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  • RESIDENTS OF THE FUTURE

    RESIDENTS OF THE FUTURE network aims to support the process of finding new answers to urban shrinkage of small and medium sized cities. As COVID 19 has brought many changes that are here to stay, this network will explore new ways of increasing city attractiveness for inviting and retaining new investments and new residents.
    Small and medium sized cities struggle to redefine digital goals to become more citizen-centric city with holistic, sustainable solutions that enable green growth and livable conditions for its population. With post-covid digital era introducing new ways of working, living and communicating small cities should redefine their advantages towards big metropolitan centers and develop plans on attracting new and/or returning talent.

    Key aspects that we want to explore through this network:

    • Rethinking digital transformation through sustainable solutions that enable green growth and livable conditions

    • Economic diversification – focusing on supporting development of emerging economic sectors, such as technology and creative industries

    • City branding – enhancing the city image as a city supporting healthy lifestyle and innovation; attracting talent, new residents and business investments
     

    Ines Sarić
    City of Šibenik
    42589
    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
    Senior professional associate
    Institution website
    https://www.sibenik.hr/
    Economic development
  • RetaiLink

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

    Amadora launches a Guide on the welcoming of migrants

    Blue Economy Forum

    BluAct Toolkit

    BluAct: The Documentary

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Igualada). Transnational meeting in October (Sibenik).
    Transnational meetings in February (Liberec), June (Pecs) and October (Romans).
    Final event in April (Hoogeven).

    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

    This Action Planning network created strategic plans to enhance the competitiveness of small and/or independent retail businesses, considering them a key economic driver. The project’s scope of work includes areas such as regulation, employment, urban planning, managing public spaces, mobility, cultural and creative industries and citizens participation. The multi-stakeholder approach brings together public sector, private sector, retailers and major commercial operators, consumers or cultural and creative industries.

    Creating innovative strategies to revitalise the retail sector
    Ref nid
    7503
  • VITAL CITIES

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in July (Birmingham). Transnational meeting in November (Liepaja).
    Transnational meeting in March (Rieti).
    Final event in April (Loule).

    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

    Seeking answers on how to combat social exclusion through the redesign of public spaces in deprived residential areas by using the power and common language of sport, this Action Planning network found solutions through innovative urban sport actions, physical equipment and better orchestrated service delivery. Active living positively contributes to social cohesion, wellbeing and economic prosperity in cities. However, currently cities are challenged by the opposite: dramatic increase in the frequency of diseases as a result of sedentary life style and social exclusion. To tackle these challenges, European cities have invested in large scale sports facilities over the past decades. These strategies have a limited success, hence a new approach is needed: instead of ‘bringing’ the inactive citizens to the sports facilities, public space itself should be turned into a low threshold facility inviting all citizens to physical activity.

    Urban sports promotion for social inclusion, healthy and active living
    Ref nid
    7509
  • KAIRÓS

    Summary

    LEAD PARTNER : Mula - Spain
    • Belene - Bulgaria
    • Heraklion - Greece
    • Sibenik - Croatia
    • Cesena - Italy
    • Ukmergė - Lithuania
    • Malbork - Poland

    Ayuntamiento de Mula - Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 8 - 30170 Mula Tel.: 968 637 510
    CONTACT US

    Timeline

    • KAIRÓS Baseline Study
    • Thematic Warm-ups
    • Integrated Action Plan Roadmaps

     

     

    • Thematic workshop on Economy: Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation
    • Thematic Workshop on Space: Valorisation and Adaptive Reuse in the Heritage City
    • Thematic Workshop on Attractiveness: Re-imagining the heritage city: from local identity to destination marketing
    • Thematic Workshop on Social Cohesion: Accessibility and inclusiveness in historic quarters
    • Peer-Review and study visit to Bologna
    • Re-thinking Malbork as a heritage city. On-site peer review. Malbork [PL] May 25-26 2022
    • The KAIRÓS journey on heritage-driven urban regeneration. KAIRÓS final conference. Mula [ES], 27-28 April 2022

     

     

    Outputs

    Integrated Action Plans

    Heraklion IAP From research ... TO ACTION

    Read more here

    Heraklion - Greece
    Taking Mula to new heights

    Read more here !

    Mula - Spain
    Revitalizing Ukmergė old town by giving voice to the local community

    Read more here !

    Ukmergė - Lithuania
    Converting Belene into a desirable place to live

    Read more here !

    Belene - Bulgaria
    Reinforcing a city perspective to heritage

    Read more here !

    Malbork - Poland
    IAP Šibenik Green, smart and inclusive Old Town

    Read more here !

