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  • RU:RBAN

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting
    Rome Transnational Meeting
    Caen Transnational Meeting
    Vilnius Transnational Meeting
    Loures Transnational Meeting
    Thessaloniki Transnational Meeting + Mid Term Reflection
    A Coruña-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Krakow Online Transnational Meeting
    Krakow-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Vilnius-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Loures-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Caen-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Thessaloniki-Rome Bilateral ONLINE MEETING
    Network Final Event - A Coruña June 28 2021
    Thessaloniki Transnational online meeting
    Krakow TNM second part (in presence)

    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

    This Transfer network builds upon the "Management model of Urban gardens in Rome" Good Practice, in order to transfer to EU cities geographically distant from each other to ensure sharing of experiences to enhance the capacities of local governance. Transfer efforts will be given to 3 distinct, interlinked, thematic components/elements that the Good Practice is divided into: Capacity building in organizing urban gardens, Inspiring and training people to manage urban gardens (Gardeners) and urban gardens governance & regulations.

    Urban agriculture for resilient cities
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    12133
  • Small Scale Actions: an URBACT innovation helping cities experiment local solutions

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    15/11/2022

    From community assemblies to green city walks, trials are improving urban policymaking across the EU.

    News

    Small Scale Actions (SSA) have added a new dynamic to URBACT networks. Carried out with the support of EU partners and URBACT experts, these ‘trial runs’ enable cities to prototype local solutions and de-risk future actions, while engaging local stakeholders in ‘doing’ as well as ‘thinking’ together to tackle urban challenges. URBACT Programme Expert Sally Kneeshaw investigates…

    The latest round of 23 URBACT Action Planning Networks, launched in 2019, have benefited from the introduction of a new feature – Small Scale Actions. For the first time, a budget of EUR 10 000 was made available to each partner city to carry out experimentation that could inform their so-called Integrated Action Plan, or IAP. This final document is co-produced in each city to encapsulate planned actions tackling a specific urban challenge, with diverse topics ranging from digitalisation to waste management.

    SSAs were introduced in response to requests from previous networks to be able to spend resources on testing ideas before deciding if they should, or could, be part of the finalised plan. URBACT defined them as “an experiment. It is an idea or a concept, perhaps already tried in another city, which can be tested to check the relevance, feasibility and added value of its implementation in different local contexts. The Small Scale Actions are limited in time, scale and space and by their nature have the right to fail.”

    Daring to fail

    Inherent in the process of experimenting is the possibility of failure, and the opportunity to learn from failing. This is often a new departure in policy development for cities. The SSA was therefore also a process to allow public administrations to adopt more agile ways of acting, adapting methods from other sectors such as design and tech, and to be able to test ideas for sustainable change before creating long-term action plans. It can allow cities to design and build better and quicker, to iterate, or provide evidence that something should be discontinued rather than wasting public funds.

    Cities take up the SSA challenge

    According to our most recent survey, 85% of cities in these URBACT networks took up the challenge of piloting at least one Small Scale Action over the course of 2021. With the action plans due to be finalised by June 2022, we looked into how these new SSAs have worked in practice. Did they improve the urban realm, governance processes or the lives of citizens, and what can we, as a programme, learn from them?

    Given the wide variety of urban challenges undertaken by URBACT networks – from the circular economy, to sustainable tourism, to city branding – very different approaches to SSAs emerged. Most networks engaged in a process to identify which action would be most useful for them, in relation to their priorities and information gaps. In the end, events, information campaigns, new tools/methods for implementation, and small infrastructure interventions were the most popular SSAs, overall.

    Mini solutions emerge

    Here are just a few examples of the scores of local solutions that URBACT cities have trialled in 27 countries this past year, and are now ready to scale up.

    CULTURAL INCLUSION
    To improve inclusion in neighbourhoods with low levels of cultural and community activity, new interventions were tested in Vilnius (LT). They offered different formats and elements of interaction in different neighborhoods, such as musical picnics, open-air libraries, history rooms and ‘Tea & Chats’ inspired by Dublin (IE). Meanwhile, Sofia (BG) experimented with an info campaign on access to culture for 11 to 16 year old students, a group identified as having low levels of participation. The testing included a survey among students, training for teachers, and working with a popular blogger to communicate in ways that resonate with the students. (Find out more about the ACCESS network.) 

     

    RE-USE and RECYCLING
    In our environmentally focused networks, repair and re-use interventions, citizen engagement and awareness raising were tested. A project on circular textile consumption looked at how to mainstream leasing/renting models for fashion businesses, and start an operational model for the Belgian city of Mechelen. Bucharest 3rd District (RO) tried out a composting unit. (Find out more about the Resourceful Cities network.)

