News Edit 03 April 2020 by UIA Permanent Secretariat

Join the new UIA journey and build the next Initiative with us!

Join the new UIA journey and build the next Initiative with us!
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Whilst reading this article, you may, like us, be working from home following the extraordinary measures that are needing to be put in place in the current situation. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis shows us once again how societal challenges are both global and local. Leading the fight to limit the spread and the impacts of the virus, cities are again in the frontline.

To overcome these difficult times, we must join forces and continue to find new bold solutions for the wellbeing of all citizens. This implies being able to test the most promising solutions whilst also drawing on lessons learned from previous experiences. Please find here a specific communication on the implications of COVID 19 for our projects and those submitting under call 5.

Your enthusiasm in reading us, the clear interest shown by European cities for the Initiative (more than 1200 proposals received over 5 UIA calls) and the great commitment of our 75 projects (in 18 different Member States) are strong signs that UIA can be considered as a very effective instrument that the EU has to offer to cities to help them do things differently. 

Urban Innovative Actions is now standing at a key crossroads. Slowly but surely UIA is shifting its focus from selecting new innovative solutions for funding to supporting the implementation of ongoing projects and making sure that their knowledge is disseminated and taken up by others. The UIA Knowledge Management Strategy will be officially adopted in the upcoming weeks. With this right framework in place, cities, having tested their innovative solutions with UIA, are committed and motivated to share their experiences and lessons learned with cities facing similar challenges. Their inputs captured by UIA experts are also extremely valuable for the debates related to the future Cohesion Policy programming period 2021-2027 and more especially to the proposed European Urban Initiative. 

Starting from the need to continue supporting urban authorities implementing strategies for Sustainable Urban Development, but also acknowledging the current fragmentation of the different supporting mechanisms, it is now clear that helping cities to experiment innovative solutions should be a central component of the new Initiative.

The last 4 years have indeed shown the strong interest that urban authorities have for a flexible and reactive instrument such as UIA but also the need to better articulate the work with other measures to maximise the knowledge potential. This makes it even more important to design and test the possible value chain to connect the different supporting mechanisms. 

In this respect, the UIA Knowledge Management Strategy will activate 3 types of structured activities of capitalisation, capacity-building and transfer of experiences and practices. Doing so, it will offer a relevant testbed starting from the activities already planned for 2020 including the first joint capitalisation activity between UIA and URBACT on housing, the knowledge activity on urban mobility and the identification of the most promising experiences of Monitoring and Evaluation for urban innovative interventions among ongoing UIA projects, in partnership with the Urban Development Network. 

Dissemination of all the knowledge generated will also be a core task of the years to come, using relevant tools such as the UIA knowledge lab searchable platform, gathering and making available all UIA knowledge produced. As the main repository of knowledge outputs produced by UIA and UIA Experts, the Knowledge Lab is your main entry point to access information on the urban findings and main lessons captured from UIA projects. 
We would like you all moreover, to actively participate in UIA knowledge activities, to bring your inputs and to improve your capacities in the design of sustainable urban policies and practices. Also, get ready to learn more with the new version of the UIA newsletter that will focus now mainly on UIA projects and the knowledge they are producing.

Join us on this new journey and build with us the next Initiative! In the meantime, be sure that UIA stands with you, your families and communities in the COVID-19 crisis. We will emerge from this stronger, more innovative and better prepared to face our future challenges.


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