Country
Geolocation
POINT (24.753575 59.436961)
  • Stay Tuned

    Timeline

    Phase 1 kick-off
    Phase 2 kick-off
    Phase 2 development
    Final event

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent

    CONTACT US

    European cities face higher levels of Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) than their national averages, meaning that some urban areas have more ELET rates, than the countryside areas - contrary to the national trends of these cities' countires. This represents a serious challenge, as ELET has significant societal and individual consequences, such as a higher risk of unemployment, poverty, marginalization and social exclusion. Tackling this issue means breaking the cycle of deprivation and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality.

    Boosting the Frequency of Qualification
    Ref nid
    8874
  • Freight TAILS

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in June (Suceava). Transnational meeting in October (Umea).
    Transnational meetings in February (Parma), April (Gdynia), May (Maastricht) and October (La Rochelle).
    Final event in May (Split).

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

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Udine (Italy)

    CONTACT US

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

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

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

    CONTACT US

    Coordinator

    ADDRESS

    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora

    Portugal 

    TELEPHONE

    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801

    CONTACT US

    City of Rome

    tamara.lucarelli@comune.roma.it

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

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

     

    CONTACT US

    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

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

    CONTACT US

    urbact.civicestate@gmail.com

    CONTACT US

    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council

    CONTACT US

    Municipality of Piraeus

    CONTACT US

    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    CONTACT US

    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029

     

    CONTACT US

    Riga NGO House

    CONTACT US

    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

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

    CONTACT US

    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

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

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

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań

    CONTACT US

    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    Devoted to discovering Tailored and Innovative Logistic Solutions (TAILS) for the successful management of freight, this Action Planning network aimed on rethinking how freight can shape almost every aspect of our urban lives. The air we breathe, the noise we hear, the traffic we experience, the productiveness of our cities’ businesses, the quality of our surroundings and the liveability of our neighbourhoods. Everything can relate to a single question: how can we make freight transport more effective in cities?

    Tailored approaches for innovative logistic solutions
    Ref nid
    7374
  • URBACT cities join forces in a quest for global sustainability

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    15/11/2022

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

    Articles

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

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

     

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

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

    Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn (EE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Notably, achieving them is going to require:

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

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

    Why an URBACT network on localising the SDGs?

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

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

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

     

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

    New ways to engage with local stakeholders

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

     

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

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

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

    Kamen Dimitrov, local coordinator, Veliki Preslav (BG)

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For further information

    Network
    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    16140
  • Global Goals for Cities

    Global Goals for Cities map

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

    Summary

    Timeline

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

    Library

    Articles

    blank

    • How EU cities can localise SDGs through integrated action planning

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

    • Senioral policy in Dzierżoniów and the goals of sustainable development

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

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

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

    • Video from the transnational meeting in Gävle

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

    • Insights from REGGIO EMILIA

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

    • Video from transnational meeting in Solingen

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

    • First face-to-face meeting in Solingen

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

    • Insights from Heraklion, the co-host of TM6

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

    • SDG Story: Gävle

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

    • SDG Story: Mouscron

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

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

    • SDG Story: Jihlava

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

    • SDG Story: Bratislava

      Where are we coming from?

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

    • SDG Story: Reggio Emilia

      Where are we coming from? The city profile.

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

    • SDG Story: Veliki Preslav

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

    • SDG Story: Klaipėda

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

    • SDG Story: Heraklion

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

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

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

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

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

    • Debating the future of Schiedam

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

    • Jihlava's successful collaboration with developers

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

    • Glasgow’s Journey towards the 2030 Agenda

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

    • Manresa 2030 Agenda: localising the SDGs through meaningful participation

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

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

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

    • Ozalj best practices on meaningful participation

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

    • Trim: Raising awareness of the SDGs

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

    • In Swedish: Gävle is developing urban sustainability

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

    • Klaipeda Case Study: Virtual hackathon “Unlock SDGs”

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

    • Mouscron: Story of Transnational Meeting

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

    • URBACT cities join forces in a quest for global sustainability

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

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

    Strategic partnership for peer learning and planning to localise SDGs
    Ref nid
    16049
  • 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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  • How are URBACT cities reacting to Covid-19?

