbated longer-term trends of increasing homelessness identified in the recent ‘Fifth overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe’ by FEANTSA and the Foundation Abbé Pierre. This report signals a 70% increase in homelessness in Europe over ten years and an alarming growth in homelessness among minors, young people, LGTBIQ, single women, asylum seekers and people under international protection.

    Housing is a key determinant of health, and the impact of the healthcare crisis during Covid-19 has been hitting people without dignified accommodation the most. However, some governments across the world also acted promptly with different measures. For example, it is claimed that more than 90% of people sleeping in the streets in the UK have had a safe place to stay during the peaks of the virus.

    S. Coupechoux and C. Serme-Morin authors of the Fifth overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe’ report highlighted that such efforts by governments - aimed at accommodating people sleeping rough to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus - showed that homelessness is not systematic and could be eradicated if political will, cross-sectoral collaboration funding and human resources are aligned to hit the same target”.

    However, as Europe emerges from the worst period of the crisis, it is unclear as to whether and how governments will turn such short-term emergency measures into permanent solutions. Housing ministries in the Netherlands, in Wales, and officials from Brussels, Lyon, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and London have already announced plans to consider long-term post-Covid solutions to various forms of housing-related exclusions.

    From managing to eradicating homelessness at city level

    At local level, many EU cities experience the same homelessness trends, with diverse forms of the phenomena, capacities, and political commitment of public administrations to address these issues. The UIA-URBACT web conference explored a variety of approaches that cities have taken, including co-designing city-wide strategies, creating solidarity networks of cities or launching innovative projects.

    The City of Ghent (BE) leads an URBACT network of nine cities called ROOF with the goal of Functional Zero Homelessness - in other words eradicating ‘structural’ homelessness. They aim to achieve this by: gathering accurate data on homelessness using ETHOS Light methodology that was developed to measure homelessness at EU level; working with civil society, public institutions and private sectors to shift from managing to eradicating homelessness; and adopting a Housing First (HF) model.

    "It's proven that Housing First really works: in many cities that are using it, people stay in their house for years. It's also cost-effective, and in the end, cheaper than sheltering. And it's better for health because people are more likely to stay outside of the health system".
    Patricia Vanderbauwhede, Project Leader in Ghent

     

    The network is an opportunity for cities to exchange and learn from each other as they go about co-designing integrated action plans for structural housing solutions. It already benefits from the presence of cities with long-term experience in HF, such as Odense (DK), or with significant experience of progressive policy legislation, such as Glasgow (UK).

    Six key lessons can be specifically taken from the examples of Ghent and the Metropole of Lyon:

    1. Better prevention is a precondition to ending homelessness - Ghent has adopted an integrated poverty reduction plan to coordinate cross-sectoral actions such as provision of rental arrears mediation and support for people at key life moments that are predictive of homelessness.
    2. Increasing housing stocks is essential - through city-wide planning for affordable housing, gathering funding, expanding the rental housing stocks for the most deprived and improving quality of existing ones - e.g. UIA ICCARUS project using revolving funds in Ghent.
    3. Housing provision has to respond to diverse needs - Ghent is developing a HF model in collaboration with local social housing companies aimed at doubling social rental units (from 266 to 532) and experimenting with housing-unit projects based on social mix. The Metropole of Lyon is implementing the UIA Home Silk Road project, which experiments renovation of an emblematic building as temporary housing for 30 families, creating neighbourhood cultural and job opportunities in circular economies.
    4. Outreach services are key for maintaining sufficient social support.
    5. Systems of temporary housing and orientation need to be optimised, especially for people without legal status.
    6. Working in multi-scalar way is necessary - by engaging local stakeholders, including the volunteer sector and also advocating on national and European levels to align and coordinate homelessness and housing policies.

    Housing is critical for fair and welcoming policies

    City strategies also need to be adapted to specific demands of asylum seekers and people under international protection who face particular challenges and risks of housing exclusion as identified above. Further, the joint FEANTSA - Fondation Abbé Pierre Housing Exclusion report points out the currently inadequate reception and accommodation conditions, which are most under pressure in receiving countries in southern Europe. As an example, in Spain, asylum applications multiplied by 45 times over six years. Standards and practices vary among EU Member States but common features are:

    • outdated and unsuitable emergency accommodation system;
    • access to dignified housing conditions hindered by the abuses of the Dublin Regulation and a tightening up of national legislation;
    • inadequate or ad hoc measures for people in vulnerable situations (minors, victims of violence, people with mental and health issues etc.);
    • and the absence of accommodation options for migrants in transit.

