Urban Innovative Actions – ahead of Call 5
Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) will launch its fifth and final call in September. Managed by the French Region Hauts-de-France and part of the ERDF, the overarching mission of the programme is to identify innovative and creative solutions which ‘address issues related to sustainable urban development and are of relevance at Union level’.
According to the UIA, the main aim of the programme is to provide urban authorities across Europe with space and resources to test unproven ideas addressing interconnected challenges and examine how these respond to the complexity of real life. Projects to be supported need to be innovative, of good quality, designed and implemented with the involvement of key stakeholders, result oriented and transferable.
UIA encourages urban authorities to move from normal, mainstream ERDF projects and take the risk to transform creative ideas into prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. The UIA has the capability to support projects that are too risky for traditional funding sources, provided that they are highly experimental.
WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED TOPICS FOR 5TH CALL?
Ahead of the call, the UIA Secretariat has already published the four priority topics for the call, along with their individual descriptions:
- Culture and Cultural Heritage, with particular attention given to projects going beyond cultural production or intervention in buildings. This priority encourages projects that offer participatory approaches to decision-making, co-creation and co-implementation as well as promoting local employment through cultural heritage or expanding sustainable tourism models;
- Demographic Change, welcoming projects addressing challenges such as outward migration, rural demographic reduction or aging population through development of society 5.0, strengthening active labour force or stimulating local entrepreneurship;
- Air Quality, including innovative approaches to clean commuting, testing methodologies to integrate air quality in local climate and energy strategies, testing ways to stimulate cultural and behavioural change in stakeholders and citizens in relation to air quality;
- Circular economy, focusing on projects particularly related to water waste – to make waste water collection and treatment plants climate-neutral, reducing energy consumption, exploiting full potential of the re-use of urban waste water, better water use efficiency.
Culture and Cultural Heritage as well as Demographic Change are topics which have not been used before. Circular Economy and Air Quality served as topics in calls 2 and 3 respectively; therefore, prospective applicants are invited to consult projects that have already been approved.
WHO CAN APPLY?
According to the Terms of Reference for previous calls, the following bodies are eligible to apply:
- Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanization as city, town or suburb comprising at least 50,000 inhabitants;
- Any association or grouping of urban authorities of local administrative units defined according to the degree of urbanization as city, town or suburb where the total population is at least 50,000 inhabitants. This include cross-border associations of different regions between Member States.
In Ireland the counties are considered as eligible urban authorities under the category “organized agglomerations”. In this case the county can be a Main Urban Authority provided that the majority of the population is living in municipalities (LAUs) composing the county and considered by Eurostat as cities or suburbs/towns (code 1 or 2). Specific exemptions or caveats may be applicable to particular priorities once the call is published.
Questions regarding eligibility should be directed towards the UIA secretariat at an early stage. Similarly to previous calls, the secretariat will likely organise applicant seminars in due course.
The date of the call launch as well as relevant application documents will soon be published on the UIA website.