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IP/01/1856

Brussels, 19 December 2001

Urban II programme : European Union contributes EURO 3.56 million to urban regeneration in Damaia-Buraca, Amadora, Portugal

Mr Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission, responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the area of Damaia-Buraca in Amadora, Portugal. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative programme will mobilise total resources of € 5.03 million over the period 2000-2006, of which € 3.56 million come from European funds. The programme has attracted a further € 1.47 million in investment from the public sector, mainly from the Amadora municipality. Priorities will include improving the urban environment and public spaces, preventing drug addiction, promoting social inclusion for the migrant population, developing economic activities and facilitating the reintegration of young people into the education system.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER 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 Amadora is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of development of the potential of the information society, urban development and communication measures. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in the city of Amadora."

The Amadora URBAN area covers part of the freguesias (boroughs) of Damaia and Buraca, with the Bairro Cova da Moura in the centre. It has an estimated population of 10,081, most of them migrants from Africa. The area suffers from a high population density, social problems and drug addiction. Public spaces and the urban environment are extremely degraded and part of the population lives in shanty areas. The programme aims mainly to overcome existing social and physical barriers.

The programme aims to tackle the problems referred to above by three main priorities:

  • Regenerating the urban character of the area This priority aims at renovating public spaces and building social facilities, with a view to enhancing the overall quality of the public space in the area (Community contribution: € 1.24 million);

  • Social inclusion and social, economic and professional qualification Actions aim at creating conditions for better integration of the local population into the labour market, promoting self employment and/or the setting up of very small enterprises, and preventing and redressing phenomena of drug addiction amongst the local population (Community contribution: € 1.38 million)

  • Promoting Social, Cultural and Sporting activities - Aims at creating the basic conditions for local actors in the field of education and local associations to promote the participation of the local population in active citizenship, and to integrate socially the less favoured groups of the population (Community contribution : € 0.79 million)

An additional amount of € 0.15 million will finance technical assistance for this programme.

URBAN

The main objective 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 2000-2006, supporting some 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728.3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN allocation for Portugal amounts to € 19.2 million. Programmes have been submitted for Vale de Alcântara, in Lisbon; Damaia-Buraca, in Amadora and in the border area between Porto-Gondomar.

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.

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 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), under the responsibility of Commissioner Barnier.

Managing Authority

The managing authority of the Amadora URBAN Programme is the 'Comissão de Coordenação da Região de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo' which can be reached at the following address:

Presidente da Comissão de Coordenação da Região de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo

Rua de Artilharia 1, n. 33

P-1269-145 Lisboa

Phone: 21 387 55 41

Fax: 21 385 81 03 

E-mail: ccrlvt@ccr-lvt.pt

Further information

More detailed information on the URBAN II Community Initiative can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following websites :

European Commission : http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/urban2/

Direcção Geral do Desenvolvimento Regional : http://www.dgdr.pt

Comissão de Coordenação de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo : http://www.ccr-lvt.pt

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II


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