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  • Exchange of Good Practices on Urban Cultural Development

    WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

    The City of Ostrava is an experienced partner in EU projects (Urban Innovative Actions, URBACT, Interreg). We seek partners, who would inspire each other, who would work on quality cultural services and who would create a developed cultural infrastructure by the tools of urbanism.

     

    OUR BACKGROUND

    Ostrava is a cultural metropolis. It is one of the three metropolitan regions of the Czech Republic. The city was undergoing a process of industrial transformation since the 1990s to become a city of European level fulfilling all areas of life quality. In a process of dynamic development and by implementing a range of projects and activities from the Strategic Development Plan 2017-2023, the Concept of Cultural Development for Ostrava with a 2030 horizon was set in a long-term cooperation with stakeholders.

     

    OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

    Our strategic efforts led to the European Capital of Culture 2015 candidacy. The city focused on regenerating the Lower Vítkovice brownfield area and on cultural services and theatres as a manifest that Ostrava intends to create a new perspective. Our flagship project is the planned construction of the Concert Hall, designed by the world-famous architect Steven Holl.

     

    Another projects, we are proud of, are the reconstruction of the former city slaughterhouse into a gallery of contemporary art, the construction plans for a Research Library or the project of a Regional Creative Hub.

     

    Every year, the city is hosting the Colours of Ostrava, a world-class summer festival of unique atmosphere. The festival takes place in the reconstructed industrial area of Dolní Vítkovice, a former brownfield.

     

    OUR STRUGGLES

    Based on its historical development, the city still struggles with an underdeveloped basic cultural infrastructure. The city image is still challenged by the perception of its industrial past as a city of labour, yet less of culture.

     

    Our status as a cultural centre is still not sufficient. So far, we have been focusing on the implementation of large investment projects. We feel that the potential of soft activities and alternative cultural approaches is still not fully used.

     

    Besides, Ostrava, including its city centre, is spatially fragmented by a series of physical and functional barriers. The permeability and connectivity within the existing infrastructure and especially within the planned infrastructure, for example in form of functional urban corridors, is insufficient and does not create suitable conditions for pedestrians. The city also struggles in many places with an unattractive physical environment and unused places.

     

    However, these conditions could serve as cultural laboratory for testing and developing diverse cultural activities. One of the priority activities of the 2030 Culture Strategy is to develop a concept of walkability (permeability) of selected urban corridors in relation to cultural infrastructure. There is a huge potential of connecting all the issues.

     

    PROJECT PARTNER OR LEAD PARTNER?

    Unfortunately, our personal capacities and topic experience do not allow us to apply as a Lead Partner. We will be glad to find a Lead Partner and to join a potential project as an active and motivated Project Partner.

    Dušan Pöllich
    City of Ostrava
    0
    Are you a candidate Lead Partner looking for partners
    Yes
    Are you a potential Partner looking for a Lead Partner
    Yes
    Your job title
    Strategic Planning Specialist
    Institution website
    https://www.ostrava.cz/en?set_language=en
    Urban planning
  • Effective and Coordinated Management of City Centre Entrepreneurs

    WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

    Ostrava would like to get inspired by other European cities and their experiences (and share our experiences) as it comes to the management of city centres. The project participants would create a set of tools for shared services of local entrepreneurs and to create a communication platform for local service providers. Another project aim is to draft a methodology, eventually an action plan for developing the set of tools and the communication platform for local entrepreneurs.

     

    OUR BACKGROUND

    In its Strategic Development Plan 2017-2023, Ostrava set up strategic goals for the city development, including the goal to revive the historic city centre and to optimize the environment for entrepreneurship. Ostrava wants to support local entrepreneurs, their networking, the building of a common strategy, communication, and development in particular neighbourhoods. A by-product of this cooperation should be the development of public space, in which the local entrepreneurs do their business, including the historic city centre.

     

    OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

    Ostrava successively implements its Strategic Development Plan 2017-2023, with a 2030 horizon. For involving 20 thousand inhabitants and city visitors into the creation of the Strategic Development Plan, Ostrava was awarded the URBACT Good Practice City price, which honours the participation of inhabitants in course of city planning and city development. Beyond that, we have experiences with the participation in 3 URBACT projects, the outcomes of which are being successfully implemented on a local level.

     

    OUR STRUGGLES

    As in other European cities of similar size and character, the so-called high streets can be found in Ostrava. High streets are business streets with a higher density of stores and restaurants, the most of which neither communicate, nor collaborate with each other. In recent years, Ostrava faces the problem of an exodus from the city centre, empty streets, and the lack of attractiveness.

     

    One of the possibilities, how to attract people back to the outdoor space of streets and back into the historic city centre, can be to diversify the range of goods, of stores and restaurants and to create an appealing quality of the public space, which surrounds them.

     

    According to the international good practice, a solution to the described problems can be the town centre management. The town centre management can be, in a slightly simplified manner, characterized as a soft tool for the revitalization and revival of city centres, based on the process of communication and coordination between supply and demand.

