Country
Geolocation
POINT (-8.629105 41.157944)
  • 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
    Ref nid
    7442
  • 2nd Chance

    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 (Liverpool). Transnational meeting in October (Chemnitz).
    Transnational meetings in July (Gijon) and December (Brussels).
    Final event in April (Naples)

    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 challenge of this Action Planning network is the activation of vacant buildings and building complexes for a sustainable urban development by self-organised groups. In many European cities smaller and larger derelict sites, underused premises, so called “voids” can be found in or near the city centre. These sites often have a negative impact on their surroundings, nevertheless they present a great opportunity: they can be used to complete a compact settlement structure, to provide space for needed functions in the city.

    Revitalisation of the sleeping giants
    Ref nid
    7457
  • SmartImpact

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Dublin). Transnational meeting in October (Stockholm).
    Transnational meetings in February (Miskolc), April (Zagreb), June (Porto) and October (Guadalajara).
    Final event in March (Manchester).

    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

    The focus of this Action Planning network was less about technology solutions per se, but more about governance structures, process and business models. The partner cities are specifically worked together to: develop models of how organisations can adapt their structures to deliver smart cities; effectively finance smart solutions and creating new ways of understanding value with co-investment strategies; develop and support innovation ecosystems within cities; explore the role of regulations and incentives, e.g. the carrot and stick approach; better understand how data integration and urban data platforms can support the smart city.

    Cities, people and the promotion of smart, sustainable development
    Ref nid
    7539
  • Innovato-R

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting phase 1 - Turin
    Kick-off meeting phase 2 - Paris / Transfer Period
    Transfer Period
    Final meeting

    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

    The Innovato-R Transfer network builds upon the Innova.TO project, which is a competition open to Municipality employees aimed at developing innovative projects improving the Administration performances, reducing wastes and/or valuing resources. Proposals can be focused on service quality, goods/services acquisition, costs rationalization, energetic optimization, bureaucratic impact reduction and increase in data and in digital tools management.

    Everyone's an Innovator
    Ref nid
    12128
  • Cities implementing the right to housing

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    15/11/2022

    The EU Cities Forum 2020, held in Porto, provided the perfect time and location to launch a new URBACT and UIA (Urban Innovative Actions) joint initiative on implementing the right to housing across urban areas in Europe.

    Articles
    Housing

    Blossoming cities, blooming rents!

     

    A visit to Porto as little as 15 years ago would show a fascinating city centre with little shops, abandoned buildings and facades eaten up by time. Today, this UNESCO world heritage site shows much of the attractiveness of urban renewal done well: refurbished apartments, new facades and well preserved narrow streets every tourist would be eager to explore. The flourishing urban centre hasn’t gone unnoticed: the Guardian newspaper recently named Porto in its 10 cities with the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe.

    However, such developments have also created many challenges and come at a cost. The city is blossoming, but the rental sector is booming too: from 2013 to 2018, rents went up by as much as 88%. This is not without consequence on the lives of the city’s inhabitants: according to official data, 1348 evictions were carried out in the same five-year period.

    Like Porto, many EU cities are struggling to keep the balance between competing tensions, such as between the economic thirst for tourism and increased mobility, and between the need for renewal of historic urban centres and the demand of citizens to access adequate and affordable housing. As cities successfully regenerate, they risk becoming the next frontier for residential real estate investments.

     

    A joint housing initiative, launched at the Cities Forum

     

    URBACT and UIA timely launched their new initiative on the right to housing during the Cities Forum in Porto (30-31 January 2020). Housing affordability was a recurring theme throughout the sessions of the Forum. From the Mayor’s debate to UIA and URBACT joint session on the right to housing, a sense of urgency emerged from the discussions.

    Throughout 2020, URBACT and UIA’s initiative will provide a platform for city administrations, civil society, research and practitioners to debate and exchange around key topics, strategies and practices for implementing the right to housing in cities.

    Participants at the launch event heard about a number of inspiring practices already in place across Europe (see examples below) as well as from other actors who will be valuable contributors to the joint initiative over the year to come, including the EU Urban Agenda partnership on housingHousing Europe and the European Investment Bank.

