The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will finance 20 urban projects with €82 million. These projects were put forward by cities under the 4th call for proposals of the Urban Innovative Actions which is implemented by French region Hauts-de-France.
In particular, Piraeus (Greece), Tampere (Finland) and Turin (Italy) will receive grants for projects that will protect and reduce the vulnerability of public spaces, in line with the 2017 Action Plan under the Security Union. The EU funding will also support innovative solutions in digital transition, in responsible urban land use and in the fight against poverty in 17 other cities.
The description of the winning projects can be found here. They include, under the four categories:
- Urban Security: Piraeus (Greece), Tampere (Finland), Turin (Italy)
Example: Piraeus will establish a Local Council for Crime Prevention and set up a single-entry point for victims of crime.
- Digital transition: Gavà (Spain), Heerlen (Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Ravenna (Italy), Rennes (France), Växjö (Sweden), Vienna (Austria)
Example: in Lisbon, the company VoxPop will facilitate user feedback to improve the city’s mobility system.
- Sustainable use of land, nature-based solutions: Baia Mare (Romania), Breda (Netherlands), Latina (Italy), Prato (Italy), Plymouth (United Kingdom)
Example: the GreenQuays project’s ambition is to renature 7.500 m2 of urban area in Breda and to share their innovative ecosystem regeneration technology with other cities in Europe.
- Urban poverty: Bergamo (Italy), Getafe (Spain), Milan (Italy), Seraing (Belgium), Landshut (Germany)
Example: in Landshut, the “Home and Care” project will provide special health and childcare to single-parent families.
The 5th and last call for proposals under the Urban Innovative Actions will be launched in September 2019. It will be the last opportunity for cities under the current EU budget 2014-2020 to seek financing for innovative actions in the areas of culture and cultural heritage, circular economy, air quality and demographic change. The winning cities will be announced in the second quarter of 2020.
In the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Urban Innovative Actions will be merged into the European Urban Initiative, a new instrument combining all urban tools in a single programme for city-to-city cooperation, innovation and capacity-building across all the thematic priorities of the Urban Agenda for the EU. At the same time, the new single rulebook will allow for easier combinations between EU funds, for example between the European Regional Development Fund and the Internal Security Fund, in order to develop comprehensive urban development plans, encompassing public space safety measures.
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