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Brussels, 11 December 2001

Urban II programme: European Union to contribute EUR 9.7 million to development of Strasbourg urban area in France

Visiting Strasbourg today, European Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier announced Commission approval of a programme for the French urban area of Strasbourg for 2000-06. Adopted under the Urban II Community Initiative, the programme is to receive an EU contribution of €9.7 million. The State, local authorities and the private sector will contribute approximately €20 million of the total assistance of nearly €30 million.

The programme, Mr Barnier said, was expected to make a substantial contribution to the development of this urban area with a view to bringing the districts concerned into the mainstream of city life and improving the daily lives of their residents. In the past, he went on, the municipality and urban community of Strasbourg had made significant efforts to upgrade these urban areas and integrate them into the city and the wider conurbation. The Urban Community Initiative programme would give them the chance to step up these efforts. Mr Barnier expressed the hope that the measures implemented would provide an example for other cities in Europe.

The area concerned lies to the south-east of the city of Strasbourg. It is inhabited by 37 000 people in the four districts of Neuhof, the southern Rhine Port area and west and south Meinau. It includes those districts most deprived in economic and social terms, but it also takes in industrial estates to provide some balance, certain natural areas surrounding the built-up districts, and lastly, peripheral residential areas that are less exposed but nevertheless still vulnerable. This urban backwater has suffered from being cut off from the conurbation's overall development. As measured by socio-demographic and economic indicators, this gap is steadily worsening. Another feature of the area is the lack of access.

The programme sets three major priorities for tackling these problems:

  • Encouraging access to jobs, economic development and training through measures to assist small, medium-sized and very small enterprises (EU contribution: €3.35 million);

  • Improving the quality of everyday life by providing local services to foster integration, better cultural, social and sports facilities and improved management of services to residents (EU contribution: €2.29 million);

  • Restoring links between neighbourhoods, upgrading the green belt and upgrading the spaces between residential buildings by linking up districts through measures to encourage alternative methods of transport and the integration of public transport systems, amalgamating and reorganising natural and recreational areas and restructuring areas on city outskirts (EU contribution: €3.53 million).

A further sum of around €0.48 million has been set aside for technical assistance.

Like all Urban II programmes, the Strasbourg programme will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.

Urban II

The goal of the Urban II 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 2000-06 and will provide assistance for 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total EU funding will amount to €728.3 million and this will attract as much again from the public and private sectors.

ERDF funds for France total €102 million. Nine programmes have been submitted for Bastia, Bordeaux/Cenon/Floirac, Grigny/Viry-Chatillon, Clichy-sous-Bois /Montfermeil, le Mantois, le Val de Seine, Le Havre, Strasbourg and Grenoble.

Features of Urban II are the development of innovative models for urban regeneration and the strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local players. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

Urban II funding is available for measures such as the renovation of buildings and public areas, local employment initiatives, improving education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, developing environmentally friendly public transport systems, introducing more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, and developing the potential of information and communication technologies.

The Commission adopts the programmes, which are put forward by the local authorities. The programmes run for the whole of the period (2000-06) and local players are involved at all stages.

Managing authority

The managing authority for the programme is:

Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg

Centre administratif

1, place de l'Etoile

BP n°1049/1050F

67070 Strasbourg cedex

Further information

For further information on the Strasbourg Urban II programme, please contact:

  • Mr Yves Aubert, director of the Strasbourg Major Project

 Tel.: 03 88 43 62 60

 E-mail :

  • Ms Claire Varney

 Tel: 03 88 43 63 50


Further information on the Urban II Community Initiative is available in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or on the European Commission Inforegio website at

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