On 3 February, the UDN and UIA Initiative launched the webinar series with a first session focusing on UIA state of play and achievements.
This first event gathered around 660 participants from all over Europe and beyond. Key actors of UIA projects’ implementation attended the event, such as City Authorities (23%) or private (21%) sector. The event also attracted actors that are not usually directly involved in UIA projects such as National Ministries or agencies (22%) and Managing Authorities (8%). There was indeed a great need and willingness from the audience to learn more about UIA projects and Initiative as 40% did not know much about them. This first webinar was therefore an ideal occasion to showcase UIA state of play, achievements and contribution to the EU Cohesion Policy.
From UIA to UIA 2.0 - a 5 years journey
Normunds Popens Deputy Director-General for Regional and Urban policy at the European Commission and Anne Wetzel from Hauts-de-France Region, UIA's Entrusted Entity, introduced this webinar series as a key moment to gather urban practitioners of the EU community together, five years after the launch of the UIA Initiative journey, in a context that further strengthens the key role of cities in the policy-response to the ongoing pandemic.
They both stressed the importance of looking at UIA achievements, highlighting their added value for a better programming of Cohesion policy funds earmarked on sustainable urban development, to bring the UIA model to a new level as a component of the European Urban Initiative for 2021/27.
Testing and prototyping innovation in cities will play important role in this new initiative. “This is where our reflections coincide with the launch of the New European Bauhaus initiative”, announces Normunds Popens, enhancing potential synergies between both Initiatives (NEB will be presented by JRC in webinar 3 on 17 February, register here).
Urban Innovative Actions at a glance
Tim Caulfield, UIA Director, presented UIA key data setting UIA state of play. Since its launch in 2015, within the five calls, UIA counts on a total of 86 funded projects located in 19 Member States and UK, selected out of 1165 project proposals, addressing 14 urban challenges, for a total commitment of EUR 368.5 million.
How do UIA projects contribute to Cohesion policy objectives?
Panels gathering UIA cities discussed how UIA projects are contributing to reaching 4 of the Cohesion Policy objectives for 2021-2027, for a Smarter, Greener, More Connected and More Social Europe.
A more Social Europe
A Greener Europe
A Smarter Europe
A more Connected Europe
The UIA Knowledge Management in practice
A great wealth of thematic and operational knowledge has been generated by UIA projects, aiming at inspiring the design and implementation of future programmes and urban projects. In this session, Amélie Cousin, UIA Knowledge and Communication Lead Officer, guided participants through the UIA Knowledge Management Strategy principles and explained how its pilot mechanisms and knowledge activities enable this transfer and contribute to the definition of the European Urban Initiative value chain. Iraklis Stamos and Laura Colini presented 2020 Knowledge activity findings on UIA cities reflection and experience on innovation and mobility and European cities engaging in right to housing.
Read more about these knowledge activities here and stay tuned for the final reports and events to come!
Join us for next events as we discuss how to bridge UIA knowledge and Cohesion Policy (webinar 2, 10 February) and the future of UIA (webinar 3, 17 February). Register here and join the discussion on Social Media - #UDNWebinars #UIAfuture.