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  • Gen-Y City

    The Intercultural cities programme (ICC) supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage.

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    2ndChance on Facebook

    2ndChance on Twitter

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Torun). Transnational meeting in September (Wolverhampton) about 'Making the case for investment in creative-tech talent' and 'How to make best use of Labour Market Information'. Transnational meeting and The role of culture.
    'Transnational meeting about 'Smart Specialisation, Tech Hubs and Civic Tech Initiatives' transnational meeting in March (Coimbra); in July (Bologna) about 'Creative - Tech Talent Ecosystem Frameworks'.
    City Development Forum in January (Poznan). Final event in April (Poznan).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

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

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

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań

    CONTACT US

    Over the last decades, younger people have increasingly chosen to live in urban areas, whilst the share of older residents in cities has generally fallen. Nevertheless, the impact of wage levels and different unemployment rates across Europe has lead youngsters to move mainly to big cities. In this, sense this Action Planning network aimed on developing, attracting and retaining young local talent, particularly, the creative talent from the Generation Y - people who were born between 1980 and 2000 - within cities of all sizes.

    Developing, attracting and retaining young local talent
    Ref nid
    7439
  • Playful Paradigm

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting
    1st TN Meeting in Esplugues de Llobregat | 2nd TNM in Udine | 1st Customized Activity in Udine: Ludobus and Social Transformation | 2nd Customized Activity, Paris, Toy Libraries Study Visit | 3rd TNM in Klaipeda
    4th TNM Viana do Castelo | TNM Online (Parts 1+2+3) | Webinar "Network Management for Tackling the COVID Crisis" | Webinar "Public Procurement" | Webinar "Manifesto of Playful Cities" | Playful Paradigm to re-think cities (virtual session @ EURegionsWeek)
    Sharing Period | Final Event 20-21 April

    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

    Cities offer unique opportunities for addressing the challenges of urbanization, ageing, climate change, social exclusion, only if enabling, enjoyable places are co-created. This Transfer network aims to replicate the “playful paradigm” based on gamification as an innovative concept for promoting social inclusion, healthy lifestyles & energy awareness, intergenerational & cultural mediation, place-making & economic prosperity. Games offer new strategies for engaging city stakeholders in urban development.

    Games for inclusive, healthy and sustainable cities
    Ref nid
    12137
  • Thriving Streets

    Summary

    Lead Partner : Parma - Italy
    • Antwerp - Belgium
    • Igoumenitsa - Greece
    • EDC Debrecen - Hungary
    • Klaipèda - Lithuania
    • Nova Gorica - Slovenia
    • Oradea - Romania
    • Radom - Poland
    • Santo Tirso - Portugal
    • London Borough of Southwark

    Timeline

     

     

    • October 1: Kick-Off Meeting Phase I, Parma









       

     

    • June 9-10: Kick-off meeting Phase II
    • June 25: Online coordination meeting
    • September 11: Online coordination meeting
    • October 26, 28: Online coordination meeting
    • November 25: Thematic learning event “Active mobility vs car dependency”
    • November 26: Transnational meeting, Antwerp
    • December 15: Thematic learning event “Co-creating Thriving Streets”
    • February 26: Thematic learning event “Thriving local economy”
    • April 14-15: Transnational meeting, Nova Gorica
    • May 7: Thematic learning event “Places for people”
    • June 21-22: Transnational meeting, Santo Tirso
    • July 20: Masterclass “Placemaking for recovery”
    • July 22: Thematic learning event “Streets for all”
    • September 30-October 1: Transnational meeting, Southwark
    • December 10: IAP Peer review meeting
       

     

    • March 30: Thriving Communities, digital learning event
    • April 26-28:Transnational meeting in Santo Tirso (Portugal) and study visit in Pontevedra (Spain)
    • May 24, 25: Transnational meeting in Nova Gorica and study visit in Ljubljana (Slovenia)
    • June 14-16: URBACT City Festival, Pantin / Greater Paris (France)
    • July 5-8: Walk and Roll Cities Final Event, Barcelona (Spain)
    • July 14: Masterclasses on Urban Freight and Parking Management

    Outputs

    Integrated Action Plan

    Integrated Action Plan for sustainable mobility in Oltretorrente

    Read more here !

    Parma - Italy
    Igoumenitsa Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Igoumenitsa - Greece
    Klaipèda Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Klaipèda - Lithuania
    Oradea Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    Oradea - Romania
    Southwark Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here !

    London Borough of Southwark - United Kingdom
    Toward live and attractive Solkan’s historical core

    Read more here !

    Nova Gorica - Slovenia
    Towards a dynamic center for Deurne

    Read more here

    Antwerp - Belgium
    Debrecen Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here

    Debrecen - Hungary
    Increase attractivity and decrease car-dependency in Santo Tirso

    Read more here !

    Santo Tirso - Portugal

    Transforming streets to create people-friendly places. The ambition of Thriving Streets is to improve sustainable mobility in urban areas from an economic and social perspective. The premise of the Thriving Streets network is that break-troughs in sustainable urban mobility can be established when mobility is no longer framed as just going from A to B but rather as a means for social-economic development of the city. The key question Thriving Streets network intends to answer is the following: “How can mobility become a motor for urban health, inclusivity, economy and social cohesion?”

