Urban regeneration in the Atlantic Area

Villes Arc Atlantique

Villes Arc Atlantique

A brief by Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator

Also called “urban renewal”, urban regeneration is the trade name for a series of strategies aiming to rethink the city, its identity, its shape and its role in society. As Mr. Philippe Duron, CAAC president says, “a city is more than a city council” and that is common view around urban regeneration in the Atlantic Area. Atlantic Cities have been working around several dimensions of urban regeneration and this brief can highlight a few:

Ways of financing:

Between 2008 and 2011, the Atlantic Cities of Aveiro, Edinburgh and Gijon had worked together in the Urbact Fin-Urb-Act project, with other EU cities like Aachen, so as to create and/or improve local support structures, which should involve all local and regional key actors for SME and innovative economy support. Furthermore, based on an integrated local action plan developed by the local partnership, FIN-URB-ACT had a strong focus on developing and implementing tailormade financial and non-financial support products like micro-credit and other funding schemes, incubators, business networks etc.

As from 2013, Manchester, Porto and Sevilla are also involved in the URBACT programme, in the CSI project. The Network will focus on the involvement of cities in Urban Development Fund (UDF) structures and the way these instruments can be more effectively embedded in future city planning and governance. It will also strive to demonstrate the role that financial instruments can play in efficiently planning, progressing and administering urban development priorities, particularly in the context of the current economic and financial crisis.

– Identity: Branding the City

SPAA (Sustainable Promotion of the Atlantic Area) was a project supported by the European Regional Development Fund (INTERREG IIIB), leaded by Chester with the support of the CAAC, seeking to promote the economic development of European towns and cities by testing the impact of an integrated marketing approach based on their local distinctiveness.

The project IMAGINA ATLANTICA is developed within the same transnational cooperation programme (INTERREG IV B.) It aims to create an Atlantic area cluster focused on new image technologies and their application in the innovative digital promotion of Atlantic Heritage. The projects long term aim is the creation of the Ima­gina Atlantica Promotion Agency whilst developing experimental activities initiated within the framework of the project, i.e.: The networking of companies, festivals, creators and professional knowledge within the Atlantic area in the fields of new image technologies.

Photo by Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator

IMAGINAATLANTICA by Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator

– Social Policies:

Coordinated by Santiago de Compostela and supported by Rennes Métropole and Nantes, SUITE focused on the idea of housing as a right and as an element for social integration. The project defined the concept of sustainable housing. Within a context where economic concerns are joined by climate and social concerns, the cities are added to the study and application of effective measures for the improvement of the quality of housing, its durability and maintenance. EU Member States are recommended to use a percentage of the ERDF funds for housing and energy efficiency measures with an integrated plan which also takes into consideration the rehabilitation of the existing housing.

Early school leaving (ESL) processes have complex and varied causes and the reasons for dropping out of school are individual. Leaded by Nantes in cooperation with Gijon and other European cities, PREVENT proposes an innovative approach, where parents are considered as a key part of the solution to reduce ESL, and cities as driving forces to create synergies, common understanding and develop concrete collaboration between stakeholders.

…….

As for the integrated approach, excellence networks like REVITA or LC Facil demonstrated the high value of Atlantic Cities’ contribution to urban regeneration policy in Europe.

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