Catch up on the latest updates from cities working together in URBACT Networks. The articles and news that are showcased below are published directly by URBACT’s beneficiaries and do not necessarily reflect the programme’s position.
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Cities paving the way for a circular transition
In 2020 and in line with the Communication on the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2). The ultimate goal is to stimulate markets for climate-neutral and circular products and services, modernize the EU’s economy and reap the benefits of the transition in the EU and beyond. The seven key areas set by the Commission CEAP 2 to achieve a circular economy are exactly plastics, textiles, e-waste, food, water and nutrients, packaging, batteries and vehicles, buildings and construction.
Can Urban Sports Hubs transform youths communities and regenerate urban public spaces? Follow the Re-Gen URBACT cities pioneering sport-based solutions engaging teens for a Better Future.
Contemporary cities face challenges in providing adequate spaces for youth socialization and recreational healthy activities. The Re-Gen Project tackles these issues by leveraging abandoned public spaces for planning and testing innovative models for urban regeneration. Engaging youngsters, schools, cultural and sport associations in co-creating new Urban Sport Hubs redefines urban participative process, fosters sense of a shared responsibility for common goods and promotes multifunctional spaces. These hubs, centered on street sports, symbolize a progressive shift in policy towards inclusive community development and vibrant urban spaces reconnecting also aesthetics with ethics.
Local democracy is undergoing a change, a transition. And just like any other transition process, it has its ups and downs. Representative democracy as we have known it for many years doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to, so we are looking for more deliberative ways of making decisions. The idea is to get citizens more actively involved in the decision-making process. Views on this change are devided. There are those who are in favour of change and there are those who are more reluctant to do so. The URBACT Agents of the Co-Existence Network will explore ways to foster civic participation. In particular, they will look at the role of civil servants. Can they be the bridge between politics/politicians ('the government') and the citizens/NGOs who want to be more and better involved in decision-making? And if so, what skills and competences do these "21st century fit civil servants" need for this role?
Beyond the Urban: A Bold Initiative to Transform Europe's Urban-Rural Dynamics by looking beyond the car!
In a groundbreaking effort to transform Europe's urban-rural dynamics, the URBACT initiative Beyond the Urban embarks on a three-year journey to tackle key challenges in connectivity. This ambitious program, co-funded by the European Union and led by Creacció from Vic, Spain, unites a consortium of ten partners representing cities across Europe including Bram (France), Bucharest (Romania), Hradec Králové (Czechia), Kočani (North Macedonia), Machico (Portugal), Szalbolcs 05 (Hungary), Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal), Tartu (Estonia), and Treviso (Italy), as well as Osona (Spain) as a Lead Partner.
EcoCore - Small Cities with Big Ambitions for their Green Transition
The climate time bomb is ticking. This is the most important global systemic threat to the worldwide economy today. In response, government policies from the local to international level are seeking to reshape industrial development towards more environmentally sound practices right across the value chain. This is commonly referred to as the green industrial transition.
This transition or process of change is resulting in a worldwide movement towards more sustainable and eco-friendly industrial practices. The aim is to move away from traditional resource-heavy and polluting industrial processes to cleaner and more sustainable, efficient and smart alternatives. This will also involve a shift in consumer behaviour towards more sustainable products and services.
Green transition policies aim to reshape productive sectors, from energy to agriculture, mobility, manufacturing and construction. According to a recent paper entitled ‘The green transition and its potential territorial discontents’, there will however be winners and losers. In short, the green transition may well redirect capital investments towards regions and cities where pre-conditions in terms of infrastructure, skills and governance are more favourable. Those who want to capitalise on the opportunities provided by the green transition – those who want to emerge as ‘winners’ - need to ensure that these preconditions are firmly in place.
Cognisant of this, the EcoCore network of nine small European cities have opted to unite in proactively shaping their future fate and seizing the opportunities provided by the green transition for their local economies.
C4TALENT: Where Talent Meets Opportunity – Building Thriving Business Ecosystems
Erik and Máté, two young brothers, born and raised in Nyíregyháza, Hungary, share a passion for gastronomy. After completing their secondary education, they embarked on a journey that took them through prestigious restaurants in Budapest, London, and Toronto, including Michelin-starred establishments. Erik honed his skills, rising to the position of sous-chef, while Máté progressed as a head waiter. Despite their success abroad, their ultimate dream was to open a restaurant in their hometown. Opting for a bold career shift, they returned to Nyíregyháza, leveraging their experience to establish a successful pasta bar. Their story serves as a great example of attracting and retaining talent - however, when in comes to small and medium sized towns, unfortunately this is is more an exception than the rule.