    Šibenik - Croatia
    The City Gate

    Read more here !

    Cesena - Italy

    KAIRÓS is an URBACT Action Planning Network focused on cultural heritage as a driver for sustainable urban development and regeneration. In ancient Greek KAIRÓS means the propitious moment, and this is the moment to test an innovative policy framework, combining a sound integrated approach with a real transformation purpose. To meet this challenge, the KAIRÓS model pursues the proper assemblage of five key dimensions, namely: space, economy, social accessibility, attractiveness and governance.

    HERITAGE AS URBAN REGENERATION
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  • Small steps, step change

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    15/11/2022

    How adapting Manchester’s model of cultural collaboration on climate action and engagement has driven change for the better in Šibenik.

     

    Articles

    By Nikolina Gracin, Department of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Development, City of Šibenik

     

    “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi became Šibenik’s mantra in January 2019, when we met with five other cities in Mantova, all part of a new network called C-Change.

     

    Climate change is real, happening and now. Global temperature rise may seem an abstract term, but we can see and feel the consequences all around us: from drought and forest fires - something we sadly are no stranger to in Šibenik – to damaged homes and increased health risks. We can expect these consequences to make themselves increasingly felt in the future and we all need to do something about it.

     

    C-Change: Arts and Culture Leading Climate Action in Cities is an URBACT-funded network of cities aiming to build on and learn from Manchester’s model of cultural collaboration on climate action and engagement. Šibenik saw its participation in C-Change as an opportunity to engage on climate change with its citizens through the arts and culture.

     

    Šibenik is a historic city of 46,000 people, positioned in a deep bay which is one of the most naturally protected harbours on the Adriatic coast. The decline of our industrial base meant people could swim in the sea, a skyline no longer dominated by black smoke and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Now tourism is the basis of our economy, rich as we are in natural and cultural resources and heritage, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and surrounded by two national parks. We want to avoid the negative environmental impacts which larger Croatian tourist destinations have suffered and base our tourism on the protection of this heritage and these resources. We want to preserve this for future generations.

     

     

    And yet now we are feeling the consequences of climate change - rising sea levels, flooding and forest fires. But the people of our city, especially the older generations who had seen our air and water get so much cleaner, had not really understood the link between what was happening in our city and global temperature rise. And this is why Šibenik joined C-Change. Because, when we first learnt about what the arts and culture in Manchester was doing when they came to visit us in 2018, we thought this could be the way to connect with our citizens and drive change for the better on climate.

     

    Through a series of international meetings with Manchester and four other cities - Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Wrocław (Poland), Mantova (Italy) and Águeda (Portugal) we learnt more about the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team. How did the group work together? What kind of support did they have? What part did they play in city climate change strategy? And, last but not least, what were they doing to reduce their impacts and engage with audiences and communities on climate?

     

    Working to the URBACT methodology, and guided by Claire Buckley, our C-Change Lead Expert, we worked out what we thought we could realistically put in place in Šibenik over two years. We came up with a plan for how we might do this and created a local C-Change group to shape and make this a reality. And along the way we also were able to exchange our progress and challenges with the other C-Change cities, providing us with further inspiration.

     

    Our plan focused on sector collaboration on climate action and engagement and support for the sector to help them do this, with the Department of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Development (DEED) as project lead. While in the other C-Change cities, it was usually a combination of culture and environmental department representatives who took on this role, DEED’s involvement brought some unexpected benefits. But we will come to that later.

     

    At the start, following Mantova’s example, DEED did a survey to find out what the people of our city thought about climate change. We also did a series of one-to-one meetings with representatives of city cultural organisations to explain what Manchester had done – it was a unique concept and took some explaining! – and encourage them to be part of our local group. And it worked.

     

    The local C-Change group started out in early 2019 with about 10 members, mainly city-run organisations such as the city library and city museum, with DEED as group co-ordinator. Once we had agreed our plan of action, together with local high-school students, we took our first collective action, participating in a day of tree-planting. After a few months Ana Šimić from the city library became group co-ordinator. As time went on, and particularly when we started connecting with people as we organised the city’s C-Change Festival, new members joined and the group became more of a mix of city-run and
    independent cultural and creative organisations.

