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Urbact Project: Results

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Year of publication2011
Author(s)Peter Ramsden
Co-authorsPhilip Stein, Paul Soto
The main challenges faced by European cities and towns are well known: globalisation, economic crisis, climate change and demographic changes. The European Commission, Member States and two Partner States (Norway and Switzerland) assigned an ambitious objective to the URBACT II European Territorial Cooperation programme: to assist European cities and towns in becoming engines of growth and jobs, while at the same time striving to be attractive and cohesive. Inspired by the positive experience of the URBAN Community Initiative, URBACT II fosters sustainable and integrated urban development.
Since 2007, more than 300 cities of all sizes from all over Europe have been exchanging and working in the framework of URBACT, mobilising a working community of 5,000 people. In order to produce a real impact with this transnational exchange and to achieve concrete results in each of the partner cities, URBACT established a strong methodology, now branded as the URBACT method. The URBACT method relies on mutual assistance between cities (transnational exchange), action-orientated (each city commits to elaborate and adopt a Local Action Plan) participative approach (each city co-produces its Local Action Plan with a Local Support Group bringing together all concerned stakeholders), and a strong methodological support (guidance from the URBACT Secretariat and from thematic experts).
This document represents a milestone in the life of URBACT. You will find the results and main conclusions of nineteen Thematic Networks and the Working Group LC-FACIL. They are presented by seven transverse articles, drawing common conclusions from the twenty projects and linking them to the European context and current urban challenges.
URBACT is a living programme. It has been capable of taking into account the consequences of the economic and financial crisis and of incorporating the Europe 2020 Strategy into its objectives. This document makes a significant contribution to the European Cohesion Policy and provides concrete answers to urban concerns.