Brussels, 23 November 2001
URBAN II Programme: European Union to contribute 10.7 million euros to urban development in Le Havre (France)
Visiting the French port of Le Havre, Michel Barnier, Member of the Commission in charge of regional policy, announced that the Commission had approved a programme for this urban area in 2000-06. The programme was adopted under the URBAN II Community Initiative(1). It will mean a contribution of almost EUR 11 million(2) from the European Union. The other contributions from central government, local authorities and the private sector amount to over EUR 19 million, bringing the total to over EUR 30 million.
Michel Barnier went on to say: "The URBAN Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban renewal. The programmes are firmly rooted in the local soil, with inhabitants and participants taking part in decision-making at every stage. The programme for Le Havre involves a very robust local partnership. The priorities defined for social cohesion, employment and training, economic development, the environment and the restoration of the urban fabric seem particularly pertinent. The Commission is expecting this programme to make a substantial contribution to the development of this urban area."
The area covered by the programme is situated in the local authority area of Le Havre, and comprises six districts in the lower town neighbouring the centre and the harbour area. The history of these districts is closely linked to that of the port. Urbanisation and economic development passed them by until the middle of the 19th century. In most cases, they were created piecemeal to house workers from the factories in the nearby port area. They are characterised by the variety and dispersal of the urban fabric, their isolation from the rest of the town, poor environmental conditions, numerous and extensive derelict industrial and harbour sites, a serious lack of social fabric and a population that feels no sense of identity.
The programme proposes three major priorities to attempt to remedy these problems.
A supplement of almost EUR 800 000 has been set aside for technical assistance
Like all URBAN II programmes, the programme for Le Havre will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.
The aim 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 wave, URBAN II, covers the period 2000-06, and will finance projects in 70 problem neighbourhoods throughout the European Union. The Community contribution will total EUR 728.3 million(3), to be matched by financing from the public and private sectors.
The ERDF total for France is EUR 102 million(4). Nine programmes have been submitted, for Bastia, Bordeaux / Cenon / Floirac, Grigny / Viry-Chatillon, Clichy-sous-Bois / Montfermeil, the Mantes region, the Val de Seine, Le Havre, Strasbourg and Grenoble.
Among the features of URBAN II are the development of innovative models for urban regeneration, and the emphasis on partnership and involvement of local partners. It is planned to organise an exchange of information and experience relating to sustainable urban development across the European Union.
URBAN II is financed by the ERDF. The funding is to be spent on measures such as the renovation of public buildings and spaces, initiatives in favour of employment, the improvement of educational and training systems for the most underprivileged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient management systems, the use of renewable energy sources, and exploiting the potential of new information and communication technologies.
The programmes are put forward by local authorities and adopted by the Commission. These programmes will run throughout the period 2001-06 and the local participants will be involved at all stages.
The management authority for this programme is the City of Le Havre, represented by the Mayor.
The following people can provide further information on Le Havre's URBAN II programme:
Responsible for urban policy
E Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +33 (0) 2 35 19 43 49
E Mail : Ouahid.Dorbane@ville-lehavre.fr
Tel : +33 (0) 2 35 19 47 11
Hôtel de Ville
boîte postale 51
76084 LE HAVRE CEDEX
For more information on the URBAN II Community Initiative, consult memo/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or the European Commission's Inforegio website at: http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/urban2/
(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.
(2) Value at the time the programme was drawn up.
(3) At 2001 prices.
(4) At 2001 prices.