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Programme description

Overview of URBACT III

URBACT III is a European Territorial Cooperation programme (2014-2020) jointly financed by the European Union (through the European Regional Development Fund, nearly 75 million euro).

URBACT III will act as a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. It will enable European cities to work together to develop solutions to urban challenges and share good practices, lessons and solutions with all stakeholders involved in urban policy throughout Europe. The programme will cover all of the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as the two partner countries of Norway and Switzerland.

URBACT III will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and good practice between cities and other levels of government in order to promote integrated sustainable development and improve the effectiveness of regional and cohesion policy. In doing this URBACT III will contribute to the Europe 2020 goals by providing a mechanism for stakeholders involved in developing and implementing urban policy to develop their knowledge and skills. The new knowledge and skills acquired from participation in the URBACT III programme will contribute to stronger and more vibrant European cities and help tackle a range of emerging urban issues linked to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (the three Europe 2020 priorities).

Proposed Strategy, Objectives and Main Interventions for URBACT III

To respond to the numerous challenges facing urban areas, city administrations need to continually improve and build knowledge and skills to enable them to develop and implement sustainable integrated policy. This enhanced capacity will have positive impacts for the implementation of the Operational Programmes in the 2014-2020 programming period when the urban dimension of the cohesion policy will be strengthened. URBACT III will enable exchange and learning between elected officials, officers and other city stakeholders; contributing to the improved planning and implementation of integrated urban approaches in European cities.

URBACT III programme will be organised around four main objectives:

1. Capacity for Policy Delivery: To improve the capacity of cities to manage sustainable urban policies and practices in an integrated and participative way.

2. Policy Design: To improve the design of sustainable strategies and action plans in cities.

3. Policy Implementation: To improve the implementation of integrated and sustainable urban strategies and action plans in cities

4. Building and Sharing Knowledge: To ensure that practitioners and decision makers at all levels have increased access to knowledge and share know how on all aspects of sustainable urban development in order to improve urban development policies.

To reach these objectives, URBACT III will develop three types of interventions: transnational exchange, capacity-building and capitalisation & dissemination. Each of these interventions will build upon the strengths developed in URBACT II.

Focusing on Thematic Objectives

Although the type and nature of urban issues vary from city to city, URBACT III will particularly focus on a number of common themes which European cities face.

  • Thematic Objective 1: Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
  • Thematic Objective 4: Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors
  • Thematic Objective 6: Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency
  • Thematic Objective 8: Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
  • Thematic Objective 9: Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty

This concentration will be achieved through the targeting of the calls for proposals for URBACT III activities on these thematic objectives.

Expected impacts

  • Urban practitioners in cities have increased knowledge and capacity in relation to integrated approaches to sustainable urban development
  • Cities have designed integrated strategies and action plans for sustainable urban development
  • Cities have improved their performance with regard to the implementation of integrated plans for sustainable urban development
  • Practitioners and decision-makers at all levels have increased access to URBACT thematic knowledge on sustainable urban development and make use of it


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom


  • Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 74,301,909.00 €

Thematic priorities

Financial information

Total OP budget: 96,324,550.00 €

Total EU contribution: 74,301,909.00 €

View the data

CCI number: 2014TC16RFIR003