Ιntegrated territorial development in UIA projects
This study focuses on good practices in the integrated territorial approach in the 86 Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) projects financed in the 2014-20 programme period.
Integrated territorial development (ITD) proposes a different way of shaping solutions to territorial challenges regardless of administrative boundaries. The concept is widely recognised and has been at the core of EU urban policies for several decades. The New Leipzig Charter has proposed 4 key principles that are commonly used as good urban working principles: the place-based approach, the integrated approach (multi-sectoral), participation and co-creation, and multi-level governance.
These working principles translate into a methodological approach and lead cities and territories to adopt new ways of designing urban policies. In particular, these principles help incorporate the complexity of conflicting objectives and interlinked challenges. Although the principles of integrated territorial development are not new, cities still face difficulties in effectively implementing ITD.
Since the approval of the first UIA projects back in 2015, cities have been testing and experiencing regularly what it means to apply the main methodological principles for integrated territorial development. Most importantly, they shed light on the challenges that this unfolds and the pragmatic solutions they find.
By studying the different projects funded by UIA, the aim is to propose tangible good practices of integrated territorial development.
The present report is composed of an introduction presenting the methodology, key recommendations for professionals, 6 chapters that detail either the principles or key project phases and the 12 case studies.
The full study is available HERE.
Chapters of the study are:
- Place-based approaches
- Multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance
- Participative approach
- Cross-sectoral approach: linking to city strategies
- Evaluating integrated approaches
- Sustaining and scaling-up
Summary of recommendations
Take inspiration from the assets and resources of the place where the project will happen
Consider places as aggregators of resources, practices and visions. Transformative practices are the result of going beyond targeting particular places (neighbourhoods, cities, metropolitan areas and functional urban areas). It involves harnessing the existing place-based resources and visions. This sometimes translates in building on a local momentum to bring partners towards a shared goal, or continuing with earlier initiatives related to an area, sometimes taking a different sectoral angle.
The 86 UIA projects from the first edition 2014-20 were the product of the UIA “method”. The selection process emphasised participation and co-creation and projects were scored according to dedicated sections in the application forms which encouraged project promoters to think in terms of place-based approaches, the integration of cross-sectoral policies and to foster dynamic and diverse partnerships. These factors will be even more valued in the strategic assessment foreseen in the future European Urban Initaitive’s innovative actions.
In the discussion below, the recommendations are a distillation of findings and takeaways from the analysis of the twelve case studies. We have grouped them under four headings. Project designers are those people who are directly involved in the co-design of the project when it is first developed and submitted as a bid. Project implementers are those on the team who are responsible for realising a successful bid in practice. Project evaluators are those, normally independent, experts who conduct evaluations. They can be from Universities, research centres or consultancies. Including them as project partners avoids the need for tendering and means they can start the evaluation when the project starts. Project spreaders can be from a range of different organisations in the vertical governance chain including the European Commission and other EU institutions, Managing Authorities of ERDF and ESF, as well as national and regional ministries, departments and agencies. The main urban authority itself may be engaged in informal and formal spreading for example transfer activities and by hosting other cities wishing to import the practice.
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