     

    In summer 2019, with a modest sum, we launched our C-Change pilot action programme. Eight project ideas were submitted and three selected: ŠI Plastic Free a collaboration between Šibenik’s Library Association and Polytechnic; Zeleno Volim/I Love Green workshop series led by the Juraj Šižgorić City Library, and; Take a Break from Plastic, a collaboration between a families’ association from Zlarin island (just off the coast), the For Zlarin Without Plastic initiative, a cinema club and Zlarin Tourist Board, to raise children’s awareness about sea pollution through theatre. Despite Covid restrictions, over 600 people had participated in a total of twelve different activities, and two new initiatives Schools Without Plastic and Archipelago Without Plastic were created.

     

    The Juraj Šižgorić City Library which led the I Love Green pilot action, is much more than a place to borrow books. It is a modern venue which runs a range of talks and workshops for different age groups, in the library and beyond. I Love Green involved three workshops on composting and natural cosmetics, three environmental talks for about 160 high-school students and an environmental art competition for primary school students. The librarians’ engagement in I Love Green was exceptional and they showed how they could act as drivers for change in the city.

     

    The Juraj Šižgorić City Library was also host to carbon literacy training for 15 people in October 2019. We had learnt about this approach and seen how it was delivered in Manchester. We knew we had to make our version both instructive and engaging. This task fell to our trainer, Ivana Kordić, an activist involved in the Zlarin Plastic Free Island initiative. Ivana incorporated Climate Collage, an educational game, into the training which proved very effective. Our training will be officially certified by Manchester’s Carbon Literacy Project and we are also hoping to run further training for cultural organisations and other sectors.

     

    After many Covid-related ‘back-to-the drawing-board’ moments, our month-long C-Change Festival finally kicked off on the 28th of September 2020, the eve of the day of St. Michael, our city's patron saint. We knew this could be something special and we were right. Over thirty days, ten events - from environmental art and photography exhibitions to pop-up environmental book stands and a new installation on sea-level rise - engaged our citizens on a range of environmental and climate-related themes. We also distributed our new C-Change materials during the festival: bookmarks, canvas bags featuring a primary school child’s entry to the ŠI Plastic Free art competition, and packets of pencils made from the burnt remains of a forest fire. For each packet, a tree was planted - 500 in total. We now have two permanent art installations as reminders in our city and are committed to making the festival an annual event.

     

    DEED was used to dealing with infrastructure projects with much bigger budgets than C-Change. We were more funding and project-driven and not well-versed on culture and climate. Being involved in C-Change increased our own awareness of climate change and why it was so important to act. We started to make small changes in our personal lives. We saw what could be achieved by combining our project management skills with the creativity and reach of the arts and culture. Indeed C-Change brought out our own creativity. In the end, we have achieved more than we thought possible. DEED more actively seeks out funding for environmental and climate projects. As the department responsible for the biggest part of the city budget, in a city starting to develop a new integrated strategy, we will be able to advocate for climate action and for culture as a key player in this process.

     

    In the very early days of C-Change we were unsure as to what the arts and culture really had to do with climate change. Now we know. We have seen how it can connect people with the issues, making the global, local, and how effective this can be. Ultimately, we understand better that each one of us has to do something and how even small changes can make a big difference.

     

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  • Carbon Literacy training – an inspirational approach for cities

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    15/11/2022

    How to build understanding as a launch pad for local action on climate change.

    News
    Carbon neutrality

    Many of us have been watching the elections in the United States and maybe thinking about its potential implications for the future of the global Paris climate accord (amongst other issues!). Meanwhile, Europe’s cities have continued to develop practical solutions over recent years for improving their climate performance at local level.

    Such enhanced environmental sustainability is a key part of the sustainable urban development that URBACT seeks to promote. The programme supports a number of networks working directly on key and innovative environmental topics such as net zero energy territories and zero carbon cities. It is also committed to improving environmental performance across all its cities and networks.

    In that context, we present here the concept of Carbon Literacy training – a practical and flexible framework for building understanding and informing local action on climate change – that has come to our attention through the work and exchanges of the URBACT C-Change network.

    So what exactly is Carbon Literacy?

    The UK-founded charity The Carbon Literacy Project – which originated the concept, defines Carbon Literacy as: “An awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.” In other words, it is about understanding our carbon footprint and our ability and level of agency in reducing it, individually and collectively.

    The project offers a process for developing the Carbon Literacy knowledge of any individual or group through five broad levels of understanding:

    1. What global warming is and how we know – building understanding of the ‘big picture’ of climate change.
    2. What climate change is and what effects it is having – building understanding of why climate change is important.
    3. What people are doing about it – building understanding that action to reduce carbon emissions is possible.
    4. What people just like you could do about it – building understanding that action to reduce carbon emissions in possible in any specific sector.
    5. Exploration of what you could do – building understanding of how to measure your own carbon footprint and realistic, practical steps to reduce it.

