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Brussels, 18 October 2001

Urban II programme: European Union approves EURO 9.9 million support for urban regeneration in Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Germany

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Germany. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide about € 9.9(2) million from the European Union over the period 2001-2006. The European funding has attracted about € 11.5 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of about € 21.4 million. Priorities will include support of economic activities, creation and safeguarding of jobs, measures concerning urban development, socio-cultural activities, and social integration.

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 at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for the city of Mannheim/Ludwigshafen is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in the city of Mannheim/Ludwigshafen."

The programme area covers the central part of the cities of Mannheim/Ludwigshafen (city centre in Mannheim / the city centre, Westend, area around the main station and South banks of the Rhine in Ludwigshafen) with a population of 40,000 (24,000 in Mannheim and 16,000 in Ludwigshafen). The area forms part of an industrial area and is divided by the river Rhine. The cities are facing strong social and economic problems: radical change of the industrial area, loss of jobs, high unemployment, structural weaknesses in the local economy, high rate of immigrants (43,7%), insufficient implementation of equal opportunities, environmental damage.

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

  • Economic activities and creation and safeguarding of jobs

Funding aims at the revitalisation of urban areas and buildings, competitive small and medium-sized enterprises, creation of digital economic services to employ and qualify unemployed persons (Contribution contribution: 2.8 million €).

Measures concerning urban development

Projects concern reorganisation of public areas, improvement of the environment and development of transport connections (Community contribution: 3.6 million €).

Socio-cultural activities and social integration

Setting-up of communication centres, protection of school sites and measures to reduce criminality (Community contribution: 2.9 million €).

An additional amount of € 0.5 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.

The programme has some very innovative features, for example:

Improvement of bicycle and passenger paths, improvement of sewage systems, renewal of cultural heritage sites, local support directive for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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 € 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 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). 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 des Innern und für Sport des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz

Referat Außenbeziehungen und Konversion

Schillerplatz 3-5

D-55116 Mainz

Phone: + 49 6131 16 32 25

Fax:  + 49 6131 16 17 32 25


    Further information

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

European Commission :

(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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