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  • URBACT news, opportunities and more!

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    Some miscellaneous news and opportunities on all things urban!




    From urbact


    With the URBACT IV Programme's first call for Action Planning Networks closing on March 31st, we await news on those networks chosen for funding! News on this will be communicated following the Programme Monitoring Committee meeting at the end of May. The new networks will formally begin on June 1st!

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    Job vacancies at the URBACT Secretariat: after some recent personnel and organisational changes, URBACT is currently recruiting for seven positions. Apply by May 28th.

    Events Officer

    Contract and Finance Officer

    Senior Finance and Audit Officer

    Programme Management Officer

    Project Officer

    Strategic Programme Development Lead Officer

    Head of Unit - Networks and Capacity-Building

    You can find out more here

    URBACT is also looking for service providers in the areas of editorial and digital support. The deadline is 6th June 12.00 CEST. See more here.

    Keep up with the digital transition in cities: this self-paced Moodle course aims to build the capacities of city-practitioners and policy-makers to understand the main concepts and challenges associated with digital transitions in policy areas such as environment, government or economy.

    Discover the URBACT IV experts: The first batch of URBACT IV validated experts available to support URBACT networks and activities is now online! Find out who they are or apply to become an expert here. The call remains open through to 2027. For those within Ireland interested in applying, feel free to reach out anytime to Karl for a chat at

    The European Urban Initiative has opened calls for its capacity-building opportunities. Read more about the recent call and related events here!

  • Clyde Hutchinson

    Through his consultancy, Journey Partners, serves as General Partner at TEAM ABC Ventures, investing globally in early-stage startups in transportation and coastal tourism focusing on sustainability, decarbonization and digital transformation. 

    One of first signatories of the UNEP Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative.  Previously led several international innovation and startup programs such as Propeller Shannon (backed by Boeing and Datalex) and Founder of Viva Air Labs (Latin America’s first innovation hub for Aviation) Medellín, Colombia.

    Currently advisor board member at Digilised, MèreMer and SeaRoutes.  Also, serves an expert for EU Commission on the Innovation Friendly Regulations Group.

    Experienced mentor and evaluator working with European Commission’s European Innovation Council, BlueInvest, EIT Digital/Food (Water Scarcity)/Health programs. As well as  RIF Cyprus, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and Enterprise Ireland. Spent his early career as academic researcher working at University of Cambridge, ZSL London Zoo, Imperial College and Tokyo University focusing on international development, conservation and effect of habitat destruction on human health in UK., Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda), India and the Caribbean

    Available for Lead Expert role and Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform the Lead expert role and Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:

    1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities
    2. Thematic expertise:
      > Circular economy
      > Mobility
      > Energy transition  
    3. Methods and tools for integrated and participatory approaches:
      > Integrated and participatory design of strategies
  • Eileen Crowley

    Eileen Crowley (MA Town & Country Planning, BA European Development Studies & Spanish) is an urban planner & project designer. Her work focusses on identifying, developing and converting opportunities for urban and regional development solutions into funded projects. She is an experienced expert evaluator for the European Commission and a senior expert with DG Regio. Having spent over 20 years working in a transnational capacity with local and regional government, academia and in research management, she founded Ascent Consulting in 2018. She specialises in supporting cities with project development and financing, co-creation techniques and participative urban innovation and transformation. 

    Eileen was Lead Expert for the Resourceful Cities Action Planning Network (2019-2022) and provided ad hoc support to the Gendered Landscape & Cities4CSR Action Planning Networks. A familiar face in URBACT, she supported the co-design and delivery of the first-ever online URBACT university in 2020, participated in a fireside chat on innovative governance models during the e-university 2022 and facilitated a session on Integration in Action during the 2022 City Festival in Paris. 

    In 2023 she was the key expert responsible for supporting the incubation of New European Bauhaus projects in 9 European Cities with a focus on funding & financing and supporting business model development. She is also a validated expert with the European Urban Initiative where she supports the evaluation of City to City Exchanges. She is a regular evaluator of projects and proposals under Horizon Europe, ERASMUS+, AMIF, EIT calls and more. 

    Available for Lead Expert role and Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform the Lead expert role and Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:

    1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities
    2. Thematic expertise:
      > Circular Economy
      > Finance and Resources
      > Strategic Urban Planning
      > Local Economy
      > Social Innovation
    3. Methods and tools for integrated and participatory approaches:
      > Integrated and participatory design of strategies
      > Securing funding and resourcing
  • Denise (Dee) Sewell

    I have been providing social, community and therapeutic horticultural and environmental education, along with a consultation, facilitation, design and mentoring service in Ireland since 2009.

