URBACT is a Cohesion Policy programme on sustainable integrated urban development which supports networks for knowledge exchange among local authorities representing cities of all scales and even towns. Its projects are relatively small-scale in nature and seek to develop collaboration mechanisms to inform local action in response to some of the major urban challenges facing towns and cities. The URBACT framework and tools allow cities to establish and build the capacity of their own Local Support Groups to manage policies and practices in a participative way and, through transnational learning, to design and deliver integrated sustainable urban strategy responses as a means to tackle the issue under examination or to adapt good practices to their own circumstances.
€96.3 million (up to 70% ERDF support per project).
Limerick City & County Council is part of the TECHTOWN consortium which has looked at the digital economy’s importance as a key driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth from the perspective of small and medium sized cities seeking to maximise job creation potential. As well as defining digital economy challenges/barriers – particularly for start-ups – the project examined issues such as what cities can do in governance and support terms to enable traditional businesses to access the digital skills and innovations they need in order to start, grow and compete; how digital content creation and technology clusters can work at city level; and the potential for spillover from stronger city-level digital economies.
21 Action Planning Networks (5 with Irish local authority involvement: Dublin; Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown; Kildare; Limerick; and Longford) are underway with another call for proposal set to take place in 2018. There are 7 Implementation Networks (Waterford) and 15 Transfer Networks (Good Practice) (including Cork City and Kildare).