Preparing the Local Support Groups to Summer University


By URBACT, on July 13th, 2011

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As a joint initiative of the partners of the URBACT National Dissemination Point Poland, the URBACT Secretariat and the Ministry of Regional Development, a series of three thematic seminars was introduced to Polish members of the Urbact Local Support Groups (ULSG). The pilot project was to prepare the issues mostly interesting for the ULSG and give the background for the URBACT Summer University in Kraków, Poland.

The URBACT Local Support Groups (ULSG) are one of the key innovations in the URBACT II programme that allow participative policy making at the local level. Each URBACT partner is required to set up a Local Support Group gathering the local stakeholders most concerned by the issue addressed by the project. Visit the new URBACT Local Support Groups page!

For the very first time URBACT is organising a Summer University dedicated to the members of the ULSG from all projects. The event will take place in the Jagiellonian University of Krakow from Monday 29 August to Wednesday 31 August 2011.

The goal of these seminars was to strengthen the knowledge of the ULSG members on the processes of the cities development and enhancing their personal capacity on team work. The first seminar dealt with the agglomeration and metropolitan cooperation, where 40 persons took part, with the participation of Jean-Loup Drubigny, Ivan Tosics – Lead Expert of Joining Forces project and Frantisek Kubes –chief of the Spatial Planning and Regional Cooperation  Department in the city of Brno (Czech Republic). It concerns good practices in terms of experience sharing and mapping of needs among urban practitioners.

Thematics of this meeting was the agglomeration and metropolitan cooperation  in the horizontal and vertical dimension. Participants had the chance to follow the in-depth cases of Poznań Metropolis, which is the example of the still informal, bottom-up cooperation (association of the municipalities on the way) and the case of Silesia Metropolis, which formally exists in the Silesian Region since 2007.

Prof. Jacek Nowak from the Economic University of Poznań gave the example of using the methodology of Experience Sharing Groups, which is successfully implemented by the Association Of Polish Cities for several years. This methodology of direct thematic meetings, moderated by the expert, using the research, and where groups from different cities exchange their knowledge on the given theme, may be a good idea of know-how capitalization between projects.

Trainers from Jagiellonian University presented the method of mapping of the needs.  This method includes identifying the problems in cities, finding rights partners to solving them. The participants could  also learn about the surprising research done in 11 Polish cities on 7 development capitals, evaluating their potential and dynamism.

This seminar introduced the form of URBACT Cafe to participants. They were divided in different cities, experience, professions. The conclusions from these sessions were presented during the second day of the seminar. They have shown the diversity of the views on the same topic, which only assured the participants in the conviction about the complexity of the cooperation within agglomeration.

The participants stressed the need of this kind of meetings and mutual experience exchange. For the people engaged in the implementation of the URBACT projects and for the potential leaders of the changes in their local environments, the broad knowledge on urban policy and trainings in social capacity are the personal capital, that may be used in the future work.

URBACT NDP for Poland
Association of polish cities / The Silesian Union of Municipalities and districts / Institute for Urban Development

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