The EUI works in close collaboration with URBACT IV and regroups under one initiative the activities of the previous Urban Innovative Actions and Urban Development Network as well as the support to the Urban Agenda of the EU.
EUI's support to cities is organised in 3 main areas:
- Innovative Actions - Supporting urban authorities with 80% direct co-financing and up to €5M European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), allowing EU cities to act as testbeds for their innovative idea and to transfer it to other cities
- Capacity Building - Strengthening capacities of cities in design of sustainable urban development strategies, policies and practices in an integrated and participative way
- Knowledge Building & Communication – Providing a knowledge environment for cities to ensure easier access to horizontal and thematic knowledge and share the know-how on sustainable urban development
What is EUI – Innovative Actions?
EUI - Innovative Actions (EUI-IA) offers urban authorities with the possibility to take a risk and experiment the most innovative and creative solutions. The main objective of EUI-IA is to provide urban areas throughout the EU with resources to test innovative solutions to the main urban challenges, how they work in practice and respond to the complexity of real life followed by a transfer of the solution to other EU cities.
How does it work?
The solutions selected are transferable and scalable innovative solutions to address issues relating to sustainable urban development at the Union level of which calls for proposals will be organised. As part of the implementation of the innovative actions, the results from the experimentations of the projects are collected and shared to feed transfer and capitalisation activities, with the aim to foster innovative capacities and knowledge building for all EU urban areas and on the other hand, mainstream innovative solutions.
Who can apply?
The beneficiaries of the EUI-IA are urban authorities of more than 50 000 inhabitants, or a grouping of urban authorities with a total population of at least 50 000 inhabitants, located in one of the 27 EU Member States.
However, given the complexity of the urban challenges, urban authorities require the involvement all the key stakeholders to design and implement effective and innovative solutions that can bring expertise and knowledge on the specific policy issue to be addressed. These include agencies, private sector, research institutions, NGOs, academia, industry, civil society and other levels of government.
What kind of projects does EUI-IA fund?
EUI-IA funds projects that are: innovative, integrated, transferable and scalable, measurable, participative, and operationally ready.
What is EUI – capacity-building?
The Capacity Building component of EUI seeks to improve the capacities of cities in the design of sustainable urban development policies, strategies and practices in an integrated and participative way. It also contributes to the design and implementation of these policies and action plans in cities on a local, regional and national level. This element encompasses the cooperation with networks of cities supported by URBACT IV, as well as peer learning activities and Urban Development Network-type capacity building.
What type of activities?
The activities that aim to improve the capacities of cities to design and implement sustainable urban development strategies, policies and practices in an integrated and participative way. Capacity-building activities will also be available for cities and managing authorities implementing sustainable urban development strategies, UIA and EUI- Innovative Actions, URBACT IV and the Urban Agenda for the EU as well as cities which are not yet active or participating in the aforementioned initiatives.
Peer-learning activities are organised to provide targeted and short-term support and to facilitate exchange of knowledge, good practices, and solutions. They consist of city-to-city exchanges and peer-reviews.
Urban Development Network type of activities consist of a wide range of seminars as well as a compilation of toolkits on good practices, targeting specifically cities implementing sustainable development strategies (so called Article 11 cities). They enable cities to improve their capacity to design and implement sustainable urban development strategies and innovative actions.
Knowledge and communication
What is EUI – knowledge and communication?
This intervention area is a key element to achieving the main objectives of EUI in successfully sharing and capitalising knowledge on sustainable urban development and importantly, in providing accessible know-how information on urban matters. Accordingly, this strand aims to develop a knowledge base in support of improving sustainable urban development policy, strategy design, implementation and mainstreaming. It will support the Urban Agenda for the EU and intergovernmental cooperation on urban matters in order to effectively share and help develop evidence-based policy on sustainable urban development. A network of Urban Contact Points will be set up in Member States to facilitate the work at local, regional and national levels.
What type of activities?
Activities relate to the capitalisation and production of thematic and operational knowledge, generated by cities from a wide range of EU initiatives and programmes, including EUI-IA as well as communication on sustainable urban development.
The knowledge platform in support of better sustainable urban development policy and strategy design, implementation and urban mainstreaming, to ensure easier access to horizontal and thematic knowledge and share the know-how on sustainable urban development.
The network of Urban Contact Points and the establishment of a Knowledge Platform are two main components backing the knowledge environment provided by EUI in support of cities.
The network of Urban Contact Points will operate in national languages, and provide support to urban policymakers and practitioners at local, regional and national levels. Their role is threefold:
- to support urban policymakers and practitioners at local, regional and national levels to be involved in the EUI activities,
- to improve the capacities of urban policymakers and practitioners at local, regional and national levels in sustainable urban development,
- to incentivise stakeholders, in particular, Managing Authorities, to benefit from the support and opportunities offered by the EUI.
The Knowledge platform will regroup all knowledge and tools useful for cities and produced through EU initiatives and programmes related to sustainable urban development. It aims to tackle the wealth and diversity of existing urban knowledge as well as the fragmentation of such knowledge sources to offer more coherent knowledge-based support for urban actors at all levels. It will regroup the outputs and products of EUI-IA and capacity-building.
The capitalisation activities aim to capture, consolidate and enable the uptake of outputs and results produced by the different activity areas of the EUI. It will also be extended to knowledge produced by URBACT IV capacity-building activities and by cities operating under Article 11. It will provide urban policymakers and practitioners with consolidated knowledge in a format assisting them in evidence-based policymaking and in quality of programming as well as in designing and implementing public investments, in particular, under the Cohesion policy.
Finally, the communication and dissemination activities aim to ensure that the EUI is known and visible, first to the direct and potential beneficiaries of the initiative – urban policymakers and practitioners at all levels – and second, for a broader audience in the EU and internationally. It also aims at effectively communicating and promoting sustainable urban development in the EU.