     

    NEW HOUSING SOLUTIONS
    In relation to homelessness, the aim was to try out, evaluate and verify what direction to take on the road towards implementing the ‘Housing First’ approach. Ghent (BE) tested a new form of collaboration between different support agencies by working in a new coordinated approach with three beneficiaries. In Toulouse (FR), a unique campaign to attract private renters through a single communication channel increased affordable private housing offers. This action proved the viability of extending the concept to the wider Métropole area. (See more information on the ROOF network.)

     

    SMART SENSORS
    New sensor technology was tested in several cities, for instance to analyse urban air quality data in real time in Razlog (BG) and communicate water temperature in the local bathing lakes in Ange (SE). Very practical lessons were learned, for example, how to avoid damage to sensors measuring rubbish collection. As a result of the testing, it is now easier to cost the amount required for scaling up.
    Lead Expert Eurico Neves said: “SSAs have been very successful for us – maybe because it’s a tech-oriented project, around Internet of Things and sensors, and is easy to conceptualise and implement small solutions around a number of sensors that can be later upscaled. All cities in our network are now well advanced into the drafting of IAPs and they’re in the process of planning this upscale of SSA as part of the IAP.”
    (Read more about the IoTXchange network.)

     

    PEOPLE-CENTERED STREETS
    Placemaking SSAs made a huge difference in engaging stakeholders. Implementing concrete physical changes, such as opening up streets, provoked a mix of positive, negative and unexpected reactions, and the realisation that more communication is needed, for example with shopkeepers. Actions will be modified based on these outcomes. (Find out more about the Thriving Streets network.)
    Dubrovnik (HR) was very ambitious and tested a new route to move tourists and residents around. Another city took an open approach to review their accessibility to visitors with reduced mobility, wanting to learn and improve the experience. (Find out more about the TOURISM-FRIENDLY CITIES network.)

     

    What were the challenges and what was learnt?

    The short time scale allocated to these local ‘test-runs’ within each URBACT network, combined in some cases with the need for procurement, made it difficult for certain cities to launch their actions as planned. And several found that by implementing pilot actions they had less time available to devote to building Integrated Action Plans.

    However, in many cities the SSA succeeded in getting local URBACT groups on board, boosting stakeholder engagement. It provided a great opportunity to act, not just discuss and plan, and for stakeholders to discuss specific tangible changes, not just ideas.

    For small cities, who often have less capacity to prototype and pilot, this new process has brought a winning combination of knowledge, skills and trust. For example, thanks to the iPlace network, city partners ran hackathons to generate ideas. As a result, the Latvian town of Saldus will continue to hold hackathons regularly and allocate grants to the winners.

    What next?

    At local level, each city is now bringing the learning that emerged from the testing into the wider planning process. At programme level, URBACT is monitoring cities closely to see how to refine SSA guidance for the future. It seems the great majority of URBACT partner cities surveyed are convinced that piloting is a helpful tool for implementing their Integrated Action Plans, especially in gathering evidence and establishing proof of concept.

    Liat Rogel, Lead Expert of the ROOF network, said: “Failing or succeeding, the Small Scale Actions all help the cities to make more effective action plans. There is a real strength in the opportunity to iterate through one’s own experience and that of others.”

    “In many cases SSAs introduced a new dynamic, that should be continued and embedded in future planning and delivery,” said Adele Bucella, Head of Programmes and Projects at URBACT. “Cities took ideas from each other and learned together, for instance how to work with stakeholders, how to measure impacts. This local testing de-risks the intended actions and makes them more investable. The next stage of the process is to make sure that the learning from the SSA is well-integrated into all the IAPs.”

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  • New urban gardens bringing communities together

    Lithuania
    Vilnius

    Gardening has wider impacts on the city that one would expect

    Ausra Siciuniene
    Project Coordinator
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    589 000

    Summary

    Implementing community gardens can be highly beneficial for a city not only for environmental purpose but also for social ones: to fight social exclusion, and bring neighbours together, at the same time as organisation education activities for children around them. This is what Vilnius has done while transferring the Good Practice of Rome, in ‘sleeping districts’, with training for gardeners and set-up of adequate urban management schemes.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Lithuania’s capital is particularly green, with 44% of its territory dedicated to forests, parks and squares. However, while family garden allotments persist from Soviet times, understanding of shared community gardens is still limited.

