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Brussels, 18 October 2001

Urban II programme: European Union contributes EURO 9.9 million for urban regeneration in Kassel, Germany

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in Kassel, Germany. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 9.9(2) million from the European Union over the period 2001-2006. The European funding has attracted about € 31.4 million in further investment from the public sector and € 0.8 million in private co-financing, creating total resources of about € 42 million. Programme priorities will include development of the local economy, facilities for welfare, health, sports and culture and the living environment.

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 programme for the city of Kassel 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 this part of the city of Kassel."

The programme area covers parts of the areas of Mitte, Rothenditmold, Nord-Holland, Wesertor, Unterneustadt and Bettenhausen with a total eligible population of 33,500 inhabitants. The area is heavily built-up, combining densely populated neighbourhoods with large derelict industrial sites. The size of the population is decreasing, many of those remaining have become dependent upon welfare. Almost half of the city's ethnic minorities live in the URBAN II area, making up one-third of the inhabitants. The local economy has transformed from industrial to service-oriented. However, the jobs in the service sector have not been able to compensate for the losses in industrial employment. Many of the local inhabitants were employed in car manufacturing and machine tools.

The programme strategy to tackle these problems focuses on three priorities:

  • Economic development. New economic activities in and around the so-called "Cultural Railway Station", the development of derelict harbour and brewery sites, stimulating alternative employment, support of local businesses and drafting an area master plan are the main activities (Community contribution € 3.7 million).

  • Facilities for welfare, health, sports and culture. Funding is available for the involvement of local schools, day-care and youth facilities, improving sports facilities, including facilities especially suited for girls, counselling and hygiene facilities for female drug addicted prostitutes and new uses for historic buildings (Community contribution € 1.9 million).    €?

  • Living environment. Greening of inner courtyards and improving children's playgrounds, laying out vegetable gardens for tenants and informing local inhabitants about energy conservation could be funded under this priority (Community contribution € 3.7 million).

A Community contribution of about € 0.6 million will be reserved for technical assistance.

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

Hessisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Landesentwicklung

Kaiser-Friedrich-Ring 75

D-65185 Wiesbaden

Phone : +49 611 815 2960  Fax +49 611 815 492960  e-mail:

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

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