    This approach is based on a firm belief that local-level action can and does make a difference and that increased knowledge and understanding of carbon emissions can change cultures within organisations. This in turn, building on principles of equity and fairness, will contribute to a better world and a better way of life.

    The concept of Carbon Literacy has gained increasing international attention in recent years, particularly when the work of the Carbon Literacy Project was showcased as part of ICLEI’s Transformative Actions Program (TAP) at the COP21 UN Climate Change summit in Paris in 2015, with delivery having already taken place across Europe and even further afield.

    Stakeholders in various sectors have seen the value of working with others on carbon awareness initiatives and that improved Carbon Literacy can make you a leader in your sector.

    How can cities deliver Carbon Literacy training?

    The key to understanding Carbon Literacy training is that it is not a one-size-fits-all course, but instead an approach (defined by a publicly-available standard) that can be adapted and applied consistently in very different contexts. The approach therefore has flexibility at its heart. The training is adapted to make it relevant to the specific sector that trainees come from and work in.

    Practical tools – including those for measuring your carbon footprint – and inspiring examples that can truly drive change need to be rooted in and applicable to the practical everyday experience of the trainees. Otherwise, people might be motivated to improve their environmental performance, but demotivated by their lack of agency – lacking the knowledge and understanding of how they can do so in practice.

    For this reason, peer learning is a key aspect of successful Carbon Literacy training. Hearing about what someone in a similar role has been able to do can lead to more meaningful change than high-level or abstract examples that are hard to relate to. Other key aspects of the learning method required by Carbon Literacy are ‘local’ learning, group enquiry and positivity! It is designed to work in community, workplace and education settings.

    Lastly, participants must formulate or take an action within their own area of control, and an action that involves a wider group of people – so Carbon Literacy can never be passively received. On the basis of evidence submitted on behalf of each learner, successful participants receive Carbon Literacy certification, whatever their sector of activity.

    In practice, cities can develop their own carbon awareness training, find service providers to support them or collaborate with others to share toolkits, materials or resources. If a city wants to formally adopt Carbon Literacy as an approach, the Carbon Literacy Project checks and accredits the training programme and materials of any organisation in order to maintain quality and offers resources, support and connection to other cities and organisations to accelerate action and reduce cost.

    An URBACT good practice story: Manchester

    The Carbon Literacy Project in Manchester (UK) was founded as a direct response to Manchester’s first climate change strategy in 2009. Since then, the concept has become increasingly recognised and is now listed by the Manchester Climate Change Agency as an action for “every resident and organisation in Manchester to help meet our climate change targets”, supporting the new Manchester Climate Change Framework, which includes the aim to reduce the city’s direct CO2 emissions by at least 50%, 2020-2025.

    One of the various sectors to engage with the Carbon Literacy Project is the arts and culture sector,  from museums and galleries to opera houses and arts centres. Here, a big catalyst has been MAST, the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, a network of over 40 cultural organisations that was first established in 2011 in order to explore how the sector could contribute towards implementing the city’s first climate change strategy.

    In 2016, a number of MAST members carried out a Carbon Literacy training pilot in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, and together, they developed a version of the training specifically for the arts and culture sector.

    Some MAST members have gone on to deliver organisation or department-wide training. For example, HOME – a multi-arts venue – now has two accredited trainers who deliver training for all of HOME’s team, as well as to corporate and private sector organisations in their neighbourhood, who in turn have gone on to adopt Carbon Literacy, and then develop and roll out Carbon Literacy materials for others.

    “Climate change sometimes feels incredibly disempowering, and our role is to empower people to play their part. That’s the strongest thing we can do because it will take all of us together to make the difference,” says MAST Chair Simon Curtis. “Carbon Literacy training been an amazing tool for us to help build action in organisations. It speaks to our sector in our own language, using recognisable examples.”

    MAST achieved an average CO2 reduction of 6% every year starting in 2011-2012, whilst a core group of 13 members achieved a 16% reduction in energy use emissions over three years. In 2017, the MAST model won an URBACT Good Practice award.

    An adaptable tool applied in different European contexts

    Thanks to a successful project application to URBACT, the MAST good practice model is now inspiring five other cities to set up similar actions through the C-Change Transfer Network. We look forward to sharing in early 2021 more details on the full range of exciting initiatives developed by this and other URBACT Transfer Networks.

