Twelve European research groups and four territorial actors, from eleven different member states, have submitted a research project (LinkCity) to the last call of proposal for Social Sciences and Humanities of the EU 7th Framework Program of Research, Technological Development and Innovation. The project has been coordinated by the University of Huelva (Spain), with the support of the scientific committee of INTI (International Network of Territorial Intelligence, GDRI INTI). The framework of this proposal is Activity 8.2: “Combining economic, social and environmental objectives in a European perspective: Paths towards sustainable development” within the Area 8.2.2 “Regional, territorial and social cohesion”. And the specific topic is SSH.2012.2.2-1. Challenge: Governance of cohesion and diversity in urban contexts.
Its main objective is to produce sound scientific and technical knowledge for everyday makers (territorial’s actors) and policymakers at different scales (European, national, regional, local) to manage diversity and to promote social cohesion in urban contexts.
This project aims to mobilize the tacit knowledge of the ground experiences and to identify methodological and cognitive shortfalls in the running of urban initiatives of multilevel and cross-sectorial governance.
14 real cases
Firstly, the project will be focused on the analysis of 14 real innovative urban initiatives (in cities from all over the European territory: Athens, Aviles, Brasov, Bremen, Cardiff, Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Helsinki, Huelva, Nantes, Napoli, Pècs and Torino) working for social cohesion from different approaches (economic, social, cultural, environmental) and focused on different problems in education, housing, employment, health, citizen participation, migratory movements, gender, ageing, youth and so on.
Different research-action projects for each initiative will be defined from this diagnosis in order to overtake shortfalls in fields such as:
- new ways of institutional and intercultural communication for urban social cohesion and to manage diversity;
- tools for observation, planning and participative evaluation (methodologies for participative deliberation, computing tools and indicators) in contexts of cross-sectorial and multilevel governance
- innovative participative methods for integrated urban planning to add different groups of cultural, generational, gender…values
- systems of collective services co-production in the framework of local welfare systems.
After two years working an evaluation of the 14 projects will be carried out in order to identify transverse factors of success and lock. The results of the LinkCity project will be translated into political recommendations and will be disseminated within the international researching community and stakeholders.
The European Council and the Covenant of Mayors (in Spain) have already supported the project.