Urban Development Network, sustainable investments in sustainable urban development. Preparing for the future in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania
 
What is the UDN?
 
The Urban Development Network (UDN) has been set up in accordance with Article 9 of the ERDF 2014-2020 Regulation to promote capacity building, networking and exchange of experience at EU level between urban authorities responsible for implementing (Article 7) sustainable urban development strategies and (Article 8) urban innovative actions.
 
The Urban Development Network is made up of more than 500 cities/urban areas across the EU responsible for implementing integrated actions based on Sustainable Urban Development strategies financed by ERDF in the 2014-2020 period.
 
It enables the organisation of regular seminars, workshops, project visits and other types of networking activities among urban practitioners facilitated by the Commission.
 
Where and why a UDN event targeting BG, HR, RO?
 
UDN events so far have been programmed as EU wide sessions (for all 28 Member States, e.g. during the European Week of Regions and Cities) or targeted at a specific country. We see an interest in proposing a new formula where stakeholders from several Member States of the same geographical area and/or with similar institutional and/or urban and territorial patterns can share their experience.
 
The UDN event scheduled for one and a half day in Osijek (Eastern Croatia) will be a good opportunity for stakeholders from the three newest EU Member states (BG, HR, RO) to initiate a dialogue on urban matters, share views on where they stand and how they prepare themselves for post-2020 with peers.
 
Another UDN ‘cluster’ event targeting Spain, Italy and Portugal is due to take place toward end 2019.
 
For whom?
 
Practitioners involved at any appropriate level in the implementation of ERDF Art. 7/ITIs. 100 participants max to keep the event at a manageable size for a technical exchange (i.e. around 20 people per country) with a mix of representatives from ERDF Art. 7 cities (appropriate share of bigger and SMS cities at both political and technical level), MA in charge of corresponding OPs, any other relevant key player (e.g. regional development agencies, association of cities, and beyond, partners – businesses/universities, etc.), experts and testimonials of good practice from other countries.
 
What programme?
 
The overall objective is to take stock of the experience so far with the implementation of sustainable urban development strategies (identify common trends, bottlenecks and good practices) and pave the way for strategic programming of urban development investments in 2021-2027 (through PO5 or other POs). An event of one and a half day divided into plenary and panel discussions.