    The well-attended launch event generated lots of interest in how cities can act at local level to ensure that everyone – especially the most disadvantaged – can have access to safe, adequate and affordable housing. Presentations and the discussions that followed helped to reconfirm some of the core issues that the joint initiative will need to explore in more detail, in particular:

    1. Experimenting with new housing models and governance structures

    While the public provision of low income, adequate and affordable housing is still to be pursued, people have been experimenting with ‘alternative’ housing models such as limited equity cooperatives, community land trust (CLT) and co-housing.

    Brussels can serve as an inspiration in this respect with the Care and Living in Community (CALICO) project supported by UIA. This involves the creation of a community land trust among inhabitants and using public funds from local and EU levels to support citizen initiatives in the provision of socially mixed, low-income housing.

    1. Designing strategies for those locked out of the housing market

    There is a need to experiment with new affordable housing solutions in social and private housing specifically for homeless people and others locked out of the existing housing market. The new URBACT Action Planning Network ROOF, led by the city of Ghent, will be exploring just such ideas. It has the ambition to support city authorities to eradicate structural homelessness - making the shift from ‘managing homelessness’ through different services towards efficient implementation of the ‘housing first’ model.

    Aother interesting practice includes the city of Athens’ Curing the Limbo project (supported by UIA), which empowers recipients of asylum to transition towards long-term housing, taking on the role of intermediary between renters and landlords.

    1. Establishing effective anti-speculation measures

    A healthy housing market that meets the needs of ordinary people needs to address excessive speculation that unfairly distorts local housing markets to the exclusion of many groups in society. The City of Barcelona which developed an anti-eviction service (recognised as URBACT approved good practice in 2017) introduced a forward-looking Right to Housing Plan 2016-2025, through which it pursues place-based anti-speculation housing policies, including selective acquisition of privately owned housing units and mobilisation of vacant housing into the affordable rental market with the collaboration of non-for-profit entities.

     

    Get involved in the right to housing!

     

    Participants at the Cities Forum confirmed the urgency of implementing the right to housing, with land seen as the ‘turnkey’ of housing projects. More engagement from cities was called for to leverage and address land as a public good, encouraging community control and measures to regulate residential land price inflation. Effective engagement of the private sector was also seen as crucial, but challenging for many local authorities.

    However, it is also clear that cities cannot be expected to deal with these challenges by themselves. Housing exclusion is a systemic issue that requires not only local solutions, but also a national enabling environment. Cross-sectoral and multi-level solutions will be essential, since there are clear links with land-use, welfare and other policies designed and implemented at different levels.

    At European level, participants called for effective implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU’s Housing Partnership Action Plan as well as specific additional investment into the EU Pillar on Social Rights. They also highlighted the emerging European Green Deal as a potential opportunity for moving forward with an effective cross-sectoral response to the topic of housing across the EU. It was clearly argued that we need commitment, strong wording and adequate funding from the top.

    -

    This kicks off a one year learning activity. Want to get involved? Click here to find out more on UIA and URBACT’s action.

    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    13668
  • 4 ways cities are breathing life back into empty spaces

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    15/11/2022

    URBACT’s new online resource Remaking the city presents a selection of space-related city solutions: remakingthecity.urbact.eu

     

    Cities across Europe are looking for ways to make better use of their empty buildings and spaces. Many have found simple, innovative approaches to bring people, businesses, and variety back into unused office buildings, former industrial sites, and mono-functional districts.

    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    URBACT’s new online resource ‘Remaking the city’ presents a selection of such space-related city solutions. Cases can be found depending on their stage in the urban planning process, and by type of problem: empty or underused buildings; underused areas; rundown segregated areas; mono-functional areas; and unsustainable areas.

    Urban expert Ivan Tosics set up the site together with Nils Scheffler from the URBACT 2nd Chance network, François Jégou from the URBACT REFILL network and Maarten van Tuilj from the URBACT sub>urban network. Here, Ivan shares four ways cities are connecting better with residents and other stakeholders to breathe life back into neglected buildings and spaces, one step at a time:

    1. Organise cultural activities to put vacant land back on the map

    The harbour area of Caen (FR) became a no-go area after the shipyard closed. A first step towards redevelopment was ‘territorial marketing’ to attract people back – at least to safe parts of the site. The city set up artistic and cultural events, such as drawing walks, bike rides, canoeing tours and guided site visits. Thanks to growing popular interest, temporary uses then sprung up in former industrial buildings.

