Newsletter  sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe | 16 clicks to discover what sub>urban is about

Afbeelding 680 pixels breed
New inspiration after the summer break


I hope you have found new inspiration during the summer break. In this new issue of the sub>urban newsletter we are happy to introduce 3 new sections to stay tuned with what's going on in our network. 

First: 'Action Planning in Real Time'. One of the network partners shares how they are putting their action plan to the test. 

Second: 'The Curious Neighbour'. The question you really want to ask one of the other partners.

Third: 'Focal Point'. One specific item of our topic explained by our Lead Expert: Maarten Van Tuijl

On top of this we also bring you news and other information on the network.

Enjoy reading 


sub>urban in 16 clicks

What is the core essence of the topic sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe? A challenging question. Find the easy explanation here. 16 clicks or 2 minutes later you will know what we want to achieve in the upcoming two years. 

Click here to start your 2 minute journey.


breed beeld

If you have any suggestions or questions. Don't hesitate to ask us via


Action Planning in Real Time

by Local Coordinator Gordan Cengic (Antwerp)

breed beeld

Gordan Cengic talks about the first steps in implementing the Antwerp Local Action Plan

Antwerp has chosen to be Lead Partner of the network sub>urban. So in phase 1 we dedicated most of our time to the network activities. This is the main reason why we did not start on local level with the organisation of the first URBACT Local Groups. In September we are working hard to engage our residents and target groups.

But we have done extensive research on the topic for more than three years now, creating a Lab environment in the city. This Lab context gave us the opportunity to work in two dimensions:

  • Investigation of the urban fringe of Antwerp through research by design: four multidisciplinary design teams worked parallel on the investigation and transformation of the urban fringe. They started from a particular angle (finance, green spaces, amenities and mobility) and discussed their work with each other and experts from inside and outside the city in four workshops. This methodology was repeated with 3 design teams around the particular theme of work and industry in the urban fringe.
  • Learning through experimental projects in the urban fringe: we started some development projects in the urban fringe, where we tested new processes, new spatial and financial models and different roles for the government. This gave us the benefit of learning-by-doing while focusing on the implementation of projects.


The Curious Neighbour

Vienna puts Oslo to the test

How do you get in contact with your local stakeholders, especially with land owners, developers and local companies?

breed beeld

Kristine Viste Erikson from Oslo 

"The aim of sub>urban Oslo is to create five pilot projects for development in Hovinbyen, an area in Oslo which is rapidly growing. To do that, we will work in close collaboration with land owners/developers (in the case of Oslo, the two usually are the same). With them, we establish Local Action Groups that are composed of the respective land owners/developers, a coordinator from the municipality, social entrepreneurs, one or more experts in the field of urban development, sectorial agencies and departments.

After deciding on a handful of potential sites, we contacted and invited the developers to an informal meeting where we introduced ourselves and the sub>urbanOslo project. In case there was a mutual interest for the project, we proceeded by sending out a formal invitation to join the sub>urban Oslo project,  also inviting them to a large kick-off lunch seminar that will take place in September." Kristine


Paul Grohmann (Vienna) kicked off this first question and answer section with a question to Kristine Viste Eriksen (Oslo). Coming up next to ask the question is Solin (Croatia).


Focal Point
What is transforming planning about?
breed beeld

Urban transformation requires a different approach and a different set of instruments than urban expansion. At the same time, many cities in the sub>urban network have gained experience with transformation of the historic city centre, but the less glamorous post war urban fringe is something entirely different. It is not an attractive investment for developers and it has no clear identity for newcomers. Cities are challenged to find new ways to engage and involve private parties, owners, investors, developers, residents, workers and potential newcomers. We need a new planning process that is custom-made for the area. 

Looking at the different partner cities, it is clear that there is not a size fits all approach to engage private parties in transforming the urban fringe. The right approach depends on the specific cultural, financial, legal and social context. It is interesting to see that each partner city is experimenting and finding new ways to successfully engage private parties in areas where the city has almost no land position and where market parties are not interested in. While doing so they are all transforming and re-inventing planning. 


The full article is coming up on


Vienna in the Local News
breed beeld

Paul Grohmann from Vienna got the topic in the Kurier, one of Austria's newspapers.  


The Lower-Austrian municipality of Vösendorf, located south of Vienna, intends to develop the so-called Marktviertel area that currently includes numerous unoccupied premises and unattractive buildings along federal road B17. For this purpose, Vösendorf and Vienna are cooperating  and receiving EU funds. “Urban development should be encouraged. At the moment, Lower Austria still lacks experience in this field”, says Andreas Hacker from the City Environs Management (SUM).
“Kurier”, 5 July 2016