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    15/11/2022

    At a time when the impact of the pandemic has changed our way of life, cities are showing their resilience.

    News
    Digital transition

     

    Cities are intervening in novel ways to support frontline health services, food supplies, the local economy and people’s mental well-being. Several are building directly on capacity built during their experiences in URBACT networks, showing that the programme’s principles of local stakeholder engagement and transnational exchange can support cities to achieve their objectives, even in times of crisis.

    Volunteers in action in Altea (ES)

    We asked some of our URBACT experts what examples of city responses had caught their attention. Read their thoughts, then check out the interactive map of other great city examples that the URBACT Programme is collecting from across Europe. More in-depth analysis will follow in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

     

    Cities supporting front-line health workers

     

    Cities are finding novel ways to support hospitals and health workers. “Right now, cities are throwing everything at the short-term problem,” stresses Eddy Adams. “That means supporting the medics, like in Pireaus (EL), whose Blue Lab has repurposed 3D printers to make protective faceshields for health staff.” This initiative builds on the experience of the city in supporting local innovation through the ‘BlueGrowth’ competition, recognised by URBACT as a good practice in 2017 and currently the focus of the URBACT Transfer Network BluAct.

    Meanwhile, in Hungary, Ivan Tosics highlights that “despite the increasing centralisation of government in recent years and severely restricted local budgets, the city of Budapest (HU) has reacted by ordering medical instruments from abroad and is distributing these to health institutions, homeless shelters and elderly homes. The city also signed agreements with private health institutions to test employees in key professions for the functioning of the capital.”

    Citizen-led solutions have also been an important aspect of the human response to the crisis affecting health services and city authorities can still learn more about how to support and encourage such initiatives. Laura Colini has been impressed that the URBACT Transfer Network Volunteering Cities - based on the experience of the Athienou (CY) Municipal Council of Volunteering (MCV) – “is now sharing how volunteers are engaged in different cities to provide first necessity products, producing masks or any other needed materials.”
                                                                                                    Also from the Volunteering Cities network, a volunteer in Capizzi (IT)

     

    Cities supporting the local economy

     

    Given the impact of lockdown policies on people’s economic activities, many urban authorities have swiftly introduced measures to freeze rents and business taxes, and are helping local companies to access support. Ivan Tosics flags that Budapest has “increased the wages of employees of municipality-owned enterprises and introduced a moratorium on rent payments for small and micro enterprises which rent space from the municipality. The local authority has also offered free signs to shops in the city to call attention to the right distance to maintain between customers.”

    Many cities are looking at opportunities to extend their digital service provision, including to local companies who cannot access traditional support in the current circumstances. Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, the URBACT network TechTown was stressing the importance of the digital economy and its Lead Partner Barnsley’s (UK) Digital Media Centre was identified as an URBACT Good Practice - going on to form the basis of the current URBACT Transfer Network TechRevolution.

    Sally Kneeshaw has seen how the city has built on these experiences to step up its response to the current crisis: “Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre last week pivoted to virtual delivery to support businesses with chat and call centres, and made a commitment to bankroll the Government's grant scheme for those in the most impacted sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality.” The platform is also providing tips and guidance for more secure remote working.

    Supporting the local economy also means supporting families most affected by job losses and loss of income. Whilst many national unemployment schemes are being adapted in response to the specific current challenges, Laura Colini highlights that exchanges within URBACT’s Volunteering Cities network have also included “brewing ideas and exchanging practices on the involvement of local companies or individuals in offering products or financial aid to families in need”.

     

    Cities ensuring local food supplies

     

    Many European citizens are concerned about ongoing supplies of food as production and distribution systems come under strain from threats to workers’ health and restrictions on movement. The URBACT network AGRI-URBAN was addressing ways of improving local food supply in urban areas back in 2016. The AGRI-URBAN partner city, Mouans-Sartoux (FR) saw its collective school catering recognised as an URBACT good practice in 2017 and became the Lead Partner of the Transfer Network BioCanteens in 2018.