    Thriving Streets
    Designing mobility for attractive cities
    Ref nid
    13423
  • URBACT cities join forces in a quest for global sustainability

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    15/11/2022

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

    Articles

    The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". But implementing the SDGs is a major challenge, requiring new ways of working for governments at all levels.

    Cities and municipalities are key actors in this context – not as “mere implementers” of a global agenda set elsewhere, but providing a unique scale at which to tackle global challenges from the bottom up. Their task is to ‘localise’ the SDGs – taking these global objectives and turning them into a local reality.

     

    But how do you localise the SDGs in practice? This is the key question for Global Goals for Cities – a new pilot network launched by URBACT in collaboration with the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR); with Tallinn (EE) as the Lead Partner.

    “As cities, we have it within our reach to make our future more resilient and sustainable, and better I believe. It is vital to protect our nature and fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.”

    Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn (EE)

    In this article, I set out why localisation of the SDGs is so important, why an URBACT network of cities is well-adapted to addressing the challenges this poses for cities, and what we hope to achieve over the next year and a half of working together. I encourage you to follow us on our journey!

    Localising the SDGs – a complex but potentially rewarding challenge for cities

    In 2015, cities were officially placed at the heart of the 2030 Agenda through SDG11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. But beyond this, organisations like the OECD and UCLG commonly point out that around 65% of the SDGs’ 169 targets will not be reached without the active involvement and contribution by local and regional governments. There is thus lots to think about in terms of what local governments need to know about the SDGs.

    The important role of cities and local governments in achieving the SDGs was also recently highlighted by Ricardo Rio, European Committee of the Regions (CoR) rapporteur and Mayor of the Global Goals for Cities network partner Braga (PT) – stressing the need to put the SDGs back at the heart of the EU narrative for sustainable recovery and climate action.   

    Lead Partner city Tallinn (EE) aims to be a green and global city. The city has put strong emphasis on building policy coherence into their main strategy Tallinn 2035. Photo credit: Tiina Erik

    Localising the SDGs is a demanding task which implies new ways of working for national governments and local authorities alike.

    Notably, achieving them is going to require:

    • a shared understanding of key challenges and trade-offs between goals and targets when setting the local SDGs agenda;
    • significant ambition on the part of both national and local governments, aiming at transformative actions;
    • cross-departmental collaboration and alignment across government levels to achieve policy coherence;
    • meaningful engagement of multiple stakeholders in the co-creation of a shared vision and local integrated action plans;
    • well-informed citizens and an active civil society to hold their local governments accountable and be able to contribute to achieving long-term goals.

    In other words, localising the SDGs will mean breaking away from the status quo, making the 2030 Agenda a shared and transformative mission cutting across the political spectrum and sectors of society.

    Why an URBACT network on localising the SDGs?

    Given the above considerations, addressing the challenges of localising the SDGs fits well with the URBACT Method, which emphasises integrated approaches to sustainable urban development based on local stakeholder engagement and participation. The steps of the action planning process proposed in the URBACT Toolbox can provide a valuable guide here, as well as the (Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities) RFSC online tool proposed by CEMR, which provide step-by-step guidance for analysing the current situation and defining actions to address the SDGs at the local level.

    Building capacity for SDG localisation from working across departments to engaging local stakeholders and experimenting with local actions – was the driving idea behind the creation of the URBACT ‘Global Goals for Cities’ network, where 19 cities from 19 European countries will work on translating the global 2030 Agenda and SDGs into their local realities in the run-up to 2030. Launched in March 2021, the network will run until the end of 2022, and is likely to bring lots of new insights to the field of SDG localisation from a highly diverse range of urban partners.

    Tim Kurzbach, Lord Mayor of Solingen (DE), talking to a group of protesters from the Fridays for the Future movement.
    Photo credit: Daniela Tobias

     

    When asked about what they would be most interested to learn about with regards to SDGs localisation, the three top themes were: i. stakeholder engagement and awareness-raising; ii. new governance models, and iii. local indicators to monitor progress towards the SDGs. This is not surprising, considering the whole-of-society approach needed to address the 2030 Agenda, while making sure we are on the right track. In the remainder of this article, I briefly touch upon each of those priority areas, to give a teaser for what is coming up over the next months.

    New ways to engage with local stakeholders

    Stakeholder engagement and awareness raising will be central to mobilising wide support for the SDGs in the partner cities. We want our citizens to talk about the SDGs like they talk about the weather,” said Cllr. David Gilroy, Chairperson of the Meath County Council (IE) when we met virtually during our network 'Roadshow' in May. “That’s how we’ll know we’ve been successful in our efforts to raise awareness and create lasting change in our community.

     

    City officials in Trim (IE) raising awareness on the SDGs during the pandemic.
    Photo credit: Alan Owens

    Yet, the pandemic has made this work even more challenging. City officials have had to quickly pivot and learn how to engage with stakeholders online. Examples of both on- and offline initiatives among network partners include online campaigns like “Christmas SDGs” in Trim (IE), the organisation of a youth “SDGs Hackathon” in Klaipeda (LT) and plans to organise a “Transition Night” in Mouscron (BE). In the next network meeting on 28-29 September 2021, these three cities will join forces to lead the network’s peer learning around awareness raising and citizen engagement.

    "One of the key challenges is to explain how the SDGs are relevant to people’s everyday lives. Being part of the network will help us learn from other cities on how they approach stakeholder engagement and awareness raising."

