Article of the UIA Knowledge base Modifier 16 October 2020 by UIA Permanent Secretariat

Knowledge activities in motion

Ignition GMA
Short description
Building on the knowledge generated by the 86 UIA ongoing projects, the Initiative is leading, together with its partners and UIA cities, three knowledge activities on housing, urban mobility and monitoring and evaluation.

In this article, we keep you updated about the latest events and findings on UIA cities reflection and experience on innovation and mobility; European cities engaging in right to housing and UIA cities different practices to capture and evaluate the results and impact of the innovative interventions. Enjoy the reading!


WC3Since January 2020, UIA and URBACT are exploring how cities can design housing policies and practical solutions to implement the right to housing. Coordinated by Laura Colini (UIA and Urbact Expert), the activity builds on UIA and URBACT cities experiences and knowledge to explore innovative solutions and push further the agenda on the right to housing EU wide on 3 specific topics:

Held on 24 April, this 1st webconference explored the practical ways cities implement community-led practices for housing. 300 participants shared their ideas and experiences with city practitioners and experts on how to design alternative housing models that meet residents’ needs for safe, adequate and affordable housing.

Held on 26 June, this 2nd web conference focused on housing exclusion, homelessness and migration, featuring the preview of the forthcoming 5th Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe, alongside case studies of UIA and URBACT cities addressing the housing needs of homeless people and migrants.

In the last few months, governments across Europe have invested unprecedented efforts to keep safe those at risk, with cities implementing exceptional strategies and measures to keep everyone housed. In some cases, this has nearly reduced homelessness to zero. However, in the aftermath of the peak of the emergency last spring, long-term affordable, suitable and dignified solutions become a mandate that cannot be ignored.

The goal of this session was therefore to explore cities' engagement in housing strategies, and their experiences in practice, bringing several EU-level organisations to the table to discuss housing strategies at urban level.

Next web conference will take place on 19 November (10 AM-12 PM) and will explore municipal strategies to implement fair finance mechanisms to ensure affordability and inclusion. From UIA , the Yes We Rent! project from Mataró will present its experience with innovative financial mechanism protecting housing from speculation at local level (provision of social rent, reuse of vacant building). High-level speakers will take the floor to discuss the different levers of action cities have in relation to the financialisation of their housing market.

Register now and stay tuned to @UIA_initiative to get to know more about the agenda!

Bus bike

The UIA Urban Mobility journey began last February together with UIA mobility cities Albertslund, Lahti, Ghent, Toulouse, Szeged, exploring the innovation concept applied to urban mobility challenges; and seeking to understand whether the sole deployment of unprecedented technological advances will be able to address mobility issues related to the increasing urbanization and urban resilience challenges. Therefore, the activity includes 3 workshops in which UIA projects look into how and what kind of innovation is necessary today for achieving a smarter, greener and more integrated urban transport of people and goods.

The three main subtopics that have been leading the discussions are:

  • Data: The first capitalisation workshop addressed data aspects in Urban Mobility, and discussed how UIA projects deal with data as a resource to support sustainable mobility strategies.
  • Collaboration and governance: UIA cities met for the second time in July to discuss about Collaboration & Governance challenges. You can get an overview of the first results and findings of this workshop in the article summarizing contents of the final report, jointly written by UIA expert Vanessa Holve; Iraklis Stamos, officer at the UIA Secretariat and the above-mentioned cities, currently experimenting innovative urban mobility solutions.
  • Behavioral change: This last workshop focused on behavioral change. First findings will be presented during a joint web conference on 1 December (4-6 pm) bringing together Interreg Europe and UIA projects experiences (CitiCap project in Lahti, TMaaS in Ghent) to share knowledge and demonstrate successful case studies for behaviour change in mobility.

As the activity is now reaching a good level of maturity, we will disseminate the results through a range of major events such as the EURegionsWeek and a joint web conference with Interreg Europe on Behavioral Change. The final report will be presented at the Polis Annual Conference (30-2 December).

In 2020, UIA, with the help of Ecorys, is exploring the different practices, methodologies and techniques developed by on-going UIA projects to capture and evaluate the results and impact of the innovative interventions. This one-year capitalisation activity on how to monitor and evaluate innovative urban projects contributes to the existing knowledge on sustainable urban development and to future activities of capacity building for urban practitioners with concrete and real examples.

Barcelona, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Vienna, Athens, Szeged, Aveiro, Brussels, Helsinki and Paris’ experiences have been interviewed as case studies to feed the knowledge activity. Building on the experiences and lessons learnt from these frontrunner cities, a final web platform  on monitoring and evaluating innovative urban projects will be launched, together with a dedicated capacity building activity in the beginning of 2021.

Watch UIA project playlist to get to know more about the projects!

On the top of those 3 activities currently ongoing, the UIA Secretariat is already preparing the new main knowledge activities for 2021 that will be focusing on inclusive and fair transition towards an European Green Deal as well as on analyzing how UIA cities translate on the ground the main principles of the integrated approach for sustainable urban development.

Stay tuned on our channels for more updates and watch UIA playlist!

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