    Thomas Lacroix from CNRS France explains that the role of cities in providing better inclusion policies – with housing a fundamental area – has seen a tremendous shift in the world. According to his analysis, the growing reliance of national governments on cities to deliver inclusion policies has led to a growing protagonism of cities, which have sought to present themselves – often in contradiction to national policy directions – as Welcoming-, Arrival-, Sanctuary-, or Solidarity- cities, changing their local policies from long-term integration to short-term reception and inclusion.

    The city of Athens is exemplary in this sense: in the aftermath of 2015, when the reception crisis of refugees was last its peak, the city was joining networks and partnerships among European cities: Eurocities campaign on solidarity cities and later the EU urban agenda partnership inclusion of Migrants and refugees. At that particular time, Athens also launched the UIA Curing the Limbo project for the inclusion of refugees. The innovative project focuses on housing as part of a holistic approach of inclusion of newcomers in the labour market and in the active socio-cultural life at neighbourhood level. A Housing Facilitation Unit manages the provision of housing and acts as a hub for the provision of several services such as conditional cash subsidies, household finance planning and legal support linking renters and owners.

    The goal is to create a dynamic and holistic solution for people that have been in limbo. We really want to help them transit from a humanitarian aid approach to a life that they get to choose in the city. We created a housing facilitation unit [that is] a mediator who helps people to transit from a housing emergency system to independence.
    Antigone Kotanidis, UIA project manager, Athens

     

    When growing numbers of asylum seekers needed adequate housing in their urban area – due also to neglected social housing policies at national level – the city of Thessaloniki pushed towards the creation of a local city-managed rental agency. The effort was supported by the creation of a multi-stakeholder consortium whose establishment was helped with the Arrival Cities URBACT network.

    Taking a different approach, the city of Antwerp implemented the UIA CURANT project in which co-housing was created in order to link 81 young unaccompanied refugees with 77 local inhabitants called ‘buddies’ who acted as facilitators in the inclusion process in the neighbourhood for three years. The housing provided by the municipality included 37 rental units from private landlords, 4 renovated units, 1 students’ housing unit and 16 modular units, the latter in one location. This project required mutual learning, behavioural adjustments and some frustrations related to the difficulties of transmitting the concept of co-housing, which was not familiar to the inhabitants. While the project has eventually turned into success, with outreach and continued support of social services, the current challenge is to sustain and scale up this model.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way, and the time is now

    Europe faces a worrisome situation in the case of homelessness and housing exclusion. At the same time, there is nothing inevitable about it and public policies and cities’ engagement can indeed end homelessness. Covid-19 can potentially be taken as a turning point, building on the exceptional efforts to get people housed during the crisis, and new ways of providing services to those most in need – both within public administrations and thanks to the engagement of volunteers.

    The discussions at the joint URBACT-UIA web conference in June 2020 show that homelessness cannot be eradicated if public actions are not coordinated and integrated, including addressing the current policy failures around migration at both European and Member State levels.

    The new recovery package at EU level and other national recovery measures can provide significant opportunities. There have been promising signs for strengthening the EUs role in the fight against homelessness, with the European Commission set to launch next year an Action Plan to deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

    But cities are on the front line of tackling housing exclusion and homelessness and many are campaigning for fairer and human rights-based welcoming policies in Europe. EU programmes like UIA and URBACT can continue to provide valuable resources and support to cities tackling homelessness. Furthermore, ongoing European-level collaboration involving UIA and URBACT – but also partners including FEANTSA, Fondation Abbé Pierre, Housing Europe and others – can play a key role in further incentivising cities to refuse the very idea that homelessness and housing exclusion are a ‘fact of life’.

    The UIA and URBACT programmes join the efforts of many European and international organisations to call for adequate and affordable housing rights, by providing a space to exchange practices among cities’ administrations. This account is based on the 26 June 2020 UIA-URBACT web conference ‘No one left behind – the second in a series of Knowledge Hub events dedicated to 'Cities engaging in the right to housing.

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  • 23 Action Planning Networks ready for Phase 2!