    Marcelline Bonneau has kept in touch with their response to the current crisis: “The municipal farm - initially producing organic fruit and vegetables for three school canteens providing a thousand lunches per day - has diversified its distribution channels to meet broader needs and protect jobs. A part still goes to the canteens providing food for the few dozen children of health workers and municipal agents who can still access school, a part is processed and frozen, and another part goes to the social grocery of the city.”

    The municipal authorities are already thinking about how to respond to the ongoing food supply challenges. “Soon-to-come lettuces, which cannot be frozen, will probably be given to the neighbouring hospital in Grasse,” continues Ms Bonneau. Meanwhile; the city is exploring ways “to increase production in the next plantation schemes in order to anticipate potential issues in conventional food supply chains” in the near future.

    Eddy Adams observes that ‘cities are throwing everything at their short-term problems’. In Vic (ES), this “means supporting communities.Lead Partner of the new URBACT network Healthy Cities is mobilising closed food-market vendors to feed isolated vulnerable individuals”. Such targeted approaches can be crucial for bridging the gap between supply and demand in the context of a lockdown.

    Mouans-Sartoux’s municipal farm (FR)

     

    Cities supporting education and mental well-being

     

    National education systems are struggling to rapidly adapt to the situation of students' confinement. Mirella Sanabria, Lead Expert the URBACT Transfer Network On Board tells us: “This is keeping some of our partners - in particular in big cities - busy and stressed. On the positive side, however, some local initiatives are putting into practice innovation related to the use of digital tools in education projects, which is a central aspect of the Educational Innovation Network that On Board is working to transfer.”

    For example, the On Board Lead Partner Viladecans (ES) has developed a dedicated School at Home! webpage which provides new creative and educational activities for children and families every day. Meanwhile, in the partner city of Halmstad (SE), a vocational school is now teaching cooking classes online. The municipality delivers grocery baskets to the students who prepare the meals, which are then supplied to people in particular need.

    Beyond education, Sally Kneeshaw is keen to highlight that “We are all learning, if we didn’t already know, how much we need culture to sustain us. I love that the librarians of the Tallinn Central Library are reading books on request via Skype or phone for children at home. Meanwhile, Zaragoza (ES) has launched a photography competition #DesdeMiVentana (From my window) open to people aged between 12 and 30, targeting young people who find it the hardest to stay indoors.”

    Marcelline Bonneau flags a different example from the city of Mollet del Vallès (ES) which “has created a Leisure at home programme proposing leisure activities to its citizens who are totally prevented from leaving their home without good reason. Launched on Friday 27 March, anyone interested can enjoy a selection of proposed activities alone or in the family. These range from physical classes to memory exercises and from cooking to robotics. The platform is updated and expanded regularly.”

    Laura Colini also highlights the work that the URBACT Transfer Network ON STAGE - working on introducing new curricula in schools based on music and arts - is doing in “keeping people together through music. They recently shared a video performance of young students from the school #ZsOsmec from the partner city of Brno (CZ)”. Such initiatives are a reminder of the importance of keeping our spirits high in these challenging times.

     

     

     

    Don’t forget to check out the interactive map of other great city examples that the URBACT Programme is collecting from across Europe.

    Have you seen another city response that has inspired you? Help us to share it by tagging @URBACT in a tweet or sending it directly to communication@urbact.eu

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  • “Culture with everyone”: Why creating culturally inclusive cities is changing the way capital city policymakers approach their work

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    15/11/2022

    Happy, healthy, prosperous cities are rich in culture but culture does not enrich and empower everyone equally. 

    Articles
    Urban design

    Groups of people or geographical areas can face barriers to accessing culture; existing cultural offers may not include the stories or cultural forms which reach out to current populations. To address these challenges, eight European capital cities have come together through URBACT to form the ACCESS network. Each participating city has committed to working together to include more people in and through culture and to adapting their approach to policymaking to make this happen.

     

    Amsterdam [NL], Dublin [IE], Lisbon [PT], London [UK], Sofia [BG], Talinn [EE], Riga [LV] and Vilnius [LT] each have rich and vibrant cultural offers but have each identified challenges specific to their cities in making their cultural offers more inclusive. In Riga, for example, 70% of all cultural institutions are concentrated in just two of 58 of the city’s neighbourhoods. Amsterdam, now a ‘majority minority’ city (ie most of the population is from a minority ethnic group), culture has not fully adapted to the demographic change. Tallinn has identified a knowledge gap such that they have no qualitative evidence that the city’s cultural offer is actually meeting people’s needs and contributing to wellbeing. Each city found resonance in the others’ challenges. Collectively, the network has therefore identified three areas of common need: to widen participation, to spread cultural infrastructure more equitably across the city and to improve data collection and use around cultural participation.

