Universal Basic Income: who’s laughing now?

A few years ago, many cities would have laughed at the idea of introducing a Universal Basic Income. Fast forward to today, and the concept is being tested in neighbourhoods and cities across the EU, from Barcelona and Copenhagen to Stockholm and Utrecht. The Catalan Joke As a Scot, I’ve given my various Catalan friends [...]

By Eddy Adams, on March 10th, 2017

Break out of our comfort zones: Play Szociopoly!

How to inspire in a meeting? How to make participants imagine the life of others and of hard choices? In October 2016 I was preparing my next CHANGE! study visit, which was – partly – about how to generate deep insight into the needs of local communities to create meaningful outcomes and thus redesign public [...]

By Ferenc Szigeti, on February 16th, 2017

Walking Bus and Bike Train to Promote Sustainable Mobility

As the traffic lights change to green, a long line of children on their bikes accompanied by adults wearing reflective safety vests crosses the road. It is the bike train. A form of accompanied school travel that promotes sustainable mobility, daily exercise, and trains children to become independent and capable road users. Active school travel [...]

By Petra Očkerl, on January 27th, 2017

Blue Monday: Or why paying tax is good for us

They say it’s the most depressing day of the year. Blue Monday. Three weeks into the New Year, most of us have already abandoned our resolutions. The weather is rubbish. And it’s the day the Christmas bills arrive, if you’ve got a plastic habit. It’s also the week before tax bills are due in many [...]

By Eddy Adams, on January 19th, 2017

How cities can rebuild trust in politics through meaningful public engagement

One oft-repeated phrase in 2016 was: ‘the people have spoken’. Despite the myriad of reasons behind voting intentions, the referendums in the UK, Hungary and Italy have all been claimed as victories for politicians claiming to represent ‘the people.’ By its nature, however, this form of direct democracy is divisive, playing into a narrative of [...]

By Claudia Chwalisz, on January 11th, 2017

2016: A year at URBACT

From many points of views 2016 has been a year full of surprises, deceptions and worries (see previous article by Eddy Adams), but at URBACT we like to look at what has been positive, strong, energising and happy too. And 2016 has been a long and fruitful year at URBACT! In this short article, we [...]

By URBACT, on December 22nd, 2016

Finding solutions to complex challenges through ESPON targeted analyses

Cities face numerous and complex challenges linked to climate change, poverty and demographic shifts to name but a few. They need to define measures to tackle these problems and design policies to achieve smart, inclusive and sustainable urban development, which are difficult tasks to deal with. Development strategies should be evidence-based, consider local circumstances and [...]

By Johannes Hofinger, on December 20th, 2016

Will American cities be trumped?

Democrats are being bullish about the future of cities under a Trump administration, but financial realities will soon bite.   In general, larger cities are more likely to vote Democrat than small towns and rural areas. Ivan Tosics’ article of 15th November showed that it was often the smaller urban areas that supported Trump. Indeed, [...]

By Peter Ramsden, on December 20th, 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful? What 2016 taught us about the battle ahead

For many of us, the collapse of Communism in Europe was the most significant historical moment in our lifetime. The crumbling of the Eastern Bloc and the subsequent implosion of the USSR led to the reunification of Europe. At the time, it seemed like the catalyst towards the inevitable spread of liberal democracy throughout the [...]

By Eddy Adams, on December 14th, 2016

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