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Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns - URGENT

24 months (01.09.2016 - 31.08.2018)

Newsletter URGENT 28/05/2018

Short description
In today’s Europe we are reaching alarming levels of urban fragmentation, inequality and structural socio-spatial divisions within our cities, feeding extremism and radicalisation. Most vulnerable people are often bound to concentrate in disadvantaged areas where social exclusion and deprivation usually overlap with multi-ethnicity, which further challenges social cohesion. Increasingly marginalized and stigmatised, these areas and their inhabitants are pushed into a vicious circle of poverty. In this context, and through a bottom-up approach to raise local awareness on the urgent need to establish new connections among inhabitants of marginalized neighbourhoods and those of central areas, URGENT aims at tackling the growing fear of immigration, which feeds euroscepticist attitudes.


The main objectives of this project are:

  • to create spaces of discussion and mutual learning among citizens from different socio-cultural backgrounds and from different countries of Europe;
  • to foster active citizenship and co-creation of policies and services in local societies, particularly for citizens who are often excluded from the decision-making processes;
  • to enhance the capacity of local institutions to be “multipliers” in their own communities in order to engage a wide range of stakeholders;
  • to provide a new impetus to the EU enlargement process, contributing to the establishment of a long-lasting thematic network of cities that are strongly active and committed as key players in Europe.

URGENT foresees 10 steps, having impact both at the local and at the European level:

0 Steering Committee

Online, all partners
At the beginning of the Project, the consortium will meet online to:

  • gather representatives for each partner
  • further discuss the project outlines and objectives
  • create the basis and define the agreements on the definitive action plan
  • clarify the roles and specific commitment for each partner
  • consider financial aspects of the project and clarify the management structure
  • provide a platform for queries and suggestions
  • set-up further avenues of communication

Expected results:

  • Project objectives and outcomes are further discussed and agreed upon
  • Project action plan is revised and agreed upon
  • Shared project methodology is agreed upon
  • Contingent technical issues are agreed upon
  • Possible financial matters are effectively solved
  • Increased communication and mutual understanding among partners is ensured
  • Increased comprehension of each partner’s role is ensured
  • Increased trust and network effectiveness between the partners is ensured
  • Smooth project implementation is performed
  • Evaluation measures are agreed upon

1 - “Restarting (from) European Cities: immigration and intercultural dialogue, from the global to the local”

International event, Brussels, Belgium
With the facilitation of the SSIIM Unesco Chair researchers citizens will discuss:

  • figures about migration and refugees VS myth and stigmatisation processes
  • European conventions/national legislation on migration
  • immigration situation in partner countries and causes of local radicalisation patterns

Through a collaborative workshop, all partners will identify conflicting areas in partner cities and will be trained on techniques of territorial analysis (see local paths-pilot projects).

Expected results:
All participants become aware about:

  • migration/refugees processes at EU level
  • the causes and effects of stigmatisation processes and radicalisation patterns at local level
  • conflicts, xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination aroused by the presence of migration/refugees in their cities
  • common challenges about migration at EU level that have different outcomes at national level
  • the presence and the main features of conflicting areas due to the presence of migration in the city

2 - Local path phase 1: all partner cities familiarise with migration issues at local level

Local activities, all partner countries
Through the organisation of local activities, partners will implement their role of “multipliers” at the local level. Thanks to the information and techniques acquired in the first international event, local partners are expected to collect the following information by performing territorial analysis:

  • immigration and refugees situation in targeted areas
  • main local problems/challenges regarding the living in intercultural settings
  • main forms of discrimination/social exclusion  

Expected results:

    • Citizens in partner countries are aware about new boundaries, hampering integration and mutual understanding in cities
    • Conflicting areas in partner cities are identified and managed
    • Resources of the community are “collected” and used to promote active citizenship and intercultural dialogue
    • Forms of discrimination and social exclusion are recognized to promote mutual understanding and prevent radicalised behaviour at city level

3 - “Reframing Urban cohesion in European cities: the diversity advantage”


International event, Venice, Italy
The partners will exchange about the local paths implemented and lessons learnt will be shared in thematic focus groups. Common guidelines for the development of local pilot projects will be defined. Parallel training sessions will be held on tools to:

    • develop pilot projects to overcome stereotypes about immigrants
    • promote intercultural dialogue in participatory environment (open space technology, world café, urban living lab).

 Event organised in coincidence and synergy with URISE master

Expected results:

    • Specific competences on conflict management, intercultural dialogue, active citizenship promotion are acquired
    • Competences on pilot project design and implementation are acquired
    • The kind of local resources to invest in the EU as an intercultural political space is shared
    • Knowledge exchange and mutual understanding among partners are facilitated
    • Active citizenship is promoted in partner cities/targeted areas
    • Tools to reduce radicalised behaviour, xenophobia, discrimination are exchanged

4 - Local path phase 2: all partners elaborate pilot project ideas for intercultural dialogue in deprived and conflicting areas in cities

Local activities, all partner countries
Thanks to the training acquired, partners will develop a pilot project idea to be implemented at local level in targeted areas. A citizens’ consultation will be organised in each city to discuss and design the pilot project. Different participatory tools previously acquired will be used according to local priorities. Pilot projects are dedicated to reduce stigmatisation, promote intercultural dialogue among diversities, and prevent radicalisation and euroscepticism at city level.