     

    Practical examples of the proposed soft activities are round table discussions with local entrepreneurs in the city centre, personal backup of communication and education for entrepreneurs in the city centre, regular and systematic communication with landlords and tenants, participation on the maintenance of public space around stores and sidewalk cafes or shared marketing of local retail and gastronomy business.

     

    Important aspects are not only the networking and communication of public service and entrepreneurs, but also the communication between the entrepreneurs themselves, such as the coordination of opening hours, of common events etc. A pilot project in a particular street would make it possible, to validate the proposed soft activities.

     

    PROJECT PARTNER OR LEAD PARTNER?

    Unfortunately, our personal capacities and topic experience do not allow us to apply as a Lead Partner. We will be glad to find a Lead Partner and to join a potential project as an active and motivated Project Partner.

    Dušan Pöllich
    City of Ostrava
    0
    Are you a candidate Lead Partner looking for partners
    Yes
    Are you a potential Partner looking for a Lead Partner
    Yes
    Your job title
    Strategic Planning Specialist
    Institution website
    https://www.ostrava.cz/en?set_language=en
    Urban planning
  • Coordination of Accessible Good Quality Housing

    WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

    Ostrava would like to get inspired by other European cities and their experiences (and share our experiences) with the development of tools for enhancing the accessibility of good-quality housing, such as the creation of a methodology or of an action plan for starter appartements for new incomers, talented people, or expats.

     

    OUR BACKGROUND

    Ostrava successively implements its Strategic Development Plan 2017-2023, with a 2030 horizon. For involving 20 thousand inhabitants and city visitors into the creation of the Strategic Development Plan, Ostrava was awarded the URBACT Good Practice Award, which honours the participation of inhabitants in course of city planning and city development. Beyond that, we have experiences with the participation in 3 URBACT projects, the outcomes of which are being successfully implemented on a local level.

     

    OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

    One of the goals of the Strategic Development Plan is to create a broader portfolio of good-quality housing, including rental housing of many kinds. Another strategic goal is the city-wide conceptual development of housing, of its design and quality. These goals are in accordance with our long-term vision of Ostrava as a city, which attracts young, hardworking, and talented people and is no longer a city, which people choose to leave.

     

    OUR STRUGGLES

    Despite the high amount of vacant appartements, the city administration does not dispose with enough housing of the required quality and structure, which we could propose to young families with children.

     

    The dissatisfaction with housing quality is one the most frequent reasons for leaving the town, according to surveys. Students often consider leaving Ostrava after graduation, as the city does not appear attractive in terms of housing possibilities.

     

    To attract or maintain young, hardworking, and talented people, we should offer them advantageous starting conditions for housing. At the same time, we should carry out a series of urbanistic projects, as it comes to housing and attractive environment. Good-quality housing should be accessible also for people with special needs. Despite the current portfolio of free apartments, there is a lack of good-quality housing, which would be accessible for all groups of inhabitants.

     

    PROJECT PARTNER OR LEAD PARTNER?

    Unfortunately, our personal capacities and topic experience do not allow us to apply as a Lead Partner. We will be glad to find a Lead Partner and to join a potential project as an active and motivated Project Partner.

    Dušan Pöllich
    City of Ostrava
    0
    Are you a candidate Lead Partner looking for partners
    Yes
    Are you a potential Partner looking for a Lead Partner
    Yes
    Your job title
    Strategic Planning Specialist
    Institution website
    https://www.ostrava.cz/en?set_language=en
    Urban planning
  • In Focus

    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 September (Ostrava). Transnational meeting in November (Frankfurt).
    Transnational meetings in September (Torino) and October (Bordeaux).
    Transnational meeting in January (Grenoble). Final event in April (Bilbao).

    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 

    By mobilising a significant number of stakeholders, this Action Planning network had the mission to rethink the stakeholders’ agendas on business-led economic development and test how the smart specialisation concept might work as a driver. The network pioneered on how the policy concept of smart specialisation applies to the urban environment, more precisely the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).

    Smart specialisation at city level
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  • REFILL

    Timeline

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    Reuse of vacant spaces as a driving force for innovation at the local level
    Ref nid
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  • Com.Unity.Lab

    Timeline

    Phase 1 | Kick-off meeting, Lisbon (PT)
    Phase 2 | 1st Transnational Meeting, Bari (IT)
    Phase 2 | Final Event, Lisbon (PT)
    Phase 1 | Final Meeting, Lisbon (PT).
    Phase 2 | 2nd Transnational Meeting, Lublin (PL)
    Phase 2 | 3rd Transnational Meeting, Aalborg (DK)
    Phase 2 | 4th Transnational Meeting, The Hague (NL)
    Phase 2 | 5th Transnational Meeting, Lille Metropole (FR)
    Phase 2 | 6th Transnational Meeting (online), Sofia (BG)
    Phase 2 | 7th Transnational Meeting (online), Ostrava (CZ)

    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

    This Transfer network aims to replicate the Lisbon Local Development Strategy for areas of Priority Intervention which provides the city a range of integrated tools to tackle urban poverty and empower local communities. This strategy is based on a co-governance and bottom-up participatory perspective, ensuring a horizontal and collaborative local approach, to mitigate social, economic, environmental and urban exclusion, resulting in a smart and effective toolbox to implement a sustainable urban living and enhance social-territorial cohesion.