    I was a mentor to ten community gardening projects in County Carlow with the Ru:rban Network during 2022 (Urban Agriculture for Resilient Cities) and work with communities, local development partnerships & local authorities across Ireland, including the Local Enterprise Board as a Green for Micro Mentor. 

    I was founding Chair and a committee member of the national volunteer organisation Community Gardens Ireland between 2010 and 2020, a VOICE Ireland Recycling Ambassador, a South-East champion for the European GROW Observatory. I am Vice Chair of County Carlow Environmental Network, where we have recently finished showing two seasons of ten environmental films in partnership with our local Arts Centre.

    Social inclusion has been uppermost in my mind when I work with adults in addiction recovery as well as those with intellectual and physical disabilities. 

    All of my work underpins the major community and sustainable development goals of encouraging voluntary work, providing training and education for social, recreational, cultural, work and personal development, as well as encouraging active engagement in decision making in local communities.

    I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulturalists, AONTAS, and a supporter of the Garden & Landscape Designers Association in Ireland.

    Available for Ad-hoc expertise missions

    Expert can perform Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:

    1. Thematic expertise:
      > Circular Economy
      > Food


  • Information Day-the launch of URBACT IV and the first call for Action Planning Networks!

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    Audience at the URBACT IRELAND InfoDay, the Custom House, Dublin on January 31st, 2023

    The new URBACT IV logo for Ireland

    From urbact

    On the afternoon of Tuesday 31st January 2023 at the Custom House, Dublin, we will launch URBACT IV and provide an overview of the call for Action Planning Networks.

    Come join us on the day to receive practical tips in getting started, and the opportunity to hear of testimonies from past URBACT project participants in Ireland!! At the event you will also hear from other speakers on the importance of integrated and sustainable urban development at the local, regional and national levels, as well as the value of participation in EU projects!

    The agenda will be paperless and will be communicated to registered attendees in advance! Please register here:

  • Ireland’s Playful Towns-Final Event of URBACT NPTI network.

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    Adam Roigart inspiring the event participants

    On the 15th November, participating towns in URBACT’s Playful Paradigm National Transfer Practice Initiative (NPTI): Donegal, Portlaoise, Rush, Rathdrum and Sligo, and led by Cork City, descended on Sligo town centre to show over sixty-five invitees from all over Ireland how they can put the ‘play’ into ‘place-making’ and animate Ireland’s towns.


    Following Cork City’s participation and success in the transnational network Playful Paradigm, led by Udine in Italy, this NPTI project was one of five European intra-country transfer pilots seeking to bring both the best practice and learning of its lead city and the value of URBACT to towns yet to experience the programme and to hopefully engender future capacity and interest in being part of an URBACT transnational network.


    The event comprised 3 key-note speakers who are at the cutting edge of place-making in their cities, namely Päivi Raivio of Helsinki, Adam Roigart of Copenhagen and Denise Cahill of Cork. The morning’s discussion was followed by a fun-filled afternoon on the streets of Sligo demonstrating ideas for bringing play onto the streets. Cork and the five playful towns participating in the transfer showcased what they have achieved over the last year and demonstrated how any town can do the same, quickly and cheaply, to animate their towns.


    Councillor Mayor Tom Mac Sharry opened the conference and welcomed participants to Sligo: ‘I was delighted, on behalf of Sligo County Council to welcome so many people from all over the country to sunny Sligo to learn about one way of rejuvenating our town centres’.


    Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services, Sligo County Council, in her welcoming address to participants said: There is no one solution to making our towns more attractive places for people to live in, spend time in and enjoy. But if local authorities can incorporate playfulness into the planning and design of public realm schemes, we will really enhance the effectiveness of such projects and ensure that they are transformational and successful in rejuvenating our town centres’.


    Following the morning’s welcomes, keynotes and panel discussion, in the afternoon participants were sent around Sligo town on an urban orienteering trail of the town organized by the Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership. Each destination point of the trail showcased an activity or game that has been used by the playful towns in the last year – giant jenga, tug of war, giant snakes and ladders, target practice using bean bags and buckets. A snow/sock ball fight took place on JFK parade to the shock and delight of participants. Local artists from Pulled (a community focused Printmaking and Artist studio based in Sligo town) decorated the town’s footpaths in chalk games inviting members of the public and participants to take a moment out and be playful.


    NPTI partner in Sligo and Executive Planner, Leonora McConville noted how Ireland is witnessing the greatest injection of public funds into its towns that the state has ever seen and this is underpinned by the new Town Centre First policy which places towns at the heart of decision making. There is no one solution to creating vibrant town centres but that small actions are achievable, with high impact and at little expense. In using play and playfulness to animate our towns, this sees communities engaged and encourages a sense of ownership over public spaces’.


