1. High level meeting – Directors General in charge of Urban Development
On Thursday May 12 the Directors General Meeting on Urban Development took place in Amsterdam. Main point on the agenda was the Pact of Amsterdam and the partnerships of the EU Urban Agenda. Present were Member States, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU Advisory bodies (CoR, EESC), EIB, representatives of Urban Authorities (CEMR, EUROCITIES). Partner States, URBACT, ESPON and EUKN participated as observers in the DG meeting.
After a presentation of the main conclusions of the European Cities report by the European Commission the focus was on the Pact of Amsterdam. The 6th version, that was sent to participants prior to the meeting was discussed. A number of small adjustments were proposed during the tour de table and these were adjusted and approved directly after lunch. There is now a general consensus on the text of the Pact of Amsterdam and the related Working Programme. This version will most likely be ratified by the ministers who are responsible for urban development on May 30. The progress made on the final draft was widely praised by the participants. It now reflects the main goals of the EU and it is not a traditional process but an innovative way of working were multiple stakeholders work together.
In the afternoon a number of presentations were that are related to the EU Urban Agenda:
Luxembourg on the Working group on cross border cooperation
European Investment Bank and the European Agenda
Europa Decentraal on Better regulation
European Urban Knowledge Network on knowledge exchange for the EU Urban Agenda
After the presentations the four partnerships (housing, integration of migrants and refugees, urban poverty and air quality) briefly shared their updates of their partnership and Malta and Slovakia, as members of the current Trio Presidency presented their ambitions for the EU Urban Agenda.
The main goals and text for the EU Urban Agenda are now ready to be ratified at the Ministerial Conference on May 30. This would be a great accomplishment, but of course the real work, the implementation of the EU Urban Agenda has yet to begin.
2. EU Urban Agenda on 30 May 2016 – Amsterdam
The European Committee of the Regions is organising a Forum on the EU Urban Agenda in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam on Monday 30 May 2016, back to back to the informal meeting of ministers of the EU Member States.
The event will be organized together with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the Association of the Provinces of the Netherlands, the City of Amsterdam and the Province of Noord-Holland.
The new EU Urban Agenda should improve the quality of life in urban areas but also the EU governance. It is about new working methods.
In this light, the EU Urban Agenda is intended to provide an operational framework and effective instruments to horizontally improve the urban dimension in European policymaking. It also includes opportunities to exchange knowledge and best practices, research and cooperation.
The Forum on the EU Urban Agenda will bring together representatives of local and regional authorities, EU institutions, Member States and relevant stakeholders to share their views o nthe main challenges of the EU Urban Agenda and its implementation, focus on four thematic areas: Smart and Innovative Cities; Green Cities; Inclusive Cities and Functional urban areas and urban-rural linkages.URBACT will contribute to the discussions and hold a stand in the networking area. We will present our activities and our URBACT on-going Call for Implementation Networks.
The networking area is aimed to share with participants concrete stories, projects and relevant activities (e.g. EU funding opportunities for EU cities in the urban areas, thematic initiatives, projects funded by EU structural funds, case studies and success stories from cities across Europe) of a selected number of partners, such as:
– URBACT, Dutch partners of the event (City of Amsterdam and Province of Noord-Holland), the main European associations of cities (Eurocities, CEMR), other EU institutions and EU offices (EC- DG Regio, Interreg Europe, Urban Innovative Action, Covenant of Mayors office) and some thematic networks involved in the workshops (e.g. European Network of Living Labs, EUniverCities, European cities of social innovation).
More information here.
3. Copenhagen GATE 21
Gate 21 is a partnership between municipalities, companies and knowlegde institutions, that work with the common goal of accelerating the green transition.
Gate 21’s vision is to make Greater Copenhagen the leading region in the world for green transition and growth. The strategy is based on the use of regional and local demand to develop, demonstrate and deploy new energy and resource-efficient solutions in the area of climate and energy.
The Capital Region and a number of municipalities in Greater Copenhagen have adopted ambitious targets for the transition to a fossil-free society. This ambition, along with an already strong green brand and our ability to collaborate across government agencies, enterprises and knowledge and research institutions about new solutions, are the foundations for Greater Copenhagen to become the leading region in the world for green transition and growth.
More information here.
4. Citizen City
Integrating citizen participation as a real part of smart cities policy at all levels of decision and implementation The target would be a measurable objective of systematic integration of citizen participation from the outset in smart cities projects and policies
Effective take up of smart cities services by citizens.
Usage: by 2020 : 10 million citizens actively using smart cities and e-governance platforms on a regular basis; by 2025 : 30 million active on a regular basis.
Participation: by 2020: 5 millions of participants to on line and offline engagement and codesign processes ; by 2025 : 15 millions of participants.
