In the history of Europe, towns always represented a reference point for territories and regions. The town centre was the location where the upper social classes lived and organised their commerce. But, during last years, new models of life changed the physiognomy of the towns. Many citizens moved from centres to suburbs for a better offer in terms of liveableness, less traffic and pollution, more green and supply chain closer and easily accessible.
As consequence, town centres are losing their symbolic and pivotal role played during the centuries.
For these reasons, a group of five municipalities all over Europe decided to lay together their efforts to plan and implement an innovative approach to the urban management, through the request of a financial support to the European Union. The project JEWEL Model has been co-financed by EU Commission, in the framework of the South East Europe Programme.
The main aim of JEWEL-Model is to contribute to the fight against the social desertification affecting the town centres, by the creation of a place where the local community can exchange all relevant information about urban and territorial changes, thus having a direct role in the decision making process. This place is the Urban Centre.
The Urban Centre is an open and public space for documenting and developing innovative ideas for the future of town.
It is also a place where public institutions, residents, associations, communities, economic and social stakeholders come together with the aim of exchanging ideas and comparing projects. The Urban Centre is, finally, an open community of experts for the realisation of integrated urban plans at support of the local governance.
A specific focus of JEWEL Model is represented by the support to start-up and development of new enterprises in the field of the Cultural and Creative Industry, as new media, new technologies and ICT, fit to be located in town centres. The support will be provided through creative incubators for new firms offering training, assistance and guidance. The access to training and guidance paths, leading to entrepreneurial activities, will be facilitated for young people with difficulties to accede to credit system.
In the history of Europe, towns traditionally are reference points for territories and regions. The town centre was the location where the upper social classes lived and organize their commerce. But during last years, new models of life are changing (or have already changed) the physiognomy of towns. Many citizens moved to suburbs for a better offer in terms of liveableness, less traffic and pollution, more green and supply chain close and easily accessible. Vanishing of traditional neighborhood stores, increasing of traffic, lacking of parking, increasing of tourism and tourism shops, presence of new inhabitants (and new kind of shops and freights) far from the history and tradition, structural decadence of some areas, led to the crisis of historical town centre and to the loss of identity of its renewed community.
JEWEL project deals with an innovative approach to address the town centers desertification phenomena. The approach is based on the creation of Urban Centers, meaning a space for documenting and developing innovative ideas for the future of town. The Urban Center is also an open community of experts for the realization of integrated urban plans at support of good policy and program design within the competence of Municipalities and other authorities in charge of the local development.
A specific focus of the project is the support to start-up and development of new enterprises in the field of creative industry, as new media, new technologies and ICT, fit to be located in town centres. The admission to training and guidance paths leading to entrepreneurial activities will be facilitated for young people with difficulties to accede to credit system, such as women, foreigners, disadvantaged, thanks also to the coordination with further programs and initiatives in force in involved territories.
The aims of this action are the establishment of the project bodies in charge of the project implementation and the implementation of the management and financial procedures.
Decision making process is carried out by the Steering Committee (SC), which is composed by representatives of each partner and leaded by the Project Coordinator, responsible for project overall organization. SC agrees executive planning, internal deadlines, quality standards, and corrective actions if necessary and it will meet 5 times during the project (1st; 6th; 12th; 18th and 23rd month of project).
The SC adopts the Executive Project Manual (EPM), stressing internal procedures for decision making and project management quality criteria, and an Agreement of Future cooperation, a shared document which commits partners to prosecute the cooperation activated within JEWEL project, identifying follow up strategies and actions for the project.
The Lead Partner is in charge of transferring to MA decisions and requests brought up in SC meetings and to develop the reports on operation’s progress and consistency between the objectives envisaged and the objectives achieved. In parallel, technical meetings and on-site visits are carried on to stress the contents part of project. A Secretary Office permanently support partners in the implementation of the project procedures.
The Financial Management is coordinated by the Project Administrative and Financial Officer c/o Lead Partner. The officer is in charge for the accounts, financial reporting, and internal handling of the SEE funds and national cofinancing, and it is supported by a financial responsible for each partner.
The project management perform a set of internal controls to monitor the sound and duly implementation of the project’s activities. The main management tool is the guidelines on monitoring and evaluation, draft by Lead applicant and agreed by partnership. A quality control is performed on the basis of a tailor-made Logical Framework, expressing performance indicators and procedures, to avoid loss of quality results during the entire running of the Project. The results of the quality control and monitoring of project will be presented at SC, along with proposals to address main affecting issues.
