2016 was a very demanding year for URBASOFIA. We had to balance implementation of projects and design of new proposals, we felt the effort of our first lustrum. It was a year for closing many interesting chapters: Projects on the Framework Programme 7, on the Swiss-Romanian Grants, Strategies and Plans, but also opening others. So this new year we, really start anew: novel challenges are already clear at the horizon for 2017 – and we look forward to them with the confidence that this past year helped build.
Alongside our already usual commitments with Strategic Planning and Urban Policy Design, we are facing at beginning of 2017 the “kick off” of the new EU-financed projects, where URBASOFIA is a member of strong and well-known international partnerships. The first, financed within the framework of the Danube Transnational Programme, will be ATTRACTIVE DANUBE: an ambitious project facing the issue of “strengthening multilevel and transnational governance and institutional capacities of policy planners involved in territorial development of the Danube Region”. The second project we are going to start next year is ROCK, a Horizon2020 SC5 aiming at transforming historic city centres into Creative and Sustainable Districts.
We would also like to share with you the latest news in the main design actions we are coordinating, especially in the area of the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP). Here, we are currently working on the design of proposals facing the issues of:
- Cultural Heritage-driven Territorial Development (our new ISTER Proposal: ConnectIng hiSTorical Danube rEgions Roman routes),
- Creating territorialized development models and operational tools for integrated and sustainable development, based on local social innovation potentials (this proposal is called AGORA: Assessing Governance Options for Revitalising urban Areas)
If you are interested in joining these 2 proposals promoted by URBASOFIA do not hesitate to contact us for a discussion or simply to share your ideas on these topics. We are still in the phase of partnership creation and are open to involve creative and effective people and ideas.
In the same context of the DTP we are collaborating with our Dutch Partner Eurodite in two other proposals: HARVEST (Helping Danube Areas in Revitalising Vine’s Entrepreneurship, Spirit and Tourism) and OPEN CASTLE (Organising Policies, Exploitation and Networks for Danube Castle Regions). The invitation for all creative actors stands here as well – contact us if you are interested in developing the topics and joining the partnerships.
Last but not least, we are collaborating together with an important Italian research centre the design of a proposal in the realm of the H2020 Call “Demonstrating innovative nature-based solutions in cities” (SCC-02/2017). Likewise, we are looking for partners, especially interested cities, both as drivers and followers.
In closing, we would also like to turn our gaze back for a second and thank our partners and friends for the great collaborations we had this past period. You have once again demonstrated that a good partnership is the bedrock for any successful project – and this is what we are aiming at continuing, with our new proposals.
To all in our URBASOFIA Network, we wish a wonderful Christmas time, and an absolutely elevating New Year!
Dr. Pietro Elisei, URBASOFIA Director
PhDc. Sabina Dimitriu, Manager of EU projects