    They have also identified a new approach to policymaking as a central requirement. As Araf Ahmadali, Senior Policy Advisor for Arts and Culture, City of Amsterdam said, “We have to start with a recognition that as civil servants we don’t know all the answers; we’re not at the head of the table, we’re part of the table.” Work to deliver cultural inclusion needed to be genuinely inclusive: not culture for everyone, but culture with everyone.

    “Everything we do is based on conversation” Tracy Geraghty, Dublin City Culture Company

    Discussions between the partner cities and invited local stakeholders at the inaugural meeting of the ACCESS network in Amsterdam in September identified five key aspects of an inclusive approach to cultural policymaking:

    - an ongoing conversation: discussion about culture in the city should be continuous, not occasional. As Tracy Geraghty explained, this is already the cornerstone of the Dublin City Culture Company’s ‘tea and chat’ model of programme development: “Everything we do is based on conversation; we don’t do anything without having spoken to the communities we serve first.”

    - be open and accessible: make it easy for people and organisations to get in touch

    - listen and learn: many people and organisations have experience of how to share culture more widely and are keen to share their expertise

    - reconsider their city ‘centre’: if a different area was the city centre, what cultural offer would you expect to see there? what institutions and support would it need?

    - challenge existing definitions: what is talent? what is quality? what is culture? Policymakers must be open to new and different definitions.

    Each city has committed to developing this approach for their own cultural policymaking.

    The ACCESS network will continue to collaborate and share ideas and practice over the next two years as each city develops its own Action Plan for ‘culture with everyone.’ More policy and practice ideas from the network will be shared in future blogs.

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  • ACCESS

    LEAD PARTNER : Amsterdam - Netherlands
    • Sofia - Bulgaria
    • Tallinn - Estonia
    • Dublin - Ireland
    • Vilnius - Lithuania
    • Riga - Latvia
    • Lisbon - Portugal
    • London

    Integrated Action Plans

    Making culture accessible to everyone, and everyone part of culture

    Amsterdam is a world city for culture, but a lot of stories in our city are still untold, unrecognized or undervalued. Access to culture is not always assured for everyone. The city of Amsterdam wants to broaden and diversify arts and culture in the city. Read more here!

    Amsterdam - Netherlands
    Vilnius city municipality Integrated Action Plan

    Read more here!

    Vilnius - Lithuania
    Culture for Tallinn

    Read more here!

    Tallinn - Estonia
    SOFIA GROWS WITH CULTURE YOUTH, EDUCATION AND CULTURE - SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ON A LOCAL LEVEL

    Read more here !

    Sofia - Bulgaria
    ACCESS Culture for All Integrated Action plan RIGA - All for One: Better Access in Northern Riga

    Read more here !

    Riga - Latvia
    ACCESS – London: Shifting the dial on equal access

    Read more here

    London - United Kingdom
    Place of Culture: Promoting Community Cultural Development in Santa Clara

    Read more here !

    Lisbon - Portugal

    The ACCESS Action Planning Network believes that a more inclusive culture has the ability to facilitate greater understanding of individuals and their lives, increase empathy towards others and develop an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and cultures. Culture plays an important role in finding solutions to the complex issues of today's urban metropolises. Eight European capital cities collaborate on inclusive cultural policies to open up culture to all citizens. The aim is to bring about a real shift in cultural policymaking and as a result ensure access to culture for all citizens.

    Culture for all
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  • Can Europe be sustainable by 2030? Only if cities lead the way

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    15/11/2022

    Juncker Commission’s recent report on sustainability fell short in addressing the climate emergency. Cities must co-ordinate to create a better future for its citizens.