The project approachs communication and dissemination through:
This WP aims to accurately define the specific needs emerging by target areas in order to design and implement effective urban development plans, which take in account both desiderata and the effective constraints of each specific contexts, mainly through:
A final report on the activity will support the definition of the Urban Plans.
Processing Urban Plans represent the core activity of the project. They will be realized under the scientific coordination operated by the transnational pool of expert and by the support of University of Gjirokaster. Each national/local group of experts will draft a plan, tailor made on the specific needs and features of each territory, on the basis of the results of WP 3. The project’s experts will ensure a basic common framework for each plan.
In the framework of Project, Urban Plan means an integrate plan for a future development of the town centers and improve their relations with the surrounding territories. The plans provided in the project don’t substitute or overlap the plans operated by public subject in charge of the management of territories, but they offer a different approach and a core of activities can run in parallel with the other initiatives carried on and the legal framework in force.
The aim of this WP is to provide a steady business incubators urban system to facilitate the birth of new enterprises in town centers, in the field of Creative industry, including new media, new technologies, ICT and all innovative enterprises fit to be placed in a town center.
The activity is structured in two group of actions:
A specific scientific monitoring on implementation of plans has been set-up. The operative tools of the monitoring will be: interviews with public and private subjects engaged in town management and local stakeholders, opinion pool addressing local citizens and economic operators, provision of questionnaires to local key actors. Each local authority will be responsible for the implementation of its own plan.
This wp aims at provide the right skills to new entrepreneurs for start-up and successfully implement their entrepreneurial activities, mainly through:
The best ideas, evaluated by the team of experts, will be launched to urban incubators for supporting the start-up of those enterprises. Each incubator can support 5 new enterprises.
This action aims to setting up the Jewel Urban Center Network.
Urban Center is an open space and a long-term urban managing tool to plan and implement urban and territorial transformations. Usually it is a local government service for the actors (or the potential ones) involved in urban policies decision-making aimed at improving the level of information, knowledge, transparency, participation and effectiveness. It can built support for land use and investment strategies to support center-oriented development and urban economic vitality.
Within JEWEL project each Urban Center will be chaired by an experts team and will carry on its activities with the collaboration of other transnational centres, exchanging information and data. Envisaged experts belong to different sectors: land and urban planning, legal and economic, marketing, start-up of enterprises, new technologies and ICT. Further expertise can be added or modified within project implementation. Urban Centers will organize information and dissemination events at local level.
A specific space will be identified in each municipality partner, with the purpose to host the center, together with a coordinator and internal and external experts. In parallel with the SC, experts meetings will be carried on for a profitable exchange of expertise and know-how. Final dissemination guidelines, will be edit to resume the experience of project as whole and address mainly policy makers, urban planners and economic operators.
A specific activity of Urban Center Network will be the continuous monitoring of policies, programs, initiative and projects regarding the future of town centers and the circulation of such information. This action, starting from a deep analysis of the structural policies impact in the programming period 2007-2013 in SEE territories, aims at impacting on the new cohesion policy through a bottom-up process.
At the end of project, each partner will present and spread among its national policy makers network a proposal about a proposal on a desirable legal framework in matter of urban planning and management. Another proposal will be forwarded by the entire partnership to EU policy makers, regarding issues to be treated at European level. The recommendations will be discussed, finalized and shared in the framework of the Final Open Space Conference, performed within WP2.
Group of municipalities belonging to SEE area decided to lay together their efforts for plan and implement an innovative approach to the urban management.
They represent a wide area of SEE outreach: the northern side of SEE area is represented by the municipalities of Sliven (BG) and Medias (RO), the western by the Municipality of Perugia, the eastern by Sibenik (HR) and Patras (GR). 4 Municipalities belong to EU area, 1 Municipality belong to IPA area.
The municipalities are homogeneous in terms of width and number of inhabitants and all of them are facing similar problems linked with the social desertification of town centres and all linked phenomena.
The whole project and municipalities will be powered also thanks to the expertise of two technical partners in local development, Sviluppumbria SpA (IT) and NEA (GR),and the University of Gjirokaster, already specifically experienced in urban management and fight against town centre depopulation.
Perugia is a city of art located in the central Italy - Umbria region - near the Tibru river.
