Ex post evaluation URBAN
The second round of the Urban Community Initiative, "URBAN II", supported "neighbourhoods in crisis". These areas faced a broad range of economic and social challenges, as well as a rundown physical environment.
Positive changes for the area as a whole or at least stabilisation were noted in almost all the case studies and stakeholders attributed these to URBAN. In addition, many quantified effects were recorded including:
- 2,314,000 m² of buildings converted and renovated and 3,238,000 m² of green space created.
- 6,000 small businesses and start-ups supported and given access to business services, resulting in 2,000 jobs created.
- Of the 108,000 people trained, more than half were from vulnerable groups and were helped to overcome illiteracy and continue their education or to enter the labour market for the first time
- 247 projects to reduce local crime, including street wardens, CCTV, landscaping and street lighting, delivered in collaboration with community groups and neighbourhood watches.
Regeneration continues in many of the programme areas: URBAN stimulated community led processes, that picked up and continued the work once European funding had ceased. 60% of the projects continued after URBAN II.
However, while URBAN contributed to change, it was only one of a number of policy 'drivers' and often not the most important driver. For example, regional and national factors shape the local economy, mainstream policies are important influences on health, education, skills and crime.
- Such "local development" measures can be effective, but expectations should be realistic: changes to the local environment, small business, local community. Programmes should be aligned with city, regional and national policies.
- The key factor underlying successful projects was local ownership. Such projects were selected in line with local perceptions of need, with commitment from local players and delivered in partnership with locals.
But larger players had an important role in providing expertise and administrative capacity. In the 60% of projects that continued after URBAN II the support of a larger partner was usually key.
- An area of administrative weakness was monitoring. These small programmes planned an average of 59 indicators each, but 35% were not collected. In addition, easy output indicators were favoured at the expense of results. In future, such programmes should focus on a few relevant indicators with consistent follow-up.
- For exchange of experience under URBACT, active participation requires a greater commitment in terms of time and resources, but is more effective than documents alone.
Case studies (programmes)
- Arhus, Denmark
- Carrara, Italy
- Dortmund, Germany
- Graz, Austria
- Le Havre, France
- Leipzig, Germany
- Porto-Gondomar, Portugal
- Sambreville, Belgium
- Bristol, United Kingdom
- Crotone, Italy
- Gijón, Spain
- Halifax, United Kingdom
- Le Mantois, France
- Perama, Greece
- Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Mini-case studies (projects)
- Civic Museum of Marble (Carrara)
- Passgenau Workshop (Dortmund)
- Urban on line (Gijon)
- Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre (Halifax)
- Media Libary (Le Havre)
- Mobile Medical Services (Perama)
- Drugs prevention (Porto Gondomar)
- Re-establishment of Youth centre 'Het Klooster' (Rotterdam)
- Metal Work Training (Sambreville)
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