    Articles
    Carbon neutrality

    This January the European Commission published a long-awaited reflection paper, outlining the EU’s strategy for tackling two of the greatest threats of our time: poverty and climate change. Three years in the making, this document confirms the union’s commitment to building a sustainable economy by 2030. Appealing to the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), the report identifies several areas in which to invest. Circular economy, digitalisation and green mobility, are all singled out as particular priorities that should be integrated into a broader ‘global crisis plan.’ As the paper makes clear, such a plan is not only about preventing catastrophe, but improving quality of life for all living beings.

     

    The adherence to such a framework is certainly a positive development. As the urgency of tackling environmental devastation becomes ever more apparent, though, with new studies revealing the scale of destruction to biodiversity, many have criticised the commission for not going far enough. From school strikes, to the extinction rebellion protests, to proposals for a green new deal, citizens across the world are demanding a roadmap for change based on concrete measures. Sadly, the report offers few of these. As Patrizia Heidegger, Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), recently put it:

     

    The time for reflection was in 2015, when the EU and its Member States signed up to the SDGs. Now is the time for ambitious commitments […] the EU has one of the world’s worst environmental footprint per capita, with our unsustainable lifestyles based on resource and labour exploitation in other parts of the world. The economy of the future needs to take into account the environmental and social impact beyond our borders rather than living in the illusion of a low-carbon, resource efficient Europe that exports resource-intensive production to other parts of the world.

     

    There are other concerns closer to home. While the paper reiterates that SDGs will serve as a compass for future strategy, a more detailed inspection reveals that it will in fact be largely at the discretion of member states as to how to implement them. There will be “no enforcing” of national governments, says the report, adding that, on the contrary, the latter will have “more freedom” to decide “whether and how they adjust their work” based on the plan. Given the tendency of governments to bypass EU laws – let alone non-binding targets – there is little to suggest the measures outlined here will be sufficient to face challenge ahead.

     

    What does this mean for urban practitioners?

     

    As national and transnational institutions jostle over their respective responsibilities, cities will play a vital role in the eventual success or failure of the paper’s target. By 2050, 80% of Europeans will be living in urban areas. This fact alone demonstrates how significantly the capacity of cities to adapt and innovate will determine global trends. Arguably the multi-stakeholder platform response to the reflection paper emphasises this more than the commission’s own document. While transnational institutions have a vital role in shaping strategy, it states, cities alone have the appropriate democratic structures to enable change is implemented in an effective manner. By “carefully building ownership among inhabitants” and “taking into account territorial specificities, cultural patterns and expectations,” urban actors can, they conclude, serve as vanguards for change.   

     

    The overall picture, though, is far from rosy. In fact, one of the most worrying takeaways from the reflection paper is the relative unpreparedness of cities to face the challenges to come. The numbers are stark. As the associated research makes clear, only 26% of EU cities and 40% of large cities (those of over 150 000 inhabitants) have adaption plans for the future based on sustainable models. Without a huge change here, any attempt to implement larger targets at a transnational level seem doomed to fail. One might reasonably have expected a robust set of guidelines from the commission here, outlining how to avoid such a disaster. Once again, though, the advice is rather muted. While the reflection paper does direct urban practitioners to existing initiatives, like the Covenant of Mayors: for climate and energy, the European Sustainability Award and Urban Agenda for the EU, it falls short of providing more structured policy recommendations. Given the scale of the emergency we face, the absence of any systemic protocol is, without doubt, a disappointment.

     

    What is to be done?

     

    Over the past few months, Greta Thunberg has dominated headlines with her frank and uncompromising call for action over the climate emergency. Her message, “our house is burning” is a reminder that none of us can stand still. As she put it in a recent speech, “We must change almost everything in our current societies […] the bigger your carbon footprint is, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility”.

     

    This was not just a media soundbite. It was an imperative targeted directly at policy makers, including urban practitioners. Just as individual citizens must alter their behaviours, so cities must take the initiative. This cannot mean simply mean respecting SDGs and the programmes highlighted by the commission. It will also require the spontaneous adoption of innovative sustainable policies.

