EUROCITIES 2015 Copenhagen/Malmo - 'Living cities - sustainable urban growth and quality of life'. This year the awards relate to 'living cities - sustainable urban growth and quality of life', the theme of EUROCITIES 2015 Copenhagen/Malmo, and entries were invited in three categories: cooperation, innovation and participation
The EUROCITIES awards recognise outstanding achievement by EUROCITIES members in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens and will be judged in the context of the theme of the annual conference. Entries are judged by an independent jury of five members from the thematic sector, academia, EU institutions, media and NGO. Jury members change every year.
cooperation - projects and activities demonstrating collaboration between citizens, businesses, NGOs and local authorities to produce original solutions for more and better jobs, in particular sustainable, quality jobs
innovation – projects and activities demonstrating innovative ways of achieving modal shift in urban transport, and/or improving the quality of air in urban areas, in particular projects initiated and driven by citizens
participation – projects and activities involving local authorities, businesses and civil society in developing partnership models to increase quality investments into cities, in particular projects that show effective, long term partnerships
The Edinburgh Guarantee (Edinburgh)
Edinburgh believes that making the most of the talents of its young people is critical for economic growth. The Edinburgh Guarantee ensures that every young person leaves school with the offer of a job, apprenticeship, training or further educational opportunity. Edinburgh works with partners to identify these employment opportunities. The scheme offers support to employers and young people, through wage subsidies, financial support, and training courses. These ensure that it benefits young people and businesses alike.
WINNER: Entrepreneurial Västra Hisingen (Gothenburg)
Gothenburg is strengthening its identity as a hub for opportunities and entrepreneurship. ‘Entrepreneurial Västra Hisingen’ is a three-strand project to develop entrepreneurial capacity. The ‘entrepreneurship in education’ strand teaches entrepreneurial skills to young people aged six to 16. ‘Start your business’ provides budding entrepreneurs with courses, support and networks. The city offers this support in various languages and targets specific groups. And for young businesses, the ‘develop your business’ strand maps growth opportunities and paths for development.
The Rotterdam Business Case (Rotterdam)
‘Young+old=gold’ is the phrase Rotterdam uses to describe its project. Students from a local university and retired entrepreneurs support and consult entrepreneurs working below the poverty line. A lack of business skills and poor management is often to blame for entrepreneurs working under these conditions. Together, they draw up business plans, cost calculations, marketing strategies and annual reports. For the students, it’s a chance to gain practical experience. For the experienced entrepreneurs, it’s an opportunity to put their skills to good use again. And for the struggling entrepreneur, it’s a last chance to save their business.
Optimising charging infrastructure (Amsterdam)
Amsterdam is a leading city for electric vehicles. It uses data from the charging infrastructure to guide policy decisions that make the network more efficient. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is analysing the data as part of a research project. This will identify bottlenecks and gaps, which Amsterdam can use to determine where it needs to develop and improve the network. The data also helps the city to answer specific questions from residents about charging infrastructure in their neighbourhoods. App developers can use it to design services that make driving an electric car more convenient.
WINNER: Fewer cars, more shared spaces, better quality of life for all (Milan)
Milan’s initiative targets the city’s high level of private car ownership and aims to improve local air quality. The initiative consists of three interconnected phases. The flagship among these is ‘Area C’. This congestion charge scheme has reduced traffic in the city centre by nearly 30%, or by around 40,000 cars a day. This has freed up parts of the city for new uses, including a 150,000m2 pedestrian zone which is also open to cyclists. Shared mobility is the third phase of the initiative. Currently, Milan operates successful bike and car sharing services, with some 10,000 bikes being used each day. It soon hopes to add scooters to the mix.
The Traffic Agent (Oslo)
The Traffic Agent is a mobile app to determine road maintenance needs. It targets primary school children, who are some of the most active walkers in Oslo. Using a ‘gamification’ approach, children can report dangerous spots or problem areas on their way to and from school. This data is fed into the Agency for Urban Environment’s traffic and technology section, which uses it to prioritise road maintenance needs for the next year’s budget. The app allows children to input anonymously, although data can be filtered by class, school and district. It uses a voice and animations to guide them through the process. The data can be used in class to discuss the safest route to school.
WINNER: Edinburgh in Bloom (Edinburgh)
Edinburgh in Bloom brings together individuals and organisations to help make the city more attractive and sustainable. It encompasses a range of initiatives, such as planting flowers alongside streets and in parks and conserving threatened species. Community participation is a central feature of the initiative. It funds community projects, and helps set up groups and mobilise volunteers. For example, a ‘garden share’ scheme allows people without a garden to grow food and flowers, and a ‘garden aid’ service helps elderly or infirm residents look after their gardens. Finally, the initiative is about encouraging environmentally sustainable practices, such as rain water collection, developing cycle infrastructure and replacing street lighting with energy efficient LED bulbs.
City talks on sustainable energy: the silent majority speaks (Utrecht)
Energy affects everyone, but Utrecht found that discussions on an energy action plan usually only attracted those citizens with a special interest in the subject. Instead, the city wanted to reach people who aren’t normally a part of the discussion. So Utrecht invited 10,000 citizens, chosen at random, to help draw up the city’s new energy action plan. The plan will map out Utrecht’s journey to carbon neutrality by 2030. Of the 10,000 citizens, Utrecht selected 166 to help set out the city’s energy transition, together with experts and stakeholders.
OPEN Glasgow – city data hub (Glasgow)
Glasgow’s City Data Hub is home to 400 datasets, published with support from 60 partner organisations. The data gives citizens and businesses unprecedented insight into life in their city, and allows them to get more involved in decision making. The data has been used by app developers to create cycling and walking apps: the former allows cyclists to map their routes and informs decision making on cycling infrastructure; while the latter allows communities to curate and develop heritage or biodiversity walks. The data hub is part of the OPEN Glasgow initiative, which aims to use open data and technology to improve quality of life for citizens.
The 2015 awards jury panel is composed of the following members:
Chairman of the jury:
Chairman of Malmo City Council
Member of cabinet for Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, European Commission
Director, Environmental Humanities Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Director CREODK and Copenhagen EU office
Director, Danish Cyclists' Federation