Cities all over Europe are beginning to plan how they can respond to the crisis and also use the opportunity (immortalised by Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff for President Obama, ‘you never want a good crisis to go to waste’) because, as he argues, it is an opportunity to do things that you wouldn’t be able to do normally.
In the UK cities are facing rapidly growing unemployment which is hitting young people especially hard. Cities are responding to the crisis by thinking of how they can use their available Working Neighbourhood Fund money and the new Future Jobs fund to create schemes to provide employment to this new generation.
OECD and Eurocities have already surveyed their members to find examples of emergent practice in this field. So far it looks as though Seoul is breaking the mould by focusing 90% of its recovery package on smart green growth. Europe may be some way behind.
The key issues are going to be:
- How to maximise the local impact of public procurement to reduce unemployment
- How to develop sectors (such as green energy installation) that are agile and future proof
- How to devise programmes that maximise the potential of the social economy and voluntary sector to add value and reach deep into communities
- and how to managing all of this rapid change
MILE, the pilot Urbact network focusing on managing migration at the local level (why wasn’t it called MILL?!) has finished its frenetic 20 months of activity with a closing meeting in Brussels on the 25th July.
Freiss worked with MILE on their first cycle reports on migrant entrepreneurship and also developed the action planning approach in collaboration with QEC ERAN.
The productivity of the network was demonstrated by the nine cities developing 25 action plans across the 3 themes – find out more here.
The meeting was followed by the second of the URBACT citylap open meetings at which MILE was joined by OECD, ECAS, Open cities, Eurocities and QEC ERAN for a deep discussion on what cities can do at their level to improve the situation for migrants and develop more cohesive communities.
Full reports of the meeting are available on urbact.eu.
Wikipreneurship is Europe’s leading site for interesting examples of practice and policy on widening entrepreneurship and supporting enterprise development in disadvantaged areas. It includes many case studies, policy briefs and articles from the EQUAL and URBAN programmes. You can add your own case studies or comment pieces.
Peter and the other thematic pole managers (Philip Stein and Paul Soto) have been busy supporting URBACT – the EU networks of cities to develop their action plan approach. Following the production by Peter Ramsden and Nick Wates of the Local Action toolkit which will soon be available in 25 EU languages there have been successful roadshow meetings in 12 Member states scheduled to complete in June.
#look at the toolkit here#
Peter worked in China for the EU-China dialogue project on cohesion policy in July visiting Wuhan, Beijing, Chongqing, Donguan, guangdong, Kunming and Chengdu. He attended the Chongqing summit with Danuta Hubner in November 08. The final report on the project is due out soon.