     

    URBACT is filled with examples of cities that have gone above and beyond the criteria identified in the reflection paper. The BioCanteens transfer network is one such example. By implementing new sorting line processes and encouraging locally sourced, organic food, the network has enabled schools to find alternatives to industrial food production. For some participants this has resulted in a reduction in food waste by 80%, with no additional cost to municipalities. Another case is BeePathNet, a network designed to tackle damage to biodiversity by encouraging bee keeping. As numbers dwindle across the world, Ljubljana (SI) is now home to 180 million bees thanks to this initiative.

     

    The Commission correctly emphasises the role technology can play in facilitating sustainable policy. Digital tools, though, are never just a quick fix and cannot be used as a substitute for community organisation. Cities like Tallinn (EE) provide good models of what the balance should look like. Since 1991 the municipality has been organising a highly successful annual Spring Clean Up Campaign. Using a combination of TV, posters, social media, they have been able to synchronise a mass ‘tidy-up’ across districts, tackling the accumulation of waste across the urban area as a whole. A more tech-savvy initiative of a similar vein is the multimedia platform Tropa Verde Santiago. By rewarding ecologically conscious citizen behaviour with vouchers that can be exchanged for real-life rewards, the city has successfully galvanised a new culture of recycling.

     

    These are simple changes which can be easily implemented. EU strategy continues to evolve, but the institutions need pushing, including by cities. In the immediate term, there’s still time to give feedback to the commission regarding the reflection paper, using the Europe Direct platform. This a good start to ensuring gaps are communicated as well as ideas on policy priorities and practical tips. More profoundly, though, the reflection paper reveals the ongoing need for an organic spread of knowledge. This does not mean re-inventing the wheel. As the URBACT networks show, there are already blueprints out there that are just waiting to be redeployed in other cities. Adapting and spreading these examples would surely be a useful start in promoting sustainable practices at a pan-European level.

     

    For more information on how URBACT networks are working to pioneer sustainable development see the publication ‘Cities in Action: Stories of Change’.

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  • Can Europe be sustainable by 2030? Only if cities lead the way

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    Spring Clean Up Campaign in Tallinn (EE)
    06/10/2022

    Take a trip down memory lane with us. Re-discover stories and reflections that we've captured over the last years.

    Articles

    This article was first published in 2019 and, yet, is more relevant than ever. 

     

     

    Back in 2019 the European Commission published a long-awaited reflection paper, outlining the EU’s strategy for tackling two of the greatest threats of our time: poverty and climate change. It took three years in the making, this document confirms the union’s commitment to building a sustainable economy by 2030. Appealing to the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), the report identifies several areas in which to invest. Circular economy, digitalisation and green mobility, are all singled out as particular priorities that should be integrated into a broader ‘global crisis plan.’ As the paper makes clear, such a plan is not only about preventing catastrophe, but improving quality of life for all living beings.

     

    As the urgency of tackling environmental devastation becomes ever more apparent, though, with studies revealing the scale of destruction to biodiversity, many have criticised the commission for not going far enough. From school strikes, to the extinction rebellion protests, to proposals for a green new deal, citizens across the world are demanding a roadmap for change based on concrete measures. Sadly, the report offers few of these. As Patrizia Heidegger, Deputy Secretary General at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said at the time:

     

     

    The time for reflection was in 2015, when the EU and its Member States signed up to the SDGs. Now is the time for ambitious commitments […] the EU has one of the world’s worst environmental footprint per capita, with our unsustainable lifestyles based on resource and labour exploitation in other parts of the world. The economy of the future needs to take into account the environmental and social impact beyond our borders rather than living in the illusion of a low-carbon, resource efficient Europe that exports resource-intensive production to other parts of the world”.

     

     

    There are other concerns closer to home. While the paper reiterates that SDGs will serve as a compass for future strategy, a more detailed inspection reveals that it will in fact be largely at the discretion of member states as to how to implement them. There will be “no enforcing” of national governments, says the report, adding that, on the contrary, the latter will have “more freedom” to decide “whether and how they adjust their work” based on the plan. Given the tendency of governments to bypass EU laws – let alone non-binding targets – there is little to suggest the measures outlined here will be sufficient to face challenge ahead.

     

     
    What does this mean for urban practitioners?