Expected results:

    • Pilot projects at local level are defined trough the promotion of active citizenship processes
    • Target areas are taken into account by local authorities that develop pilot projects to promote intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding
    • In each city, local communities become active in promoting the social cohesion of local communities in most fragile city areas
    • In targeted areas, radicalisation behaviour and euroscepticism are prevented trough the definition of community based activities

5 - “Reconstructing bridges within European cities: civic participation against socio-spatial stigmatisation and boundaries”

International event, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Partners discuss about the pilot projects ideas developed at local level using SWOT analysis to revise them. Pilot projects will be adjusted according to guidelines developed during the 2nd international event. Each partner presents the local path experience in thematic focus groups on:

    • the effect of the local welfare constraints on social cohesion in cities
    • the link between social exclusion and euroscepticism
    • the effect of community based activities in building intercultural dialogue.

Expected results:

    • Pilot projects are discussed, evaluated and further elaborated according to common guidelines
    • Knowledge exchange and mutual understanding among partners is fostered
    • The role of local authorities in time of crisis is discussed and shared among different EU cities
    • The role of community based organisation in building intercultural dialogue is discussed and shared
    • The link between social exclusion and euroscepticism is discussed among different EU cities and countries' experiences

6 - Local path phase 3: updated pilot projects in each partner city

Local activities, all partner countries
In each partner city, pilot projects are updated thanks to the suggestions collected during the second international event. Then, pilot projects are implemented to overcome stereotypes about immigrants by deconstructing past and present processes of stigmatisation; pilot projects will be able to build counter narratives, hampering integration and mutual understanding in targeted areas. Pilot projects in marginal areas of the city will exemplify a way to work against xenophobia and intolerance.

Expected results:

    • Citizens at local level understand the kind of resources to invest to build an intercultural European space
    • Techniques understood during the international events are put into practice at local level
    • Active citizenship is promoted in real scenarios
    • Pilot projects to promote intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding in diversity are realized at local level
    • Knowledge is exchanged and understanding on common challenges among partners fostered

7 - “Reactivating European urban citizenship: a network of inclusive towns”

International event, Athens, Greece
Each partner will share the results of the pilot project implemented at city level. A module of exchange of good practices among partners is organised to maximise the development of local competencies. A presentation about the networking opportunities in Europe on interculturalism will be done (i.e. The Intercultural city network, etc.). In thematic workshops, each city develops a “city manifesto” on urban inclusion and the right to the city for newcomers to be presented at EU level.

Expected results:

    • Raised partners’ awareness on their role in shaping the intercultural future of the EU
    • Diminishment the negative effect of euroscepticism in the project participants
    • Enhanced collaboration among partners to be continued after the Project closure
    • Each city is aware about the networking opportunities for intercultural dialogue in Europe
    • City manifestos to build a common understanding about interculturalism, social inclusion, integration of migrants are produced and exchanged.

8 - Communication and dissemination

Communication activities, all partner countries

    • A project website will be created
    • Traditional and social media will be employed to reach the widest audience possible
    • Each partner of the project will offer its communication tools at the project's disposal (website, press, articles, social-networks, networks of people)
    • A Handbook to collect the experiences of the enactment that overcome stereotypes about immigrants and build counter narratives is discussed
    • EU logo will be displayed in all dissemination materials

Expected results:

  • Website of the project
  • E-publication
  • N. Newsletters, articles of newspapers, news on web and socials developed
  • Around 10.000 people reached by the dissemination tools
  • Relevance of the topic transferred to the wider public, with possible replication of results

9 - Monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and reporting activities, online and in all partner countries

  • A list of indicators written and shared by all the participants will be prepared to monitor the proceeding of the project activities
  • At the end of each event, questionnaires to evaluate the implementation of the events will be delivered to all the participants
  • A final evaluation sheet will resume the overall opinions about the organisation of the project
  • A final report of the project will give a summary of the activities and results of the project

Expected results:

  • List of indicators is created to monitor the proceeding of the project's activities
  • Final report of the project is produced
  • Results of questionnaires will be reported in the final evaluation of the project

Lead partner:

  • ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy, Strasbourg, France

Other partners:

  • Università IUAV di Venezia, Venice, Italy
  • Local Democracy Agency Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Association of Albanian Municipalities, Albania
  • SPES - Associazione Promozione e Solidarietà, Roma, Italy
  • SOS Malta - Solidarity Overseas Service, Santa Venera, Malta
  • Fundación Privada Indera, Barcelona, Spain
  • Municipality of Kumanovo, Kumanovo, FYROM
  • European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Amphictyony, Athens, Greece
  • Kallipolis, Trieste, Italy
  • Rede DLBC Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • City of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • Municipality of Novo Mesto


    No data available.

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