Newsletter  sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe | The first Solin field trip

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The first field trip in Solin

On the 25th and 26th of April, Solin invited the cities of Brno and Vienna to the first field trip of our network. The theme of the meeting was “connecting the fringe”, looking at barriers and connections in the municipality and the surrounding region. It was the first time that we have tested this format and the feedback was positive. The smaller scale of the meeting allowed for a deeper and more personal interaction between the participants.

Starting with an overview

We started a tour around the region with a visit to the fortress of Kliss, giving us an understanding of the history and the urban growth of the region. All of Solin’s assets are very visible from afar, while the challenges become more clear when driving and walking through the municipality.

Working with a great variety of stakeholders

In the afternoon, we participated in a workshop focussing on three themes with a wide variety of stakeholders, ranging from administrators of the municipalities of Solin, Split and Kastela over representatives of the archeological museum to employers of big production companies in Solin. Brno started the discussion with a presentation on “walkability in the city”. A moderator guided the discussion tables and gave a presentation of the results on the next day, showing immediate results to the group and the municipality of Solin.

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Opening of the underpass

Once again our partner city shows that you should craft a vision, decide upon actions and start implementations at the same time. Solin opened a pathway underneath a busy road connecting a housing area to the large archaeological park. The pathway was constructed not only as a connection but also as a destination. The underpath was enlarged to create a chamber where the youngsters of the city can meet. The walls of this chamber were decorated by the famous Croatian graffiti artists Chez 186 and Sarme.

Thank you Solin for the organisation and inspiring discussion!

URBACT participation in EUROCITIES workshop
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A friendly visit

The city of Antwerp, representing the URBACT III network, participated in a EUROCITIES workshop in Oslo, Norway, along with the partner cities of the Edge-of-Centre-Transformation project. The purpose of this three-day workshop for our network was two-fold, providing new insights on how to redevelop the Hovinbyen area on the one hand and discussing the jointly organized conference on the meeting of both networks on the other hand.

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Getting to know the city

After some presentations about Hovinbyen and the workshop area, the participants went on a scenic bike-tour from the city centre to Hovinbyen, familiarizing themselves with the city and the different urban development projects in the area. On the second day, the participants were asked to draw up plans of action for redeveloping Helsfyr-Bryn from an industry-oriented transport hub to a mixed-use area. The results of this workshop were presented the following day in the Oslo city hall, for an audience of representatives from the spatial planning department, the public transport department and the municipal government.

Flexibility for the future

The NCC building where the workshop preparations took place, was an inspiration on its own. Currently eco-friendly and BREEAM-certified, this office building is constructed in a way that the office spaces are easily converted into housing units and the patio in between can just as easily be turned into a shared garden between the units. An inspiration we took home with us!


The Vienna fringe area: deciding on the path ahead

Urban or suburban? City or countryside? Old or new? Noisy or quiet? Big or small? Housing or business? Car park or park? Planning students raised these questions when exploring the Vienna-Lower Austrian area, during a Vienna URBACT local group action. In the start-up workshop on 5 April, locals, landowners, politicians and ULG members tried to find answers.

Planning students signpost the Vienna-Lower Austrian fringe area

Copyright: TU Wien, Department for Regional Planning and Development

The story begins...

During mobile workshops, the stakeholders formed smaller groups and walked around potential places for intervention. Everyone had an individual approach towards the area and his/her own story to tell.

Collective mapping

The participants merged the single stories and created a collective picture of potential areas of intervention. Most of the groups came to the conclusion that tackling the “Gordian knot”, a complex traffic intersection at the borderline of Vienna and Vösendorf, was really needed. At this key place, an attractive development seems feasible as there are empty, underused plots nearby.

Conclusions: from “or” to “and”

Maybe you do not have to choose between either of two options. You can combine them: it seems realistic to design a neighbourhood both with housing and business, rural and urban elements, quiet places and higher density.

Next Event

In Vienna, an 'Extended Field Trip' & 'Open Air Symposium' will take place simultaneously on 29-30 May, hosting sub>urban partners, stakeholders and planning students.


Antwerp launches two publications on its fringe area
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The purpose of the URBACT III Sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe network is to explore and compare options to transform the urban fringe in an integrated way, taking both the physical and social characteristics into account. The city of Antwerp took a lead in this respect with its Lab XX, a project initiated to explore and renew the city’s 20th century belt, capitalizing on the potential in this area for combining densification and urban renewal. The city's laboratorium led to 2 publications.


Lab XX_Work focuses on both the interweaving of living and working, and on the densification and renewal of industrial zones. The experience in inner-city development showed us that compact urban projects drive away local industries. A practice we want to avoid in the transformation of our post-war urban areas.This publication is the result of the laborious efforts of 3 teams that started the research trajectory in 2015. 

Download the book here.

Pilot project Lageweg

Pilot project Lageweg zooms in on an on-going experimental pilot project, Lageweg, where the city of Antwerp is looking for ways to convert a partly abandoned area, entirely in collaboration with the owners of the plots and locally established businesses. The challenge of this site is that the municipality doens't own a lot of land (merely 2.2%) and is entirely dependent on private initiatives. This project wants to enable a mix between housing and industry.

Download the book here.


Register now for the "Urban Challenges: Fringe Solutions" conference
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Join us in Brussels on 13 June for a half-day conference, co-organized by the cities of Antwerp and Oslo, to find out more on how fringe areas of city centres can help offer solutions to meet urban challenges.

• 13 June 2017, 9.30 am to 1.30 pm
• Norway House, Rue Archimede 17, 1000 Brussels (near Schuman Place)
• Co-organized by the cities of Antwerp and Oslo
• Registration is mandatory

Download the program here

Register for the conference here


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