Modifier 24 February 2022
by UIA Permanent Secretariat

What can we learn from UIA projects? Key achievements from 2021

While the year 2021 has been quite challenging, UIA projects continue to strive for great results and make a positive impact on cities around Europe. This year has brought together a wealth of knowledge from projects, countless good practices on sustainable urban development and innovative solutions as well as lessons learnt from urban challenges. We are very proud to share with you these key achievements and hope these serve as a source of inspiration for you and your city!

2021: a year of innovative achievements

UIA-MILMA project has been a success and is a fantastic example contributing to positive change towards migrant integration. MILMA offers an efficient and innovative model of access to employment for the integration of unemployed people in the municipality of Fuenlabrada. More specifically, it gives special attention to the exclusion processes of vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees. Let the project share with you their journey. However, due to the high level of insertion in the labour market and the incorporation of soft skills training, their success has not ended. The MILMA methodology is being transferred to other areas and the project is still on-going based on its own funding.


Antwerpen Circular South project creates circular cities. Last year, a group of residents in Antwerp accepted the challenge to live a circular life for three and a half years. What was the process like? Through the installation of a smart meters, an app was developed to allow people to track their consumption of electricity and production of waste. This has in turn, resulted in less use of energy and water, reused materials and accumulated and disposed of less household waste. As a reward, resident could also earn “circules”, a digital currency that could be used in the city. Want to learn more and use this knowledge in your city? Engage in this interactive online brochure that can tell you everything you need to know!



The living lab of IGNITION has positive results. This project, based in Greater Manchester has installed a living lab to demonstrate to various stakeholders the potential of nature based solutions (NBS) for climate adaptation. The living lab has attracted many investors and planners’ interest. Additionally, while COVID 19 has resulted in different challenges to this project to interact with their community and communicate the data, IGNITION has adapted by creating virtual tours. IGNITION has also engaged citizens through ecostreets to help deliver large-scale NBS, delivering additional greenspaces and climate change adaptations.

Transferring successful innovative solutions with URBACT

istock In 2021, URBACT and UIA joined forces to implement a transfer mechanism for UIA successful solutions. Five pilot networks were selected by URBACT to transfer innovative solutions to cities facing similar challenges in Europe. The UIA transfer mechanism experiment has been supporting a group of EU cities and building on the success of the URBACT transfer model. The 5 cities selected are Bilbao, Torino, Birmingham, Viladecans and Milan. On the latter, the WISH-Mi project aims to leave no one behind by increasing social cohesion, building vibrant communication and re-educating educational as well as economic disparities. Find out how it is specifically supporting the youth community through financial proxies. What’s more? This project is continuing its work, transferring the same financial tools to three other European cities through its participation in the transfer mechanism.

A year of peer learning among UIA projects

Let’s learn how knowledge and learning is shared among UIA urban security projects. Last spring, the three different cities including Piraeus, Tampere and Turin united online to discuss how security can be improved in cities. These teams presented each of their projects, their proposed strategies, the expected results, and the upcoming activities. While all projects have the same objective of improving security for the inhabitants, they all still tackle a different type of problem due to the diverse context. Have a look at the different contributions and lessons learnt including citizen engagement, collaboration tools and data management. Get more info on urban security projects. Watch a series of web conferences organised by the European Forum on urban security (Efus) as an approach to disseminate the project’s innovative practices and transfers to other urban context.



UIA’s journey implementing the right to housing

housingUIA cities are an essential driving force for tackling the issue of housing in Europe. Throughout 2020-21, UIA and URBACT explored how cities can implement the fundamental right to housing through innovative and practical solutions. This activity was a major achievement to push the housing agenda on an EU level. The good practices and city stories are all accessible for you in our joint website:  However, UIA’s work on housing has not ended here. Home silk road is another great example, developing modular housing residence for vulnerable people and the integration of families. Want to hear from the residents themselves? Click here and give your ear to the testimonies.


Listen to the latest innovative and sustainable urban development issues from UIA projects!

Using AI in Public Mobility Services

2 Ever wondered if taking the bus is better than driving? INNOAIR project, based in the capital, Sofia is now taking action to reverse this trend and connect new urban residential areas with the end stations of metro stations. It is exploring the opportunities and challenges of using artificial intelligence in managing sustainable on-demand mobility solutions. The plan is to have a fleet of electric mini buses purchased that will not only drive emission-free, but also offer on demand, shared mobility services.

Rethinking the cultural and creative industries

clujWhat is the role of innovation hubs for urban growth? This podcast is available for you to learn how the project, Cluj Future of Work is taking action to tackle the vulnerability of the local economy! The main question here is what are the challenges present in order to promote smart specialisation and support the upskilling and reskilling of workers? Listen to an interesting talk by our expert, Simone d’antonio and get your questions answered!

Watch all other UIA project achievements available on this YouTube Playlist!


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