    Empowering Local Development
    Ref nid
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  • Finding the silver lining in empty heritage: tales of temporary use

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    15/11/2022

    In Ostrava (CZ) and Caen (FR), URBACT’s temporary use legacy lives on, creating new opportunities.

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    URBACT has prompted cities across Europe to embrace temporary use, saving abandoned heritage buildings, helping co-design new plans for former industrial sites, and boosting creativity and entrepreneurship in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

    Ostrava (CZ) and Caen (FR) are two towns where URBACT’s temporary use legacy lives on, creating new opportunities from pop-up cultural events and venues for creative start-ups, to urban gardening. Ostrava is a post-mining town that was part of the URBACT REFILL network, and Caen was a port city partner in the URBACT 2nd Chance network. Nearly two years after the REFILL and 2nd Chance networks closed, it’s time to take a look at how temporary use is evolving in these two cities.

    First, what is this thing called temporary use?

    Deindustrialisation, redevelopment battles, failing businesses, real-estate speculation, the draw of a bigger city... These are some of the factors fuelling local authorities’ growing struggles with empty, deteriorating buildings and heritage sites. URBACT champions temporary use as an answer. In other words, facilitate free or cheap access to empty heritage for creative, artistic associations and start-ups, in exchange for light maintenance. Later, if the project takes off, consider extending the deal or raising the rent.

    François Jégou, Lead Expert for the URBACT REFILL network helping cities reuse empty sites to drive local innovation (2016-18), recalls: “Cities started the project thinking that vacant spaces were a problem they should solve, and they finished saying vacant spaces are an opportunity they should use!

    So much so that in Nantes (FR) – where grassroots activists drove the transformation of a former shipyard into a valuable creative neighbourhood – when one last vacant heritage building remained, a former Alstom factory, the city renovated it as purposefully empty space for temporary projects. Nantes values vacant buildings because they “need space for inventing the city”.

    Not all local authorities, however, share the enthusiasm. “It’s a bit complex and counterintuitive to the mainstream way of thinking: that your main interest is to make money out of spaces,” says Jégou. “But what we see is that giving an opportunity to people who are economically not strong, to access certain urban places that aren’t always in an ideal situation, it’s a really strong positive dynamic for cities.”

    Ostrava: agency Refill junior

    First stop Ostrava, where the URBACT REFILL network boosted the municipality’s collaboration with active citizens, sparking several cultural events in vacant buildings. Thanks to popular initiatives, such as holding the 2017 Ostrava Kamera Oko international film festival in the iconic old Grossman’s Villa, more people in the city started seeing temporary use as a valuable tool for urban development.

    As a direct result of Ostrava’s involvement in the URBACT REFILL network, Lenka Hochová and Tomáš Zetek were recruited in June 2018 to run the city’s new, aptly-named, Refill Office, via the cultural centre Cooltour. “Under URBACT, the REFILL project became known among Ostrava’s politicians, activists, cultural organisations… It really resonated among the group that we target, so we decided to call it Refill,” says Hochová.

    Zetek adds, “The key decision to establish Refill Office was on Ostrava politicians. Without URBACT, the politicians’ consent, and money from the city, we wouldn’t be here now.”

    Now part of a new city-funded organisation focused on urban development and planning (MAPPA), the Refill Office monitors Ostrava’s vacant places, then links up owners with users who might bring places back to life: creative non-profit and commercial initiatives, particularly start-ups. “Refill focus is on reviving the city through reviving empty spaces,” says Zetec.

    One example is Atelier Umeni, a painting studio founded on the long-empty ground floor of an art deco building in a quaint, but relatively unpopular area, near the station and factories. “They wanted to be in the centre, but we managed to persuade them to go to this building. It’s quite safe along the main street,” says Hochová. Once Refill had connected them, the owners and users signed a temporary contract, with rent rising slowly from zero to low.

    Another is RAPZZZ Place. Here, the administrators of an empty music club and adjacent former bakery agreed to lend space to a group selling rap music-related products. After a year’s free use, the building’s administrators and the RAPZZZ community will consider next steps together.

    By making it easier to launch new projects locally, whether or not they are successful in the longterm, Refill Office hopes more young people will find work and inspiration in Ostrava, rather than heading for Prague or Brno.

    Hochová and Zetek have so far registered over 100 vacant places in a database, and received over 60 project applications. Two long-term projects are up and running, and one three-month project has been completed, along with eight short-term events, from one-day pop-up activities to week-long artistic exhibitions.

    By creating the right conditions to spin the process, temporary use has evolved from random informal interventions organised by groups of individuals to a concept supported by the city,” explains Katerina Bonito of City of Ostrava’s Strategic Development Department.

    But she says temporary use is still “not that big” in Ostrava due to various legal and administrative obstacles.