    2. Create an agency to help start-ups and families move into unused buildings

    In Bremen (DE), the municipality contracted an NGO to act as an intermediary agency connecting owners of empty properties with entrepreneurs and other people who could use the space. The agency now initiates and supports temporary use projects city-wide, helping local business, developing deprived neighbourhoods, and cutting running costs.

    Chemnitz (DE) created a public consulting agency to connect owners of historic apartment buildings with investors to provide affordable homes and workspaces. Grants are channelled to buildings that need it most, and contracts signed with new owners prevent speculation.

    3. Support NGOs matching temporary cultural projects with empty properties

    In Riga (LV), while many hundreds of buildings were left empty and uncared-for after the 2008 financial crisis, the cultural sector was booming and needed space. There were just a few local temporary use projects, unknown to most property owners. But, Free Riga activists worked increasingly with the municipality – and the Free Riga NGO emerged as a go-between organisation, scouting cultural projects to match up with vacant spaces offered by public and private owners.

    4. Bring students in to renovate social housing – and learn new skills

    Porto (PT), launched a summer school for architecture, design and construction students to refurbish homes, cultural centres and public spaces. The educational programme combines the theory of sustainable architecture with hands-on construction work. One summer, 40 international students refurbished a large property whose owner couldn’t afford renovation work – providing new, affordable family housing. Close cooperation between the public administration and social services was vital before, during and after the renovations, as well as a non-speculative contract with the owner.

    Visit Remaking the city website and watch Ivan Tosics' interview about the project.

    The show must go on

    Do you know an interesting example of a European city improving the use of empty spaces or abandoned properties? URBACT is looking for contributions! The idea is to expand Remaking the city and inspire urban practitioners to make changes for better cities. Contribute to Remaking the city now!

    More on Culture and Heritage on URBACT Website: https://urbact.eu/culture-heritage

    From urbact
    Off
    Ref nid
    12581
  • Cluster development and smart specialisation at city level

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    15/11/2022

    The cluster approach is acknowledged as the most influential one in modern industrial policy worldwide, and the arrival of smart specialisation has emphasized its influence. But, why? How might local authorities take advantage of this momentum to enhance their role as facilitators of cluster initiatives? What new drivers are now working in the field of cluster development? This article gives us the opportunity to introduce some concepts associated to smart specialisation illustrated by examples from the In Focus network cities.

    Clusters and priority domains

    Articles
    Carbon neutrality

    The so called domains of smart specialisation are often different from clusters and cluster initiatives.

    Strategies for Smart Specialisation (S3) priority domains are broader than clusters, more challenge-based (e.g. advanced manufacturing, low-carbon economy, health and wellbeing…) while clusters are mostly configured as value chains or a set of product/markets which are linked along specific value chains. They are more oriented to structural change and the cluster´s agenda more centred on business growth.

    "The full potential of clusters and cluster policies will be reached if the smart specialisation strategies integrate cluster policies into a broader transformation agenda for the entire regional economy” (European Commission, 2013).

    IT clusters are called to play a primary role in digital transformation, but it is cluster policy makers and cluster facilitators who should unlock this potential if necessary. That is why Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) is working (or should work) as a booster for cluster policies in Europe.

    For instance, the Moravian-Silesian region (which de facto works as Ostrava city-region) priorities are the following: advanced materials, industrial automation, mechatronic applications, regenerative medicine, genomics, bioinformatics, waste processing technologies, intelligent energy solutions, integrated safety systems and supercomputing methods. There is nothing about the automotive sector, which is one of the most significant industries in the city-region in terms of turnover and employment. However, the Moravian-Silesian automotive cluster will have much to do in moving some of those priority research domains forward. As triple helix type of collaboration platforms, clusters should have more capability to mobilize actors into relevant agendas leading to innovation and growth.

    Clusters are usually acknowledged as key RIS3 actors, since - in addition - they provide a real capacity to embed this new strategy across sectors.

    In the case of the Basque Country, a number of strategic initiatives are being promoted in order to stimulate cross-cluster dynamics for a number of S3 priority domains and challenges such as advanced manufacturing, digital transformation, circular economy or sustainable mobility.

