After a competitive process that saw 206 proposals submitted in April 2017 from across 21 EU Member States, 16 urban authorities will have the opportunity to experiment bold and innovative solutions to tackle the challenges linked to the circular economy, the integration of migrants and refugees and urban mobility. They will join the 17 projects already running from the 1st Call for Proposals.
The final decision was taken by a Selection Committee made up of the European Commission and the Entrusted Entity in September based on the level of innovation of the proposals as well as on the quality of the partnership, the measurability of the expected results, the potential transferability of the solution to other urban authorities in Europe and the overall quality of the Work Plan.
The approved projects were announced officially on 10 October in Brussels during the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC).
Daring new ways to tackle three urban challenges
Eight cities will lead the way on the topic of circular economy. The city of Antwerp will look to position circularity as a community challenge for the city’s New South district and engage its new residents in co-creating online and offline initiatives. These residents will experiment with so-called ‘behavioural nudging’ receiving cues to adapt their energy, water and waste consumption behaviour in the most ideal circular way. The city of Heraklion will address food waste in the hospitality sector by reducing avoidable food waste and using unavoidable food waste as raw materials. This will be done through a broad range of integrated tools and activities such as software to improve households’ food management or bio-plastic bio refinery production system. The city of Lappeenranta will use the side streams from industry (ashes, green liquor dregs, tailings, construction waste) and use them for the city’s building works by combining them to make a new high-value material to replace concrete. The city of Ljubljana will focus its efforts on Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) that will be considered as a resource and starting point for a new business model. New green technologies as well as circular economy principles will be used to develop new products from the IAPS. The city of Maribor will look to increase its local food self-sufficiency by using the city’s internal waste to produce recycled, standardised and certified soil to improve soil quality that will increase food production. Three cities will focus on construction waste. In order to reuse and recycle 100% of materials from demolition, the city of Kerkrade will seek to experiment and evaluate with new techniques for decomposing a high-rise tunnel formwork concrete building that will be used to build new housing units. The city of Sevran will foster new urban planning development model based on the use of locally excavated soil from major construction sites to produce certified earth construction materials. Last but not least, the city of Velez Malaga will also focus on the reuse of construction and demolition waste as well as debris from illegal dumps to regenerate a former beach by using an innovative process to turn the waste into materials of a granulometry and softness that can be used as sand.
Three cities will test new ideas and solution to facilitate the integration of migrants and refugees. The city of Athens will target newly arrived refugees by empowering them to interact with local citizens while addressing various city and social needs in exchange for access to affordable housing. Coventry City Council will facilitate and recognise the positive contribution of refugees and migrants to the city’s civic, economic and social fabric. The solution will combine efforts on job creation, social entrepreneurship and innovation, active citizenship and communication. The city of Fuenlabrada will use practical experience to integrate its migrant population through an experimental formative process directly connected to the development of products and services demanded on the market through so-called ‘Business challenges’.
Five cities will contribute to the topic of urban mobility. The city of Albertslund will test autonomous shuttle buses as a solution for the first and last mile mobility gap. During testing, the design of control systems, overall feasibility in different urban environments and the collection on feedback on scheduling, routes communication will be made. In Ghent, the City will harmonise mobility between different modes as well as inform citizens on sustainable alternatives to move around the city. It will aim to organise traffic management as a service without investing in expensive hardware. The city of Lahti will experiment with a Personal Carbon Trading Scheme to promote sustainable and low-carbon urban mobility by promoting and rewarding behavioural changes. Last but not least, two projects will look at congestion and commuter patterns. The city of Szeged aims to combine employer mobility pledges with data driven intelligent transport system. The city of Toulouse on the other hand will tackle poor accessibility to major employment areas by creating a partnership in order to change commuters travel patterns and habits. A combination of actions will be put in place including a new urban mobility collaborative management system, a digital platform to measure the impact of the measures that will feed into the decision making process based on real time data, new ways of working and new infrastructure (autonomous vehicles).
The projects will kick-start their activities on 1 November for a duration of three years. One extra year will be dedicated to the capture and sharing of the main knowledge acquired during implementation.
In the coming months, each selected project will have a dedicate page in the UIA website with more detailed information on activities, partners and milestones.
UIA Experts will work closely with the 16 urban authorities and their partners to capture the knowledge generated throughout the testing phase and to make it available to policy-makers and practitioners in Europe and beyond.
Meanwhile, the UIA will continue to provide urban authorities with space and resources to experiment new bold ideas. The third Call for Proposals will be launched in December 2017. Interested urban authorities are invited to check the details of the topics of air quality, climate adaptation, housing and jobs and skills in the local economy now available on our website.