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Urban Issues at stake

Under the series of themes in the menu, you will find an inventory of various programmes and initiatives which have an urban dimension (some of which funded by the European Commission). A link to the relevant web addresses on Europa or beyond is provided under each entry. In addition, some recommended links are provided to European associations or research consortia.

Open cities

Age-friendly cities

Innovation for Age-friendly buildings, cities and environments

The European Commission has set up an Action Group for 'Innovation for age friendly buildings, cities and environments', as one of the six areas of action under the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. By 2014, the Group aims to launch a network of cities/regions/municipalities committed to using innovative approaches to make their living environment more age-friendly. Updated guidelines for implementing age-friendly strategies in EU cities, based on the World Health Organization framework, will be finalised by 2015.

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Cities promoting integration

European Agenda for Integration

The European Agenda for Integration (2011) promotes the active involvement of cities in the formulation and implementation of integration policies, as cities are responsible for a wide range of service to migrants and they play an important role in shaping the interaction between migrants and the receiving society. EU instruments supporting integration policies are used to stimulate monitoring, promotion and exchange of local practices.

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European Integration Forum

The European Integration Forum is the Commission's main platform for consultation with civil society organisations on integration. Since 2013, representatives of cities and regions are also invited to attend Forum meetings.

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European Web Site on Integration (EWSI)

EWSI is a unique one-stop resource point for practitioners working on integration issues, both in local and regional authorities, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organisations. More specifically, it offers:

  • a collection of good practices
  • an online library of key documents, such as legislation, policy papers, conference reports
  • daily updated news and upcoming events
  • information related to European, national and private funding opportunities
  • country information sheets summarising the integration policies of each Member State
  • an interactive map of integration efforts of cities and regions ...

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Handbook on Integration: Housing in an urban environment

Developed by the European Commission, the Handbook on Integration aims to improve the exchange of information and good practice between integration stakeholders in all EU Member States. The Handbook has been released in three editions and several topics covered relate to an urban context; the second edition contains a chapter dedicated to housing in an urban environment.

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National Roma Integration Strategies

The EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies emphasises the importance of integrated local actions, combining education, housing, health and employment initiatives, in order to achieve the sustainable socio-economic inclusion of Roma and other marginalised communities. To date, more than thirty municipalities and micro-regions in ten Member States have initiated such projects, developing expertise and adapting actions to specific local contexts.

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Urban-related research and innovation on socio-economic sciences and humanities

EU research and innovation has addressed the improving of understanding of major societal issues in Europe’s cities, such as: sustainability and globalisation; cultural interactions and multiculturalism; migration; social innovation; local welfare systems; spatial planning challenges; shrinking cities; and urbanisation trends and processes in China. The new EU framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, will support action in this field under the 'Tackling Societal Challenges' pillar.

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EU Regional Policy: Stay informed