The URBACT programme1 enables cities to work together and develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges by networking, drawing lessons from peer reviews and identifying good practices to improve urban policies.
After 14 years of driving change in European cities2, URBACT is now issuing a Good Practice Call. This call invites cities to come forward with their good practices in the field of sustainable integrated urban development to:
- Be part of the pioneering group of URBACT Good Practices to be widely promoted at EU and international level
- Be able to share the Good Practice within the framework of a Transfer Network (Call to be published in September 2017)
In a context where many cities are seeking to address growing challenges with diminished resources it is important to identify good practices in the field of integrated and sustainable urban development and share those among peers. In other words, why risk wasting precious resources reinventing the wheel, when another city might already have taken steps to solve the problem.
On this basis, the “Commissariat Général à l’Egalité des Territoires” (CGET) (France), Managing Authority of the URBACT III Operational programme, issues a GOOD PRACTICE CALL.
The terms of reference of the present Good Practice call were approved by the URBACT III Monitoring Committee on 5 October 2016.
This Call for Proposals is open from 5 December 2016 to 31 March 20173.
2 Why apply?
Successful cities will have their good practices promoted by URBACT and will have the opportunity to apply to share their experience within the framework of Transfer Networks enabling also the subsequent enhancement of the good practice in their own city. As a result of the adaptation and re-use of good practice, it is expected that European cities will improve their integrated urban policies and the delivery of these policies on the ground.
All the cities with the selected good practices will be awarded the title URBACT Good Practice City. They will be promoted widely to a range of audiences with an interest in sustainable integrated urban development through the following activities:
A “Show-case” event organized by URBACT4 where all the selected cities with good practices will take part and have the opportunity to network with European and city policy-makers. The event will promote examples of leading practices and raise awareness of the forthcoming call for Transfer Networks. One delegate representing the selected Good Practice will be refunded by the programme to take part in the event and play an active role.
A series of promotional activities highlighting the selected good practices, notably:
- A compilation publication of the URBACT Good Practice Cities
- Presentation of the selected good practices in major URBACT publications
- A dedicated webpage with URBACT Good Practice City profiles
- A possibility to present the selected good practice in a national context using National URBACT Points
- Videos and other visual communication tools
Becoming an advocate of sustainable integrated urban development at URBACT events and capacity-building activities (workshops and conferences at programme and project level) including the activities related to the contribution to Urban Agenda for EU.
Opportunity to share the experience within the framework of a Transfer Network meaning the following:
- An opportunity to lead and mentor the process of understanding, adapting and reusing the good practice.
- Refining and improving your own methodology through peer reviews and with the support of an URBACT expert.
- The learning captured with other partners could lead to a wider recognition of the potential for reuse of the good practice across Europe and beyond, therefore increasing the visibility of your city in the arena of urban practitioners and among URBACT partners (European Commission, Urban Innovative Action, European Investment Bank, UN Habitat, etc.).
3 Who is eligible?
Eligible beneficiaries for the Call for Good Practices are “cities” and “other public authorities” from EU 28 Member States, Norway and Switzerland as defined below:
For the URBACT III programme, “cities” as eligible beneficiaries are defined as the public local authority representing:
• Cities, municipalities, towns;
• Infra-municipal tiers of government such as city districts and boroughs in cases where they are represented by a politico-administrative institution having competences for policy-making and implementation in the policy area covered by the URBACT network concerned in which they are willing to get involved;
• Metropolitan authorities and organized agglomerations in cases where they are represented by a politico-administrative institution having delegated competences for policy-making and implementation in the policy area covered by the URBACT network.
Other public authorities or Equivalent Public Bodies5are also eligible in the present call as follows:
• Local agencies defined as public or semi-public organisations set up by a city, partially or fully owned by the city authority, responsible for the design and implementation of specific policies (economic development, energy supply, health services, transport, etc.).
4 What kind ofgood practicesareeligible?
The URBACT Programme operates on the principles of sustainable integrated urban development. This call is seeking good practices which are addressing complex challenges in urban environments by using the integrated and participative approach to problem-solving and consequently making our society more sustainable.
A good practice as understood in URBACT is not only a practice that is good, but a practice that has been proven to work well by ensuring desired results, and could be recommended as a model. It is a successful experience, which has been tested and validated, and deserves to be shared so that a greater number of cities can adopt it. The criteria are further explained in section 4.2.
4.1 URBACT principles
All the good practices selected should respect the URBACT values as outlined below:
Sustainable urban living:
Urban development can only be sustainable when it is accompanied by measures designed to reduce poverty, social exclusion and environmental problems. URBACT is committed to the values and principles of sustainable development6 as a main orientation for driving change in cities towards the sustainable urban living.
6 More information about the values, principles and objectives of sustainable development are available in Brundtland report accessible via http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm; and United Nations Sustainable development goals accessible via:
Integrated and participative approach:
The integrated approach brings together social, economic and environmental actions to address policy challenges in a holistic manner. URBACT believes that integrated urban development promotes a genuine solution to complex urban problems.
