Archives for 2009

Shrinking cities: A Dream or A Nightmare for Urban Planners?

A lot has been said about the city of Flint, Michigan (USA), whose population dropped by half in 40 years, going from 200,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, with the decline of the automobile industry. There are hundreds of empty houses, with peripheral neighbourhoods transformed into near ghost towns. Elected officials want to bulldoze these neighbourhoods, return […]

By URBACT, on October 8th, 2009 at 11:44

Social Innovation Exchange – what methodologies should URBACT be using to fast track implementation of new ideas

The social innovation exchange summer school is an invitation only event for about 125 people.  The report is on the sixwiki  which can be seen at  This wiki was created for recording purposes during the meeting  and then added to afterwards.  This year the SIX summer school was held in Lisbon at the Gulbenkian […]

By URBACT, on September 30th, 2009 at 10:07

The Urban NOSE response to the crisis: cities as “garden engines”

The impact of the recent crisis has inducted many experts to revising the vision of cities seen like ‘engines of growth and jobs’ and to easily join the disbelieving attitude of so many citizens, by exploring and evolving towards more fundamental shifts in production and consumption that make cities more like “gardens”. The ‘Urban NOSE’ […]

By URBACT, on September 22nd, 2009 at 09:55

The end of the tunnel? If so where will your city be?

Recently a whole series of reports have started to suggest that we may be nearing the “end of the tunnel” of the economic crisis where, in bright sunlight, we will, no doubt find the “green shoots” that have been referred to so many times before. But if you read behind the lines designed to restore […]

By URBACT, on September 16th, 2009 at 08:34

Developing a science city: Newcastle’s Science Central project

The city of Newcastle (UK) has the ambition to become a strong knowledge-based economy. In this light, it is developing the Science Central project, an ambitious plan to transform a vacant brewery site in the city centre into a vibrant science quarter. Newcastle was one of the first cities to join the REDIS-project, uniting eight […]

By URBACT, on September 14th, 2009 at 15:42

Managing the Urban-Rural fringe

The recurring summer phenomenon of scrub and forest wild fires (or are they so wild ?) encroaching on heavily built up areas raises serious questions involving a number of URBACT priorities. Most recently Athens, but also in Portugal, Italy, California and Australia this year, the intense threat of fire has focussed attention on climate change […]

By URBACT, on September 4th, 2009 at 15:55

Connecting the dots – URBACT and EU Structural Funds

Diary of an internship with the MY GENERATION project The EU PHARE programme created a Young Professionals Scheme to attract and prepare young people for the Romanian public administration. Following a one year Master in Rotterdam, four Romanian students did a one month internship with the City of Rotterdam, lead partner of the MY GENERATION […]

By URBACT, on August 24th, 2009 at 09:49

“HOPUS-HOusing Praxis for Urban Sustainability” design workshop

From the 24th of June to the 7th of July, in the Faculty of Architecture “Valle Giulia” “Sapienza”, University of Rome, twenty students from Italy, South Korea and Poland have been involved in the “HOPUS-HOusing Praxis for Urban Sustainability” design workshop. This workshop, promoted by the URBACT II Working Group led by the Faculty of […]

By URBACT, on August 5th, 2009 at 10:24

Welcome to the human technology city

  URBACT Creative Clusters Network has recently been reinforced with the participation of Jyväskylä [130,000 inhabitants], a youthful, lively and international city located in Central Finland. The site of many education-related firsts in Finland, Jyväskylä is known as a “city of schools” hosting two Universities: the University of Jyväskylä and the JAMK University of Applied […]

By URBACT, on July 31st, 2009 at 15:28

YES WE CAN (address the climate changes) !

It could be the leitmotiv of the new Swedish Presidency of the EU. The European Parliament fixed very ambitious objectives in the “Climate change package” adopted last year (see this URBACT newsletter article to know more). To reach these objectives is now one of Sweden’s main priorities. No more rhetoric, but bold agreements and decisions […]

By URBACT, on July 22nd, 2009 at 12:19