With 55 projects currently on going, around 20 new projects to be approved under the 4th Call (assessment is ongoing) and only one final Call for Proposals (5th) to launched in September 2019, the focus at UIA is slowly but surely moving from assessing new proposals towards supporting selected projects as well as capturing and sharing the knowledge that these projects are generating.
The UIA Initiative has been created to support frontrunners urban authorities testing bold ideas in a real urban setting, with the crucial involvement of diverse and rich local partnerships. UIA cities will experiment their innovative solutions locally but they will also inspire other cities in Europe facing similar challenges and looking for similar solutions.
We are convinced that UIA cities can inspire and make a valuable contribution to the existing wealth of urban knowledge on 2 interlinked dimensions.
They will be able to contribute to the wider policy debates in the specific thematic area addressed demonstrating that bold approaches and partnerships are needed to achieve ambitious objectives such as reducing urban poverty and segregation or air pollution.
They will also generate very practical knowledge on implementing innovative and complex projects and how to overcome operational challenges such as public procurement, re-organisation of municipal teams or impact assessment.
These are the 2 dimensions that guide UIA Experts in their work of capturing the knowledge generated by UIA cities throughout the implementation phase. Their Journals, published every six months, analyse these aspects and represent a great source of information on what is happening on the ground.
With such a rich critical mass of experimentations happening in UIA cities all around Europe, it is now the time for the UIA Initiative to start bringing together the experiences of several projects, draw first lessons, generate new knowledge and share it with a wider audience of urban policy-makers and practitioners in Europe and beyond. For this new exciting phase of the Initiative, we are joining forces with several organisations that have showed a great interest in cooperating with UIA.
The next few months will be particularly rich in events and workshops that UIA will be co-organising:
- 16/17 May – Circular Economy – 4 out of the 8 UIA projects working on Circular Economy (Maribor, Ljubljana, Antwerp, Heraklion) will be showcasing their solutions and discussing about first lessons at the Circular Change conference in Maribor
- 06 June – Housing – The UIA Initiative and the Grand Lyon Metropole will be organising an event in the framework of International Social Housing Festival organised in Lyon by Housing Europe. Hosted in the site of the UIA project in Lyon (L’Autre Soie), the event will offer participants with the possibility to learn more about the different UIA projects focusing on housing, to discover the rich eco-system of local actors already active on the site and enjoy the social activities (food, music) planned on the site.
- 12/13 June – Inclusion of migrants and refugees – In close cooperation with the Eurocities working group, the 4 UIA cities working on the topic (Antwerp, Bologna, Utrecht, Vienna) are organising a two-day seminar in Antwerp. With the help of their UIA experts, they have identified 4 crosscutting questions that will be presented and discussed at the event. Participants will also join a site visit to the UIA CURANT project in Antwerp. UIA Experts will produce a paper summarizing the 4 questions and collecting the main feedback during the event.
- 8-11 July – Climate change – As starting point of a promising cooperation with 100 Resilient Cities, we will organise a workshop with the UIA 6 cities working on Climate change (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Greater Manchester, Paris, Riba Roja de Turia and Sevilla) during the 2019 Urban Resilience Summit in Rotterdam. This will be the first opportunity to hear about these projects and their radical approaches as well as to connect with other exciting initiatives.
- Fall/Winter – We will be present at the European Week of Regions and Cities (most probably with a workshop on Circular Economy and one on the 5th Call for Proposals) as well as at the Cities Forum that the European Commission is organising in Porto in January 2020. We are also exploring other opportunities to bring together UIA projects working on Mobility and Air Quality.
2019 will also see the launch of a major UIA capitalisation activity on Impact Assessment. We will soon recruit external experts who will help us understanding how UIA cities are designing and delivering their monitoring and evaluation activities. The objective is to identify interesting and innovative practices that can be presented as sources of inspiration for other urban authorities. The process will last over 1 year and it will offer the opportunity to share intermediary and final findings as well as to connect with other key initiative in this field (e.g. SDG, etc.)
The upcoming months will be extremely rich in activities for capitalisation and dissemination. We will publish regularly on our website detailed information on all the events and activities mentioned above (including detailed agendas and link for registration).
We warmly encourage you to stay tuned and we hope you will be joining us and the UIA cities and experts in the upcoming events!