Cohesion Policy in urban practice: An ambitious Urban Agenda?

EUKN, 2011


Cohesion Policy can play a vital role in moderating the contradictions between opportunities and challenges that need to be met, and nowadays is the time for cities to gain ground in the new regulations for the 2014 - 2020 Regulations. Successive presidencies of the EU have recognised the growing importance of urban policy and urban development. During the Polish presidency, the efforts have been continued on keeping urban issues on the European agenda.

This publication showcases the great projects cities have been able to develop over the years in order to realise a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe. All the case studies are included in a wide range of national contexts. Besides the case studies, this publication offers several views on the Urban Dimension in the future programming period. The views of the local level, the Commission, the Polish presidency and from Eurocities are all included.

The report found four aspects of the added value of Cohesion Policy:

  • Financial leeway;
  • Higher quality projects;
  • Integrated approaches to policy challenges;
  • Commitment from public as well as private investors.

The case studies that were categorised according to the three EU2020 aims of "smart, sustainable and inclusive" are growth-oriented inspirational examples of the developments that are realised at the local level. Besides illustrating practices at the local level, the project managers recorded that different funds (ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund) are crucial in setting the projects and programs in motion.