    That´s the case of AS-FABRIK, “Bilbao Alliance for Smart Specialisation in Advanced Services towards the Digital Transformation of the industry”, which has been awarded Urban Innovative Action. Its purpose is to accelerate the digital transformation of the wider urban economy, in particular manufacturing, through a number of experimental initiatives on new higher education programmes, prototyping and incubation of new business models, and dedicated workspaces. This alliance is promoted by the City of Bilbao, and two Bilbao-based cluster organizations are playing a key role in it: the IT cluster GAIA and the audio-visual cluster EIKEN. This is a good example of URBACT acting as a catalyst: AS-Fabrik was born inside the URBACT Local Group established to run the In Focus project in Bilbao.
     

    From sector prioritization to specialized diversification

    This capacity of clusters as “bridge builders” has to be exploited as much as possible. Priority sectors and technological domains should be seen as a starting point in the context of smart specialisation not an end in themselves. What RIS3 strategies provide is a roadmap to a sort of “specialized diversification”, which is the real key concept, since S3 is just a long term guide for growth, shaped in a way to avoid path dependency.

    Concepts like cross-innovation and intercluster (cluster-cluster cooperation) were already being used before smart specialisation came up. Nevertheless, what smart specialisation brings for the first time is a single structuring guidance to envision as a whole all the key productive components of a spatial economy (call them clusters, domains…).

    In this context, clusters that are organized around a unique competence or key technology, which can be expanded across many different sectors and value chains are highly appreciated.

    The Bordeaux-based cluster on photonics is a paradigmatic case. Branded as Route des Lasers, it comprises of 170 members, of which 120 are companies, that offer advanced solutions on innovative optics, lasers and photonics to a variety of industrial sectors such as aerospace, healthcare, energy, chemistry, electronics and even the food industry.

    City making clusters

    Cluster-based readings of the urban economy often have a sort of revitalizing effect. They are a precious opportunity to unveil new emerging activities or simply highlight those activities with a special link to the city. These are a kind of “city making clusters”.

    For instance, in San Sebastian, the Surfcity Donostia cluster represents a unique linkage between economic activity and the city; and Bilbao Urban Solutions is a cross-sector business network aims to capitalize the brand Bilbao as a world-class reference in urban transformation.

    Some activities have a special impact on central urban spaces, from the creative economy to advanced tertiary. Concerning the latter, according to the European Cluster Observatory, regions and cities with a strong Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) sector exhibit higher prosperity and it positively affects innovation performance. It is a cluster with a strong “urban character”, and some cities perform better than others.

    That´s the case of the emerging FinTech scene, which is quite vibrant in Frankfurt and fuelled by several cluster-type networks together with local and metropolitan authorities.

    KIBS is one of the six priority clusters in Bilbao, and Bordeaux is making a big bet for its advanced tertiary sector (70,000 jobs, 200 head offices and the 4th services and financial marketplace in France with a specialisation in trading and risk) that includes a new central business district as part of Bordeaux Euratlantique, which is the largest urban regeneration project now in France.

    The progressive digitalization of both urban management and the urban experience is creating continuous business opportunities. New clusters around the smart city concept are emerging in many cities, closely linked to their corresponding smart city projects.

    In Bucharest, IT cluster Different Angle´s mission is to “promote and support research, innovation and education in order to develop and implement solutions meant to transform Bucharest into a smart city”. It brings together 14 members, mostly software solutions.

    Also in Bucharest, Go Electric cluster - recently founded by the Polytechnic University of Bucharest – concentrates on developing and implementing the concept of electric mobility in the capital of Romania.

    Cities as cluster facilitators

    City authorities should become promoters and facilitators of cluster initiatives in a multi-level governance environment.

    Like Sebastian Schäfer, promoter of Frankfurt Tech Quartier and a serial entrepreneur himself, many businesses do emphasize the expected role from local governments as key animators.

    We (the City of Porto) are an actor in a multi-actor process”, said Ana Teresa Lehman, at that time head of Invest Porto and now appointed as State Secretary of Industry in Portugal during a policy maker dialogue organised during one of the In Focus workshop.

    While regions and central governments are mostly focused on financing, expanding and networking, the role of the city/metropolitan level on cluster policy might be more oriented to impulsion and local stakeholder coordination animation, according to Gabriel Voisin-Fradin, who was formerly strongly involved in Grenoble´s cluster policy and now works for the metropolitan authority, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole.

    Grenoble metropolitan authority is full member of some cluster platforms, even member of their steering committees, and co-financer of cluster structures and some cluster-focused infrastructures.