    Kamen Dimitrov, local coordinator, Veliki Preslav (BG)

    Localising the SDGs as an ‘indivisible whole’ – time to experiment!  

    One of the core principles of the 2030 Agenda is the interconnectedness and indivisibility of the SDGs. In other words, the goals are not for ‘cherry-picking’ but make up a holistic framework for transformative action.

    In their ‘Zero Carbon Territory’ project, there are many considerations to be done to balance the development of the Urban Community of Rochelle (FR) in a sustainable manner. The SDGs help to bring a holistic vision for the territory. 
    Photo credit: Frédéric Le Lan

     

    This is also one of the real virtues of using the SDGs framework, as highlighted in the 2020 Sustainable Development report by La Rochelle, the main municipality of the network partner La Rochelle Urban Community, (FR): “It is precisely one of the virtues of the SDGs: to show these salient points and interconnections between all the goals. They also help to realise the closeness between some of them, and the common direction of our efforts”. That is why, when implementing its ambitious ‘Zero Carbon Territory’ project, La Rochelle Urban Community wishes to use the SDGs to bring the holistic perspective.

    In Solingen (DE), another network partner, localising the SDGs has meant a new way of working for the municipality. Since the adoption of its Sustainability Strategy in 2018, all City Council decisions must now “pass the test” on whether and how they contribute to the city’s strategic goals, which are contextually linked to the SDGs.

    Planning holistically for 17 goals – and 169 targets (!) – is no small feat. It requires learning and experimenting with new approaches like goals-based planning, mission-oriented policy road mapping, portfolio approaches, as well as understanding planetary boundaries, SDGs interactions and spill-over effects. Looking at how cities can “live within” Kate Raworth’s doughnut model – as presented during the 2021 URBACT Festival – can provide useful ideas on how to tackle this complexity.

    Other city networks’ experiences can also bring inspiration to rethinking city governance models, like the Urban Commons topic dealt with by the URBACT networks Civic eState or Co4Cities, or the EIT Climate-KIC Healthy, Clean Cities Deep Demonstrations.

    Investing in a systemic approach to the SDGs can indeed provide competitive advantage for cities, as pointed out by Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EUROCITIES, during the 4th OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs. Madrid is an example of a city that has already started working with the SDGs in a systemic and participatory way, which now helps the city to push for its Covid-19 recovery priorities in alignment with the national government’s recovery plan, as well as with EU agendas and programming.

    How will we know if we are on the right track?

    Stakeholder engagement and governance models aside, perhaps the most important aspect of SDG localisation is to “walk the talk”.

    As Keli Yen, the URBACT Local Group coordinator from Gävle (SE) recently put it: “If we want to confidently claim that we are making good progress on the SDGs, then we need to know both: 1) that we are moving in the right direction; and 2) how much distance remains to reach the goal.”  So how can we do this in practice?

    This is a complex issue that has exercised minds in some of the leading knowledge organisations concerned, such as the UN SDSN, the EC Joint Research Centre, the OECD, and UN Habitat. Challenges include how to set relevant and realistic targets for cities – matching the global aspirations of the SDGs – and to find indicators that are measurable at local level. With the support of external ad hoc expertise, the network partners will explore these issues head on as part of the planning process.

    When it comes to target setting, this is a both political and scientific matter – and not without some controversy. Key principles to follow include the need to be locally relevant, ambitious enough and – as famously espoused by Greta Thunberg to “listen to the science”. For example, research from the Stockholm Resilience Centre set out the need (in 2018) to halve emissions every decade starting from 2020 – a target which is far being from on track in 2021.

    To showcase commitment and progress, a growing number of cities actively working on the SDGs are carrying out so-called Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), which reports on actions taken to reach the SDGs. In the kick-off survey for the network, 17 out of the 19 cities ranked VLRs amongst their four highest choices for what they want to learn about during the life of the network.

    Whether or not we will see any VLRs materialise during the life of the network, the future targets and actions defined by the partners of the Global Goals for Cities network offer a chance to push for an ambitious agenda across government levels… and with less than nine years until 2030, we have no time to waste!

    For further information

    Network
    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    16140
  • 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

    Twitter

    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

    blank

    • 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
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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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  • Thriving Streets: Designing mobility for attractive cities

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    15/11/2022

    Ten European cities join forces in the new ‘Thriving Streets’ network. Their approach: transform streets to create people-friendly places, encourage walking and cycling, and reduce car-dependency. In this way they work on a more healthy, attractive, accessible, inclusive and thriving future of their cities.

    Articles
    City planning

    Bringing streets to life

    On September 14th, a remarkable transformation takes place in the Via della Salute in Parma, Italy. For one day, citizens clear the street from the cars that usually dominate the space. Their place is taken instead by huge tables, set for a dinner to host about 200 people from the neighbourhood. As the neighbours start to prepare the event, kids come out of their houses, and started using the street as their playground. Like birds that feel as if spring is coming, the kids just feel it is their time to claim the space.

    Two weeks later, Patrizia Marani introduces an international delegation to the street and the wider neighbourhood. The visit is part of the kick-off meeting of the Thriving Streets network, of which Patrizia (working for the Municipality of Parma) is the coordinator. To her, the dinner event is a clear example how the use of streets can encourage social cohesion, create a positive dynamic and increase attractiveness. The next two years, Parma will commit to work together with citizens, shop owners and local organizations to spark a similar dynamic in the whole neighbourhood of Oltretorrente.