    The municipality owns various public spaces, including grounds of schools and kindergartens, but most vacant space in Vilnius is privately or state-owned. This has challenged the municipality’s capacity to promote urban agriculture.

    The shared urban garden initiatives that have existed so far have done so without city support. Meanwhile, most community groups lack the funding and permanent staff necessary to commit to gardening projects.

    RU:RBAN gave Vilnius the knowledge to promote urban gardening as a way to fight social exclusion, and bring neighbours - even in high-rise ‘sleeping districts’ - together.

    The ULG focused on a key component of Rome’s practice – a clear set of regulations for communities to know how and where to start an urban garden. It was not a process of copy-paste, but of understanding and adapting.

    Nevertheless, thanks to the efforts of the group, the City Council approved a new set of rules and regulations for urban gardening in March 2021. In addition, the municipality released a guide to urban gardening which gained national media attention as part of a broader environmental awareness drive.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The practice developed by Vilnius following the experience of Rome is based strongly on environmental protection and awareness by developing urban gardens. Its social aspect is key as these gardens are actually “community” gardens, with all well-known and documented benefits for neighourhoods as groups and as individuals, such as mental health, socialisation, skills development etc. In particular trainings and sharing of seeds can have wider impacts on the local economy.

    Participatory approach

    A new URBACT Local Group (ULG) was set up including gardening enthusiasts, NGOs, schools, the municipality, and the Environment Ministry.

    The members of Vilnius’ ULG benefited collectively and within their own specific fields from the experience and ideas of Rome and the other partner cities. This included gardeners sharing seeds and participating in “Gardenizer” trainings. It also involved “totally fascinated” city planners learning how Rome developed urban farming at a huge scale, right down to the smallest details of their financing model.

    ULG members also gained valuable knowledge about new communication tools, including through trainings in Riga where they learnt to use tools such as ‘vox pops’ and understand the value of their story for others.

    What difference has it made

    The Municipality has also started a new strategic long-term program - CITY+ - aimed at recreating a sense of community in the former soviet districts. One of the important aspects is to create a feeling of ownership by allowing citizens to have their own yard and therefore an opportunity to create their small urban gardens.

    With around 60% of the city’s population living in these buildings, Vilnius’ new urban garden trend looks set to continue.

    Transferring the practice

    Vilnius implemented the practice from Rome by starting with one existing community garden and built from there. Gradually, the number of urban gardens in Vilnius started to grow. Furthermore, the model is now formally included in the city’s urban development policies.

    Another interesting aspect was that they linked the development of community gardens with ecological education and vegetable growing in kindergartens - an activity appreciated by partner cities during their study visit.

    Solving land ownership issues will remain a key challenge for the spread of urban gardening, requiring ongoing dialogue with private and state owners. To free up more land, Vilnius will also start discussions with the National Land Authority to allow communities temporary use of state-owned land for their urban garden initiatives.

    As for its own land, the city will now be proposing the option of including an urban garden whenever it discusses green area renovation plans with communities. The municipality also expects to continue making further improvements to relevant legal procedures to facilitate urban gardens.

    Is a transfer practice
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  • Five great ideas for greener cities

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    15/11/2022

    These local green solutions are inspiring cities across the EU. Could they work in your city too?

    Articles

    The New Leipzig Charter highlights three forms of the transformative city which can be harnessed in Europe to enhance people’s quality of life: the Just City, the Green City and the Productive City.

    URBACT’s latest publication is packed with sustainable solutions to address these three dimensions – all tried, tested and transferred between EU cities, with adaptations for each local context.

    To give a taste of the full stories in ‘Good practice transfer: Why not in my City?’, here are five examples of local actions for Green Cities. We hope towns and cities of all sizes will be inspired to ‘Understand, Adapt and Re-use’ these participative, joined-up solutions, helping to drive a just transition to a green economy.

    1. Reward re-use and recycling

    The Zugló district of Budapest, Hungary, launched a reward scheme with the city’s waste company to encourage recycling – and slow growth in household waste. After an initial survey of local needs and attitudes, they built an online platform linking citizens with various ‘green points’ where they can drop off recyclable and reusable items, earning coupons for goods and services provided by local sponsors. Schools and other organisations – including Budapest zoo – are joining in with activities to promote the circular economy. This approach originates in the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela (ES), which motivated people from its so-called TropaVerde ‘rewarding recycling!’ initiative – including web developers – to transfer the good practice to their peers in other EU cities with support from URBACT.

