Democracy in America?

One of the first, and definitely most famous, observers of American democratic institutions saw in local government one of the key pillars to the newly established democratic system. Alexis de Tocqueville was impressed by New England townships’ degree of self-government. Today, almost two centuries after Tocqueville’s essay was published, it may be time to conclude [...]

By Fernando Fernandez-Monge, on April 13th, 2018

Heritage of military sites in Szombathely (HU)

The URBACT MAPS (Military Assets as Public Spaces) project aims at enhancing former military heritage as key elements for sustainable urban strategies, combining both functional and social aspects. The goal of the project is reversing negative trends, highlighting the potentialities of this heritage, discussing, in broad circles, all potential uses. The Hungarian partner of the [...]

By Mátyás Sain, on April 6th, 2018

Pazin (HR) builds mutual trust by involving its citizens in passing the budget

Here is a story about a city which began involving its citizens in setting and passing the city budget, educated them about how the local government functions, and consequently built mutual trust between the citizens and their local government. It is a story about participatory budgeting, a process of democratic discussion and decision-making, which is [...]

By Mario Zulicek, on March 27th, 2018

People-powered services: myth or reality?

An article written in conversation with Eddy Adams. The challenge of citizen participation One of the things that city authorities continue to most struggle with is citizen participation. More than ten years after the Leipzig Charter, which set out the goal of participative integrated urban regeneration, the picture across Europe remains highly uneven. Happily though, [...]

By Joe Micheli, on March 16th, 2018

World Urban Forum

The ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) took place in Kuala Lumpur (MY) from Wednesday, 7 February, to Tuesday, 13 February 2018, on the theme “Cities 2030 – Cities For All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda.” The WUF takes place every two years as both a technical forum and an open and inclusive [...]

By Emmanuel Moulin, on March 5th, 2018

3 lessons on how to recycle water from Prato

A story of water from rainbow to recycled Imagine a rainbow river in your city. Every time you pass by its water can be green, deep crimson or dark blue. You might think it is an artistic performance or a militant statement. You might think it is an ingenious way for the Municipality to interact [...]

By Simina Lazar, on February 23rd, 2018

Design thinking to co-create cities of the future

The future of urban development and co-creation of solutions to challenges cities are facing were at the core of discussions at the City Development Forum held in Poznan (PL) on 6 and 7 December 2017. Speakers included city leaders such as Jacek Jaśkowiak, Mayor of Poznan (PL), Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdansk (PL), Giuseppe De [...]

By Jim Sims, on February 16th, 2018

URBACT Facebook Live from World Urban Forum, Kuala Lumpur (MY) #WUF9

The World Urban Forum was the most interesting event in February 2018 for those thinking about and working for better cities. #WUF9 taking place from 7 to 13 February in Kuala Lumpur (MY) is focussed on implementing the New Urban Agenda. Here are 7 interviews from #WUF9 designed to give those who could not go all [...]

By Segolene Pruvot, on February 9th, 2018

Island of pedestrians

Landing at the ferry port of Silba, a medium-sized island in Northern Dalmatia, crystal-clear sea and a decent beach with white pebbles are waiting right next to the port. The nearby café serves as a beach bar, as well as a waiting room for many travellers who visit the island in summer. But, unlike other [...]

By Marko Peterlin, on February 1st, 2018

Child Friendly City – A City for All

Do you want to be a child-friendly city? Just take the children in your city seriously and think of their families, older friends, and neighbours while you are planning, designing, and organizing the maintenance of outdoor space for play – and you will get a city that is friendly to everyone. 1.     Remember, once we [...]

By Maja Simoneti, on January 26th, 2018