    Here in this article, what is interesting is to note the adaptability of the Carbon Literacy training approach to different national and local urban contexts. As C-Change Lead Expert Claire Buckley (of ‘Julie’s Bicycle, a charity which supports climate and environmental action in the creative sector) explains: “The partner cities have very much taken on the principles of the Carbon Literacy approach from Manchester, and a good bit of the content. Each city has shaped the training to their needs and local context, but none of the cities have gone for the exact same model.”

    In Wroclaw (PL), trainers from four arts and culture organisations delivered two separate sessions for cultural administration and maintenance staff, and two more in-depth sessions for programming and production people. Participants designed a creative, sector-relevant solution to a specific challenge, such as: a green production rider for an event; or a local cultural project idea on climate change. In total, 48 employees representing all 27 city-run cultural organisations have been trained so far.

    In Mantua (IT), a workshop for about 30 local authority and cultural sector participants, was run by the municipality together with cultural associations, and hosted by an environmental NGO. It looked at how the climate crisis is being felt in Italy, highlighting the Venice floods, and showed a video of a leading Italian climate scientist. Participants mapped ‘spheres of influence’, and discussed the impact of climate change on people’s lives now and in 5-10 years, revealing a huge range of perspectives.

    In Sibenik (HR), the city library ran a half-day training event in October 2020, starting by making a range of environmentally themed books and magazines available. The trainer, a local activist, introduced a ‘climate collage’ exercise as a key interactive element. This has sparked strong interest in further training – for example in the city’s Department of Enterprise and Economic Development – and the library is looking into offering this kind of training as a service for schools and the general public.

    In Agueda (PT), a first training in February 2020 included a site visit to a local cultural organisation to see their good practice. A second training in July 2020 included a visit to the city’s SmartLab neighbourhood where participants investigated scalable solutions such as a solar bench for charging phones. In October 2020, climate change training was part of an open day at Agueda’s Smart City Lab on practical decarbonisation solutions.

    More info

    Interested in Carbon Literacy certification and support? See www.carbonliteracy.com or email info@carbonliteracy.com.

    In addition to the normal capacity building and thematic support provided to networks, URBACT provides the specific additional possibility for any network to access 2 000 € of support to carry out carbon compensation actions. The use of this budget should be agreed with all partners and can include activities such as: community awareness raising and educational activities; tree planting initiatives; Carbon Literacy training; and community projects.

    Listen also to the C-Change Transfer Network story as presented at the European Week of Regions and Cities 2020.

    Thanks to UK government support, all UK local authorities and educational establishments now have access to free-to-use Carbon Literacy toolkits. Already piloted, toolkits for the UK National Health Service (NHS), Police, Fire and Ambulance services, and even the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are on their way. COP26 host city Glasgow is rolling out Carbon Literacy to its Council staff and members specifically in preparation for this.

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  • 23 Action Planning Networks ready for Phase 2!

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    15/11/2022

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

    News

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

    NETWORK

    PARTNERS

    DESCRIPTION

    Research, technological development and innovation

    UrbSecurity

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

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

    Find your Greatness

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

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

    Access to and use of ICT

    DigiPlace
    (previously DI4C)

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

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

    IoTxChange

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

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

    Competitiveness of SMEs

    iPlace

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

    - Saldus (LV)

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

    Tourism Friendly Cities

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

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

    Low carbon economy in all sectors

    Urb-En Pact

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

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

    Zero Carbon Cities
    (previously ZCC)

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

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

    Environmental protection and resource efficiency

    RiConnect

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

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

    URGE

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

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

    Healthy Cities

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

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

    KAIRÓS

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

     

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

     

    Resourceful Cities
    (previously UrbReC)

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

     

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

    FOOD CORRIDORS
    (previously Rurban Food)

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

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

    Health&Greenspace

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

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

    Sustainable transport

    Space4People

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

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

    Thriving Streets

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

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

    Employment protection and resource efficiency

    SIBdev

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

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

    Social inclusion and poverty

    ROOF

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

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

    ActiveCitizens

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

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

    Access

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

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

    Genderedlandscape

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

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

    Education, skills and lifelong learning

    Cities4CSR

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

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

     

    -

     

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

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  • Memories can't wait, heritage as urban regeneration by Lead Expert Miguel Rivas

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    15/11/2022

    Can heritage be an engine for urban development?

    by Miguel Rivas, KAIRÓS Lead Expert

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    Articles
    Abandoned Spaces

    Memories can't wait. This is the title of a song by Talking Heads, which relates to Kairós, the name of the new URBACT Action Planning Network on cultural heritage. In ancient Greek, Kairós means the ‘propitious moment’. It is indeed a call to action. And the way this network is addressing heritage has much to do with people and the (collective) memory. 