    Working closely with the National URBACT Point, Karl Murphy and his colleagues at the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA), Leonora McConville and her colleagues at Sligo County Council were instrumental in planning the final event of this URBACT NPTI network. The strong URBACT local group (ULG) was on display with members drawn from across the County Council (Planning, Parks, Roads and Architects sections), along with Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership, County Childcare Committee, Sligo Business Improvement District, Sligo Tidy Towns, Healthy Sligo, the Age Friendly Program, Sligo Public Participation Network as well as the County Library and the Cranmore Regeneration Project.


    For further information on URBACT activities more widely, go to: or contact Karl Murphy, National URBACT Point for Ireland at


    Adam Roigart imparting inspiring ideas to the event's audience!

    From urbact


    Phase 1 kick-off

    Phase 2 kick-off

    Phase 2 development

    Final event

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent



    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain


    Artur Katai
    City of Újbuda


    The partner cities from this Implementation network have a common need to improve the implementation of their existing integrated urban strategies and action plans by including new approaches linked to creative and cultural industries (CCI) – creative places, people, and businesses. The joint policy challenge for the network is to better facilitate the above 'creative ecosystem' to be able to attract (more) creative entrepreneurs and boost creative entrepreneurship in dedicated urban areas, this comprises activities that create economic value through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. A city is able to mobilise ideas, talents and creative organisations when it knows how to foster a creative milieu by identifying, nurturing, attracting and sustaining talent. Local governments all over the world are increasingly becoming aware of the CCI’s potential to generate jobs, wealth, and cultural engagement.

    Boosting creative entrepreneurship through creative-based urban strategies
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    Project Launch - Phase 1
    Phase 2 Final Conference - Mantova (Italy)
    Phase 2 Kick Off Meeting - Baena (Spain)
    Phase 2 development

    Arwen Dewilde
    City of Ghent



    Plaza de la Constitucion 1

    Baena (Cordoba) - Spain


    The INT-HERIT implementation network brings together 9 European cities facing challenges related to the revitalisation of their cultural heritage. These cities learn from each other and help each other to develop local strategies in order to make their cities an attractive place to live, work and visit. The network focuses on the implementation of innovative models through integrated and sustainable local strategies. It will increase awareness of strategies and plans, improving the capacity of cities to manage their heritage and enable their social and economic development.

    Innovative Heritage Management
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  • MAPS – Military Assets as Public Spaces

    Lead Partner : Piacenza - Italy
    • Cartagena - Spain
    • Espinho - Portugal
    • Koblenz - Germany
    • Longford - Ireland
    • Serres - Greece
    • Szombathely - Hungary
    • Telsiai - Lithuania
    • Varaždin - Croatia

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



    Kick-off meeting in June (Varazdin). Transnational meeting in October (Cartagena).

    Transnational meetings in January (Koblenz) and May (Espinho).

    Final event in April (Serres).


    Integrated Action Plans

    The Action Planning network MAPS (Military Assets as Public Spaces) was focused on enhancing former military heritage as key elements for sustainable urban strategies, combining both functional and social aspects. Highlighting the potential of the dismissed military areas can be deemed as the new symbols of a more conscious and participatory urban planning.

    MAPS APN logo
    Redefining the military heritage
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  • TechTown

    LEAD PARTNER Barnsley
    • Limerick - Ireland
    • San Sebastián - Spain
    • Clermond Ferrand
    • Siracusa - Italy
    • Dubrovnik - Croatia
    • Nyíregyháza - Hungary
    • Cesis - Latvia
    • Gävle - Sweden
    • Loop city - Denmark
    • Basingstoke and Deane


    For any enquires, email:


    Kick-off meeting in June (Basingstoke). Transnational meetings in September (Limerick) and November (Cesis)

    Transnational meetings in March (Barnsley), June (Gavle), September (Dubrovnik) and November (Loop City).

    Final event in April (Brussels).

    By exploring how small and medium sized cities can maximise the job creation potential of the digital economy, this Action Planning network examined whether there is potential for spillover from stronger city level digital economies; how clusters can work at city level and look collaboratively at what cities can do to support businesses to access the digital skills and innovations they need in order to start, grow and compete. The city partners further explored the role and viability of digital, content creation and technology clusters and how benefit may be gained from major city or national initiatives to benefit job creation and growth in small and medium sized cities. The project was 'of the digital economy' as well as 'for the digital economy' in that it used digital technologies as much as possible throughout management and delivery.

    TechPlace APN logo
    TechTown logo
    A digital city future, adapt or die
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