    PHOTO 1: Neighbourhood Dinner in Via della Salute, Parma. Photo by Annarita Melegari


    Thriving streets: Thriving Local Economy and Thriving Communities

    Each of the partners in the Thriving Streets is exploring how sustainable mobility can lead to local economic and social benefits, by putting people central in the design and use of streets. All these 10 European cities have their own, yet related, challenge as focus. For Parma, the issue can be illustrated with a picture of a street with many empty shops. A depressing sight, but a reality in many cities across Europe. The local shops are challenged by the development of shopping malls and more recently online shopping. By making the streets attractive for people, the (economic) activity can prosper again.

    How to strengthen the local economy in city centres and neighbourhoods, and increase their attractivity? This question is key also for other partners. The cities of Klaipeda (Lithuania) and Radom (Poland) are focussing for this question on the historic city centres. The cities of Nova Gorica (Slovenia) and Antwerp (Belgium) instead focus on off-centre neighbourhoods.

    Questions of inclusivity also arise when creating thriving streets, for example about how the public space could lessen gender-inequality or how to overcome transport poverty. The cities of Igoumenitsa (Greece) and Santo Tirso (Portugal) identified youth as a vulnerable and underrepresented group. Together with schools, they will work on child-friendly school environments and safe commuting. This means overcoming cultural barriers for the acceptance of walking and cycling by both children and their parents, as well as playing into the health benefits of active mobility.

    For the district of Southwark, London (UK), the target is also inclusivity, but focussed on local businesses. Planned developments in the area will bring about 27,000 new homes and 26,000 new jobs. The traffic flowing through a strategic route, Lower Road, competes with the needs of the local neighbourhood. Communities are left disjointed with poor active travel access to local shops. How to make sure the ‘old’ local businesses and communities will not be left out?

    Starting point in all cities is a specific street or neighbourhood. The impact of the interventions developed at such place goes beyond its limited spatial scale. The local changes give rise to changing mobility flows in the city, can shake up engrained behaviour patterns, and go hand in hand with improvement of public transport on city level. Two partners in the Thriving Streets network focus on the relation between pedestrianization of the city centre and the related changes in mobility patterns. Not surprisingly, these are both metropolitan authorities, from Debrecen and Oradea.

    PHOTO 2: Cycling classes in Santo Tirso – photo by Municipality of Santo Tirso

    Working together to make Thriving Streets happen

    How attractive the ambition of turning streets into thriving streets might seem, the process is not an easy matter, of course. So… how?

    First of all, it is about getting different perspectives and domains on board in the development.
    Creating thriving streets is not just about mobility or spatial planning, but also very much about health, local economy, social cohesion, equal opportunities, etc. It can help to make benefits of such transformation explicit, by empowering the people who will benefit to raise their voice. It can also be worth trying to translate benefits into ‘hard’ indicators, such as growth in customers or increase in social contacts in a street.

    Equally, to get many people to contribute to and support the transformation, a lot of effort will go to co-creation. This helps overcome resistance. Too often, politicians and other decision makers drop their support to ambitious transformations as soon as they are confronted with angry and vocative local business-owners or car-users, who feel passed over. Most importantly, co-creative methods help to create better solutions by tapping into local knowledge and linking to the ambitions and energy of different stakeholders. The example of the dinner-activity in Parma is just one of many.


    Join our learning journey

    In the coming years, the ten cities involved will work together with local stakeholders on their respective ambitions, sharing a common base: creating thriving streets for a thriving city. The cities will go on a learning journey together, exchanging experiences and inspiration. We don’t start from scratch, but build on the existing experiences of cities around Europe, and take inspiration from other projects such as Living Streets and Happy Streets.

    If you want to stay up to date or share your own experiences, please join our learning journey. You can express your interest and subscribe for updates by sending an e-mail to p.marani@comune.parma.it.

    PHOTO 3: The city teams involved in Thriving Streets – photo by Municipality of Parma

    This URBACT III project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
    Thanks to Nena Bode (DRIFT) for contributing to this article, and the partner cities for their inputs.

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  • Making integrated urban development more manageable

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    15/11/2022

    How can cities improve their plans for integrated urban development?

    Articles
    Urban planning

    By recognising its complexity and breaking it down into its component concepts cities can better manage integrated urban development. One of the findings of the recent study of URBACT cities’ Integrated Action Plans (IAP Study) was that cities need to fully understand, but also break down, the complexity of ‘integrated urban development’ in order to better take on the challenge of systematically improving their approaches.

    Integrated Urban Development: a challenging concept

    Previous efforts by URBACT to communicate what 'integrated urban development' means have typically focused on the ideas of ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ integration. These are useful concepts for enabling a general understanding of the topic, but the IAP Study found that practical efforts to both improve and assess the integration of an urban action plan require more detailed definitions.

    ‘Horizontal integration’ potentially incorporates: diverse policy areas/sectors; different locations and spatial relationships; the diversity of local stakeholder groups; and the balancing of economic, social and environmental objectives. Thus, the apparently simple question “is this action plan horizontally integrated?” becomes extremely difficult and complex to answer in practice. The various dimensions mean that a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not enough.

