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de Razvan Diaconu , 15.10.2018
Only Cluj-Napoca is among the 22 European cities that will receive financing from the European Regional Development Fund (FEDR) for innovative solutions in addressing urban challenges, according to the European Commission (EC) data.
The other 21 winner cities are from nine countries: Spain (5), France and the Netherlands (3, each), Belgium and Finland (2 each), the Czech Republic, Latvia, the UK and Hungary – one city each, according to the EC.
The project “Cluj – Future of Work”, worth EUR 5.6 million (of which EUR 4.5 million from FEDR), will be implemented in partnership with Cluj Cultural Centre through Cluj 2.1 Program and the winning consortium includes the University of Art and Design, TIFF, ZAIN, ARIES Transilvania, Cluj IT, the Cluster of Creative Industries, the Cluster of Transylvanian Furniture, AltArt, according to Cluj-Napoca Municipality’s Office.
The Cluj project was qualified in the category “Jobs and competences in the local economy” of the Innovative Urban Actions program, funded by the FEDR.
The third round of call for proposals benefits from a budget of EUR 92 million for innovative urban actions to address issues such as air quality, climate change, housing, jobs and skills for the local economy.
Winner projects are structured into the following categories:
- Adaptation to climate change: Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (the UK), Riba-roja de Túria (Spain), Sevilla (Spain), Paris (France)
- Air quality: Aix-Marseille Provence metropolis (France), Breda (the Netherlands), Helsinki (Finland), Ostrava (the Czech Republic), Portici (Italy)
- Housing: Brussels (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Gent (Belgium), Mataró (Spain), Lyon metropolis (France)
- Jobs and skills in the local economy: Aveiro (Portugal), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Cuenca (Spain), Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Vantaa (Finland), Ventspils (Latvia).
The projects highlighted by the European Commission’s release are those related to:
- “new solutions to reduce the risk of peri-urban fires in Riba-roja de Túria (Spain)
- a new generation of electric battery power systems in Breda (the Netherlands)
- school playgrounds with high protection against heat waves in Paris
- energy efficient social housing in Budapest and innovative activities for professional orientation in Ventspils (Finland).
All winning projects can be found on the Urban Innovative Actions website
Next call for proposals
The European Commission has also launched its 4th call for proposals under the innovative urban actions with a budget of EUR 100 million from the total FEDR financial package of EUR 372 million for 2014 -2020.
Innovative projects will be financed to protect and reduce the vulnerability of public spaces, as announced in the 2017 Action plan as part of the European Agenda on Security.
At the same time, following the call, digital, environmental and inclusion projects will be funded. The deadline is January 2019. Winning cities will be announced in the summer of 2019.
In the EU’s next long-term budget, the “Innovative Urban Action” initiative will be included in the European urban initiative, a new tool that combines all urban tools into a single program of cooperation between cities, innovation and capacity development across all priorities themes of the Urban Agenda for the EU (integration of migrants, housing, air quality, urban poverty or energy transition, among others).
The new single regulatory framework will allow for a simpler combination of the EU funds, for example between the European Regional Development Fund and the Internal Security Fund, with a view to developing comprehensive urban development plans that would include measures of public safety, said the European Commission.