    In modern heritage management, the concepts of valorisation and adaptive re-use to contemporary issues are as relevant as the notion of preservation. The scope can range from just the building or monumental artifact to the idea of the broader urban cultural landscape. These trends are paving the way for heritage to play an important role as a driver for urban development.

    Other concepts and lines of work are accelerating the relevance of this approach, ranging from sustainable urban development as the prominent framework for today´s urban policies to increasing community empowerment. In this context, the purpose of Kairós is to build up and test an integrated approach for heritage-led urban development and regeneration that can serve a variety of specific challenges and circumstances. We set out a sample here below.

    Facing dereliction and decline of historic neighbourhoods

    What Mula, a mid-sized town in Southeast Spain, and Heraklion (180,000 inhabitants), the administrative capital of the isle of Crete (Greece) have in common is that both feel the urgent need to stop and revert the vicious circle of degradation and decline. In both cases, this is affecting some of their historic neighbourhoods, in particular  Mula´s ‘upper historic quarters’, dating from medieval times, and, in Heraklion, the ‘Aghia Triada’ (Holy Trinity), one of the last city fragments that still retains much of its historical character dating back to the late medieval and early Ottoman cities.

    A shrinking and ageing population seriously impacts both districts, meaning that the once traditional social fabric has greatly disappeared. Massive degradation of the housing stock and lots of abandoned properties, alongside a process of social decay and conflict have caused a subsequent poor image of the area and, thus, economic decline. Rehabilitation and regeneration schemes, with a poorly integrated approach, have been tried in both cases, with scarce results so far. 

    If we move to Lithuania we find Ukmergé,  a shirinking medium-sized city, halfway between the capital, Vilnius, and Kaunas. Its cultural memory is so closely linked to Jewish urban culture and heritage that the old town has never really been brought back to normal life since the tragedy of the Holocaust,during which about 10,000 members of the town's Jewish community were massacred.

    The historic district of Aghia Triada, Heraklion (EL)

    The current local government has promoted a number of physical rehabilitation projects over the past few years, but they still need to be framed into a comprehensive and more ambitious strategy for Ukmergé´s old town regeneration. This would raise the confidence and interest of dwellers, investors, shop owners and entrepreneurs.

    Conditions in Sibenik, on the Croatian coast, are quite different to Ukmergé. The city has rapidly become a renowned tourist destination. However, a priority of the local government is to achieve a more sustainable urban development model for its unique, Venetian-style old town. Currently, it is being negatively affected by depopulation, tourism-driven gentrification and a lack of urban vitality during the low season.

    Looking at the future through the lens of memory

    Other cities in the Kairós network do not face degradation and decline specifically, but rather want to take advantage of the potential of a number of heritage assets for new urban developments and opportunities. After years investing in their historic downtowns, Cesena in Northern Italy and Roskilde in Denmark are now interested in how best to connect those city cores with new heritage-driven district developments or re-developments.

    In the city of Cesena - 97,200 inhabitants - intends to re-use its urban industrial legacy (in this case, the former Arrigoni factory) as the spatial foundation for a multi-functional urban regeneration of the area surrounding the railway station. This will include a campus development, new workplaces, housing, new public spaces and a sustainable mobility scheme. Whereas in Roskilde - a commuter town 30 km west of Copenhagen with 97,200 inhabitants - the next flagship project in the town will be the transformation of a former 19th century psychiatric hospital complex of 58 ha into a new liveable and vibrant neighbourhood.

    Belene is a small Bulgarian town located in the central part of the Danubian plain, one of the least developed regions in the European Union. At present, the Municipality has the firm determination to make their cultural and natural heritage - notably the spectacular Persina Nature Park - work for the city strategy. In particular, it plans to regenerate and develop the city´s Danube riverfront as a new hotspot for residents and the visitor economy, which is almost inexistent so far.

    Conversely, the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, Poland, is likely the most visited tourist attraction in the country. It is the largest castle in the world measured by land area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. The main challenge of Malbork City Council is to expand the benefits associated with the high inflow of visitors to the castle  (over 800,000 people in 2019) to the whole historic city, which remains underappreciated. This will call for a wider approach to the urban heritage, beyond the monuments and landmarks and much closer to the concept of ‘historic urban landscape’.