    Meanwhile, ‘vertical integration’ between levels of governance can refer variously to the engagement of decision-makers and stakeholders, the alignment of strategies and the mobilisation of funds from different levels. Once again, the question of whether an action plan is vertically integrated or not becomes complex and nuanced and does not lend itself to a simple answer.

    In this context, it is perhaps unsurprising that the IAP Study found that cities were often struggling to process and communicate the complexity they were dealing with in trying to deliver integrated approaches to urban development.

    The Integrated Action Plan of Medina del Campo (ES) from the CityCentreDoctor network describes the revitalisation of the city centre “as an integrated process. Integrated because it includes social, economic, environmental, cultural and institutional areas.” This definition does not really do justice to the level of integration demonstrated. In fact, the IAP shows coordination between sectors, across locations and spatial relationships, between levels of governance and with stakeholder groups, as well as between economic, social and environmental aspects.

    The need for a clear and detailed definition

    For some IAPs then, the lack of a clear and detailed definition of ‘integration’ affected their ability to fully communicate the complexity of their plans. However, for many, the lack of such a definition also increased the risks that certain aspects of integration would be missed.

    In conducting its analysis, the IAP Study found that the picture was extremely varied across and within the IAPs. Sometimes aspects of integration were clearly addressed. Sometimes they were addressed, but not clearly or not fully. Sometimes they did not seem to be addressed at all. And when they were missing, it was not clear if this was an oversight or an intentional decision not to focus on an aspect not considered to be of importance.

    For example, we can consider the IAP of Södertälje (SE) from the AGRI-URBAN network. This is generally an excellent example of an integrated action plan, which is presented extremely clearly and demonstrates various aspects of integration as well as good practice in stakeholder engagement and transnational exchange. However, unlike some other IAPs, it does not mention cooperation with neighbouring municipalities in developing actions. It is not totally clear if this potential aspect of a fully integrated approach to food policy was not considered or not deemed relevant.

    Meanwhile, the IAP of Strasbourg (FR) from the BoostINNO network does not set out actions that are integrated across sectors or that address different locations or spatial relationships within the city. This might seem like a major omission. However, given that its whole approach is to foster social innovation across all aspects of work and across the whole of the city, it is perhaps both understandable and legitimate that its actions are focused on governance aspects that lack sectorial and spatial dimensions.

    What these two examples show is that it is not enough to simply observe the presence or omission of one of the aspects of integration in order to assess the quality of the integration. It is important to also have an understanding of whether this aspect of integration is relevant and/or a priority in the specific case being addressed. Integrated action plans should ideally explain their choices clearly.

    Six aspects of integrated urban development

    The IAP Study strongly advocates that cities carry out a more systematic approach to developing their approaches to integrated urban development. This will not only enable cities to build a fuller picture of the complexity of integrated urban development, but also to do so in a way that is manageable in practice – by dealing with each of its component parts in turn.

    The IAP Study identified six aspects of ‘integrated urban development’ that all towns and cities should consider when working to improve the integration of their approaches in practice. These six aspects were mainly identified by separating out the various dimensions of horizontal and vertical integration demonstrated by cities. They also include the overarching elements of: the need for sustainable approaches and the involvement of stakeholders in implementation (in addition to consultation in the planning).

    Six aspects of integrated urban development

    1. Sustainable urban development - actions address all three pillars of sustainable development in terms of economic, social and environmental objectives
    2. Sectorial integration – addressing the full range of policies/sectors of activity, including infrastructure, transport, employment, education, green spaces, housing, culture…
    3. Local spatial integration – coherence of actions in different locations within the city and considering overall spatial coherence within and across locations and neighbourhoods
    4. Territorial integration – coherence and complementarity of actions and policies implemented by neighbouring municipalities
    5. Multi-level governance – actions are planned coherently at different levels of governance, covering local (district, city), regional and national levels
    6. Stakeholder involvement in implementation - the full range of relevant stakeholders are engaged in the implementation of planned actions

    Systematically addressing this list can help ensure that cities do not forget to give environment and social objectives equal billing in their plans and to demonstrate this clearly. It can encourage them to think about spatial dimensions within their city and integration beyond the scope of their municipality – whether with neighbouring municipalities or different levels of governance. The list can also ensure that cities do not forget to include stakeholders in the implementation of their plans – beyond a simply consultative role.

    Practical differences in applying integrated approaches

    Working systematically through the aspects of integrated urban development does not mean that each city has to plan actions on each or become somehow formulaic in its response. The systematic approach means only that cities need to consider improving their integration in each aspect and make a conscious decision on how to address it. This is why a quality planning process is such a crucial pre-requisite to effective integrated urban development and also why no two integrated action plans will ever be the same.

    For example, in the IAP of Szombathely (HU) from the MAPS network, the actions show a good level of integration of sectorial and spatial dimensions focused within the city limits, principally on the site of the former military barracks that is targeted. The plan balances economic, social and environmental aspects and engages stakeholders well. However, the study found no evidence of coordination with neighbouring municipalities and little evidence of multi-level governance. This might be justifiable, but the plan might be stronger if it explicitly addressed such potential.