    2. Bring in the bees

    A new ‘Bee Path’ guides visitors round local sites linked to bees and honey in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz. The sweet solution was developed by a group of beekeepers, teachers, entrepreneurs, researchers, tour guides and interested locals. Together, they identified 16 places in their city with apiaries and melliferous potential, from a university roof to the botanical garden. Bydgoszcz is one of six EU cities to enrich its urban jungle with bees, adopting Ljubljana’s (Slovenia) tried-and-tested ‘Bee Path’ as part of an URBACT Transfer Network. With education, tourism, biodiversity and business all benefiting, visible changes already include new bee-friendly flower gardens, city-wide World Bee Day celebrations, and the promotion of local honey.

    3. Link up art and culture with climate activism

    A movement of green cultural events and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions, is growing in the UNESCO-listed town of Mantua, Italy, thanks to new synergies between the cultural sector and climate activism. As partners in the URBACT C-Change network, Mantua picked up its approach from the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (UK), which was formed in 2011 to explore how the arts and culture sector could contribute to the city's first climate change strategy. Mantua’s cross-sectoral scheme has sparked improvements ranging from re-usable cups to bio-gas buses, contributing to a new ‘plastic-free’ city strategy, environmental criteria in the city’s UNESCO management plan, and green public procurement for cultural events.

    4. Create a municipal farm to supply local canteens 

    With an ambitious sustainable food policy, the Bulgarian town of Troyan decided to build a municipal farm from scratch, and use the produce in school meals. After two years learning from Mouans-Sartoux’s (FR) pioneering ‘Collective school catering’ work as partners in the URBACT BioCanteens network, Troyan’s farm has already started supplying organic fruit and vegetables. To achieve this, the town learnt new public procurement techniques and took a step-by-step approach, initially aiming to provide half of the vegetables required in local canteens, then expand production later. And the process was supported by an URBACT Local Group, involving heads of schools and kindergartens, civil servants and parents.

    5. Grow urban gardens together with communities

    Vilnius, (LT) is promoting urban gardening as a way to fight social exclusion and gather neighbours, even in high-rise ‘sleeping districts’. Working with local stakeholders and the Ministry of Environment, Vilnius developed a clear set of regulations for communities to know how – and where – to start an urban garden. The municipality also released an urban gardening guide as part of a broader environmental awareness drive – and has formally included the shared gardens model in the city’s urban development policies. Their inspiration? Rome (IT), whose resilient urban gardening project targets more than 50 hectares, involving NGOs, citizens, disadvantaged people and minorities. Thanks to the URBACT RU:RBAN network, shared gardens in Vilnius have already started to grow – and dialogue continues with private and state owners to free up access to land for more community gardens in the future.

    Read about these and many more sustainable solutions for cities, in URBACT’s latest publication ‘Good practice transfer: Why not in my City?’, with positive opening words from Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms.

    Tagged with the three city dimensions of the New Leipzig Charter, our easy-to-search Good Practice database also provides more inspiration for greener cities.

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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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  • “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
    City planning

    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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  • Are Urban Gardens the place for modern community hubs?

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    15/11/2022

    From Rome (IT) to Vilnius (LT) and A coruna (ES), Urban Gardening plays a key role in creating social links and is at the forefront of social innovation.

    Urban Gardening is a now widespread concept. That is how Wikipedia proposes to define it: "Urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around a town, or city. The concepts in Urban Gardens and the associated facilities have received significant attention and popularity in the last 10 years and are growing to meet the needs of the ever-developing urban life."

    But what happens in real life in European cities and towns? How can one build and manage urban gardens? Are Urban Gardens just about gardening in public or private plots, or are they creating something else, that one could call real community hubs?

    Articles
    Ageing

    Implementing successful actions that result in improved citizens’ quality of life, actions that are also supported by local authorities, is both a target and a great challenge for modern cities and societies.

    During the last decade intra - and peri – urban agriculture expanded rapidly. It went beyond the initiative of self-organized citizens or associations. Urban and peri-urban gardens are becoming a promising trend in some cities & towns all over Europe.

    Benefits of Urban Gardening

    Urban gardening and agriculture plays an important role in enhancing urban food security. Urban agriculture contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion of the urban poor, as well as to the greening of the city. The importance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognized by international organisations like UN-Habitat & FAO (World Food and Agriculture Organization).

    Today associations managing urban gardens already often at the forefront of innovation: they put in place new techniques such as permaculture, use new technologies, create green parks for leisure and therapeutic purposes, stimulate citizens participation to all environmental activities through the abolition architectural barriers – in particular of those with motor disabilities and the visually impaired – they improve social inclusion and integration, disseminate the culture of sustainability and resilience by raising awareness among citizens, families, groups, associations and institutions on the need to safeguard and regenerate the territory through self-management processes of common goods and self-organization.

