The European Regional Development Fund has announced it will distribute €82m to 20 innovative urban development projects in cities across the EU.
The projects, which were all proposed under the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative, aim to address a range of urban issues; deploying a range of innovative urban development schemes in order to maintain public spaces and infrastructure, implement the digital transition and combat poverty. Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, who is in charge of regional policy at the European Commission, said: “No one is better placed than cities themselves to design the solutions that will transform life in urban areas. This is why the Commission has been directly awarding EU funding to cities so they can test ideas that will make them great places to live in, work and innovate.”
Successful innovative urban development projects which will receive funding under the initiative include:
- Digital transition – Lisbon-based company VoxPop, which enables consumer feedback on mobility in the city;
- Sustainable use of land and natural solutions – GreenQuays in Breda, the Netherlands, which is working to convert 7,500 square metres of urban area to nature-based land;
- Urban poverty – the ‘Home and Care’ project in Landshut, Germany, providing childcare and health support to single parent families; and
- Urban security – TO-Nite in Turin, Italy, a cross-sector partnership aimed at redeveloping depreciated sites and promoting new options for resident feedback.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, said: “Our public spaces have been targeted by terrorists that see them as soft and easy targets. EU funding and knowledge sharing can ensure security by design, while they remain the centres for public life in our cities. The grants we award today are a concrete step forward in that direction.”
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: “With this call for projects under the Urban Innovative Actions [programme], we continue to help cities and local authorities protect public spaces without changing their open character. This support is part of our work towards an effective and genuine Security Union, bringing together actors at all levels to strengthen our resilience.”