    A very different example is provided by the IAP of Cluj (RO) from the REFILL network. The focus of the network on vacant spaces leads the city to prioritise governance aspects that will facilitate temporary use. This focus on governance rather than physical interventions leads to very different strategic choices in developing its integrated action plan. For example, there is no particular sectorial dimension to the actions planned – rather, such aspects will need to be considered in the actual implementation of temporary use that the action plan seeks to facilitate.

    A final example here is the IAP of Antwerp (BE) from the sub>urban network. The plan presents actions across multiple relevant sectors, with a strong spatial dimension and specific actions to collaborate with neighbouring municipalities. This fits quite logically with the focus of the network on the urban fringe. However, the IAP is less clear about its specific approach to multi-level governance and what potential this might have to improve the approaches developed.

    What seems clear from the IAP Study is that there are no objectively right or wrong answers when it comes to developing more integrated approaches. The topic addressed has a major impact on the aspects of integration that cities need to prioritise, with the strongest difference being between topics that are focused on a specific physical space (e.g. revitalisation of a city centre or former military site) and topics that address a way of working (e.g. supporting social innovation or promoting temporary use). However, a more systematic approach to addressing each aspect of integration can ensure that no dimensions are missed and that cities are able to show and justify their strategic choices.

    Focusing on the journey towards more integrated approaches

    A concluding message for cities and those that work with them is that this approach to integrated urban development is relevant and can be applied to all cities, no matter their starting point and previous experience with integrated approaches.

    When addressing any topic or challenge, every city can reflect on the six aspects of integrated urban development and ask itself where it can improve the integration of its approach and add value. For cities that are new to integrated approaches or new to a topic, this might mean choosing some limited priority areas of action rather than attempting to do everything at once.

    The IAP of Klaipeda (LT) from the Gen-Y City network shows an approach where such clear strategic choices were made. It states that “ULG Group members decided to narrow the initial version of the Integrated Action Plan and to focus on the main objective and related measures for attracting and retaining talents in Klaipeda”. The strong focus of its actions on supporting freelancers aims to fill a particular gap identified in the existing service provision. The ongoing challenge for the city will be to add additional dimensions to make the approach ever more integrated over time.

    More experienced cities can still look at their existing approaches and identify areas where the integration can be improved. Maybe they have missed one dimension in their plans so far. Maybe some aspects could be dealt with in more depth, integrating yet more stakeholders or additional sectors or improving the multi-level governance. Most action plans could improve the rigour with which they show the balance between economic, social and environmental objectives.

    There is no such thing as a perfectly integrated action plan. The important thing, wherever a city is on its own pathway, is to be constantly seeking improvement and reflecting with stakeholders on where it can still further improve the integration of its approaches, using the six aspects of integrated urban development as a guide.

    ***

    For more information on cities’ differing approaches to integrated urban development in practice, see the 7 illustrative case studies of URBACT cities’ Integrated Action Plans, along with the full IAP Study report, findings and recommendations.

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  • Improving children’s education for a sustainable urban future

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    15/11/2022

    URBACT is helping European cities find – and share – new ways to support children’s education for a better future. 

    Articles
    Education

    From organic school gardens and innovative teaching methods, to community courses and better links with families, health specialists or local businesses, URBACT is improving kids’ chances with innovative approaches to education.

    Education is central to sustainable urban futures. Whether it’s to fight inequality and social exclusion, boost a town’s attractiveness, or help young people protect the environment, its vital role in building better cities is reflected in many URBACT networks past and present.

    Let’s take a look at what some of these cities are doing…

    The city as an orchestrator

    Why are city authorities well placed to improve education policy? “Because the municipality has proximity to the citizens,” says Mireia Sanabria, Lead Expert for the URBACT transfer network ON BOARD – Connecting cities through education. “They can directly understand, visit, dialogue with communities to know their specific needs. And they have a brokerage role.”

    As well as providing technical or financial support, space and equipment, cities can coordinate groups of local education stakeholders – schools, families, companies, associations, researchers, municipal departments and higher government. One example is Viladecans (ES), whose Education Innovation Network (EIN) approach is being adopted by five ON BOARD partner cities. This partnership inspired Nantes (FR) and Albergaria-a-Velha (PT) to develop new student wellbeing initiatives to improve academic results through happy, engaged learning. “We can provide schools with help, resources, and protection so they can dare to do things differently,” adds Sanabria.

    Social inclusion and children’s rights

    Laura Colini, Programme Expert for URBACT, points out that while the European Pillar of Social Rights states that everyone has the right to affordable early childhood education and good quality care, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognises education as a right, opportunities for children vary enormously across the EU – and from one city neighbourhood to another.

    Recent estimates show under 17s to be the most vulnerable to risks of poverty, particularly children from ethnic minorities or with migrant backgrounds. In 2018, 20 000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Europe in 2018, 40% of them in Germany and Italy,” says Colini. “This is why, the way the education system handles inequalities in family backgrounds can have an enormous impact, due to the crucial years pupils spend in schools.”

    The question of children and education should be treated with a holistic perspective, involving families and schools,” Fintan Farrel, Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network, said in an interview for the EU Urban Agenda poverty partnership (Colini & Tosics 2017).

