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Brussels, 27 September 2001

Urban II programme : EU contributes EURO 9 million to urban development in Amsterdam

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in Amsterdam. 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 € 19 million in investment from the public sector and € 3 million from the private sector, creating total resources of € 31 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 Amsterdam."

The programme area covers eight neighbourhoods(2) in four boroughs(3) West of the centre of Amsterdam with a population of 62,245. The area is threatened by long-term unemployment, poverty, a growing feeling of insecurity, low average education, a homogenous housing supply of poor quality and only a few public spaces all in a poor state of repair. The area does offer good accessibility by car and public transport is close to the centre, 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 providing high quality business space, some in protected monuments, and improving public spaces to reduce the number of traffic accidents, to accommodate the desires of residents and tf enhance existing commercial centres (Funding available: € 11 million).

    Stimulating economic activity

Key actions include the promotion of ICT use by small and medium enterprises and providing training for the unemployed (Funding available: € 8 million).

    Enhancing socio-economic potential

Key actions aim at improving safety in the area and encourage participation in social and cultural activities. (Funding available: € 10 million)

An additional amount of € 2 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.


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(4) 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 of the programme is the Amsterdam Council. Day-to-day management is delegated to:

Bureau Grotestedenbeleid Amsterdam

t.a.v. Mw. mr. M. Bos

p/a Stedelijke Woningdienst Amsterdam

Postbus 1900

1000 BX Amsterdam

Phone: 020 - 552 7245

Fax:  020 - 552 7022


Further information can be found at :

European Commission :

The City of Amsterdam: of 25 September 2001

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

(2) Centrale Markt, Houthavens, Spaarndammerbuurt/ Zeeheldenbuurt, Kinkerbuurt, Van Lennepbuurt, Landlust, De Krommert, Van Galenbuurt

(3) Westerpark, Oud-West, Bos en Lommer and De Baarsjes

(4) 2001 prices

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