€92 million from the European Regional Development Fund will finance innovative solutions to urban challenges such as air quality, climate change, housing, and jobs and skills for the local economy.
Today, the Commission also launches the 4th call under the Urban Innovative Actions. €100 million is now available to cities to finance innovative projects to protect and reduce the vulnerability of public spaces, as announced in the 2017 Action Plan under the European Agenda on Security. The call will also finance digital, environmental and inclusion projects.
Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: "With these calls for projects, we are turning EU cities into real labs to test solutions that have the potential to improve quality of life in all the world's cities. And because urban security and the safety of public spaces has become a crucial concern for citizens, after we have suffered tragic terrorist attacks in recent years, now we are supporting cities in their efforts to protect their inhabitants.”
These 22 cities have been awarded funding under the 3rd Urban Innovative Actions call for projects in the following areas:
- Adaptation to climate change: Amsterdam (NL), Barcelona (ES), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (UK), Riba-roja de Túria (ES), Seville (ES), Paris (FR)
- Air quality: Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole (FR), Breda (NL), Helsinki (FI), Ostrava (CZ), Portici (IT)
- Housing: Brussels city capital (BE), Budapest (HU), Ghent (BE), Mataró (ES), Metropole of Lyon (FR)
- Jobs and skills in the local economy: Aveiro (PT), Cluj-Napoca (RO), Cuenca (ES), Eindhoven (NL), Vantaa (FI); Ventspils (LV).
Project examples include new solutions in Riba-roja de Túria, Spain, to reduce the risk of peri-urban fire, a new generation of energy supply system based on electric vehicle batteries in Breda, Netherlands, heatwaves-resilient school playgrounds in Paris, France, energy-efficient social housing in Budapest, Hungary, and innovative career guidance in Ventspils, Latvia. All the winning projects can be found here.
The 4th call runs from today to January 2019. The winner cities will be announced in the summer of 2019.
The Urban Innovative Actions provide EU cities with resources to finance innovative projects, with a total envelope of €372 million from the European Regional Development Fund over 2014–2020. The aim is to identify, test and disseminate concrete solutions to common urban challenges.
In the next long-term EU budget, the Urban Innovative Actions will be merged into the European Urban Initiative, a new instrument combining all urban tools in a single programme for city-to-city cooperation, innovation and capacity-building across all the thematic priorities of the Urban Agenda for the EU (integrating migrants, housing, air quality, urban poverty or energy transition, among others).
The new single rulebook will allow for easier combinations between EU funds, between the European Regional Development Fund and the Internal Security Fund, for example, in order to develop comprehensive urban development plans, encompassing public space safety measures.