The URBACT experience in Hungarian Cities

The more formal outcome of the participation in most URBACT project networks (with the exception of the pilot delivery networks) for a city is what we call a Local Action Plan (LAP), co-produced by city authorities and stake-holders of the Local Support Group (ULSG) . The latest national training scheme seminar in Hungary focused on [...]

By Mariann Majorné Venn, on November 27th, 2014

Lights on Riga

Riga, Latvia’s capital, was the European Capital of Culture this year, together with Umea in Sweden. Those particular spotlights are almost about to go out, although they will immediately be replaced by those drawn by the European Council Presidency, which Latvia will take on starting January 2015. But there’s still a month and a half [...]

By URBACT, on November 14th, 2014

Open! Community Utilisation of Vacant Retail Space

The signs of the 2008 crisis became visible within few months after its outbreak on the Grand Boulevard of Budapest, which was one of the most important retail locations of the city, and on many other streets as well: closed shops, business premises with lowered blinds to let. Like in many major European cities, the [...]

By Mariann Majorné Venn, on November 7th, 2014

Tackling Brownfields and Land-Take in Europe

Brownfields are an inherent feature of most, if not all, cities around the globe.  They all have a potential contribution to make the long-term success of their city. However, if they are ignored, brownfield sites can become the focus of social and economic problems. The 4th International Conference on Managing Urban Land celebrated progress, almost [...]

By URBACT, on November 3rd, 2014

Why Building City Stakeholder Capacity Matters More Than Ever

We’re on the road again. Between late October and early 2015 URBACT is holding Info-Days  in locations across the EU. It’s an opportunity for our participating cities to share some of the success stories from the current programme, now drawing to a close. And of course we’ll also be explaining how URBACT III is going [...]

By Eddy Adams, on October 29th, 2014

Renewing Old Markets, A Tool for Cities

Markets are as old as cities. In each city, markets are organised according to each country’s culture. In all cases, though, they create meeting spaces, business and jobs and they have wide-ranging potential when it comes to implementing sustainability policies and new trends. So, what came first, markets or cities? This question is similar to [...]

By URBACT, on October 21st, 2014

Creating Partnerships on Teleki Square

With approaching municipal elections in October 2014, inaugurating celebrations of different public spaces are a daily occurrence. However, one deserves special attention. In Budapest’s 8th district, within the framework of a social rehabilitation programme going on for nearly 10 years, the city’s best practice of community planning took place, for the renewal of the disreputable [...]

By Mariann Majorné Venn, on October 16th, 2014

Getting Residents Involved in Improving Public Spaces: Lessons Learned

Residents’ involvement is vital in developing public spaces. Who better than the residents can talk about what they need, say what is not working, and suggest improvements? It is the residents who actually use the public spaces and their expert practical knowledge is invaluable. The majority of the URBACT USER network partner cities report that [...]

By URBACT, on October 10th, 2014

Letter From America 2014: the #Ferguson Problem Tree

The riots in Ferguson Missouri over the past months following the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer Darren Carter illustrate the extent to which cities are a powderkeg.  It is easy to look across the pond to America and judge them to be lacking, but in Europe we have had riots in places [...]

By Peter Ramsden, on October 7th, 2014

Sustainable Food Against Climate Change

How can sustainable food contribute to fighting climate change? The experience of cities involved in the URBACT network Sustainable Food in Urban Communities gives insights into how cities can play a decisive role in fostering a change in the daily behaviors of citizens, with positive effects on CO2 emissions at global, national and local level. Ten [...]

By Simone D'Antonio, on September 30th, 2014