URBACT showcases 97 Good Practices for sustainable urban development. Coming from 25 European countries, they cover a wide variety of topics a city might work on: from climate adaptation to city transport plans; from inclusion of migrants to digital innovation. The easy-to-search database provides city practitioners with a snapshot of the practice, why it works and who to contact for more details.
What is a Good Practice?
URBACT has defined it as an initiative that has been proven to work well by ensuring desired results and could be recommended as a model. It is a successful experience, which has been tested and validated, and deserves to be shared so that a greater number of cities can adopt it. All the good practices labelled by URBACT have provided sufficient evidence of meeting objectives and indicated the key success criteria for transfer to another city.
Why not ‘best practice’?
URBACT is not necessarily looking for the ‘best’, the ‘most innovative’ or the ‘grandest’ practices. We believe that cities are extremely creative in finding solutions in all shapes and sizes that respond to their challenges. What is ‘good’ in one context may be less so in another. But in these difficult times when cities are facing ever greater challenges with fewer resources, there is a distinct advantage in learning from peers and adopting tried and tested measures without having to start from scratch. These can often be low or no-budget actions but with a high impact.
How to get the URBACT Good Practice label?
This label is awarded to European cities of all sizes in the framework of specific calls, partnership activities and initiatives – subscribe to URBACT’s newsletter to be aware of future opportunities! Under these circumstances, cities are welcome to submit their existing practice via application form, setting out why it should be added to the database. An external assessment panel examines each submission according to four criteria: coherence with URBACT’s core principles; thematic relevance; evidence based impact at local level; and how suitable the practice is for adapting to different contexts and cities.
In the long run, what’s in it for awarded cities?
The URBACT Good Practice label does not provide cities with any funding. Nonetheless, The 97 original awarded cities were given the exclusive opportunity to apply to lead an URBACT Transfer Network and, thus, become a programme beneficiary and inspire other cities across Europe to take action. The knowledge gathered through the experience of the selected 23 Good Practices to carry on their journey is compiled in the publication ‘Good Practice Transfer – why not in my city?’. Furthermore, the transfer method has been used as basis for a series of pilot networks and projects.