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    15/11/2022

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

    News

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

    NETWORK

    PARTNERS

    DESCRIPTION

    Research, technological development and innovation

    UrbSecurity

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

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

    Find your Greatness

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

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

    Access to and use of ICT

    DigiPlace
    (previously DI4C)

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

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

    IoTxChange

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

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

    Competitiveness of SMEs

    iPlace

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

    - Saldus (LV)

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

    Tourism Friendly Cities

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

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

    Low carbon economy in all sectors

    Urb-En Pact

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

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

    Zero Carbon Cities
    (previously ZCC)

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

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

    Environmental protection and resource efficiency

    RiConnect

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

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

    URGE

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

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

    Healthy Cities

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

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

    KAIRÓS

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

     

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

     

    Resourceful Cities
    (previously UrbReC)

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

     

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

    FOOD CORRIDORS
    (previously Rurban Food)

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

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

    Health&Greenspace

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

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

    Sustainable transport

    Space4People

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

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

    Thriving Streets

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

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

    Employment protection and resource efficiency

    SIBdev

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

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

    Social inclusion and poverty

    ROOF

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

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

    ActiveCitizens

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

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

    Access

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

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

    Genderedlandscape

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

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

    Education, skills and lifelong learning

    Cities4CSR

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

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

     

    -

     

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

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  • 9 European cities acting together to end homelessness. Ambitious? Hell, yes!

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    15/11/2022
    What do we talk about during a 2,5 day summit on transforming planning? Catch a glimpse on our Day 2 Recap.
    Articles
    Housing

    Homeless people are increasing in all European countries except one: Finland. The most extreme form of poverty is becoming ever more urgent to tackle. Cities are struggling with understanding the numbers they deal with, define their specific problem and finally find innovative solutions to work with. A time of crisis calls for radical answers and a shift in mind-set. Can the collaboration between 9 European cities lead towards the end of an era? 

    “I see this lady, just outside the centre where they distribute methadone. Every morning she stands there. She is old and not in a good shape. I have been walking past her every day for the last year; -a whole year, every day. Now we wave hello to each other. She reminds me of why I do my job”. Says Steven as we walk away from the MSOC in Ghent, a medical centre where people can get methadone and support. Steven Vanden Broucke has been working for the Belgian city of Ghent since 2018 and is working on a local action plan to end chronic homelessness. 200 people arrive at the MSOC every day suffering from drug dependency and often mental disease. About half of them are homeless. “Not all of them are without a roof,” tells us one of the project medical doctors “but many live in insecure, inappropriate housing or couch surf.” 

    The city of Ghent (BE) has the challenging role of leading the new Action Planning Network ROOF in the URBACT program. ROOF is focusing on ending homelessness through innovative housing solutions. The project is a partnership between 9 cities: Ghent (Lead partner), Braga (PT), Glasgow (UK), Gothenburg (SE), Liège (BE), Naples (IT), Timisoara (RO), Thessaloniki (EL) and Toulouse (FR). The cities will compare best and worst practices, learn from one another and grow together with two main objectives: 1. gather accurate data about homelessness in their own city 2. make the shift from managing to the actual ending of homelessness, with Housing First and Housing Led as guidance model.

    Room in a homeless shelter in Naples (Italy)


    To measure is to know

    Homelessness does not have one single definition, and this lack of definition is also part of the problem. While the common image of a homeless person is a person living in the streets, many homeless people are sleeping with friends or relatives, in their cars or in unsuitable conditions. Homeless people often do not want to be seen. When visiting one of the day shelters for the homeless in Liège, the director explained: “The people coming to our service to get a meal and a bed, may remain anonymous. We only ask them to maintain the same identity for the whole season.” Patricia Vanderbauwhede who works for the Housing Department of the city of Ghent and ROOF project leader, is certain that an accurate data collection on homelessness is a crucial step towards solving the problem. “It is very convenient for a city to think the numbers are smaller than they really are. We have to work together in order to make this problem visible and reveal the real numbers”.

    Even though the numbers are difficult to collect and compare, studies show that more than 4 million people are affected by homelessness each year in Europe. "Only crisis -actual or perceived- produces real change" said Milton Friedman. And for homelessness, the multiple crisis level is evident: the Global Financial Crisis brought higher levels of poverty; the Housing Crisis today makes the housing market become highly inaccessible for most vulnerable people and the European migrant crisis causes difficulty for migrants in finding affordable housing and a homelessness risk, due to their complex situation (such as lack of finances, language barriers, cultural differences, (mental) health issues.

     

    Street art in Sanità neighbourhood in Naples (Italy)

     

    The house as a human right, not a reward.