    Provision of cluster-focused work and innovation spaces is much appreciated. For instance, Bordeaux´s metropolitan authority pays a special attention to the “physical dimension” of cluster development, resulting in business facilities and tech parks oriented to the different cluster´s needs, e.g. Bordeaux Aéroparc (aerospace), Bioparc Bordeaux Métropole (health cluster), Ecoparc (cleantech), Cité de la Photonique (lasers & photonics) and the Cité Numérique (the Digital City), the latter still a work in progress.

    The role of Bordeaux Métropole there is first to make land available, in order to meet the specific industry requirements with regard to location and urbanization works; and second to set up the relevant independent body for real estate management and animation of the cluster-based innovation ecosystem, involving the own cluster organizations as much as possible.

    In the last years, Bordeaux has devoted around 1.5 million Euros annually to cluster development, and 4 member staff from the economic development department were dedicated to liaisons between organisations and stakeholders. This way has led to a more autonomous and consolidated role of cluster organisations, while Bordeaux Métropole staff now focuses more on cluster-cluster cooperation and cross-sector innovation in challenge-based domains like smart mobility, digital transformation, big data and IT for health.

    All these examples show that In Focus has provided a useful platform for cities to learn from each other different ways to support smart specialisation, and creating a bridge between different actors and governance levels.

    Network
    From urbact
    Off
    Ref nid
    10425
  • The urban dimension of smart specialisation: building a two-way bridge

    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
    15/11/2022

    Smart specialisation and its related methodology known as Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) have been assessed as “the most comprehensive industrial policy experience being implemented in contemporary Europe”. In this context, what is the role to be played by cities? Right now, at the time of implementation, a number of major cities feel they have much to contribute in moving RIS3 visions and roadmaps forward. So, what are the pathways and frameworks to enhance better alignment between regions and cities with regard to existing RIS3 strategies? What is the urban dimension of smart specialisation? This article brings some insights to these questions.

    Articles
    Culture & Heritage

    Smart specialisation adds two key values to previous Regional Innovation Strategies in the EU, namely:

    1. the value of prioritizing (of making smart choices) and
    2. how such prioritization should be done and kept current through a collaborative process that involves as many stakeholders from the triple/quadruple helix as possible, in particular research centres, leading firms and entrepreneurs in a process that is now called “entrepreneurial discovery”.

    Since RIS3 was fixed as an ex-ante conditionality for EU regions and member states to get ERDF funding for their Operational Programmes on innovation, smart specialization has entered the mainstream vocabulary in business-led economic development.

    InFocus-Smart Specialisation at City Level is a pioneering URBACT network that brings a city perspective to this new policy concept, pursuing a double aim.
    Firstly, re-invigorating the urban agenda on economic development by means of smart specialization as an overarching approach. That is, testing how this concept can foster and refine the work cities and their stakeholders are doing (or can do) in four key areas: cluster development, entrepreneurship, workspace provision and investment attraction.
    Secondly, making a bridge with the existing RIS3 strategies at regional level, which is basically a matter of multi-level governance.

    Why both cities and RIS3 leading authorities need to be involved

    Tackling the question of effective city-to-region articulation with regard to smart specialisation presents a precious opportunity to raise the status of some innovative cities in the field of industrial and innovation policies, especially given the main role major cities play in today´s global competition. But are cities ready to take full advantage of smart specialisation and RIS3?

    The fact is that for many cities it seems like RIS3 has little to do with them. This misunderstanding arises from the RIS3 elaboration process, when cities were mostly approached within a conventional public consultation logic, rather than in the spirit of real co-production. As a result, the idea of smart specialisation is still barely assimilated at local level, and there is much to do to raise awareness on the meaning and potential impact of smart specialisation.

    Another powerful reason to draw the attention on the city-to-region articulation with regard to smart specialisation is that RIS3 implementation has just begun. It is a significant challenge, bigger than RIS3 design, where all efforts, at different scales, should be activated. In this respect local and metropolitan authorities could help to embed RIS3 strategies properly. As a territorial innovation policy at regional/national level, RIS3 should have a more consistent and explicit territorial strategy. The InFocus network is working to fill that gap, in close collaboration with the S3 Platform, which is the unit created by the European Commission to assist regions and member states on smart specialisation.


