Lab Connections: Policy Labs in Europe for Europe #POLICYLAB4EU

Public authorities are faced with growing challenges and shrinking budgets. Innovation and modernisation of the public sector is a must to deliver more with less. More stakeholder – especially citizen- involvement can ensure more effective and to the point policies. Policy labs, through their user-centred design thinking and experimental approaches, can be instrumental for this. [...]

By Christian Svanfeldt, on December 8th, 2016

Cities making money by going 100% Renewables

Frankfurt is known as one of the global financial centers with a big airport. But there is more to know about this German city: In fact, the City of Frankfurt is one example that shows how local economies can be strengthened by transitioning to 100% Renewables. By 2050, the City will produce 100% of its [...]

By Anna Leidreiter, on November 28th, 2016

Visualising urban futures: TechTown dares to dream!

The TechTown network has been walking the talk, experimenting with digital tools both in transnational meetings and in between them to maintain momentum and keep the focus firmly on innovating, pushing boundaries, thinking of new ways to work. But low tech animation techniques can also help to open our minds, embrace the future and dare [...]

By Tracey Johnson, on November 21st, 2016

What lessons to learn from the US Presidential elections?

Cover image: Mark Makela/Getty Images Why is it important to write about the US elections on the URBACT blog? After all, the US is far away, the main topics of the presidential race have little European relevance and seemingly none at all for knowledge exchange programmes for cities, like URBACT. The two main (and fairly shocking) [...]

By Ivan Tosics, on November 14th, 2016

Stimulating solidary in neighbourhoods of apartment blocks to foster urban rehabilitation: examples from Hungary

Social urban rehabilitation projects, these days co-financed by the EU, reach their goals through combined intervention in physical and social/communal aspects of the area – in theory, at least. On the other hand, common experience is that while the rehabilitation of built environment is going smoothly, the joint efforts on human or social development are [...]

By Mariann Majorné Venn, on November 7th, 2016

Exchanges on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees at the #EUWRC

As previously reported on URBACT pages the European Union faces one of its gravest challenges with the biggest wave of migration since World War II, as people flee war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. Cities are at the forefront of this challenge, many having to find ways to cope with large numbers [...]

By Sally Kneeshaw, on November 2nd, 2016

Blogging from Bogota about post-conflict design, innovation and planning

Witnesses to a divided society “I had to come back from Canada when my father and uncle were murdered and there was no one to help on the family farm.” “My mother was killed and her body thrown down a well.” “My father has been kidnapped several times.” You cannot spend a week in Bogota [...]

By Eddy Adams, on October 24th, 2016

Divestment: Why cities across Europe rush to pull their money out of fossil fuel companies

“We are working hard to become the world’s first CO2 neutral capital in 2025. Therefore it seems totally wrong for the municipality to still be investing in oil, coal and gas. We must change that.” Those are the words of Copenhagen’s mayor Frank Jensen when he announced that the Danish capital would pull its funds [...]

By Melanie Mattauch, on October 17th, 2016

URBACT cities among thousands celebrating European Mobility Week

The 2016 edition of the European Mobility Week, held on 16-22 September under the banner of “Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe” was the most successful so far, with 2424 cities and towns from 51 countries signing up. URBACT cities, with their long-standing commitment to sustainable mobility, were also part of this [...]

By Ania Rok, on October 10th, 2016

Reinvent democracy with Aarhus’ “everyday activists” and habit-breaking “Givisme” culture!

I have never been welcomed by a butler in black overcoat with a top hat, especially not during a formal meeting organised by a city council. Then I was invited to step into a house, which looked like a huge magician’s enormous suitcase and where I found myself somewhere between Alice’s Wonderland and The Addams [...]

By Ferenc Szigeti, on September 29th, 2016