Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Other available languages: FR DE


Brussels, 18 October 2001

Urban II programme: European Union contributes EURO 14.9 million for urban regeneration in Dessau (Sachsen-Anhalt), Germany

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in Dessau in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 14.9(2) million from the European Union over the period 2001-2006. The European funding has attracted about € 5 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of about € 19.8 million. Programme priorities will include strengthening of the local economy and job creation, supporting equal opportunities and preventing social exclusion, improving the infrastructure and increasing the competitiveness of the area.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER, Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, said: "The URBAN Community Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people and organisations at all stages in the decision making process. The URBAN II programme for the city of Dessau is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme's priorities for local development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Dessau."

The programme area covers the larger part of the inner city of Dessau with a total eligible population of 28,100 inhabitants. Machine tools used to be the dominant industry in Dessau until the re-unification with West Germany. Nowadays the largest economic sectors are services, commerce and construction. The unemployment rate in Dessau is about 21%, in the URBAN II area up to 27%.

In order to address these problems, the programme focuses on three priorities:

  • Local small and medium-sized enterprises, human resources and equal opportunities (Community contribution about € 5 million),

  • Urban planning and environment (Community contribution about € 4.7 million),

  • Social, cultural and recreational infrastructure (Community contribution € 4.7 million).

A Community contribution of about € 0.5 million will be reserved for technical assistance.

Projects will have to be of a sustainable character, making use of best practice examples. Project development will be based on a bottom-up approach. The city of Dessau wants to stimulate improvements in governance by encouraging the ability of local inhabitants to help themselves.

Innovative policies will be developed to reach certain groups, such as small crafts/retail businesses and welfare dependants, which, until now, have fallen outside regular support schemes.

The URBAN II Community Initiative

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 € 743,6 million(3) and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN II allocation for Germany amounts to € 148.7 million(4). Programmes have been submitted for Berlin, Bremerhaven, Dessau, Dortmund, Gera, Kassel, Kiel, Leipzig, Luckenwalde, Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Neubrandenburg and Saarbrücken.

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), which falls under the responsibility of Mr Barnier. Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, 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

Ministerium für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau und Verkehr

des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Turmschanzenstraße 30

D-39114 Magdeburg.

Phone:+49 (0) 391 567 7461

Fax :+49 (0) 391 567 7529


    Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following European Commission website :

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

(2) Programming prices

(3) New profile 2003 prices

(4) New profile 2003 prices

Side Bar