    Rome (IT) has been awarded the URBACT Good Practice label for its participatory urban gardening project. The city has a long tradition of urban gardens but the novelty is that the City Council of Rome recently approved a regulation for Urban Gardens. Urban Gardens are now on expected to fulfil social, environmental and cultural goals for the inhabitants following clear steps for their establishment, but also their management.

    Ru:rban: Transferring the Urban Gardening Good Practice

    The Ru:rban project is one of the 24 new “Transfer Networks”. It focusses on the aspect of urban gardening, transferring knowledge and valuable experiences from the lead partner to the other participating cities and backwards. Urban gardening is a tool to include disadvantaged people (including refugees), to encourage citizens to reconnect with nature, notably if it involves schools, the young and the elderly. In terms of social inclusion, urban gardening also helps reduce the risk of mental health diseases, promote a

    healthier diet and lifestyle. Urban Gardens can combine cultural activities with societal wellbeing and spread democratic values, as it offers the occasion for social and political engagement, citizenship rights.

    Ru:rban Transfer Network is an opportunity to make urban agriculture a valued and essential element of policy in favor of green urban infrastructures.

    The cities involved in the network (Rome, A Coruna, Vilnius, Thessaloniki, Krakow, Caen and Loures) will exchange on methodologies in order to improve the impact of their urban gardening practices focusing on the policy topic management. The project will involve a wide range of stakeholders that have a strong relation with the existing gardens in each city, but also people responsible for the management of city gardens on behalf of the cities.

    The targets set for the network are to enrich Rome urban gardens regulation with new ideas, to transfer this updated regulation to the other cities, to assist these cities in improving their urban garden practices, to train in a vocational way people to manage urban gardens (Gardenisers) as parts of a small scale action plan for each city that will be prepared early 2019. The small scale actions plans will aim at increasing inhabitants’ interest, in order for them to be involved for the first time in urban garden projects and make of these places interesting community hubs.

    3 different views and practices of urban gardening from 3 cities visited so far within Ru:rban.

    While comparing the cities experiences, different approaches appeared. The first community Urban garden in Rome was implemented in 2009: Orti Urbani Garbatella. Today more than 200 community-run green areas are mapped. A regulation for the Assignment and Management of Municipal Green areas and Allotments was approved by the COR in July 2015. According to this Regulation, community gardens are considered as agricultural activities places, public spaces, green areas and community associations, all at the same time. They must conform to the prescriptions that each of these domains imply. Consequently, they are expected to fulfil social, environmental and cultural goals.

    The city of A Coruna uses its own budget and human recourses to fund the urban gardens infrastructures and organisation. This self-government policy challenge is a core element of the city action plan.

    Vilnius has a long history of urban gardening. They were mostly created by the institutions. There are very few examples of community based gardening actitivities but the potential is huge due to the amount of green public and private spaces avaialble in the city.

    Identifying common challenges beyond each city’s expectations Each of the city visited by the partnership so far has expressed its own expectations as regards to the network:

    • Rome would like to learn from the other cities in order to improve its existing regulation.
       
    • A Coruna would like to transfer elements of the good practice about management of urban gardens and would like to understand how to access funding to support of this specific policy challenge.
    • Vilnius would like to design a model for the continuous growth and expansion of community led gardens in the city; one that is sustainable and beneficial to everyone, notably by engaging public and private stakeholders. Vilnius would also like to review - and if necessary revise – the functioning of the municipal company in charge of public parks (Vilniaus Parkai) for it to focus more on community gardening.
       
    • There is also a critical common challenge for all cities participating to the the network: to improve their governance effectiveness in managing urban gardens through an improved city regulation.

    Through the Ru:rban project, the partners want to meet those objectives, notably by exchanging on the existing knowledge and practices that exist today in Europe.

    They wa

    nt also to work in the direction of building a European Urban Gardens City Network. It is a great opportunity to explore the situation of urban gardening in Europe.

    But above all these objectives there is also a very ambitious goal: that of inspiring new people to involve in community gardening and to make of urban gardens modern community hubs, in which people meet daily and act together with other people.

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  • CityLogo

    Timeline

    Project launch
    Project completed

    CityLogo is a transnational learning experience on citybranding and -marketing in modern urban politics. It is about a better positioning of cities in the (post) crisis economic arena and reinforcing the communication dimension in urban management.

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