    Furthermore, some innovative cities and metropolitan areas in Europe are currently promoting ambitious transforming agendas, e.g. Next Economy roadmap in Rotterdam inspired by Jeremy Rifkin´s ideas, and Bilbao Next Lab which is presented as an “action-research approach for the economic transformation of Bilbao”. Thus, RIS3 strategies (which are themselves presented as policy frameworks for economic transformation) and these visionary city roadmaps might become mutually reinforcing if well connected and aligned.

    Building the bridge

    So, what can you do to properly align your work agenda as a city to your regional smart specialisation strategy? How can you make the most of the powerful concept of smart specialization to refine your own urban agenda in economic development? We, in InFocus, have gathered a number of experiences as follows, inside and outside the network, mostly, still at an exploratory stage which can provide a path to tackle these questions.

    Integrated urban development initiatives (art. 7 ERDF).

    In the context of integrated and sustainable urban development strategies (article 7 of ERDF), the DG for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission is encouraging cities to bridge with their existing RIS3 strategies at regional/national level. For instance, the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) now underway in the urban agglomeration of Ostrava (CZ) is organized in three strategic goals (the “3E” Employment, Entrepreneurship and Environment) and eleven specific objectives. One these objectives, as part of the strategic goal on Entrepreneurship is specifically dedicated to “implement activities to support smart specialization strategies for Moravian-Silesian Region”.

    New metropolitan agendas as windows of opportunity.

    Territorial reform in some member states, like France and Italy, has led to urban policies in major cities being re-scaled up to the metropolitan level. In urban agglomerations like Bordeaux, Grenoble and Turin (all of them InFocus partners) new policy-mixes for new ambitions are in progress, and the smart specialisation approach will certainly play a significant role. The former province of Turin, now turned into new metropolitan authority (Cittá Metropolitana di Torino, including 315 municipalities and a population of 2.3 million - 890,000 in the Municipality of Torino) is facing the challenge of both horizontal and vertical multi-level governance. At this juncture, the idea of smart specialization has great potential to work as a driver to promote more articulation and cohesion. That is, smart specialization as a tool to create more alignment and focus among all the initiatives within the metropolitan area on cluster development, entrepreneurship, attraction of investment, etc.


    RIS3 authorities taking the lead to engage with funding.

    Catalonia is organising sub-regional initiatives called Territorial Specialisation and Competitiveness Projects (PECTs) to articulate to regional RIS3 (RIS3CAT). PECTs are innovation-oriented integrated initiatives that are developed by a partnership of minimum four entities led by a public administration at local, county or province level. On a yearly basis, the regional government launches competitive calls for funding PECTs, which are actually addressed as RIS3 delivery tools. The budget for the 2016 call was 50 million Euros to cover 50% of the approved projects, of which 20M went to Barcelona metropolitan area and 30M to the rest. In this context, Barcelona has drafted the strategy RIS3BCN Growth, which is explicitly presented as an alignment to RIS3CAT. 

    Matching priority domains from regional and local levels.

    This might be a first step a city takes to align itself to RIS3 at region/country level. For example, Sevilla (ES) started a bridging process of this kind in 2016 with a comparative analysis between the RIS3 priorities set at the regional level and the city´s own industrial specialisations, dynamics and assets. This analysis led to a strategic vision, the identification of sectoral priorities and policy recommendations in order to give more focus to a number of existing working areas at city level, such as entrepreneurship, workspace provision and city branding. The idea is not so much to confront vertical priorities set at both regional and local levels, but to align the existing cluster dynamics at city level and cluster initiatives, if any, to the priority domains already agreed at regional/national RIS3 level.

    Re-thinking the policy-mix at city/metro level in a way that actively contributes to RIS3 roadmaps.

    RIS3 type strategies consist of the definition of a specialisation pattern, together with a set of aligned horizontal policies, such as research and innovation, entrepreneurship, cluster development, internationalisation, etc. Smart specialisation can be seen as an organisational driver aimed to promote growth within a place-based, comprehensive long-term strategy to sustain competitive advantages and help to build new ones, as well as to accelerate the necessary structural changes.

    Therefore, changing or just influencing the strategic agenda from existing operators is one of the main paths to move RIS3 from strategy into action. When that existing operator is a local agency of a major city with an extensive background in economic development, such a delivery channel may work as a strategic lever for success. Furthermore, in some cases, that kind of public or private-public body in charge of economic development at city level is already working actively in areas like workspace provision or inward investment and talent attraction. These work areas cannot easily be found in most of RIS3 designs at national/regional level, so the result is a refinement of the RIS3 conventional policy-mix. This is why the challenge of connecting RIS3 to the city should be addressed as a two-way bridge.