    Malbork´s Teutonic Castle (PL)

    The Kairós five-pillar model

    To meet these challenges, the eight cities mentioned above agreed to share a common action-research work plan within the Kairós network. The integration of the following five key dimensions aims to provide a new policy framework enabling real transformation on the ground:

    • Governance - in particular participatory approaches and enabling regulatory frameworks for heritage valorisation in mid-sized towns and cities.
    • Space - valorisation and adaptive re-use of urban heritage, including multi-functionality and specific urban planning solutions for historic quarters.
    • Economy - entrepreneurial itineraries, business models and technologies related to heritage valorisation and heritage-led urban development and regeneration.
    • Attractiveness - re-imagining the ‘heritage city’: from local identity to sustainable destination management.
    • Social Cohesion – addressing accessibility and inclusiveness of historic quarters.

    We think this is the right time, at the beginning of the EU´s new programming period 2021-2027, to put into practice this Kairós five-pillar model. Whilst impressive cultural heritage has long been part of the European urban culture and the European ‘brand’,  there is now greater awareness of the multifaceted nature of heritage-driven urban development and regeneration, and the benefits associated with these strategies. So, let´s move on to action. Memories can´t wait.

    The KAIRÓS Model

    Network
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  • C-CHANGE

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting
    Transnational meeting - Mantova
    Transnational meeting - Manchester
    Transnational meeting - Agueda
    Transnational meeting - Manchester
    Transnational meeting - virtual
    Exchange & Learning Seminar
    Exchange & Learning Seminar
    Exchange & Learning Seminar
    Exchange & Learning Seminar

    Transfer the work of Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) to support cities to mobilise their arts and culture sectors to contribute towards local climate change action is the aim of the C-CHANGE network. This can be done by: 1) Developing local policies, governance and capacity to act 2) Developing plans to reduce CO2 emissions and/or adapt to climate change, and supporting implementation 3) Developing plans to use arts and culture to engage citizens to act, and supporting implementation 4) Encouraging replication in other cities.

    Arts and culture leading climate action in cities
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  • What on earth do the arts and culture have to do with climate change?

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    15/11/2022

    Claire Buckley, URBACT Lead Expert and Director of Environmental Sustainability at Julie’s Bicycle says time is of the essence.

    In the grander scheme of things, the arts and culture sector is not the biggest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. And so, the question from Radio Wrocław “What on earth do the arts and culture have to do with climate change?” to representatives from Manchester (UK) and Wrocław (PL) during a day of exchange on this issue, did not come as a big surprise. It is, however, well worth unpacking and, one at the heart of a new project on how the arts and culture can lead climate action in cities, funded by the EU’s URBACT programme.

    Articles
    Air quality

    Human activity and our dependence on fossil fuels is changing our climate. This is taking an increasing toll on the natural systems which sustain us, on our health, wellbeing and prosperity. Climate change is a systemic issue, rooted in global economic, social, cultural and value systems locking in unsustainable consumption, inequality and a disconnection from nature. Policies, technology and investment alone will not be enough to address it. We need hearts, minds and a shift in our cultural values. No sector is better placed to bridge the gap between what we know and what we feel and support a values’ shift than the arts and culture. This is particularly relevant when it comes to cities, on the front line of climate change, and where art and culture connect citizens to the cultures which define them.

    According to the World Bank’s 2017 Urban Development Overview, cities generate over 80% of global GDP and more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Rapid urbanisation (with predictions of 60-70% of the world’s population living in cities by 2050), coupled with the effects of extreme weather and sea level rise, are putting increasing strain on city infrastructure and resources, exacerbating challenges such as air pollution and impacting on people’s health and wellbeing. Urgent and rapid city action is crucial if we are to limit global temperature rise.

    While the economic and social value of the arts and culture is increasingly recognised in cities, there has been much less recognition of how they can contribute to creating future-proofed, sustainable cities. This is starting to change, as evidenced for example through the World Cities Culture Forum’s Culture and Climate Change Handbook for City Leaders (2017).

    Manchester is one city that already demonstrates what the sector can achieve by working together on climate action and how it can support city climate change strategy. The Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) has become one of the city’s, and indeed the UK’s, most successful examples of environmental collaboration and, in 2017, Manchester was awarded URBACT Good Practice City status in recognition of MAST’s work.

    MAST is a network of about 30 arts and cultural organisations – from community arts centres and iconic cultural venues to an internationally renowned festival and national broadcasters - working together on climate action and engagement. It has come a long way since it started out in 2011. From a small group taking practical action, with external facilitation and funding, it has evolved into a network funded and run for and by its members, actively contributing to city climate change strategy and targets. MAST enables members to meet face-to-face, share common challenges and opportunities and link directly to what is happening on a city level. MAST’s five-year report (2017) tells its story, shares its achievements and learnings as well as a wealth of good practice.  