Co-creation: By 2025 : 3,5 millions of co-creators (services, mobile apps, platforms).
Within all actions of the AC CF citizen participation and engagement are conceived as strictly connected to social inclusion: the attention is not to generalize on participatory practices and methodologies and to raise the awareness on diversities and inequalities which are featuring urban societies in the EU. From this awareness stems out an approach aimed at fostering inclusive smart cities and communities, taking the following targets into account:
Gender: by 2025 at least 40% of each sex among participants to online -offline engagement and co-design – co creation activities.
Ethnicity: by 2025 at least 10% of migrants among actively engaged citizens (baseline: over 504 mln EU population in 2014 and 72,4 mln international migrants estimated in the EU in 2013 for a 14% average share (OECD/UN).
Class and poverty: by 2025 at least 12% of engaged citizens residing in urban peripheries and poorest neighbourhoods (baseline: 16,4% poverty rate EU-Eurostat).
Age: by 2025 at least 15% of actively engaged citizens from the age group 65+ (baseline: EU population 65+ represents 18,5% of the total) and child-family friendly approaches crosscutting citizen engagement methodologies.
Concrete involvement of citizens needs to start form the identification of real needs. Conversely new services can be produced starting from the citizen data.
Goals: Identifying how the use of innovative methods and tools such as Co-design and Co-creation dedicated to participation and engagement meet the needs of citizens.
Citizen needs’ understanding and translating them into policies through co-design and co-creation are a willingness of several stakeholders. First of all policy makers, mainly in cities, but also grassroots organisations and event industry, all of them now wish to base their actions/solutions/products on «citizens needs» and to answer new trends in citizens’ behaviours.
These stakeholders also aim at collecting data on citizens’ behaviours by the feedback that is an outcome of the use of all connected devices and the output of ICT based systems (including smart cards; mobile phones, internet consumption, etc.).
We can find data in several sources:
EIP commitments (a selection was initiated for preparing the 10th November meeting)
Smart city projects (from the selected EU projects in H2020 SCC call)
Cities networks (as Eurocities) work on citizen engagement
Previous projects on co-creation and co-design funded in FP7 or other schemes including academic research projects. Partners experts on co-creation methods.
Experiences in the industry (provided by ID4CAR industrial cluster)
We thus will compose a group of key persons to support our work, with a basis of 6 representatives:
2 from the Working group in Brussels.
2 from main EIP commitments.
1 from cities or City network.
1 from the industry.
This initiative is closely linked to the other AC Citizen engagement initiatives, especially Initiaitve CITIZEN AND STAKEHOLDERS COMMUNICATION PLATFORMS, as platforms are tools for citizen’s engagement. A close cooperation and agreements on methods, content and articulation of deliverable is foreseen all over the process.
A coordination web meeting is currently planned, as well as regular exchanges.
Deliverable: Identifying how the use of innovative methods and tools such as Co-design and Co-creation called “CoC-CoD” dedicated to participation and engagement meets the needs of citizens. In particular use the feedback by data: use of data for creating new services (Data are linked with inclusiveness and participation because they can be used to shape new services). Engaging cities in testing and implementing co-creation and co-design process and strategies.
The main deliverable will be recommendations to the local authorities and cities on co-creation and co-design implementation strategies, based on best practices and success stories. This deliverable aims at being a decision tool and support for actions by cities, but also emerging from citizens associations and the private sector for improving policies and services. Specific attention will be given to tools dedicated to specific populations for preventing their exclusion from the process (vulnerable citizens, less literate, elderly, youngsters,). Alongside the recommendations “guidebook”, the initiative will set up basis for training schemes for implementing the recommendations for cities.
Identifying how the use of innovative methods and tools such as Co-design and Co-creation dedicated to participation and engagement really meet the needs of citizens.
Gathering knowledge on citizens’ needs evolution and the way smart cities projects take them into account: interviews with various stakeholders from smart cities projects.
Evaluation of existing tools by means of a questionnaire (in particular focussing on inclusiveness).
Investigate how to access and use data for creating new services.
Involving a sample of 10 cities in implementing the co-creation and co-design processes.
Linking up with initiative 3 identified platforms for completing the co-creation/co-design processes implementation.
Citizen focus is a Key Horizontal Enabler Action Cluster in the Smart Cities Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). It is linked to the other 5 Action Clusters.
Network: gather knowledge from POLIS, Eurocities, financed SCC H2020 projects and selected SCC experimentations.
Relations with other AC clusters and interviews for identifying specific thematic tools and methods of co-creation and co-design.
Literature review but only on existing synthesis published in EU projects.
Sample group of interested cities for testing the CoC-CoD.
More information here.
5. What is the EU-Urban Agenda – A Brief Introduction?
This link leads you to a brief EU Urban Agenda – video providing some basic but important information on the topic.