Posts Tagged ‘Integrated approach’

Tweeting the City: 10 Twitter Accounts We Follow On Urban Issues

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Eurasian Collared Doves preparing to take flightTwitter is a beloved place for exchanges on urban issues. Here is a (limited) list of accounts we particularly enjoy following, covering our interests – including but not limited to integrated urban development – in no particular order!

@eumayors is the twitter account of a transnational network of cities mayors working toward sustainable cities.

@energycities tweets on energy transition and (once more) their cities network’s achievements towards it.

@citiesforpeople is the account of Gehl Architects, micro-blogging on solutions developed towards ‘liveable’ cities. (more…)

Towards A European Urban Agenda: Debates Around #EUCities Conference

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The ‘Cities for Tomorrow, Investing In Europe’ conference, organised in Brussels in February, aimed at discussing the why, how and what of the European Urban Agenda. Discussions on the conference, the agenda and on links between Europe and Cities spreaded accross to Twitter. Here is URBACT’s Best-Of!

  1. Expectation was tangible around the European Urban Agenda before the event!
  2. RT @aloysrigaut #EUcities CoRs’ #BasVerkerk rapporteur: do we need an #EU urban agenda? Yes absolutely! Why not yet there?

What is Coming in 2014 for URBACT

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Open days 2013 exhibitionAs a new year started, the editors of this blog paid a visit to Emmanuel Moulin, Head of URBACT Secretariat. Aside from enjoying the view of Paris skyline the secretariat office in Saint Denis offers, we also came back with a very timely blog post – as it turned out, there will be a lot happening in 2014 at URBACT – and here is why: those of you familiar with URBACT will know it comes with a somewhat cyclic approach to time. URBACT II, the second era of the URBACT program started in 2007. It has since then included 3 calls for projects, each of them running for two or three years. And, well, URBACT II will be closing in 2015, while URBACT III will be launched in January 2015. As you imagine, a lot of this year’s activities are thought as a transition with the next program. Let us introduce here a few of them.

Capitalisation: Consolidating Practical Knowledge Emerging from URBACT II Projects

Capitalisation is a core activity for URBACT, but with the end of URBACT II approaching, it has to be given additional energy and attention.


Best Of URBACT Blog 2013

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The URBACT Blog is a space for several contributors to share experiences on and insights in the diversity of issues they encounter in and around their activities in URBACT. Here is a selection of articles which we particularly enjoyed reading in 2013: Change and social Innovation, Shrinking Cities, Soft Mobility, Urban Struggles, Stakeholder’s involvement. There was for sure a lot to reflect upon.

Best Practice, Social Innovation and Change

These are of course major concerns at URBACT.

So when Eddy Adams read that ‘public managers and their employees are unwilling to take up ideas that others have already used, they prefer to have their own’, he decided to explore in a blog post some exceptions to that rule and interesting ways to promote exchange of good practice and generally build capacity for social innovation.
For Camilla Van Deurs of Gehl Architects, we can ‘examplify change rather than lobby for it’. (more…)

How Does URBACT Integrate Knowledge Coming from Other Regions of the World?

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

URBACT has recently launched in Brussels 6 thematic publications in which one can find food for thought and hints on how to address difficult issues European cities face. 

During the presentation an interactive Question Time allowed participants to ask questions about the report and about the future funds available for cities in the next European programmation period.

But some questions remained unanswered because we lacked time.

So the authors of the reports, among which are Sally Kneeshaw, Eddy Adams, Peter Ramsden, Antonio Borghi, Mike Campbell, Alison Partridge and Paul Soto, proposed that they be answered on the URBACT Blog.

So here we open the first round of discussion with two questions on how URBACT approaches and integrates experiences coming from outside Europe:

From Corinna Horst, German Marshall Fund of the United States of America
To what degree are the Urbact initiatives looking to examples in the United States of America and other cities around the world for their work. Are there good examples. If yes, what are they?

From Gizella Matyasi, City of Budapest, URBACT project Roma-Net
Most examples are from European cities. How can we broaden the exchange of experience to the USA and other continents?

Before the authors answer, I have already some pieces of information! Last year at the URBACT Annual Conference URBACT invited speakers from the US, Asia, Latin America as I presented in this blog. The summary of their speeches and the key questions they addressed are available on the URBACT website and in this blog!

You can also find more on twitter if you look at #URBACTactiontoday


Deprived Urban Areas: RegGov Infographic

Monday, January 9th, 2012


What can we take away from the Cohesion forum?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

forumThe Cohesion Forum was held in Brussels from 31 January to 1 February 2011. It was organized by the European Commission and the main goal was closure the public consultation launched last November on the future, post-2013 Cohesion Policy. A number of European policy makers, ministers, regional presidents and heads of operational programmes participated in the work, which was opened by Commissioner Barroso and the Hungarian and Polish Prime Ministers. Commissioner Hahn, who is in charge of regional policy, led the forum from beginning to end.

What can we take away from this forum? First, a physical impression that Europe really exists with, of course, its differences and divergences. The audience listened attentively to the presentations, which were for the most part of a very high level and constructive. Commissioner Hahn’s conclusions gave a glimpse of the negotiations in the upcoming months. The key role cities play in the Cohesion Policy was reaffirmed and, as a result, so was the necessity that they be involved in developing operational programmes, along with the importance of integrated development. Yet, one must recognize that cities, as key players in development and inclusion, did not get special treatment at the Forum.

The Commission clearly insisted on the necessity of choosing limited objectives on which the Cohesion Policy should focus, while hoping for tailoring of each operational programme rather than have a uniform approach.

I will end with the objectives of method that will resonate particularly well for URBACT partners: effectiveness, results and impact. And to these three goals can be added another requirement everyone agreed on: simplified procedures. The margin for progress in this area is great, both on a European and a national level. Negotiations over Cohesion Policy content and how it will be implemented are now entering their active phase.

Jean-Loup Drubigny
Head of the URBACT Secretariat

Integrated urban development in German cities

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Read more:

URBACT NDP for Germany Deutscher Verband für Wohnungswesen, Städtebeau und Raumordnung e.V.

Fairtrade cities in Sweden – municipalities taking a stand

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

fairtradeThe term Fair Trade is widely known as a social movement aiming to help small and local producers and to promote sustainability. Originally associated with developing countries, the term has during recent years also been connected with sustainable development in a local context. During recent years, a trend in Sweden is for cities and municipalities to apply for a Fair Trade diploma. But what does it mean to become Fairtrade City?

A Fairtrade City is a mark of quality to cities and municipalities who commit to ethical consumption, according to the Fair Trade website in Sweden. The purpose of Fairtrade Cities is to increase the knowledge and the consumption of goods that has been produced with regards to human rights.  The responsibility lies not only on the city, but also on the private sector and the social economy. Thus, becoming a Fairtrade City is a matter of an integrated approach.

There are a number of criteria that has to be fulfilled in order to qualify as a Fairtrade City, involving ethic purchasing, active information policies about sustainable development and a supply of ethical marked products in stores and at workplaces. There is also a requirement that the city increases its consumption of fair-trade products every year.

The diploma was originally introduced in the UK in year 2000. Today there are more than 700 Fairtrade cities in the world. In 2006, the City of Malmö became the first Fair Trade city in Sweden. At present, there are 29 Fairtrade cities in Sweden, and the popularity is steadily increasing

Read more:

Martin Grander
City of Malmö
Sweden URBACT National Dissemination Point