    We still have to fight for the idea of temporary use,” says Zetek, “Not everybody agrees on it.” With no legislation or tax incentives to do otherwise, private owners can be reluctant to give their property for free, even temporarily. They choose to leave it empty and focus on other more profitable buildings. Certain district-owned buildings also stand empty. So Refill raises awareness about the financial and social advantages of keeping buildings occupied, taking hundreds of visitors on pop-up tours round abandoned heritage.

    The agency is also working with city council lawyers to make Ostrava’s temporary use process more efficient and accessible. Their aim, as a trusted partner, is to vet temporary users for both private and district-owned public spaces, selecting projects with potential benefits for owners, users and other city residents.

    An effective temporary use requires the owner and the temporary user to build a common strategy,” says Jégou. To help parties clarify possible longer term developments and other key elements together, the URBACT REFILL network proposed a Temporary Use Value Creation Plan tool.

    Caen: green city experimentation and territorial marketing

    Temporary use has also created new opportunities in the northern French city of Caen (who by the way will be at the upcoming Cities Forum 2020). Here, a 600-hectare harbour area near the city centre was abandoned for decades after the shipyard closed. It became a wasteland scattered with derelict buildings. As redevelopment preparations were being launched, the city used “territorial marketing” to revive interest in the Peninsula. Temporary artistic and cultural events have so far included sketching walks, bike rides, canoe tours, children’s workshops – and the renowned Palma street art festival.

    A new tram station and huge library have been built, and housing construction has begun. If all goes to plan, homes will be ready for people to start moving in from 2021 onwards, with a total of 461 homes completed by 2025.

    Caen’s harbor area was unused and unknown,” said URBACT 2nd Chance network Lead Expert Nils Scheffler. “Through different activities the city drew attention to the site, getting people there so they could see how it could be used.”

    Thanks to growing popular interest – and an URBACT Local Group (ULG) of activists, councilors, business people and the Greater Caen District Council – more temporary uses sprung up in former industrial buildings.

    From 2016 to 2018, the ULG met regularly in “Le Pavillon”, a former steam-ferry terminal, and the site’s first building to be reactivated. Since 2014, the city has used Le Pavillon to exchange with citizens about the Peninsula’s redevelopment, and showcase wider aspects of architecture.

    “Waking up the peninsula: yes we Caen!”

    During 2nd Chance, the ULG worked with city residents and other stakeholders to select top buildings to preserve for their heritage value, potential, and location. As a result, in March 2017, Caen City Council bought an old prefab concrete factory, named The Tunnel, to be renovated for cultural groups. The aim is to bring new uses and footfall to a district otherwise avoided by city centre inhabitants. Managed by the Culture Department, the project benefits from European Structural Investment Funds and will be completed by 2025.

    The council also signed a temporary agreement with the owner of a former 1410 m² warehouse, The Barrels, allowing free use of the land for three years. This gives time to test pilot urban farming, seek funding and define future uses – with support from a 2018-20 URBACT transfer network Ru:rban, and a 30-strong local stakeholder group.

    As part of this new project, possible urban garden experiments on The Barrels’ land include the upcoming testing of a farm bot, gardening workshops for schoolchildren, and catering using products grown onsite.

    Meanwhile, a two-year trial composting scheme yielded its first compost in November. “We’re trying to collect bio-organic waste from city centre inhabitants who don’t have their own garden, compost it on our site, and share it with the city,” explains Camille Varin, European Project Manager, Greater Caen District Council. Waste is collected by bike, thanks to Toutenvelo, a “Cooperative and participative society”. Compost will go to local urban gardens, and city inhabitants who ask for it.

    For URBACT expert Jégou, temporary use is “a form of laboratory for city-making”. He says, “It’s a way to experiment urban planning to try out how the area could be redeveloped in a certain direction.

    Varin adds, “I would say temporary use is very valuable because it raises awareness and brings more opportunities, and agility: you can go forward step by step, which is great, and you can design projects with the city inhabitants.”

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    Off
    Ref nid
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  • REFILL@LILLE: Policy Design Labs and URBACT exchange networks

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    15/11/2022

    How civil servants from Lille Metropole benefited from the experience of URBACT REFILL network to shape a roadmap to set their temporary use policy. 

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    The first part of this article (see REFILL@LILLE, PART 1) showed the policy design lab approach of the Metropole of Lille (FR) to kick-off support for a Working Group on Temporary Use. The second part focuses on how civil servants from Lille Metropole benefited from the experience of URBACT REFILL network.

    Learning from inspirational practices

    The field experience of settling a “temporary public policy design lab" only scratches the surface of the problem of more than 5,000 vacant spaces on the territory and the appetite local stakeholders have for temporary use. But, immersion is worth 1,000 words: the Metropole civil servants do not usually address a new project in this way! By acquiring a significant experience of the problem, they are ready to explore and analyse other temporary use experiences in France and Europe. A wealth of case studies awaits from sixty local and national examples, as well and many European references conducted across Europe for three years within URBACT "REFILL The City" including 10 European cities: Ghent (BE), Athens (EL), Amersfoort (NL), Bremen (DE), Cluj (RO), Helsinki (FI), Nantes (FR), Ostrava (CZ), Poznan (PL) and Riga (LV).