    In any case, cities can take advantage of the smart specialisation concept to strengthen their own policy-mix on business-led economic development. In the frame of the InFocus network, the City of Ostrava is drafting an Integrated Action Plan oriented to talent attraction and retention. To do so, they are using the range of priority knowledge/productive domains set at RIS3-Silesian Moravia as structural guidance. On the other side, as a genuine contribution from the urban scale, Ostrava´s brand new policy on talent management will enrich the policy-mix supporting the RIS3 at regional level.

    The way forward

    To summarise, there is still potential to exploit regarding the contribution of cities (local authorities and their relevant subsidiaries) to RIS3 implementation. The best way to do so is not to replicate the RIS3 method automatically top-down to the local level, as this would probably lead to more fragmentation, but rather to bridge with the existing RIS3 strategies, in a kind of two-way bridge, where some innovative cities may enrich strategies as well. As well as providing a bridge with RIS3 at regional level within a vertical multi-governance approach, smart specialisation as a concept is so powerful that it can be used by cities as a crosscutting approach to boost their own work agendas on economic development. 

    Bilbao, the InFocus lead partner, is a good example of how to operationalise the involvement of cities as smart specialisation practitioners. In 2014, Bilbao Ekintza, the local development agency, made a step forward and organized a cluster prioritization exercise at city level, with an eye on the Basque Country RIS3. It was named “Innovation and intelligent specialisation strategy for Bilbao”. As a main result 6 domains were identified at the time and prioritized in a dynamic way according to their level of consolidation as real business frameworks: Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), Tourism, Urban Solutions, Arts & Culture, Ecotechnology and Technologies applied to Health. In parallel, the city´s economic development policy-mix was revised, emphasizing a number of working areas such as business cooperation and clustering, entrepreneurship and attraction of investment and knowledge.

    At present, within the URBACT-InFocus framework, Bilbao is going further in two mutually reinforcing directions: i) promoting more fluid and in-depth interaction with Basque RIS3; ii) and focusing on three domains out of the six above mentioned: advanced tertiary (KIBS), creative economy and digital economy, also exploring the connections among them, i.e. turning Bilbao-based KIBS sector into an engine for digital transformation, in particular regarding advanced manufacturing which is Basque RIS3´s most significant priority. In practical terms, the aim is to promote and facilitate a pipeline of projects in those domains and in close alignment with the RIS3. 

    To achieve this objective, Bilbao Ekintza has set up a new collaborative platform by bringing together the following necessary contributors: multi-level governance (Basque Country RIS3 management team and Diputación Foral de Bizkaia as a body with funding capacity), research centres and think tanks (Tecnalia-Technology Corporation and Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness), private sector and cluster organisations (Chamber of Commerce, IT cluster GAIA,  EIKEN audiovisual and AVIC engineering and consultancy) and public and private Universities (UPV/EHU, University of Deusto and Mondragón University).

    This collaborative platform is none other than the URBACT Local Group (ULG) the City of Bilbao has established in the frame of InFocus. The ULG is proving to be an effective tool to engage RIS3 regional authorities in a fruitful dialogue with the city. Other InFocus partner cities like Porto, Bucharest or Frankfurt are following in this path and more results of the approach will be shared in the Integrated Action Plans to be launched in 2018.

    ***

    Image 3: InFocus thematic workshop, Ostrava, September 2016

    Image 4: Smart specialisation as a driver to refine the urban agenda on business-led economic development

    Network
    From urbact
    Off
    Ref nid
    9054
  • ENTER.HUB

    Timeline

    Project launch
    Project completed

    ENTER.HUB promotes the role of railway hubs/multimodal interfaces of regional relevance in medium cities as engines for integrated urban development and economic, social and cultural regeneration.

    Ref nid
    951
  • CSI Europe

    Timeline

    Project launch
    Project completed

    The aim of the JESSICA initiative is to support “sustainable investment in cities”. Through the implementation of the initiative, Urban Development Funds are emerging as potentially powerful tools to pursue sustainable urban transformation. CSI Europe will build upon the achievements to date to improve the effectiveness of current delivery and future potential.

    Ref nid
    948