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IP/01/1857

Brussels, 19 December 2001

Urban II programme : European Union contributes EURO 5.7 million to urban regeneration in the Alcântara Valley, Lisbon

Mr Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission, responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Alcântara Valley in Lisbon. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 5.66 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 4.59 million in further investment from the public sector, mainly from the Lisbon municipality. The programme will mobilise total resources of € 10.25 million. Priorities will include building up of social cohesion in the Urban intervention area, promoting fully fledged citizenship of the local population, based on rights and duties, and measures to prevent and restrain drug addiction in the area.

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 and organisations at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for the Alcântara Valley in Lisbon is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme's priorities for local development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in this part of the city of Lisbon."

The Alcântara Valley area is located in the Western part of Lisbon and covers part of the freguesias (boroughs) of Alcântara, Prazeres and Santo Condestável, with an estimated population of 20,050. The Urban intervention area includes the district known as Casal Ventoso, which has been partially demolished and substituted by the new districts of Quinta do Cabrinha, Avenida de Ceuta Norte and Avenida de Ceuta Sul, Rua Maria Pia and Casal do Evaristo. The area is characterised by severe problems of social exclusion, aggravated by drug addiction and drug trafficking that affect a significant part of the local population. The problems related to drug addiction and drug trafficking in the Alcântara Valley are probably the worst in the whole of the metropolitan area of Lisbon. The Alcântara Valley URBAN Programme aims at creating the conditions for the exercise of fully fledged citizenship, based on better access to the labour market, better access to the national mechanisms for social integration and by fostering the education of the populations involved. These measures are a necessary complement to a national programme of social housing, which also applies in the area.

In order to tackle the social problems referred to above, the approved Programme defines three main priorities:

  • Regenerating the cohesion of the urban area This priority includes a set of operations of urban renovation of public spaces, aimed at enhancing the quality of the public space in the area (Community contribution : € 0.85 million);

  • Social Inclusion and professional Qualification Measures are aimed at enhancing the professional qualifications of the local population, at promoting self-employment and the creation of very small enterprises and also at preventing and redressing problemsof drug addiction amongst the local population (Community contribution : € 2.26 million)

  • Promoting economic, cultural and sports activities Projects focus on developing conditions for local actors to perform as social promoters of citizenship, social integration and solidarity between the less favoured groups (Community contribution : € 2.37 million).

An additional amount of € 0.19 million will finance the technical assistance of the Programme.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.

URBAN

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 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 Alcântara Valley in Lisbon, Damaia-Buraca in Amadora and 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.

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

The managing authority of the Alcântara Valley 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, nº33

P 1269-145 Lisboa

PORTUGAL

Phone: + 351 21 3875541

Fax: + 351 21 3838103

Email: ccrlvt@ccr-lvt.pt

Further information

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

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

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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