    A temporary roadmap

    Building on the Roadmap to temporary use tool (from the toolbox produced and made available by the REFILL network) helps the establishment of a practice of temporary use in cities. This roadmap represents the “city of REFILL”: a virtual city that would combine the best practices of the 10 participating cities.

    Different neighbourhoods represent the different major steps of the establishment of a temporary use practice: a "zone of cultural, social, entrepreneurial" candidates for temporary use; an "administrative district" dealing with legal, technical and safety; a "district with support services” to temporary use; etc.

    A circular road connects each of these neighbourhoods, suggesting about fifteen milestones as "mapping the vacant spaces":
    - "Analysing the supply and demand";
    - "Building the political support";
    - "Developing a new temporary use value creation model"; etc.

    Unlike a framed method, the REFILL Roadmap is like a tourist map suggesting different possible itineraries each city must choose, starting with the most pertinent actions, organising its progress in the local context and creating its own route.

    The forming lab ambassadors discussed the implications of each example, gathering in small groups to fill in an analytical framework. After the field immersion, the lab consolidated and enriched its understanding of temporary use.

    A pitch presenting a first rational of temporary use applied to the Metropole supported by a series of examples was recorded in the form of a short video. The film raised awareness about the many vacant spaces, the costs incurred for the public authority, and showcased temporary use as an opportunity with potential to host social, cultural, entrepreneurial initiatives - bringing people together, revitalising neighbourhoods, experimenting urban development projects and so on.

    Sparking political attention

    Thanks to experience and research, the Metropole forming lab had got a good idea of ​​the challenges and opportunities for temporary use public service, putting together a kind of "service desk" of knowledge open to all. To create a solid launching pad for the future service, the Metropole required a large-scale demonstration project, drafting and accelerating the service and likely to convince at political level.

    Inspiration then came from the city of Riga, REFILL network partner. Elected Capital of Culture in 2014, the city was experiencing a strong economic crisis and did not have the necessary infrastructure to host such an event nor the means to build them. The city made a collaborative agreement with a group of urban activists, squatters and actors of the cultural scene taken via the association Free Riga. The plan? To start a practice of temporary using vacant spaces to host the programming of its Capital of Culture! The urgency to find spaces to showcase the vibrant Latvian art scene helped to overcome the political cautiousness and set a precedent on which to build for all stakeholders.

    The European Metropole of Lille will be the World Design Capital in 2020. The Metropole’s application was selected because it offered an ambitious territorial transformation through design, based on a call for innovation projects by the design of a set of social themes and particularly the emergence of design applied to public policy.

    Although not comparable in all respects to the context of Riga in 2014, Lille Design World Capital 2020 seems to be a potential "launching pad" to install the practice of temporary use in the territory. More than 450 Proofs of Concept (POC) are announced in the territory for 2020. The POC is a key step in the design process allowing a light experiment to demonstrate viability of a concept before further developing the project.

    The Metropole lab and the Working Group for Temporary Use have taken up the REFILL toolbox and co-constructed their own route towards the implementation of temporary use.

    • First, the creation of a series of temporary use spaces during the Lille Design World Capital 2020. To do this, the ambassadors of the forming lab and the Property department identified a first group of 20 potential spaces, visited and documented the most promising and put together a first online catalogue of options. In parallel, they explored contracts, which services to provide and how to assess the proof of concepts of temporary use during 2020.
       
    • Secondly, (after an assessment a year in) a policy of temporary use at the Metropole of Lille is to be established. This step includes the registration of "temporary use" in the territorial development and patrimonial valuation strategy of the Metropole, completing the online catalogue of vacant spaces and the establishment of a mediation service between supply and demand (technical and legal tools, financial support, etc.) internal or outsourced to a third party.

    Conclusions

    This experience allows us to make some assumptions of mutual enrichment between the URBACT approach (networks of towns sharing at European level on a specific challenge in terms of public policy creating an action plan) and, secondly, the approach of co-construction a public policy design lab (based on an innovative action-training process based on pilot projects).

    The capitalised experience of 10 cities over a period of 3 years from REFILL network has accelerated the process of reflection of our Working Group for Temporary Use.

    The organisation of the network deliverables in the form of a modular toolbox, together with a wide range of case studies (all articulated in the form of an open roadmap) was immediately actionable by a third city. Mediation transfer by an actor involved in both REFILL and the Metropole’s lab is a facilitating factor.

    The existence of a public policies design lab in the Metropole’s administration helped seize the REFILL network’s experience faster and more efficiently.

    The lab’s ability to partially overcome the slow decision-making and reporting processes and at least initiate a first experiment extends the co-construction process to stakeholders, making it immediately actionable.