    This is just the sort of integrated approach that URBACT champions. During the URBACT StayTuned network, for example, the Ampelokipi - Menemeni municipality in Thessaloniki (EL) formed a strong team that works closely with school directors and local Roma people, deepening the administration’s understanding of Early Leaving from Education and Training. This led the municipality to adapt its courses, information and support to the needs of Roma children and parents, both in schools and in a new easily-accessible Community Centre. “Through the collaboration and exchange of experience with partners, the way the municipality understands its problem and role, as well as the methodology for managing challenges in the field of education and training, has changed,” says Magdalini Rousseti, Ampelokipi – Menemeni’s Director of Social Policy, Education, Sports & Culture.

    As for Groningen (NL), with an aging population and jobs to fill, the city teamed up with its universities, academic hospital, citizens, employers and cultural institutions, to help international students and professionals “come, stay and be active”. Six medium-sized cities are now learning from this experience in the URBACT Welcoming International Talent network, including Bielsko-Biala (PL) who were recently inspired to open their own “Centre for Integration of Foreigners” MyBB.

    Macerata (IT), won an URBACT Good Practice label in 2017 for its co-regeneration of urban green spaces around inclusion and children’s education. The Pace neighborhood green space has since become a place for meeting, education and social inclusion for the whole community – grandparents, parents, teenagers and children. The Les Friches NGO behind the scheme says, “Our participatory action has given positive effects. There’s now a new and integrated community that lives in the common space.

    Of URBACT’s many networks set up to help cities fight exclusion, here are just three more examples linked with education: Prevent – “Involving parents in the prevention of early school leaving”; ONSTAGE – “Music schools for social change”; and Rumorless cities – “Prevent discrimination, strengthen cohesion”, led Amadora (PT), where cities work with art and theatre to prevent discrimination and rumours against children with migrant backgrounds.

    Methodology and tools for better learning

    URBACT not only helps cities solve urban problems by strengthening cross-sector participation locally while learning from peers across the EU – it also brings municipalities new skills and methodologies. For some networks this is the main focus. The URBACT Playful Paradigm network for example, seeks new ways to engage stakeholders better in urban development. The eight partner cities use games to promote “social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and energy awareness, intergenerational and cultural mediation, place-making and economic prosperity”. Klaipėda City Public Health Bureau (LT), wants to work with more schools to introduce more playful, physical activities for schoolchildren, adapting techniques from their EU partners. “The network is a good framework to generate new ideas, spread the good practice,” says Laura Kubiliutė, Head of Klaipėda’s public health monitoring and projects department. One such idea is a playful Wednesday afternoon for young and elderly people at the county library, with quizzes and board games, helping strengthen links between generations, tackle loneliness, and foster social inclusion.

    Small-but-powerful responsible citizens

    From helping children enjoy nature to rewarding schools that lower their carbon footprint and support local organic farmers, cities of all sizes are helping shape the next generation of healthier, environmentally-conscious citizens.

    Working with schools is fundamental to collectively learn about rights and values in social, environmental and economic terms, because through schools one can reach out not only children but parents, families, the wider community, also those that are not active in civil society,” says Laura Colini.

    Torres Vedras (PT), is a good example here. They have a rapidly expanding sustainable food school programme with 11 school organic gardens growing tomatoes, beans, peppers and other fruit and veg. Children already learn about food production, seasonality – and identifying the organic food label in shops. Still, the URBACT BioCanteens network has brought new ideas, including “freshness” criteria to improve public procurement for suppliers, and Mouans-Sartoux’s (FR) food-waste reduction scheme that covers extra costs of healthy, organic school meals. “For us it was: ‘wow!’, a very great idea, because we’d never thought about this before!” says Paula Rodrigues, Responsible for managing biocanteens and school gardens for the municipality.

    Torres Vedras launched a pilot project in a school whose vegetable patch is the size of 10 parking spaces, and World Food Day celebrations last a whole month. Here, having followed the food from planting to harvesting and delivery to the school kitchens, 150 six-to-ten year-olds are now learning to reduce food waste and weigh their leftovers so menus can be adapted. For Rodrigues, their new understanding of food waste is the “golden key to close the cycle”. The city will expand the scheme to nine more schools this year to reach a total of 1200 children.

    Why are children good ambassadors for a sustainable future? “Because they are the future!” says Rodrigues.

    There are many more stories of cities that have developed innovative, sustainable solutions involving education and children:

    Read more on URBACT and Education : https://urbact.eu/education

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  • Welcome to the European Playful Cities!

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    15/11/2022

    Games offer unique opportunities for engaging stakeholders in contemporary cities says Ileana Toscano. While European cities face challenges of ageing, climate change and social exclusion, we need to find enjoyable ways to co–create solutions. The URBACT Playful Paradigm transfer network is based on the use of “games” for promoting social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and energy awareness, place-making and economic prosperity.

    What’s in a game?

    Articles
    Ageing

    An easy tool as a “game” can help cities to face contemporary challenges. Ageing population, migration, social exclusion and climate change are the main challenges tackled every day by European Cities. Cities need to define enjoyable and easy tools for engaging citizens and stakeholders. A Paradigm based on the use of “games” and “gamification” could be the answer.

    The Municipality of Udine (IT) has developed an urban practice focusing on the use of games as flexible, innovative place-making paradigm for fostering an equitable and democratic society. Games are used as vehicles for addressing healthy lifestyles and energy awareness. Games foster the inclusion of migrants, the involvement of elderly people and promote a better relationship between parents and children.

