Brussels, 17 January 2002
Urban II programme: European Union contributes Euro 4.9 to urban regeneration in Pescara, Italy
Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in Pescara (Italy). This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 4.9 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 7.3 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of € 12.2 million. Priorities will include training, improvements of the physical environment, improvements to the business environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.
Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "URBAN programmes are characterised by their 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 Pescara is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training and renewing the business infrastructure and the physical environment. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Pescara."
The programme covers neighbourhoods along the river in Pescara with 21,769 inhabitants and a surface area of 5.48 km2. The railway infrastructures, the airport area and the river bind the URBAN area. These infrastructures enclose an area with a number of social housing blocks. The area is facing severe social and economic problems: derelict industrial areas (5.5% of the Urban area), decaying buildings and public spaces, environmental damage, unemployment, poverty, high level of immigrants and social exclusion.
On the other hand, a substantial amount of open space (former industrial sites and river boundaries) is available to be reconverted into green areas. The area is located close to the historical centre.
The programme aims to tackle this situation by four main priorities:
An additional amount of € 0.3 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.
As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.
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 2000-2006, supporting 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 Italy amounts to € 114.8 million. Programmes have been submitted for Torino, Milan, Genoa, Carrara, Pescara, Caserta, Taranto, Mola di Bari, Crotone and Misterbianco.
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 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.
The Managing Authority for the Pescara URBAN II programme is:
The Town Council of Pescara
Comune di Pescara
Uff. Urban II Pescara,
I - 65100 Pescara
More detailed information on URBAN II 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/
Government Office: http://www.infrastrutturetrasporti.it
The city of Pescara : http://www.pescara.comune.cc/index2.html
(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.