Posts Tagged ‘Integration’

Urban Planning And The Multi-dimensional Communication Era

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

2827035266_908ec93bbe_z« Because urban planning has always been based on the gathering and exchange of information and – as a democratic process – on communication between different stakeholders, a change in the method of communication has a significant impact on decision-making throughout the process ». (Stefan Höffken and Chris Haller)

By now, you probably have heard of the nine projects kick-started last december, and with which URBACT is experimenting Local Action Plan delivery and transfer of good practices… Well, as all URBACT projects, those 9 also come with a project-bound communication officer, and last week, all of them met in Paris for a two-day working session. Hearing all those creative and engaged professionals speak about their project and communication strategy, it was clear how central an aspect communication is for their – and probably, any – urban development project.

Communication As Good Practice

This is especially true, of course, of projects such as City Logo, dealing explicitely with city branding, but communication also often wind up being much more central a task than traditionnally expected in most projects, (more…)

Cities and Globalisation

Friday, January 24th, 2014

LyonThis week the economist, Harvard professor and author of Triumph of the City, Ed Glaeser, gave a fast paced and inspiring lecture at the London School of Economics on cities and globalization. Many of his comments resonated with the experiences of European cities and knowledge from URBACT networks. His optimism about the positive effects of urbanization around the globe was backed up by research linking density to both increased productivity and to improved life satisfaction.

Why proximity matters

Glaeser stressed that cities are forgers of human capital and clusters of genius, as illustrated by the Detroit of the Ford era and Silicon Valley now. Proximity matters for the transmission of information and ideas. In cities people compete and cooperate, buy and sell from each other, steal and build on each other’s ideas. Technology has revolutionized the way we are able to live and work virtually, but it can’t replace the advantages of this physical proximity. (more…)

Openness and the Competitive Advantage of Diversity – OPENCities Infographic

Friday, September 30th, 2011

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Women – not just a ‘good weather policy’

Monday, October 18th, 2010

weedThe 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion included as a principle the need to address gender inequalities in the risks of poverty and policy responses.  This is an important principle when the gender pay gap together with inequalities in employment opportunities and slow changing roles in the family in parts of Europe results in specific and high risks of poverty for significant numbers of women. URBACT Project WEED‘s review of interventions to address the issue in cities across Europe highlighted how a failure to address women’s poor position in the labour market not only leaves women at significantly greater risk of poverty than men, it is also a lost opportunity for stimulating economic growth. As we approach the end of 2010 there is a danger that the economic crisis will leave women facing a ‘triple jeopardy’ of slashed benefits, jobs cuts, and a reduction in the core public services they rely on for themselves and those they care for: all the more reason to make sure the Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010-2015 announced by the European Commission in September is used to strengthen national and local resolve. It is important that gender equality does not become a mere ‘good weather’ policy.

Professor Gill Scott
Lead Expert WEED project

Gentrification versus Working Class Neighbourhoods

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

housing_forumDarinka Czischke, Thematic Expert of the URBACT SUITE project gave the last of this season’s series of lectures sponsored by the European Housing Forum in Brussels on the 29th of June. It was in fact the 4th lecture organised under the theme “Changing Lifestyles, Changing Climate – The role of Housing in the EU”.

The lecture and debate which followed focussed on a wide-ranging examination of gentrification as an urban phenomenon – and the many facets which influence, or are influenced, by this dynamic in our cities. The question of how to live together in socially diverse cities was set alongside the values which can follow a process of gentrification (regeneration, creation of new opportunities) as well as the costs which can result in terms of population displacement and functional mutation. Important links were identified with densification, consequences of sprawl or compact city, and with the notion of social mix, does proximity bring integration or simply co-existence? A pertinent categorisation of “Urbanites”, “Suburban leavers” and the “Trapped” highlighted the tensions being experienced in terms of socio-spatial segmentation or integration in many of our urban contexts. Furthermore the relationships between social mix, (housing) tenure mix, income mix and functional mix were considered in relation to the negative associations which often prevail between low-income concentrations and housing tenure – generating residualisation and stigmatisation of social housing neighbourhoods and communities. The role of gentrification in improving or aggravating such trends proved to be a vibrant subject of discussion.

The presentation was also illustrated by examination of well-chosen though northern European cases drawn from Darinka Czishke’s research experience both in the London School of Economics and with CECODHAS. Utrecht provided two contrasting examples in Hoograven and Leidsche rijn together with a revealing analysis of 5 London neighbourhoods. The topic covered here is one which particularly parallels concerns shared by projects in the URBACT “Quality Sustainable Living” area of expertise but certainly not exclusively. So it may be interesting to consult the powerpoint presentation which will appear in due course on the EU housing Forum website and/or make contact with Darinka Czishke via the SUITE project website.

It is the intention of the European Housing Forum to produce a report based on the material covered by all 4 lectures in this series and this should appear for general consumption in the autumn of this year. So for those interested to learn more I would advise – “watch this space!”

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Philip Stein
Thematic Pole Manager