    Games in Udine have become an urban policy priority that enables citizens’ participation and a peaceful civic environment. The ‘Playful Paradigm’ initiatives are part of a comprehensive strategy that the Municipality has been implementing for years under the umbrella of the Healthy Cities Project (World Health Organization) and the European Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

    “Playful Paradigm” is one of the 25 Transfer networks funded by URBACT. It aims to adapt and reuse the good practice of “games for fostering inclusion, health and sustainability” in other 7 European cities: Cork (IE), Klaipeda (LT), Esplugues de Llobregat (ES), Larissa (EL), Novigrad (HR), Bratislava (SK) and Katowice (PL).

    Why are games so important for cities?

    Paolo Munini, chief officer for gaming activities of Udine Municipality, says “Games are essential for child development. Games are also important for elderly people because they maintain the physical and cognitive activity and prevent mental cognitive decay. Playful activities are powerful tools when applied in cities. Games can be used for working in deprived neighbourhoods with local community or in schools with students. They can trigger the participation of civil society, engaging citizens and local associations.

    The gaming approach could open opportunities for urban renewal. This is why Udine Administration uses “games” as a flexible co-created place-making paradigm. This innovative gaming approach works with participation to stimulate responsible change, and promote an healthy environment, by turning urban settings into incubators of sustainability and wellbeing (physical, mental and social/relational).

    In Italy the importance of games was recognized by the National Law 328/2000 (“La legge di riforma dei Servizi Sociali - Dal centralismo sociale al federalismo solidale”) that introduced the possibility of launching the Ludobus-initiatives in cities. The “Ludobus” is a van full of games moving through city neighbourhoods and bringing playful activities making games available to local population. In Udine the Ludobus began as a grass-root initiative thanks to a voluntary organization and later turned into a permanent activity, managed and funded by the Municipality. In Italy the Ludobus-initiative was a starting point to raise awareness on the value of games and to implement the first ‘gamification’ policies and actions in many cities.

    The Toy Library

    “Games are tools for social inclusion” says Furio Honsell, member of the Regional Assembly of The Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Mayor of Udine for 10 years (until May 2018). “We decided to establish a permanent Toy Library in Udine, which could also play the role of a hands-on science museum. The idea was to have a meeting space for families, elderly people, children, for all. The Toy Library has been a successful initiative and has provided answers to concrete needs of citizens to be active subjects and not mere passive spectators. The permanent toy library is a truly place for empowerment.

    In 2012 the Municipality of Udine decided to make the Ludobus-initiative a permanent experience, opening a “public Toy Library” in the city centre. Since 2013, 40.000 people have visited it. It is fully accessible and there is no age, gender or language restriction. It has become the emblem of social inclusion, cognitive stimulation, entertainment and lifelong learning in the city.

    During these years, the Municipality has invested about EUR 150 000 a year for the maintenance and equipment of the infrastructure and staff.

    Udine leads the way

    Since 2010 the City of Udine has been the leading city of the Italian Playful Cities Movement (GIONA), coordinating and sharing knowledge and experience with about 30 cities in Italy willing to implement ‘gamification’ strategies. Udine is also a member of the national association “Ali per Giocare”, which gathers private and public organisations at national level.

    On 25 November 2017, Udine launched the Italian National Games Archive aiming to establish the first Italian classification of traditional and modern games. The cataloguing activity of the Archive will rely also on crowd-sourcing in the coming years. The National Games Archive has been financed by the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia with an amount EUR 400 000 (for the period 2016-2020), according to the Regional Law n. 30/2017 ‘Regulations for promoting the right to play and to engage in play, physical and recreational activities’. It is worth mentioning that the Archive’s location was meaningfully chosen to be in Udine’s regenerated slaughterhouse.

    Moreover, Udine has a rich yearly calendar of events where games and ‘gamification’ strategies are meaningfully put into practice. The events are very popular across the region and bring many visitors to Udine. For example: CamminaMenti – Move your minds - run in community centres for dementia prevention and inclusion of elderly people, as well as the Energy in Play annual Fair, the World Games Day, Pi Day, Darwin Day, The library of living books, etc.

    Can gaming control gambling?

    A healthy gaming habit prevents the problem of gambling” says Munini. “The Municipality of Udine is developing a new project funded by Friuli Venezia Giulia Region to counteract the problem of gambling and promoting healthy games

    Gambling is increasing, especially among youths around Europe. According to the GuardianAbout 370,000 (12%) children in England, Scotland and Wales have gambled in the past week, the commission found. (...) They spent an average of £10 on gambling a week, more than a third of their £28 income from work or pocket money, with 8% claiming to have spent more than £40. Almost 1% of children aged between 11 and 16, or about 25,000, are defined as problem gamblers, with a further 36,000 at risk of developing a problem.

    The Municipality of Udine has been promoting an innovative project to fight gambling. Bars, Pubs and restaurants have been engaged by providing a tool-kit of “healthy” games replacing “slot-machines”. Unfortunately, the latter are more and more present in public venues, especially in deprived urban areas. Low income households are more deeply affected by gambling, which contributes to further deprivation. The introduction of healthy games in such areas can therefore be seen as an important form of prevention and protective factor for the most disadvantaged.

    Furio Honsell sums it all when he says that “to those who claim that games can be excellent tools for something else, I like to state that games are pointless and they don't have ulterior motives, much as music, mathematics, poetry, and love. But they can bring forward excellent fruit.

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