URBACT often refers to horizontal integration for interventions that combine physical, economic, social and environmental dimensions, vertical integration when explaining cooperation between all levels of government and local players (local administration, civil society, private sector, etc., and between different levels of governance (local, regional national, EU), and, territorial integration for interventions that consider the placement of one territory as part of a greater territorial system (e.g. functional urban area).
4.2 Criteria for the selection of good practices
The criteria below shall provide an understanding of what URBACT expects from the ‘good practice’ in cities.
The criteria have been designed with the intention of establishing a clear focus for the assessment of good practices in relation to the potential for transfer through an URBACT Transfer Network. 8 Good Practice Call
The criteria for the assessment of good practices come under four headings, as follows:
o Does the good practice address an issue widely faced by cities?
o What are the solutions it offers?
b) Fit with Principles of integrated and sustainable urban development
o How does the good practice build on the sustainable and integrated approach to tackling urban challenges?
o What evidence is there of a participatory approach in project development and implementation, involving relevant stakeholders?
c) Evidence base
o How is the practice documented?
o What difference has it made?
o Have the results been assessed and documented by an independent party?
o Do you think your good practice would be interesting for other European cities?
o Is the practice linked to any specific national governance/legislative context?
o Is there scope to amend the practice to suit other city contexts?
o What was the cost of the practice and how was it financed in your city?
o How sustainable is the practice in the long run? Is it still operating in your city?
All candidates submitting proposals will be asked whether they are committed for transferring their good practice through an URBACT Transfer Network. Although not a formal criterion for selection, the programme aims at getting a high number of cities willing to lead a Transfer Network.
5 Submission procedure
To submit the Good Practice proposal, applicants must complete the following steps:
1. Fill in the online application form (in English).
- The content of the application form is provided in the Annex of the present call.
- The direct link to the online application platform is provided on the dedicated webpage: http://urbact.eu/goodpracticecall
2. The application should be supported by relevant material that can help the assessors to understand your practice.
The support package shall be composed of:
Good Practice Summary (further instructions provided in annex of this call)
2 images presenting your good practice
Materials - short documents, infographics, video7etc. you may deem relevant for supporting your application (in English or with English summary)
3. The support materials should be indicated in the application form and sent by email to email@example.com. Please indicate the title of the good practice in the subject of the email as indicated in the application form.
The submission of the Good Practice applications is paper free.
The submission period for Good Practice proposals will be open until midnight 31 March 20178.
Applicants are allowed to submit more than one proposal for Good Practice. However, the cities with several selected good practices willing to take the role of the Lead partner in a Transfer network will be able to lead only one approved network. 10 Good Practice Call
6 Assessment process
All submitted proposals will be reviewed by the URBACT Secretariat for compliance with the eligibility criteria outlined below:
Eligibility Criteria for Good practices
o The application form is filled in and submitted in English, respecting the procedure outlined in the call for proposals and within the notified deadline.
o The candidate is eligible according to rules set out in the present Call.
URBACT has set up a 2-step process for the assessment and selection of good practices to be included into the pool of ‘URBACT Good Practice Cities’.
The Assessment panel
The Assessment panel will rate all the eligible proposals for good practices against a scorecard linked to the criteria stated in section 4.2.
The assessment panel will include:
URBACT Programme experts
URBACT Secretariat staff members
Independent external advisers as necessary
Approval by the Monitoring Committee
The results of the assessment will be submitted to the URBACT Monitoring Committee for final approval of the selected good practices.
After approval by the Monitoring Committee, the information on selected good practices shall be published on the URBACT website.
The URBACT Secretariat shall notify all the applicants about the results of the selection process by email.
The selected good practice will be awarded the title ‘URBACT Good Practice City ’.
7 Important dates for applicants
Applicants are invited to take note of the following milestones:
Submission of applications
Good practice applications shall be submitted by midnight 31 March 2017 at the latest, following the submission procedure outlined in section 5.
Selection of good practices
Eligible proposals will be assessed by the Assessment panel based on the criteria stated in section 4.2. The assessment and selection shall be finished by end May 2017.
URBACT Good Practice City Festival
All the cities with selected good practices should be available to attend the Show-case event that will take place end September 2017 (exact place and dates to be communicated). Costs of one person representing the selected Good Practice will be covered by the URBACT programme.
Call for Transfer Networks
The call for proposals for Transfer Networks will be published in September 2017 prior to the URBACT Good Practice City Festival.
By submitting an application form for good practices you could be asked (in case of being selected) to take part in promotional activities organised by the URBACT Secretariat (travel costs will be covered by the programme) and you accept that your practice be published and highlighted in digital and printed URBACT communication tools.
For all questions concerning the Good Practice Call, applicants are invited to contact the URBACT Secretariat on the following email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
URBACT articles on our website & blog
If you want to learn more about the type of urban practices URBACT supports, please visit our website and blog which offers a great variety of articles organised by topics:
Applicants are invited to refer to the following documents:
o URBACT III Operational Programme
o URBACT III Programme Manual, and in particular:
- Fact Sheet 1 – The URBACT Programme
- Fact Sheet 2C – Transfer Networks
All documents, templates and direct links needed for the submission of Good practice proposals are available on the webpage dedicated to the call: http://urbact.eu/goodpracticecall