    The ROOF project will not stop at understanding the problem but will explore innovative housing solutions, and especially “Housing First”. The reasons for that come from the observation of, -the only European country showing positive trends on homelessness. It is the only country with a long and successful experience with “Housing First”. The traditional model is a staircase model, where people have to go through several steps before they can get a house, for example by curing their addiction first. In “Housing First”, to be given a home is a first step. Once one has a home, other problems are taken care of, with freedom of choice and flexibility. This puts the house as a human right and not as a reward. Temporary solutions in housing are often unsuccessful for people with complex needs. I met three young adults in Queens Cross housing association in Glasgow during my city visit. “I am very easily influenced,” one of them shared, “going back to an institution or a temporary housing solution, and living with other people that have similar problems would have meant going back to drugs, losing my job… I needed my own space, I needed to put my life together, on my own.” The three young adults now live in small and independent apartments, and have 24/7 support from the housing association if needed.

    Study visit to Glasgow (Scotland)

    The URBACT framework is perfect for this network, it facilitates exchange and learning on transnational and local level, it offers capacity building, it provides cities with guidance to make a local action plan together with their stakeholders and puts focus on communication and dissemination. These four aspects make a great opportunity for the cities to act. “URBACT allows each city to have a spotlight on a desired topic, to bring it to the political agenda and to the citizens’ attention,” says Ariana Tabaku, from the coordination team of the City of Ghent. “All cities should use this opportunity strategically.”

    Professor Eoin O'Sullivan (Trinity College, Dublin) speaks at ROOF kick-off meeting

    The ROOF network is determined to influence the European strategies on the topic. Europe does not have a specific policy for homelessness. During the network Kick-off Meeting in Naples this October, Professor Eoin O’Sullivan spoke about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with one of its aims to reduce homelessness to functional zero (meaning homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurrent) in all member states by 2030. Action plans of 9 cities and small scale solutions in the next two years, may well serve the ambitious aim to end homelessness.

     

     

     

     


     

     

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  • URBACT City Festival 2018 Breakout session: Exploring the role of culture & creativity

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    15/11/2022

    Fabio Sgaragli, URBACT Lead Expert at Fondazione G. Brodolini says communities can and should play a key role in cities’ creativity and takes a look at pioneering cities like Glasgow, Bilbao and Turin.

    Articles
    Culture & Heritage

    Cities can stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life for their citizens by implementing public policies aimed at creating local ecosystems that sustain creativity and innovation. In this respect, policymakers have invested relevant resources in the so-called creative (or culture) – led policies – i.e. public policies aimed at sustaining the creation of territorialized production complexes based on creative activities. This is the case of many European cities like, for instance, Glasgow (UK), Manchester (UK), Bilbao (ES), or Turin (IT), which have implemented effective creative-led policies that contributed to renewing their image and attractiveness limiting the negative consequences of a decline in the city’s industrial activities.

    Creative-led policies could be clustered along a continuum where, on the one side, we have a ‘top-down’ approach (which comprehends projects “developed as part of a conscious top-down planning strategy”) and, on the other hand a ‘bottom-up’ plan, which comprehends projects developed by spontaneous, creative communities. According to existant practice, this latter approach seems to be more effective, since it favours the development of a ‘collaborative atmosphere’, encouraging the spontaneous development of artistic and entrepreneurial activities. Very often, “bottom up” approaches are grounded in “third spaces”, i.e. new type of urban spaces that sometimes are the result of urban regenerations and that have the potential to be transformed into hubs of entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and new lifestyles, as well as social and cultural integration. These reap the benefits offered by, for instance, emerging creative sectors, digital technologies, the sharing and 'maker' economy, artists and cultural practitioners, and social innovation.

    This breakout session has explored this topics from an open innovation angle, reflecting on the role that creatives, artists and cultural institutions and organisations can play in improving cities, and how local administrations can best engage with these creative communities and support their work. The session has presented concrete case histories and methodologies on how local administrations can perform this role.

    Creative cities

    Milan (IT) is a very good example on how a city can facilitate the emergence of creative communities of actors through social innovation processes, designing urban regeneration strategies that take into account the role of locally-based, spontaneous coalitions of “unusual” actors. The city can already count on many existing cultural mainstream assets (like for instance Fashion Week or Design Week), but has managed in the last few years to engage a variety of new, actors, encouraging bottom up innovations through a mix of policy tools: financial support, regeneration of unused public buildings, stakeholders’ consultations, contamination labs, etc. The city’s administration has been particularly good at attracting private investments in the regeneration of unused public buildings, converting them into hubs for collaboration and innovation, in many different areas of work (from social entrepreneurship to urban food, passing through culture and creativity). This approach has proven successful, as those new types of hubs aggregate creative communities and accelerate their work. Two good examples for social innovation hubs include MareMilano  and Fabriq.