    The public policy design lab and URBACT methods have an integrated approach in common, as well as the involvement of an ecosystem of stakeholders committed to co-design and public policy programming. The lab approach adds field experimentation, a key step in the design process to simulate and test each action of an action plan before its deployment on the ground. Its benefit is on the one hand, to test and improve each action and on the other hand to involve the actors and trigger its implementation.

    The exchanges about a wide range of "inspiring cases" collected through REFILL helped initiate the strategic conversation among stakeholders in Lille and identify what they consider a good practice for their situation and seize an opportunity such as the Lille Design World Capital 2020.

    The examples of Ghent and Riga, even if they are from different socio-cultural contexts, comfort the actors in the idea that if it is not a given, it's possible since others have already done it.

    Finally, the partnership with the European Metropole of Lille proves the usefulness of lessons capitalised by an URBACT network such as REFILL. It validates the methodology and tools developed for the workshop: “Make your own path to the temporary use” at the URBACT Festival in Lisbon in September 2018. It also heralds the arrival other REFILL development processes, like the one initiated with the City of Brussels and Brussels at the end of 2018.

    Know more about reusing vacant spaces on Remakingthecity.urbact.eu!

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  • Plan your own temporary use journey!

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    15/11/2022
    Rencontrez Kieran McCarthy , membre du Comité des régions de l'UE et conseiller municipal de Cork (Irlande).
    Articles
    Circular economy

    Visiting the City of Temporary Use

    Who can still remember vacant spaces and buildings, which someday were spaces free of rules, a ground for fertile experimentation, individual empowerment and creativity development? We could grow and empower ourselves as we can remember from the 50s’ film “Le chantier des gosses”, where children were spending their leisure time in an yet-to-be-built abandoned lot in the very centre of the city of Brussels, and where the nephew of Tati’s “My Uncle” was eating doughnuts and whistling at pedestrians so that they would bump into a lamppost.

    Vacant (abandoned places, urban wastelands, brownfields, derelict lands, degraded and deteriorated lands or buildings) can still foster creativity and experimentation for the city, benefitting from a Temporary Use. And many cities have experimented with them over the past few decades, putting together a source of inspiration for innovation and change and thus providing a new driver and incubator for urban development.

    During two and a half years, the URBACT REFILL network sought to identify ways to access Temporary Use, notwithstanding the municipalities’ stage of implementation of Temporary Use projects. These ways are compiled in the REFILL Temporary Use Roadmap. “There are many entries to the Temporary Use of vacant spaces and buildings. These are not linear, depending on each of the cities’ point of departure but also interests and needs.” explain François Jégou and Marcelline Bonneau, Lead experts of the REFILL network.

    I invite you to take a tour in the five neighbourhoods of the City of Temporary Use while looking into some flagship initiatives.

    Raising awareness through a video and a kiosk

    How can you work on Temporary Use if you do not know what Temporary Use is about? If you do not know the way it looks? If you do not know what benefits it can have for the City? Many of the municipalities which seek to promote Temporary Use have noticed the difficulty to communicate on it: to first make it simple, understandable, but then convincing to the different stakeholders which could potentially be engaged. The URBACT REFILL network therefore co-created a user-friendly video, freely accessible online: “Temporary Use for Dummies”. In 4 minutes, it gives an overview on origins, assets and possible frameworks for the development of Temporary Use in your cities.

    The approach of the city of Athens (EL) was to make Temporary Use visible, accessible and an easy way of reinforcing local cohesion. For this purpose, it has used a small kiosk, Synathina, in front of the Central Market, a highly symbolic and visible spot, to host activities and events. The system is straightforward: interested citizens book beforehand and pick up the keys from the nearby Municipal Office. This approach is relatively low-risk, and also low in terms of resources needed from the municipality. It has appeared to be a highly valorizing way of promoting citizens’ initiatives in a place that is central with the square around it make it a beloved place for such gatherings.

    Addressing supply and demand by researching the opportunities and matching the needs

    How can you identify what Temporary Use is possible in your city? Who are the stakeholders involved? How can you bring them together? It can indeed be crucial to assess the Temporary Use potential of your city as a whole by mapping vacant spaces, outlining the scope, space requirements, level of autonomy and added value of each initiative and determining the state of the vacant spaces. In Ostrava (CZ), the Municipality conducted a qualitative study to test whether Temporary Use could be a solution for empty buildings and vacant plots. It surveyed owners and users of Temporary Use projects and used the results as evidence for decision makers within the administration. Through the research, the Municipality also gained visibility of its activities and interest in Temporary Use, and made the exchange of views between stakeholders possible… A tool developed within the network, the matchmaking methodology enabled Municipalities to bring together those who have a space with those in need for one and vice-versa: it meant going beyond the traditional silos of administration, ensuring that each partner gets to know each other.

