More about URBACT Infodays !

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By URBACT, on December 21st, 2011

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URBACT Infodays will take place in most European Union member or partner states between December and the end of January. Their aims are to draw lessons from past cities’ participation in URBACT in each country and to prepare the future by presenting the third Call for proposals for URBACT projects.

on Monday 19th of December- after Oslo, Budapest and Warsaw – the URBACT Infoday France took place in Saint Denis.

It was the opportunity for French cities to exchange on their experiences.

Some cities involved in the past in URBACT projects presented their outputs and follow-up. For instance Limoges, lead Partner of UNIC (Urban Network for Innovation in Ceramics), focused on the fact that cooperation between UNIC cities continued after the end of the project. Today, they still collaborate to set up the European and International Roads of Ceramics designed as a global strategy for territorial development.

The representative of the city of Amiens presented its involvement as project partners (as opposed to Lead partner). Using the experiences from the project WEED (Women, Enterprise and Employment in Local Development), the municipality has managed to build and run a strategy to foster women entrepreneurship. The city now implements initiatives from its Local Action Plan inspired by other cities’ good practices.

The second objective of URBACT Infodays is to explain the terms of reference of the third call for proposals.

The call aims at the set up of 19 new thematic networks. It is open until Thursday, March 15th 2012.

To fit with the EU 2020 strategy, URBACT has defined a thematic coverage around 3 topics (8 sub-topics in total) : Innovative, sustainable and inclusive cities. Below you’ll find a short description of each theme.

Innovative cities: this theme covers the ways to promote innovation and the knowledge economy, social innovation, employment and labour mobility and finally entrepreneurship.

Sustainable cities: this theme covers the development of low-carbon and energy-efficient urban economies, as well as the enhancement of urban planning performance and of an efficient public administration.

Inclusive cities: this theme covers active inclusion of specific groups, regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods and the ways to combat poverty.

Regardless of the theme chosen for application, all candidates should make sure they address the following 3 cross-cutting issues:

  • How to manage urban development in the context of the economic and financial crisis
  • How to foster integrated and sustainable approaches to urban development
  • How to develop efficient partnerships and multi-level governance processes

To ensure a smooth implementation of each URBACT project, proposals follow up a two stage process:

The first stage is the « development phase ». It enables partner cities to get to know each other and to strengthen their common expectations in working together. To get to this stage and be selected, cities have to submit a proposal called « Declaration of interest » involving 5 cities (Lead partner included) from 3 countries (from both Convergence and Competitiveness regions). The development phase budget can go up to 100 000 euros (including ERDF and local contribution).

The submission of the « Final application » at the end of the development phase is the second stage, the « Implementation phase ». The Final application gives more input on the quality and relevance of project proposals and allows the panel to approve projects to enter in their 27-month implementation phase, during which cities develop their activities and outputs. In this phase the number of partner cities should increase to reach 8 up to 12 partner cities. The budget can go up to 700 000 euros to lead exchange and learning at the transnational level, draw lessons and disseminate results, apply lessons at local level and build capacity of stakeholders.

For more information in your country, check out the dates of the next URBACT Infodays in Portugal, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Latvia-Estonia and Lithuania, Sweden, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and Romania.

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