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URBACT III unveiled

From the beginning of April, the first version of the operational programme of URBACT III for 2014-2020 will be submitted for a six-week public consultation.

Following URBACT II, this European territorial cooperation programme still aims to enable European cities to exchange and work together in the field of sustainable urban development. It takes place in all Members States of the European Union as well as in Norway and Switzerland. For the programmation 2014-2020, it is the only interregional programme with an increased budget compared to the last programming period. 74 million euro, coming from the ERDF, is so allocated for URBACT III.

For the next seven years, this programme is organized around four objectives: “Capacity for Policy Delivery” to improve the capacity of cities to manage sustainable urban policies in an integrated and participative way; “Policy Design”; “Policy Implementation” and “Building and Sharing Knowledge”.

In order to respect the thematic concentration, five thematic objectives among eleven have been chosen for URBARCT III: strengthening research, technological development and innovation; supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy; protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency; promoting employment and supporting labour mobility and promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. The goal is to multiply by two the number of projects financed by URBACT III in comparison with the previous programme. These objectives will serve as references for call for proposals.

To reach these, this interregional programme uses three tools. The first, and the most important, is the transnational exchange between cities by emphasizing on the participative and integrative way. Comments and remarks from beneficiaries will be also more taken into account. The second mechanism is the implementation of these strategies by implemented or non on URBACT III cities. This axis is linked with other EU initiatives like integrated territorial investments. Finally, the third tool is about the change of these strategies: how good practices can be reused in other cities. Besides that, URBACT III will continue actions about knowledge management and capitalization as well as the simplification of administrative procedures.

Members states and partner countries have been associated to the realization of the URBACT III operational programme. The goal was to have a bottom-up approach and so to follow to the best the cities aspirations. In order to continue this process, a six-week public consultation will be launched at the beginning of April. The work group, including the URBACT II secretary, wants, indeed, to verify the adequation between these objectives with challenges faced by cities, as well as to know what obstacles could prevent cities to take part of URBACT or how this programme could help cities to strengthen their capacities. This new version of operational programme will be sent to the Commission in June. The first call for proposals should be published early 2015.


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