    Lisbon (PT) is enacting the concept of creative bureaucracy by supporting the creation of new enterprises in the cultural and creative industries through a mix of intermediary and support actions. As a support set of actions, the city administration has managed over the years to build an entire supply chain, creating its own incubators and accelerators, labs with a variety of machineries all available for use by young creatives (artists, craftsmen). As a set of support actions, the city enacts the role of intermediary by assisting young creatives in going to market through both online and offline marketplaces and by facilitating the matches between young talents from Lisbon with international opportunities in other innovative contexts.

    Cluj – Napoca (RO) has invested heavily in the development of cultural and creative industries. Indeed, the municipal budget for cultural, youth & social projects rose tenfold over the past years. Funding from the municipality has been oriented to subsidise the independent cultural & youth sector (local NGOs) and sometimes to finance specific projects of major cultural institutions in the city. Besides the direct investment allocated to the cultural operators and institutions, in the past 5 years the City Hall invested almost EUR 40 million into developing the cultural and touristic capacity of Cluj-Napoca. Other creative industries (besides IT), like film, design, media and music have had a few rising star projects in recent years. These are potential key advantages and assets for the city that need solid and long-term support to flourish. Beside this, the City also provides a good example of how to leverage culture and creativity for social inclusion and citizens’ empowerment and wellbeing, through the involvement of stakeholders in neighbourhood- based experiments, where arts and creativity are used as tools to involve citizens of all ages in the improvement of public spaces.

    Below are some conclusions from the breakout session.

    Culture should be understood in its diversity
    There are many forms and layers of “culture” in a city: from the values belonging to the mainstream community of citizens, to the new emerging clusters of creative initiatives driven by informal groups working at the periphery of mainstream culture (from the variety of artistic expressions taking life in different places around a city to the work performed by new type of intermediaries bridging the gap between art and craftsmanship). Cities cannot apply a “one size fits all” approach, but need to take into account this diversity in the design of their policies. In this sense, URBACT Local Support groups can help bring together different stakeholders representing the diversity of cultures in the city to co-design urban policies that favour differentiation and integration, rather than homologation and monopolies.

    Culture boosts innovation
    Culture represents an intangible asset for the city, and can be leveraged to create drivers for innovation and new entrepreneurship. For instance, cities can use their cultural assets (such as historical centres) to foster the connection between culture, creativity and tourism, therefore creating a positive cycle of economic development by attracting external resources.

    Culture engages citizens
    Lastly, culture and arts are very good tools to engage citizens and should therefore be made more accessible. It’s very important to create new types of spaces for collaboration, such as social innovation centres focussed on cultural and creative industries, that can be placed in former abandoned landmark buildings in historical centres. Those new type of spaces, usually governed by public-private partnerships, can be seen as platforms for the match between demand and supply of innovations in the cultural and creative sectors. By creating opportunities for bringing together talent, technologies and creatives, hubs can spark and support the emergence of new projects and ventures, and attract investment to sustain them, resulting in job creation, economic growth, urban regeneration, and new forms of cultural heritage preservation as well as improve citizens’ wellbeing, which means local sustainable urban development.

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  • Building an effective entrepreneurship eco-system

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    15/11/2022

    How can cities create effective programmes for promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship? How should cities respond to some of the structural changes currently taking place in the business start-up market?

    With an estimated 100 million businesses starting up across the globe annually, an increasing number adopting innovative business models (built, for example, around the ‘sharing’ or ‘gig’ economy) and the number of sole-trader businesses increasing annually, this is clearly a highly active and increasingly disruptive marketplace.

    Among all URBACT Good Practices, Glasgow (co-operative entrepreneurship), Bologna (creative entrepreneurship), Piraeus (marine sector based entrepreneurship); and Barcelona (inclusive entrepreneurship) provide interesting examples on how to create impactful city-wide ‘ecosystems’ for promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship.  

    What are ‘entrepreneurship eco-systems’?

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    Digital transition

    ‘Entrepreneurship eco-systems’ are essentially the ‘building blocks’ for stimulating entrepreneurship which can be adapted in a city to create a stronger or lesser environment for fostering entrepreneurship.

    The concept of places needing to think about such eco-systems has been widely developed by Dan Isenberg, the founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project and a former professor at the Harvard Business School.

    In his Forbes Magazine article, Isenberg suggests that the place-based ‘entrepreneurial eco-systems’ are made up of the culture of the city; the business enabling policies; the strength of local leadership; the availability of suitable finance for business; the quality of human capital; venture-friendly markets; and a range of institutional and infrastructural support.

