URBACT Local Group (ULG) Meetings: Fostering Collaboration and Digital Inclusion

Edited on 21/05/2024

Digi inclusion

In the realm of urban development, fostering collaboration and inclusivity is paramount to crafting effective strategies for growth and innovation. Within the DIGI-INCLUSION network, and indeed across all Integrated Action Plan networks of the URBACT program, URBACT Local Groups (ULG) emerge as linchpins for co-producing city strategies and Action Plans. The primary aim of the ULG is to convene various stakeholders, each with their own interests and viewpoints, to identify issues, establish policy priorities, and devise practical solutions in the most effective manner possible, using the Problem Tree method – to systematically identify and analyze the root causes of issues -. So far, there are two remarkable experiences by our DIGI-INCLUSION network partners: Gdańsk Entrepreneurship Foundation (Poland) and Jelgava Local Municipality (Latvia), where ULG meetings have catalyzed transformative change and paved the way for a more digitally inclusive future.

Attendance sheet in a ULG meeting
Attendance sheet in a ULG meeting

Gdańsk: A Beacon of Collaboration and Innovation.

The activities focusing on digital inclusion in Gdańsk (Poland) have been carried out in the ULG group, which gathered the representatives from different sectors, such as municipal entities (Department of Civil Affairs, Department of Social Development, Office for Cooperation with Residents and District Councils, Gdańsk Contact Centre, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk for Seniors), units subordinated to the city (Municipal Family Assistance Centre), culture institutions (City Culture Institute – IKM) as well as companies (Gdańsk Tourist Organisation, Kainos, Objectivity, Go4Robots). The diverse perspectives of the participants provided a holistic view of the challenges and opportunities of the city in terms of digitization and activities supporting the digital inclusion of inhabitants.

The vision developed in the ULG is: The residents of Gdańsk have the city in their grasp, they know, understand and enjoy the high-quality digital services available to all.

The strength of the Gdańsk ULG meetings was the diversity of the institutions, companies and organizations invited to the dialogue, which can lead to the digital inclusion of the inhabitants, as well as ensure the openness of various entities to cross-sectoral cooperation. This allows for innovative projects, as well as a wider selection of digital tools that can be used by the city in the future.

Key challenges for Gdańsk that were diagnosed during the ULG meetings include the need to strengthen residents' motivation and digital competence, minimize mistrust of digital tools and fear of cybercrime. In addition, the need to improve communication with residents and to adapt the city's digital solutions to the diverse needs of residents was recognized.

The Gdańsk Integrated Action Plan will include actions on strengthening digital knowledge, motivation and skills, communication, the creation of a network of local digital centers with access to digital tools, and the design of high-quality public digital services.

ULG meeting in Gdańsk held on December 15th, 2023.
ULG meeting in Gdańsk held on December 15th, 2023


Jelgava Local Municipality: Pioneering Digital Empowerment.

A recent ULG meeting was held on March 6th, 2024, in Jelgava (Latvia), underscoring the municipality's commitment to digital inclusion. Led by Jelgava Local Municipality residents, alongside municipal specialists and cooperation partners at Zemgale Regional Competence Development Center, the seminar aimed to delineate core digital challenges, craft a vision for inclusion, and strategize actionable steps.

Key challenges identified during the ULG deliberations include the lack of knowledge about access alternatives, fear of the unknown in the digital environment, reluctance to embrace digital tools, diminishing civic participation, and the complexity of digital platforms. In response, the Integrated Action Plan envisages a digitally empowered community, emphasizing awareness, proficiency, and motivation as pillars for digital literacy.

Jelgava Local Municipality reported that their last ULG meeting has been a success as they have been able to incorporate a motivational expert in the session to engage the participation of the stakeholders.

ULG meeting in Jelgava held on March 6th, 2024.
ULG meeting in Jelgava held on March 6th, 2024


Project partners, spanning municipalities from Spain (Mollet del Vallès Municipality) to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zenica-Doboj Canton), highlight the collaborative nature of the initiative, fostering knowledge exchange and mutual learning. Moving forwards the project aims to develop a roadmap for action plans, convene local expert working group meetings, and participate in international collaborations, all while implementing tailored pilot projects.


Follow our activity for more:

- Facebook.

- LinkedIn.

- YouTube.

Submitted by AlbertMollet on 09/04/2024
author image


See all articles