    Putting Temporary Use on the city agenda by designing targeted strategies

    How can you ensure that the opportunities of Temporary Use are integrated in urban planning, but also in other local strategies? How can you bridge the gap between the rigid legal framework and Temporary Use’s flexibility? How can you spark interest on Temporary Use in your city? Cities are seeking to support Temporary Use by setting common objectives and creating step-by-step plans for city development, economic activities and social goals. They try and find ways to work within the legal framework, while also allowing for flexibility. They liaise with elected representatives, city administration legislators and powerful external stakeholders to discuss how Temporary Use could help them solve their problem. In Ghent (BE) the Temporary Use Fund has been used as a financial incentive for new ideas and initiatives related to Temporary Use since 2014. Via a simple call for projects, the Fund distributes 300,000 EUR annually, to be used on infrastructure, safety measures and soundproofing, insurance, maintenance and in some cases communication. Such strategy has supported the burst of smaller, bottom-up Temporary Use projects in the neighbourhoods of Ghent.

    Assembling a toolbox to start projects and assess their value

    How can both the owner and user kick-off their project? How can you think about the potential evolution of your project? How can you ensure a clear mutual understanding of the terms and conditions? During the URBACT REFILL network, it became clear to the partner cities that they needed to clarify upfront their collaboration when promoting Temporary Use of vacant spaces. One such need led to the creation of a Temporary Use Value Creation Plan: an informal contract and adaptation of the Business Model Canvas which asks crucial questions, for the owner and user in terms of objectives, values, benefits, plans, etc.

    In order to address the needs of their stakeholders, the City of Poznan (PL) compiled a toolbox that is available both online and offline. It covers practical tips, successful mediation solutions and social agreements, a list of useful local contacts and recommendations for Temporary Use agreements.

    Making Temporary Use the new normal by intermediating between owners and Temporary Users

    How can you ensure that everything runs smoothly from A to Z? How can you make Temporary Use a standard service? Cities have developed a series of actions to keep in touch as long as the Temporary Use project is up and running, to make sure that the project takes an integrated social, environmental and economic approach, and to analyse stakeholders’ feedback as well as to support the transfer of assets and the relocation of the initiative. Others have organized technical, administrative, financial and connector services and any others as needed. In order to ensure a constant follow-up of the project, the city of Bremen (DE) set up an agency for Temporary Use: the ZZZ (ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen). The agency, managed by a private company, supports, initiates and oversees Temporary Use projects all over Bremen: it plays a mediator role between owners and tenants on the one hand, and the administration on the other.

    Take-away and Learnings on Temporary uses

    Here are only a few of the examples and cases from the URBACT REFILL Network.

    There were many obstacles and challenges, varied learnings and even greater constructive evolutions. We can summarise some of the main takeaways from this project as:

    • Temporary Use is entangled in a web of complex (private, public, associative) interests and issues at stake;
    • The dichotomy between some of these motives, but especially the infancy of this topic on the agenda makes it important for city administration to question themselves, their urban planning and the way they can bring together interests (which are at first sight diverging) in order to contribute to developing more integrated urban planning;
    • Focusing on this issue can have a strong economic, social, environmental and cultural potential for city development; and,
    • Temporary Use questions the way cities are governed and the role city administration can play in meditating between the different stakeholders.

    The REFILL project had the opportunity to present its roadmap during the URBACT City Festival in Lisbon in September 2018. It appeared clearly that many of the issues faced by the participants had their solutions in some of the work carried out by the network during two and a half years.

    Check out the back of the REFILL Temporary Use Roadmap and identify the further information, resources and contacts that might be useful for your own journey towards Temporary Use!

    New types of vacant space have emerged

    European cities have evolved, we see less and less of these places yet to be transformed into modernized neighbourhoods of the city.

    However, new types of vacant spaces have emerged: these are buildings which have been abandoned as they do not fit with the evolving needs of companies and working practices, these are brownfields where heavy industries left deeply rooted pollution which makes impossible commercialization of these lands, these are leftovers from strong industrial pasts of some regions – in the form of buildings or abandoned lands, former docks, … All of these give a new face to European cities and create a potential for redynamisation through the realm of temporary activities which can take place on them.

    However, taking them into consideration in city governance is still recent, inexistent in some cities. Municipalities are yet to develop structures and frameworks which can enable taking advantage of their potential at most. As has been observed in many cities, such initiatives are strongly led by citizens and creative entrepreneurs. Society is changing, cities as well. Citizens are asking for greater involvement in city development. They are taking an increasingly important role in city governance, what questions the way cities are currently being governed. Temporary Use of vacant places can be an entry point into a transitional organizational shift of governance, giving increasing room for manoeuvre to citizens.

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    • Cover Photo: Agnieszka Osipiuk
    • Photo 1: REFILL Temporary Use Roadmap
    • Photo 2: Synathina
    • Photo 3: Strategic Design Scenarios
    • Photo 4: REFILL TU Value Creation Plan
    • Photo 5: ZwischenZeitZentrale
    • Photo 6: REFILL Temporary Use Roadmap
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  • Participatory approach in creating City Strategic Development Plan

    Czech Republic
    Ostrava

    Involving citizens in urban planning for sustainable change.