    Why ‘entrepreneurship eco-systems’ are becoming increasingly important

    Wider structural changes within society are blurring the traditional boundaries between employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship.

    Shifts in technology, connectivity and the wants and expectations of both employers and employees are creating significant changes to the nature of work and the formal and informal contracts that exist between employer and worker (see, for example, Preparing for the Future of Work, World Economic Forum, 2016).

    These changes are giving rise to a whole new generation of freelancers.

    Overlay on top of these changes some of the wider shifts in society – including slow wage growth, the increasing high-cost of living in some of the world’s major Cities and the growth in the freelancer community – and it’s easy to see how these changes can support the future growth of some of Europe’s smaller and more peripheral cities (for an example, see The Four Trends That Will Change the Way We Work By 2021, Fast Company, 2015).

    These changes are also giving rise to a whole new vocabulary.  Phrases like the ‘independent workforce’ have emerged to describe the range of different contracting relationships that individuals can have with business. The number of solo-entrepreneurs - or ‘solopreneurs’ – is on the rise. Phrases like side-giggers have emerged to describe individuals who work in the sharing economy, whilst also holding down a traditional job, on a part-time basis.

    Udacity, the innovative online education provider that works in partnership with leading tech companies like Google, AT&T, and Facebook has coined the term ‘nano-degree’ and ‘nano-job’ to describe the short-term nature of individuals learning needs and the short-term nature of some work assignments in the tech industry.

    Rethinking traditional employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes is necessary

    With the blurring of lines between employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship, many forward-thinking cities are having to re-think the traditional employability and entrepreneurship programmes they have previously provided for their residents.

    Employability programmes increasingly need to include more content on enterprise and entrepreneurship, to try and support participants to acquire the skills needed to survive in today’s more complex labour market.

    Similarly, Entrepreneurship programmes need to adapt to be better suited to the increasing number of freelancers and sole traders joining their programmes, and to take account of innovative new business models that businesses might adopt. You only have to search for ‘Tools for Solopreneurs’ on the internet to see how fundamentally different their support needs are from more ‘traditional’ businesses.

    But the changes needed are much more widespread than that.

    Ultimately, because of the changing nature of the relationship between employer and individual, cities also need to try to embed a much deeper culture of enterprise in their entire population, to try and ensure that they are equipped with a more independent, resilient and self-reliant outlook and also possess the necessary problem solving, business and creativity skills needed to survive in this new world of work.

    The processes for collaborating with young entrepreneurs has had to become more collaborative and ‘experiential’ than ‘traditional’ start-up programmes – to encompass hackathons, service jams and meet-ups, rather than relying solely on classroom-based training courses and advice sessions.  

    Tips and Tricks from URBACT Good Practices    

    The Good Practices of Glasgow (co-operative entrepreneurship), Bologna (creative entrepreneurship), Piraeus (marine sector based entrepreneurship) and Barcelona (inclusive entrepreneurship) have each taken a different approach to business support, which other cities can take inspiration from.  

    •       Establishing a strong ‘generalist’ support system: Barcelona Activa’s Inclusive Entrepreneurship Good Practice offers a ‘universal’ service that is ‘available for all’ in the city which – between 2004 and 2016 - has supported over 100,000 participants, established over 18,000 companies and created over 32,000 jobs. It operates on the basis of being open to everyone and delivers a mix of online, one-to-many and face-to-face support services to anyone looking to start their own business. In addition, they offer specialist support services for particular nice groups they want to encourage, like women entrepreneurs and people from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds.



       
    •        Stimulating social entrepreneurship: Glasgow’s Co-operative City Good Practice has developed a city-wide approach to co-operative development, which is building new partnerships between public services and local people to foster greater co-design and delivery of local services and giving a wider group of residents of the city a direct experience of running, or being a shareholder in a social enterprise. The scale of the reach that Glasgow’s programme has achieved is impressive, helping local residents think about how social entrepreneurship can support their community to tackle local challenges. Stimulating social entrepreneurship in communities to help people overcome particular challenges can help individuals gain the experience of running a business, without necessarily having to carry all of the risk
      (because they are working in partnership with others).



       
    •        Supporting creative & cultural industries: Bologna’s IncrediBOL! Creative Innovation Good Practice programme provides a range of tailored support to creative businesses to support them to start up, has received over 500 applications over the last 7 years, supported over 80 businesses, which have a survival rate of 81%. The methodology for delivering support to businesses that apply to the programme is through a widely publicised business plan competition, which has been particularly successful in stimulating creative business ideas from the market, and investing in successful projects which have built the cultural fabric of the city (further building Bologna’s reputation as a cultural hotspot and attracting more creative talent).



