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IP/01/1328

Brussels, 27 September 2001

URBAN II programme : EU contributes EURO 9 million to urban development in Rotterdam

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in Rotterdam. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 9 million from the European Union over the period 2001-2006. The European funding has attracted a further € 15 million in investment from the public sector, creating total resources of € 24 million. Priorities will include training, improvements to the physical environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly in the labour market.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER, Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, said: "URBAN programmes provide a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. They also have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people at all stages in the decision making process. This programme is no exception, mobilising a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training and renewing the business infrastructure and the physical environment. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Rotterdam."

The programme area covers three neighbourhoods(2) North of the centre of Rotterdam with a population of 29,551. The area is struggling with high unemployment, poverty, crime, low average education and other social problems. On the other hand, the area is easily accessibly by car and public transport, close to the centre. It also has a young and multi-ethnic population and a considerable amount of affordable housing.

The programme aims to tackle these problems with three main priorities:

    Improving the physical business environment

Key actions include renovating existing business space, improving public spaces and giving the river "the Rotte" a stronger recreational and tourist function (Funding available: € 10 million).

    Stimulating economic activity

Key actions will focus on building networks between firms, promoting the area reputation as a good business location and providing training to disadvantaged groups (Funding available: € 6 million).

    Enhancing socio-economic potential

Key actions aim at improving the safety and the environment of the area and stimulating social and economic participation (Funding avaiable: € 7 million).

An additional amount of € 1 million will finance technical assistance.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.

URBAN

The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2001-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728,3 million(3) and this will attract at least as much again in match funding from both public and private sectors.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public space, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2001-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

The managing authority is the Rotterdam Council. Day-to-day management is delegated to:

Gebiedsmanagement "Noord aan de Rotte"

Spoorsingel 159

NL - 3033 GJ Rotterdam

Phone: +31.10.4667667

Fax:  +31.10.4667659

E-mail: m.jeleniewski@obr.rotterdam.nl

Further information can be found at :

European Commission : http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/urban/

The City of Rotterdam: http://www.rotterdam.nlMemo/01/301 of 25 September 2001

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.

(2) Oude Noorden, De Agniesebuurt and Het Liskwartier

(3) 2001 prices


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