    Ondrej Dostál
    Strategic Planning Specialist
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    Summary

    In 2016, the City of Ostrava (CZ) developed a Strategic Development Plan for 2017-2023. The uniqueness of this process lays in communication and involving citizens under a new, unified brand “fajnOVA”, meaning “fine Ostrava” in Czech. Having a plan made for and by the citizens, ensures that the city vision lives in people's minds, not just on paper. It also ensures a sustainable long-term vision that should be less exposed to political change. In addition to the 250 experts from various fields of urban development, 20,000 residents and visitors of Ostrava have been actively involved. This is by far a unique citizens’ involvement in public decision-making that the Czech Republic has ever seen.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Our good practice describes an effective method of integrated and participative approach, in the preparation of the City Strategic Plan as an example of sustainable development city planning. For some cities, it can be an inspiration, for others a baseline that can be developed. The main benefit is the expectation of a permanently fulfilling vision of the city over a long-term period (until 2023 or 2030), which should be independent from political changes and the four-year election period. Moreover, having a high quality Strategic Plan enables more conceptual urban planning within the city in various fields of development, which makes it easier to choose, realise and communicate the best projects for the city.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Broader participation and engagement of key stakeholders and citizens have gained greater importance in the entire process. The portfolio of participating stakeholders was very wide. The goal was to get together people from different fields of urban and sustainable development in working groups, a steering committee or in individual interviews on topics such as city development and infrastructure, growth and city government, people and communities, environment and resources, vision and image, architecture and urbanism, implementation, connected city or metropolitan city (e.g. representatives of National Heritage Institute, Confederation of Industry of Czech Republic, Zoo, Hospital, Library, Regional Development Agency, city clubs, SMEs, investors, Cultural and Education Centre, Agency for Social Inclusion, Science & Technology Park, Labour Office of Czech Republic, universities, high schools, basic schools, Institute for Community developer, Parish, IT companies, Automotive Cluster, Regional Employment Pact, architects, Czech Environmental Inspectorate, Health Institute, Institute for Global Change Research, NGOs, architects, environmental experts, industrial factories, city council and assembly members, city district mayors, mayor from cities in agglomeration, regional governor, Government Office, Member of European Parliament, etc.). All their thoughts and statements were written down during the sessions, and used in the text of the Strategic document.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The new Strategic Plan is not a “document put in a drawer”, but involves many experts and citizens of Ostrava. Work started with creating a communication and participation plan, and setting the goal of involving 5,000 citizens of Ostrava. At the end of 2016, more than 20,000 people were involved, which is exceptional within the Czech Republic, maybe within Central Europe as a whole. The planning process was coordinated by the steering committee of City Council members, as well as other experts and inspirational leaders. The same pattern was used in working groups focused on specific fields (the involvement of political opponents turned out to be very useful). The Plan was created with contributions from more than 20 000 people, both citizens and visitors to Ostrava. 6 800 people completed a questionnaire giving their opinions on Ostrava, 8 000 people put 32 000 comments into emotional maps in streets and participated in debates, 1 200 people put 15 300 comments into the online emotional map, 250 experts were involved in working groups or interviews, 500 people sent us their ideas for projects and suggestions for the Strategic plan, and more than 3 250 people are member of the Facebook community. During the creation of the Strategic Plan, we published project proposals online. Anyone can send us ideas for projects in Ostrava until 2023, when the most strategic ideas will be implemented.

    What difference has it made?

    Created as a communication tool for the preparation and implementation phases of the strategic plan, the "fajnOVA" brand combines two key elements: “fajn”, a local dialect word meaning “fine” and pronounced like the English word “fine", and OVA, a commonly used abbreviation of the city name. Today, the "fajnOVa" brand has a positive image and is understood as a communication and participation tool informing about new projects and city plans, as well as a participation platform where citizens can get involved in public life and supporting communities. The brand helps changing the negative perception of public administration in the Czech Republic. During the process, we managed to involve 20 000 citizens, which is a remarkable achievement for a Czech city. Another exception was the active participation of the mayor, who was not only formally head of the whole process, but personally and proactively led most of the working groups. The 2016 City Council partly reallocated the city budget for the realisation of future strategic projects. Nowadays, we are invited to many experts and public meetings to present our good practice. Our experience from the participative process is reproduced by other Czech cities, and we share it through regular departmental meetings on strategic development.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    It is crucial for cities to have their own development strategies, or city plans, and help local stakeholders and decision makers to implement strategies that will contribute to the city's future economy, sustainability and overall health, hence citizens' wellbeing and happiness. City planning can be done differently. The participatory approach chosen by the city of Ostrava proved successful, with broad reach and popularity among citizens, and with high expectations from everyone involved in its development, mainly in sustaining and implementing the Plan. The entire preparation process of the plan has been collaboratively carried out by the City Council, staff, external consultants, residents, visitors and local businesses. A number of various communication and participation tools have been used, and participants were invited to comment on the draft before the plan was wrapped up to its final form, and approved by the City Council. As every bigger city has strategic development documents and plans, we believe that since Ostrava has been an inspiration for many Czech cities in want of incorporating a participative process in the City Strategic Plan preparation, we might take the chance and foster our good practice beyond our borders.

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