Together with Grants Europe EU Quest provided guidance and helped the Maccaferri Groupe from Italy developing their Smart Cities Lighthouse project under the Horizon2020 call for Smart Cities through a consortium lead by Rome and the leading cities of Malaga and Malmö.
HEERLEN AND PARKSTAD LIMBURG
Since the 2nd quarter of 2015, EUquest supports the City of Heerlen and Parkstad Limburg with developing their EU agenda by shaping a focussed agenda from different policy fields from the overlapping local and regional agendas that interrelate with different societal challenges addressed by the EU2020 agenda. So far a few quick wins have been established a.o. by enabling the participation of the city of Heerlen in the City Centre Doctor project under the URBACT II program of the EU. City Centre Doctor is providing funding and knowledge for the redevelopment of the city centre of Heerlen, the heart of an urban area of approximately 280.000 inhabitants. The City Centre Doctor project is creating momentum and unleashing enthusiasm amount local stakeholders, paving the way for a larger restructuring plan supported with substantial multiannual funding from the Province of Limburg.
Also assistence has been provided to the Heatnet project under INTERREG VB North West Europe which is at the core of PALET, the Parkstad Limburg roadmap addressing the shift to a low carbon future. The project can be seen as a follow up of the Parkstad Energy Conference to which EUquest contributed with a EU funding workshop. The Heatnet will provide some € 1,7 million for activities and investments in Heerlen but also enables knowledge exchange and joint development of a business case decision model.
In the field of lobbying first connections have been successfully established both on policy officer level as well on political level with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
In the field of lobbying first connections have been successfully established both on policy officer level as well on political level with the European Commission and the European Parliament. Positions in networks like the dutch national EU-related fora e.g. the EU working group of medium sized cities G32 in the Netherlands and Platform 31 have been established and reinforced.
The VITALCITIES project which has been granted under the URBACT III program in spring 2015, seeks answers on how to combat social exclusion through the redesign of public spaces in deprived residential areas by using the power and common language of sport through innovative community and IT based urban sport actions, innovative physical equipment and better orchestrated service delivery. The project tackles TO9 (“promoting social inclusion and combating poverty”).
AThe project wishes to apply a novel approach: instead of bringing inactive citizens to sports facilities, public space should be turned into a low threshold facility inviting all citizens to physical activity. Street layout, land use, location of recreation facilities, parks and public buildings, the transport system can all encourage or discourage physical activity. Opportunities for physical activity need to be created close to where people live while also creating cleaner, safer, greener and more activity-friendly local environments.
In order to reach this, cities need to be equipped with new, innovative tools to be used in urban design and planning (to redesign public spaces linked to sport activities, urban sports, games, physical exercises) to adequately provide for recreation and sport services and exploit potential social, health and economic benefits. Partners also wish to create a “vital cities” brand to be allocated to cities ensuring open access to recreation and sport services and breaking down barriers to participation especially within the less active, deprived population.
The project brings together a consortium of 10 cities from small to large, from 10 different countries around Europe. Twan de Bruijn of EUquest has been chosen by the lead partner of the consortium – the city of Loué from Portugal – as their lead expert, providing guidance on content and process. The first phase entailed drawing a state of the art, city profiles and a summary as to feed in the application for step 2. Since the project was successful in its first phase of one year, the contract with the Paris based URBACT secretariat with Twan de Bruijn has been prolonged for another 2 years as to implement the project.
Internationale Bauausstellung Parkstad Limburg Ltd.
Since the first quarter of 2016 EUquest provides support to the Internationale Bauausstellung Parkstad Limburg ltd. as to develop an European agenda with a focus on possibilities for EU-funding for the IBA projects. The IBA, which originates from Germany, has for the first time taken a step outside the country in this case to Parkstad Limburg in the Netherlands. The IBA entails a process oriented approach as to search for innovative, future proof projects that will have a lasting importance to the development of a town, city or region. It provides the basis for a new orientation on the future in which societal changes are empowered. The proven methodology has grown to a creative approach with a proven economic impuls. THe tangible result will be a physical change of the area, but maybe even more important will be the change in mindset in thinking and working in and appreciation for the area.
EUquest did an intensive interactive scanning of the EU funding possibilities of the 50 selected projects in the field of redevelopment of city quarters, skills, communication & media, ecology & water, circular economy, low cabon transition, demographic change a.s.o.
Base upon this a first badge of 4 EU-projects will be developed by EUquest and the European Affairs Alliance in 2017.
EUquest also provides assistance to IBA tools as the IBA Academy and events like the Venice Biennale. During the “100 hours in Venice” EUquest supports the orientation of the IBA on EU-possibilities.
Concerning lobbying relationships with the EU Commission and EU parliamentarians have been established, resulting a.o. in the organisation of a workshop during the Days of the Committee of the European Regions and Cities in October 2016.
Assistance to cities on specific issues
During their development phase cities often are confronted with specific issues related to content or governance in an international context. EUquest addresses these cities needs by providing tailor made solutions building on a long international experience in Urban matters.
City of Enschede (NL)
In 2015 the city of Enschede required assistance for its orientation as to re-shape the regional governance model. Building on the Eindhoven triple helix experience and international coreferences, Twan de Bruijn provided them during an intensive high level session insights in the triple helix model, organisational, political and financial aspects, do’s and dont’s as well as latest international practices on quadruple approaches.
City of ’s-Hertogenbosch (NL)
For the INTERREG EUROPE proposal on European Regions of Gastronomy aiming at developing and improving policies addressing local food chains in gastronomy, the City of ’s-Hertogenbosch required guidance and assistence in the drafting process they led themselves.
Cities of Hódmezővásárhely & Sopron (HU)
The cities of Hódmezővásárhely and Sopron both invited HBHE kft. from Budapest to assist them in the development of a Smart Specialisation plan annex local economic development plan. As to gain insights on developments like triple helix cooperation, start-up development, marketing & segmentation of business estates a tailor made program was drawn up for both cities for visiting cities in the Netherlands. Through this EUquest provided a maximum and intensive knowledge exchange.