EUROCITIES 2019 Prague
The EUROCITIES awards recognise outstanding achievement by EUROCITIES members in the delivery of local activities or practices, which improve the quality of life for citizens and will be judged in the context of the theme of the annual conference. Entries are judged by an independent jury of five members: city expert, academia, EU institutions, media and NGO. Jury members change every year.
The EUROCITIES awards 2019 will showcase projects and actions undertaken by our members under the theme ‘cities at a crossroads’. This reflects the new political landscape at EU level, as well as the changing landscapes in our own cities. How can we retain genuine urban life within the historic cores of modern European cities, and how can we bring back city life and find new purpose for old municipal or industrial sites that no longer serve their original purposes?
This year, the awards will be judged in the following categories:
• Cooperation in physical transformation: We are looking for projects on redevelopment, e.g. of city districts, strategic projects on the conversion of industrial areas or brownfields, or the reuse of industrial buildings, where city departments, industry and other stakeholders work together on masterplans of transformation.
• Innovation for social transformation: We are looking for projects that are changing the fabric of our cities, be this through facing up to the challenges of gentrification and providing affordable housing, integrating migrants into communities, or tackling inequalities, urban poverty and homelessness.
• Participation to preserve our heritage: We are looking for projects that manage our cultural heritage by thoughtful repurposing of historic buildings for the community, or projects reaching out to residents in areas that are focus areas for tourists.
Shortlisted projects 2019
Antwerp: the big link
Antwerp has overcome two decades of opposition to an extension of the city's ring road by delivering a citizen group's sustainable solution, a task enabled by governance innovation. This major infrastructure project will add the missing segment of the ring road and provide cover along its entire 20km length, protecting inhabitants from polluting particles and traffic noise and providing for more green spaces atop the new tunnels. To make this breakthrough, Antwerp has pioneered a new administrative methodology that puts citizen participation and a co-creation process at the heart of the project and involves the appointment of an independent curator and delegation of autonomy to experts. By allowing for more bike lanes and multimodal transport nodes, the radical road project is seen as a gateway for the shift towards sustainable models of transport.
Dresden: From industrial to creative powerhouse
Dresden has revitalised an old, unused industrial complex in the city centre, bringing to life a proposal by the city's artist communities to create a centre for the cultural and creative industries. Prompted by the need to re-house Dresden's operetta and young people's theatres in fit-for-purpose buildings, the project's political support and infrastructure details were influenced by continuous, constructive dialogue with citizens and partners. This interaction ensured the design achieved a successful balance between the needs of future tenants and users and the substance of the historical building. The centre opened in 2016 with theatres, a concert hall, cinema, jazz club, restaurants, studios, educational spaces and exhibitions. As well as attracting new audiences, the centre has given impetus to sustainable approaches to design, mobility and resource use and to plans for further developing the district.
Munich: Urban updating Pasing
Munich has capitalised on opportunities opened up by the removal of rail tracks in the district of Pasing to create an integrated area uniting the old and the new. This innovative combination of urban development and redevelopment was enabled by a strategy of cooperation between city departments and with citizens and civic players. All stakeholders have contributed to the planning goals and renewal process through a range of participation tools, including workshops, competitions and a local office open to all. The centre of Pasing has been transformed. There's a new bypass and intermodal transport hub. Public and private investment has resulted in rebuilt streets and public amenities and brand new green, commercial, residential and retail spaces. The project's impact on the local economy and quality of life has led to a four-year extension.
KomKuk, Bristol: Replicate smart homes
Bristol has adopted an innovative method for tackling the problem of fuel poverty which changes the relationship with communities, gives them opportunities to explore future energy systems and empowers them to drive change. The city's REPLICATE Smart Homes project first set up a community engagement group to ensure a true partnership approach from specification to implementation. It is now trialling smart integrated energy, mobility and ICT solutions in the homes and streets of three neighbourhoods. In this way it is engaging citizens with their energy use, identifying the energy and financial savings of smart appliances and encouraging a rethink of travel patterns with options like e-bikes and advice apps. By enabling tomorrow's technologies to be tested today, the project also supports the city's ambition to enhance future energy resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.
Munich: All party conflict management
Munich has established the first department of its kind in Germany dedicated to resolving the friction and disputes inevitable in dense urban coexistence before they escalate into serious social conflict. When the interests of different groups, such as revellers and resident populations, collide on city streets, squares and green areas, the all party conflict management (AKIM) team can be called on to mediate, reassure and bring in other authorities where necessary. As well as attending disturbances on the ground, the team also pre-empts problems by, for example, supporting refugees moving into shared accommodation and sharing its experience of peaceful conflict management at regional, national and international levels. This wide-ranging work is guided by AKIM's overarching objective to balance everyone's interests and, through enlightenment and encounters, encourage a positive change of perspective among participants.
Strasbourg: Re-let my vacant housing
Strasbourg has developed a novel scheme that's tackling the challenges of affordable housing, inequality, homelessness and urban poverty by reintroducing private vacant housing into the market. Based on an understanding of the reasons for vacancy, making the rental process easier for owners and mobilising tools such as rental intermediation and regulation, the project enabled 230 private homes to be released for rental in its first two years. Beneficiaries included poor households and those with particular difficulty accessing affordable housing such as the unemployed, refugees, young workers and victims of domestic violence. The scheme has been so successful that it has been extended to more cities within the Eurometropole of Strasbourg. The city has also been designated president of a new national network of cities fighting against vacant housing.
Seeing Izmir: History design atelier
Izmir has established a unique unit to act as a communicator between local communities and authorities during the Izmir History Project, which is conserving and regenerating 248 hectares of historic city centre populated mainly by internal immigrants and refugees. The Izmir History Design Atelier brings together designers, sociologists and psychologists to promote participation. It involves local people in solving the problems of the area's physical environment through the language of design. It also uses the power of creativity to make history part of residents' life experience through events and workshops, many designed specifically for children. The atelier is not only increasing the visibility of the city's creative culture for locals and tourists, it also enhances citizens' quality of life, empowering them to share their knowledge, perspectives and skills for the benefit of their communities.
Rennes: Hotel Pasteur project
Rennes has taken an experimental, grass-roots participation approach to the cost-effective repurposing of a city centre university building, coming up with the imaginative concept of a 'hotel for projects'. For four years, the Pasteur Hotel has opened its doors to an array of artistic and social projects, catalysing local needs and aspirations and testing out new uses and evolving governance in an incremental way. Artistic performances, hackathons, boxing nights, design workshops, language classes for migrants — the goal is to create a place of infinite possibilities for citizens, creators, associations and schools. Renovation work now underway on the building, with the help of a new construction school and an architectural drop-in space, will not only enable this ambition, but will also allow the integration of an experimental laboratory in new educational technology and a nursery school into the building.
Zaragoza: Harinera zgz cultural centre
Zaragoza has turned an abandoned factory due to be demolished into a vibrant cultural centre co-managed by and serving residents at risk of social exclusion. Conceived as a space dedicated to participation, empowerment and transformation of the neighbourhood through creativity, the Harinera ZGZ brings together local citizens, creators and the city council on an equal basis in a decision-making assembly. Anyone can propose and participate in the centre's affordable and free activities, with around 20,000 people a year taking part in activities ranging from creative recycling workshops to urban art projects and generating ideas for city improvements. As well as decentralising the city's cultural activity and shining a light on its industrial heritage, the centre is well known nationally and has been ranked among the most valuable cultural institutions in Spain.
For more information, please contact:
Nicola Vatthauer, communications director, EUROCITIES: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Vance, senior economic development officer, City of Edinburgh Council: email@example.com