       
    •        Building on your cities sector strengths and strategic assets: Piraeus’ Blue Growth Good Practice is a programme, which seeks to stimulate the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in the marine sector in Piraeus. It seeks to strengthen and build upon some of the sectoral specialisms and strategic (topographic) assets of the city. As a sector based innovation programme, it also works around a business plan competition, supporting successful applicants to start-up.

    The four Good Practices also share a number of key characteristics, that make them stand out as Good Practice entrepreneurship programmes, namely;

    •        Their high levels of awareness / deep market reach: All of these programmes have managed to reach deeply into their target communities and create a high level of awareness and interest in their programmes, inspiring and making possible the aspirations of fledgling entrepreneurs. Achieving high-levels of awareness and market reach is important to drive up demand for entrepreneurship and help people understand where they can get support.

       
    •        Their approach to supporting entrepreneurs to grow their business. All of these programmes offer tailored and bespoke support to the people that go through their programmes, connecting them to the specialist support they need to succeed and/or stimulating other important components of the eco-system of support, to ensure aspiring entrepreneurs have access to the help they need to grow their business;

       
    •        Their work on stimulating a strong enterprise culture in their city. All 4 Good Practices also focus on trying to stimulate a change in the enterprise culture of their cities, by working in partnership with a range of stakeholders and agencies in their cities to widely promote the benefits of entrepreneurship.

    Creating successful entrepreneurial eco-systems requires a whole-system approach

    What these four Good Practices demonstrate is how creating a widespread change in the enterprise culture of a city can be a complex and challenging task, that requires strong leadership from city administrations, highly effective partnerships and the stimulation of crowd actions through an ‘ecosystem’ approach (for an explanation of eco-system thinking, see ‘What I Learned from Trying to Innovate at the New York Times’, John Geraci, April 2016) 

    A city cannot just focus on delivering one or two great entrepreneurship programmes targeted on a few niche sectors of the community, but needs to ‘conduct’ the market like the conductor in an orchestra - to incentivise behaviour change amongst communities, individuals, agencies, influencers and sub-cultures, to try and achieve an overall change in the macro-culture of the city.

    In addition to considering the whole-system, it is also important to think about the way different programmes incentivise people to think about starting their own business and how these programmes work together as part of a coherent customer proposition.

    In adopting the approach used by the URBACT Good Practices, other cities can create powerful support ‘systems’, which could work together to inspire and make possible the aspirations of their entrepreneurial residents.

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  • Co-operative city

    Glasgow

    Building new partnerships between public services and local people to foster greater co-design and delivery of local services

    Marie McLelland
    Development Officer of Economic and Social Initiatives, Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council
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    Summary

    Glasgow (UK) committed to becoming a Co-operative City in 2012. To reach people most in need and do more with limited funds, the city trailblazes new co-design models for local people, communities and public services. It aims to help people do more in their communities while ensuring high quality, value-for-money, integrated services - citizens get what they need at the right time and place. Glasgow City Council is growing co-operative businesses and social enterprises, and devolving power to its citizens. It launched a Co-operative Development Unit to boost sustainable cooperatives and social enterprises in the city, running a Business Development Fund to support new and existing cooperatives. 56 Co-operative Glasgow Business Development Grants have sparked an increase in turnover of about 7.7 million euros in the city’s social enterprise and co-operative sector. A council-wide network of “Co-operative Champions” was also created to embed co-operative principals in service delivery opportunities.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Co-operative Glasgow fundamentally changes the culture within the local authority and offers cities a model with which to adapt their attitude towards co-designed services without radical changes in structures, something that can be bureaucratic and time-consuming. Co-operative Glasgow established the Co-operative Development Unit (CDU) to deliver the action plan of the programme. It identified two primary pieces of work: • To develop a culture of partnership and to help the co-operative sector in the city thrive and grow through easier access to networking and funding, • Establish a Co-operative Business Development Fund: transformational business development grants to co-operatives, mutual and social enterprises. These two key areas of work offer a solution to improve economic growth in cities by: • Increasing productivity, income, innovation and survival, through collaboration, achieving economies of scale, increasing attitudes towards innovation and entrepreneurial activities, • Rooting businesses and employment within communities, by providing employment or services, meaning that they tend to stay rooted within that community and generate wealth and other employment benefits. In terms of social benefits, they offer solutions to social disadvantage by: • Enabling communities to be direct beneficiaries through the access of goods and services, • Support a more balanced distribution of wealth, • Foster greater community-based innovation and knowledge transfer.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Co-operative Glasgow has been built on the principles that integrated approaches foster the most effective results and economic growth must be combined with a reduction in poverty and community benefits. By adopting co-operative models, public services are integrated, of better quality and are designed around people’s lives, rather than being delivered in silos. It creates an ecosystem of integration by developing co-operatives that span key economic development drivers, e.g. some of the co-operatives created or supported include: • A Youth Co-operative within a community-based housing association, • New technology for credit unions, • A student-led co-operative within Strathclyde University to develop industry based IT solutions, • The creation of FareShare Glasgow, a local food distribution scheme that utilises manufacturer and supermarket waste food and redistributes around organisations that support people with low income, • Glasgow People’s Energy – an energy switch co-operative to provide holistic energy advice, information and support for business and individuals experiencing fuel poverty. Co-operative Glasgow promotes economic growth through a programme of activity that supports job creation, co-designed and co-created services, business development, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. Internally, the service redesign model of Co-operative Champions covers all service departments to ensure that integrated approaches are embedded in service development.

