Newsletter  sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe | Looking back at the "Urban challenges: Fringe Solutions" conference

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Looking back at the "Urban Challenges: Fringe Solutions" conference

In hindsight to the conference "Urban Challenges: Fringe Solutions", I think it's safe to say everyone's had their fill of inspiring ideas, lively discussions and energizing presentations. With the dust now settled, it's time to take another, deeper look at this multitude of new ideas that emerged during the conference in the morning and the workshop in the afternoon in Brussels.

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Copyright: Leo Van Broeck kicking off the conference, Lucid

Below you will find the link to the article on the URBACT website along with a link to the photo album of the conference, workshops and evening festivities.

Website article

Photo album


Improving social cohesion in Garath

Brno interviews Düsseldorf for our 'The Curious Neighbour' section

Social inclusion is one of the main topics in Garath, a satellite town on the southern fringe of Düsseldorf, which was built in the 1960’s. Garath was a highly prestigious housing project at that time in Germany. The underlying idea behind the urban design was to install four neighborhoods with mixed housing typologies and a modern infrastructure embedded in an attractive open space. It’s city center is a hub linking the four neighborhoods and is straddling the highway, streets and the railway.
Social cohesion in Garath used to be excellent, with the quarter’s pioneer generation still having very strong ties with the area, but has been eroding over the years, which led to a rapid demographic decline. The decreasing population is a real threat because it endangers social infrastructure: neighborhood centers are dying, infrastructure is obsolete, open space is unused etc.

Planning students signpost the Vienna-Lower Austrian fringe area

Copyright: City centre Garath 2017, Herribert Börnichen

Participation is key

Our objective is to reinvent Garath for the next generation. With a generation change currently underway, we need to change the negative image of Garath in order to attract new social groups to create a diverse and well balanced social mix. 
Social cohesion is essential for maintaining and creating a popular quarter and participation is key to strengthen this cohesion. Involving locals and existing social networks from the start is necessary for a transparent, open, fair and equal planning process.. We tried to identify social groups that were missing and involve them in a customized participation process, such as public events, open talks near home, festivals, school projects and many more..

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Copyright: Identity workshop and branding session 2015, Herribert Börnichen

Branding the neighbourhood

One important event in the process was a workshop, organized as a branding session,  to find out more about the identity of Garath. The participants talked about Garath and illustrators drew sketches. The result is a brand that encapsulates Garath and the perception that most people share, summarizing the brand in core values. The bottom-up approach ensures local consent and political support. The citizens helped us to identify relevant action fields, showed us the potential of the quarter and developed project ideas resulting in an integrated action plan and extended concept for Garath.

Continue discussions in October

The topic is so manifold that it's hard to cover all relevant aspects in one article. We’ll spend the first day in Garath during the transnational meeting in Düsseldorf in October. On site, we’ll have the opportunity and advantage of discussing it more vividly and in more detail. We are looking forward to hearing more about your experience and best practice solutions regarding social inclusion.


Spain launches National Urbact Point

It is with great pleasure that we can announce a new member has been added to the URBACT family. As of this month, Paisaje Tranversal has been selected to act as the Spanish National Urbact Point (NUP). We hereby warmly welcome Jon Aguirre Such and Alvaro Pardo Ballesteros, project leaders of our lastest member!

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Copyright: Paisaje Transversal

Paisaje Tranversal as National URBACT Point

Paisaje Transversal is a Madrid based urban planning office specialised in sustainable urban development and urban innovation. 

The Spanish NUP's aim is to establish a framework that facilitates dialogue, exchange of knowledge and collaboration between the URBACT networks in Spain. We hope they will communicate actively on the work of Barcelona Metropolitan Area and support the Local Action Plan in Badia del Vallès.


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