     

     

    As national and transnational institutions jostle over their respective responsibilities, cities will play a vital role in the eventual success or failure of the paper’s target. By 2050, 80% of Europeans will be living in urban areas. This fact alone demonstrates how significantly the capacity of cities to adapt and innovate will determine global trends. Arguably the multi-stakeholder platform response to the reflection paper emphasises this more than the commission’s own document. While transnational institutions have a vital role in shaping strategy, it states, cities alone have the appropriate democratic structures to enable change is implemented in an effective manner. By “carefully building ownership among inhabitants” and “taking into account territorial specificities, cultural patterns and expectations,” urban actors can, they conclude, serve as vanguards for change.

      

    The overall picture, though, is far from rosy. In fact, one of the most worrying takeaways from the reflection paper is the relative unpreparedness of cities to face the challenges to come. The numbers are stark. As the associated research makes clear, only 26% of EU cities and 40% of large cities (those of over 150 000 inhabitants) have adaption plans for the future based on sustainable models. Without a huge change here, any attempt to implement larger targets at a transnational level seem doomed to fail. One might reasonably have expected a robust set of guidelines from the commission here, outlining how to avoid such a disaster. Once again, though, the advice is rather muted. While the reflection paper does direct urban practitioners to existing initiatives, like the Covenant of Mayors: for climate and energy, the European Sustainability Award and Urban Agenda for the EU, it falls short of providing more structured policy recommendations. Given the scale of the emergency we face, the absence of any systemic protocol is, without doubt, a disappointment.

     

     

    What is to be done?

     

     

    Throughout 2019, Greta Thunberg has dominated headlines with her frank and uncompromising call for action over the climate emergency. Her message, “our house is burning” is a reminder that none of us can stand still. As she put it at that time in a speech, “We must change almost everything in our current societies […] the bigger your carbon footprint is, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility”.

     

    This was not just a media soundbite. It was an imperative targeted directly at policy makers, including urban practitioners. Just as individual citizens must alter their behaviours, so cities must take the initiative. This cannot mean simply mean respecting SDGs and the programmes highlighted by the commission. It will also require the spontaneous adoption of innovative sustainable policies.

     

     

    URBACT is filled with examples of cities that have gone above and beyond the criteria identified in the reflection paper. The BioCanteens#2 Transfer Network is one such example. By implementing new sorting line processes and encouraging locally sourced, organic food, the network has enabled schools to find alternatives to industrial food production. For some participants this has resulted in a reduction in food waste by 80%, with no additional cost to municipalities. Another case is BeePathNet Reloaded, a network designed to tackle damage to biodiversity by encouraging bee keeping. As numbers dwindle across the world, Ljubljana (SI) is now home to 180 million bees thanks to this initiative.

     

    The Commission correctly emphasises the role technology can play in facilitating sustainable policy. Digital tools, though, are never just a quick fix and cannot be used as a substitute for community organisation. Cities like Tallinn (EE) provide good models of what the balance should look like. Since 1991 the municipality has been organising a highly successful annual Spring Clean Up Campaign. Using a combination of TV, posters, social media, they have been able to synchronise a mass ‘tidy-up’ across districts, tackling the accumulation of waste across the urban area as a whole. A more tech-savvy initiative of a similar vein is the multimedia platform Tropa Verde Santiago. By rewarding ecologically conscious citizen behaviour with vouchers that can be exchanged for real-life rewards, the city has successfully galvanised a new culture of recycling.

     

    These are simple changes which can be easily implemented. EU strategy continues to evolve, but the institutions need pushing, including by cities. In the immediate term, there’s still time to give feedback to the commission regarding the reflection paper, using the Europe Direct platform. This a good start to ensuring gaps are communicated as well as ideas on policy priorities and practical tips. More profoundly, though, the reflection paper reveals the ongoing need for an organic spread of knowledge. This does not mean re-inventing the wheel. As the URBACT networks show, there are already blueprints out there that are just waiting to be redeployed in other cities. Adapting and spreading these examples would surely be a useful start in promoting sustainable practices at a pan-European level.

     

     

    --

     

    The recently approved URBACT IV Programme (2021 -2027) pays particular attention to build the awareness and capacity of all programme actors to better include cross-cutting considerations such as green cities, digital transition and gender equality”.
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