    Based on a participatory approach

    Participation, equality and community benefit are at the heart of all Co-operative Glasgow’s initiatives. GCC is part of a process called “One Glasgow”, looking at the holistic needs of the city in partnership with a number of public sector organisations and NGOs to involve citizens in decision-making. To further embed this into council processes, co-operative principles have been specifically adopted in the development of a number of community-based initiatives. Citizens can now see how decisions are made by watching live streaming of council meetings, influence how community budgets are spent through participatory budgeting and through community benefits in public procurement, over 500 long-term unemployed people have secured employment. The CDU is an enabler for community-based project development. It develops partnerships based on mutual trust and respect, resulting in a number of community programmes across the city, e.g. it has assisted Glasgow’s 34 credit unions through dialogue, practical and financial assistance to become the most advanced credit union sector in the UK with over 25% of Glasgow’s citizens benefiting from CU membership. The CDU has facilitated the Future Savers programme to foster a greater savings culture in Glasgow’s young people. All pupils in Glasgow in their first year of high school are provided with a credit union account with a £10 deposit. This Co-operative Glasgow model is a partnership between 14 Credit Unions and 42 high schools.

    What difference has it made?

    Co-operative Glasgow has utilised the CDU to support Glasgow's co-operative sector and directly benefit communities. It is a unique support resource, complementary to other business support functions. It has supported initiatives strategically important for communities. Putting co-operative values at the heart of service development and delivery has resulted in a wide range of initiatives across the city, some of which are outlined in 4.3 and are also promoted via the newsletters submitted as part of the support package. Co-operative Glasgow has both a lasting impact and long-term approach. To date, 56 Co-operative Glasgow Business Development Grants have resulted in an increase in turnover of approx. 7 700 000 euros in the cities social enterprise and co-operative sector. 75 full-time equivalent jobs or volunteer posts have, or expect to be, created, and a further 250 employment or volunteering positions have been safeguarded as a result of the Fund. This equates to a return of 3.07 euros of every 1 euro of public money spent. Organisations highly value the support received from the CDU. The benefits realised are significant for co-operatives, the communities they serve and the sector in Glasgow. The Fund has helped to increase the scale and profile of supported organisations, as well as increase member rewards, and improve working practices. A number of co-operatives reported that the funding has improved local partnerships and achieved greater levels of community participation.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    As mentioned, the effects of the economic crisis are still being felt across EU cities. As an URBACT city, Glasgow is fully aware that new ways of working to deliver quality services to the citizens of cities is of great interest and can provide useful methodologies and good practice to guide cities: • It addresses issues of challenging council cultures and provides methodologies for transformational change within local authorities – moving to a more community-based model of service delivery that creates tangible economic benefits. • Glasgow can impart expertise in navigating difficult legal challenges to creating more democratic partnerships with external organisations. • Glasgow understands the financial responsibilities of cities that can often lead to local authorities being “risk averse” when implementing new programmes or priorities. Co-operative Glasgow has the experience to mitigate this. • The development of a network of “Co-operative Champions” across the council is an easily transferable model that cities can adopt. Glasgow’s experience can demonstrate to cities that meaningful buy-in from stakeholders is essential and that co-operative forms of service provision should not be imposed as a preconceived solution or purely driven by the need for cost savings – it is about valuable co-production and new ways of transforming services – knowledge that can be transferred and adapted to suit the needs of cities and their citizens.

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