    MAST grew from the Manchester Cultural Partnership’s desire to explore how arts and cultural organisations could contribute to the city’s first climate change strategy - Manchester A Certain Future 2010-2020. The group went on to support development of the Manchester Climate Change Strategy 2017-2050, including through Climate Lab, run by the Manchester Climate Change Agency, to test different ways of engaging the people of the city in strategy development. MAST is now represented on the Manchester Climate Change Board. In 2018 Manchester updated its commitment and adopted a science-based target to become zero carbon by 2038. MAST is one of the pioneer groups now developing a zero carbon roadmap in line with this target and Manchester’s draft Zero Carbon Framework 2020-2038.

    For Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive at HOME Manchester, a MAST member, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council, it is no surprise that the sector has come together to act on climate change and shape the city’s climate change strategy. “Culture is in Manchester’s DNA. We understand the value of culture to our well-being, prosperity and vitality as a city, and the arts and culture sector has a well-recognised part to play in contributing to all city priorities.

    As an URBACT Good Practice City, Manchester is now leading a transfer network - C-Change: Arts and Culture Leading Climate Action in Cities - with five other city partners - Wrocław (PL), Mantova (IT), Gelsenkirchen (DE), Šibenik (HR) and Águeda (PT). Together they have a combined population of 1.6 million people and greenhouse gas emissions of about 9 million tonnes. Together they are working to build on and learn from Manchester’s experience with cultural collaboration on climate.

    Like Manchester, all partner cities - including two former European Capitals of Culture, four UNESCO World Heritage sites and one former national Capital of Culture - have the arts and culture at their heart. They all recognise the sector’s contribution to city life, well-being and prosperity. Águeda, for example, has over the last 10 years, seen the economic and social benefits of nurturing its arts and culture scene, through i.a. a city-wide urban art programme, its AgitÁgueda festival, artist residency programmes and investment in a new contemporary arts centre.

    All are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, from rising sea levels in Šibenik and flooding in Wrocław, to urban heat island and health impacts in Mantova, Wrocław and Gelsenkirchen and forest fires around Águeda and Šibenik. Most already have well-developed climate change strategies and are signatories to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

    While all cities are experiencing the impacts of climate change, people’s perception and level of awareness varies greatly. For those moving from an industrial past, many, and older generations in particular, have actually perceived an improvement in environmental conditions. While in Gelsenkirchen, there is generally a higher level of climate change awareness, there is also a certain ‘climate fatigue’. Each city has different levels of experience with climate change engagement. While in some cases individual organisations are taking action, none of the cities have yet actively involved the sector in climate change initiatives. Crucially, all cities share a recognition of the role the arts and culture can play in engaging citizens on climate change and inspiring and mobilising action.

    Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face as a society, a challenge which requires an urgent and rapid response. As a city to which the arts, culture and cultural heritage are central - to our past, present and future - I can think of no better sector than the arts and culture to take on this challenge.” Petar Mišura, Head of the Department of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Development, Šibenik

    C-Change will require a new way of working, which brings both opportunities and challenges. In Wrocław, one of the key issues will be building sector collaboration. According to Katarzyna Szymczak-Pomianowska, Wrocław’s Head of Sustainable Development “We now aim to support arts and culture in our city in coming together to act on climate change and support us in helping our citizens understand the issues we face and take action themselves."

    For Gelsenkirchen, at the heart of the Ruhr conurbation, developing a collaboration model that works for both the city and other cities in the Ruhr region will be both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity. For Šibenik, which does not have a climate change strategy, its involvement in C-Change is an opportunity to learn from other cities as it starts to build climate change in new city strategy and link in culture from the start.

    Mantova is particularly excited about how exchange with other European cities can help us bring our cultural and our environmental strategies closer together with active involvement of the arts and culture and help us in working towards our priorities as a city, from climate change to urban regeneration, heritage conservation and public participation.” Adriana Nepote, Councillor for Research and Innovation, University and European Projects

    In Águeda, both city and sector are already active on climate change. C-Change is a chance to accelerate progress, in particular engaging and mobilising citizens in a way which directly supports the city’s ambitious sustainable development goals. "Art, culture and creativity can be a particularly effective means of engaging the public on climate change and cultural actors are playing an increasingly significant role in this area. We welcome the opportunity provided by C-Change to exchange experience on climate action and engagement, for the enrichment of all.” Elsa Corga, Alderwoman of Águeda Council and Councillor for Culture

    As the C-Change partners embark on this innovative and timely collaboration, one thing is absolutely clear. There is no time to waste.

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    Visit the network's page: C-Change

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