Brussels, 26 November 2001
URBAN II Programme: European Union to contribute 9.7 million euros to development in the conurbation of Grenoble
Visiting Grenoble today, Michel Barnier, Member of the Commission in charge of regional policy, announced that the Commission had approved an urban regeneration programme for the conurbation. The programme, under the URBAN Community Initiative(1), will receive a contribution of EUR 9.7 million from the European Union over the period 2000-06, and has attracted further contributions of EUR 14 million from the public sector and EUR 2.7 million from the private sector, bringing the total to over EUR 26.4 million. The priorities pursued include training, improvement to the physical environment, and various measures to encourage the integration of less-favoured groups, particularly into the labour market.
Michel Barnier went on to say: "The URBAN Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban renewal. The programmes are close to the grass roots, with the local population taking part in decision-making at every stage. The programme for Grenoble is no exception, involving a very robust local partnership. The priorities have my whole-hearted approval: they comprise social integration, training and the renewal of the business infrastructure and the physical environment. I believe this programme will make a substantial contribution to the development of the conurbation of Grenoble."
The area covered by the programme comprises districts in five municipalities to the south-west of Grenoble(2) with a total population of 40 384 inhabitants. It is characterised by derelict industrial sites, physical barriers to communications, noise and air pollution, and a poor image. The economic and social situation is increasingly affected by anti-social behaviour and delinquency and the fragility and marginalisation of the groups least likely to find a job.
But this area has a number of genuine assets, in particular the accessibility of some neighbourhoods to public transport, a young population, a dynamic community life and a good cable network with access to Internet on favourable conditions.
The programme proposes three major priorities to attempt to remedy the problems.
A supplement of EUR 600 000 has been set aside for technical assistance.
Like all URBAN programmes, the programme for Grenoble 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.
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 energy-management systems, the use of renewable energy sources, and exploiting the potential of new information technologies.
The programmes are adopted by the Commission in the framework of partnership with local authorities and local groups. 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 community of the conurbation of Grenoble.
Further information can be obtained from:
Service PIC URBAN
Grenoble Alpes Métropole
3, rue Malakoff
38 031 Grenoble Cedex 01
For more information on the URBAN II Community Initiative, consult memo/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or following websites :
European Commission : http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/urban2/
City of Grenoble : http://www.ville-grenoble.fr/
(1)See below for a description of URBAN II.
(2)Grenoble, Fontaine, Seyssinet-Pariset, Echirolles and Point de Claix.
(3)At 2001 prices.