New publication available
DG for Internal Policies Policy Department A has recently published a new study on “Mapping Smart Cities in the EU”.
In the official summary it can be read:
“This report was commissioned to provide background information and advice on Smart Cities in the European Union (EU) and to explain how existing mechanisms perform. In exploring this, a working definition of a Smart City is established and the cities fitting this definition across the Member States are mapped. An analysis of the objectives and Europe 2020 targets of Smart City initiatives finds that despite their early stage of development, Smart City objectives should be more explicit, well defined and clearly aligned to city development, innovation plans and Europe 2020 in order to be successful. “
The study is available online.
Have a nice reading.
RURBAN closing event
On January 28th URBAN Intergroup jointly with the European Commission organized the closing seminar of the preparatory action “RURBAN – sustainable rural-urban partnerships”.
The aim of this seminar was to present the results of RURBAN preparatory action to the European institutions and to discuss the way benefits of rural-urban partnerships can be fully taken into account in the 2014-2020 programming period of cohesion policy and rural development policy.
During the introductory session, Walter Deffaa, Director-General of Regional and Urban Policy, and Jerzy Plewa, Director-General of Agriculture and rural development, underlined a very good cooperation between DG REGIO and DG AGRI on rural-urban partnerships. They stressed the fact that the coincidence between the starting point of the new programming period 2014-2020 and the closing of the RURBAN preparatory action can be a drive for the strengthening of the urban-rural cooperation on the ground. Moreover, they underlined that the results of the RURBAN preparatory action had already an impact in the funds’ regulations for the 2014-2020 programming period.
After the presentation of the rural-urban partnership definition, OECD representatives who conducted a RURBAN comprehensive study, gave answers to two questions: ‘Why urban-rural partnerships are important?’ and ‘How to build an effective urban-rural partnership?’
Regional and local stakeholders insisted on the complexity of peri-urban relations and difficulties in the cooperation. At the same time, they underlined that structural funds offer a unique opportunity to work across peri-urban territories. They welcomed the possibility of using multi-fund programs (ERDF and ESF) which will facilitate implementation of urban-rural partnerships.
Peter Simon, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup who initiated this preparatory action, explained that RURBAN “opened a door” for partnerships but that it would only be possible to asses in the future how Member States used this opportunity to develop urban-rural partnerships.
In conclusion, Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, asked the European Commission to check urban-rural partnerships while analyzing partnership agreements. “Let’s use European money to put people work together in urban and rural territories”, he added.