The Municipality of Perugia is engaged from years in the regeneration action meaning revitalisation and requalification of historical centre of the city. This aim is really complex for the crossing dimensions that implicates: the social one linked to the residential loss, the lack of community identity and the consequent micro criminality increasing, the conception of the urban area only as a space to consume and to waste; the cultural item related to the incapacity to capitalise and to integrate the great energies and resources living in this part of the city (universities, cultural associations, academies, conservatory, students) and the inclination to preserve the cultural heritage risking as an obstacle to innovate.
The regional rule concerning the historical centres asks to the municipalities with more than 20.000 inhabitants to implement a new process for the strategic urban planning aimed to the regeneration. This lead the Municipality to systematize the actions, projects and procedures aimed at revitalizing this peculiar urban area. Particularly, Perugia follows a participative approach that means the involvement of all the stakeholders of the city till the citizens.
Sviluppumbria, which was instituted under the regional legislation of 1973, is Umbria’s economic development and promotion agency. Over the years, Sviluppumbria has steadfastly played a key role as a consultant for the Region, local institutions, organizations and bodies in a wide range of areas. Sviluppumbria mission is to act as an organizational point of reference for innovation and research strategies and initiatives that promote development in a regional context. It has focused its regional planning strategies around the opportunities and advantages associated with the territory’s most important sectors in its efforts to provide balanced development. To reach this objective, the agency has implemented an action focused on bottom-up planning (it starts with the needs of the region and its entrepreneurs and builds up from there).
Sviluppumbria has two main legal offices to Perugia and Terni and it is the owner of two Business Incubator of local enterprises. Approximately there are 80 employees full time.
Medias, is located in the middle basin of Tarnava Mare, River, at 39 km from Sighisoara and 41 km from Blaj and it’s the second industrial center after Sibiu in the county.
The health resort Bazna, officially recognized for the first time in 1302, is 18 km from Medias. The health resort offers mineral water springs, rich in salts, mineral mud and a special type of salt, called "Bazna salt". Mediaş is known best for its role in production of methane gas. The area where Mediaş is located is the site of the largest natural gas field in Romania. The headquarters of Romgaz - the national gas exploitation enterprise - and of Transgaz - the natural gas carrier - are in Mediaş.
NEA is a non profit organization with sole shareholder the Western Greece Region, with main aim to contribute to the sustainable development of the region. Main objective of the Enterprise is to plan, process and implement development activities, which will contribute to the economic, social and cultural, symmetrical and sustainable development of Western Greece Region. A flexible operational structure, allows NEA to constantly adapt to the dominant priorities and focus on many different operational targets. Moreover, the highly qualified scientific personnel enables NEA to implement efficiently a wide range of activities.
ADEP is the main development company of the Municipality of Patras and is located in the city of Patras, capital of Achaia prefecture, the third town in Greece and an important international centre of commerce. The company according to the Greek law is a public equivalent body with the high majority of its stocks owned by the Municipality of Patras itself even though other municipalities and other developmental agencies are participating in the company management scheme.
ADEP S.A constitutes an important tool of development for a variety of sectors, such as: strategic planning, social and economic development, information society, environmental protection and natural heritage conservation, promotion of tourism and local cultural product, international affairs and networking, youth policies and volunteerism.
Sliven is the eight town from Bulgaria, one of the biggest industrial centres in the country. One of the most significant cultural centres in Bulgaria in the renaissance, it has preserved and enriched its cultural heritage.Currently the municipality of Sliven represents a fit target area where implement project's activities: the economic crisis has put in an unpleasant situation local businesses, because of relevant reduction in consumption of goods and services, but the realities of downtown provide opportunities for starting new businesses. This can be done by a new plan aiming at combating desertification affecting the city centre.
Šibenik is an historic town in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia, and is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist centre of Sibenik- Knin. In its historic centre, the Cathedral of St. James is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The city is now facing serious infrastructural issues concerning lacks in maintenance of the communal infrastructure (sidewalks, parking, public lightening, green spaces), underdevelopment of economic activities and depopulation process. Its participation to the project aims at revitalizing the old city centre in constructional, cultural and touristic way, so that it can be again an attractive place for living and also to increase economic activity.
“Eqrem Çabej” University of Gjirokastra aims at giving its scientific contribute in the managing of the urban plans of municipalities involved in the project, especially with regard to the historical centre which is experiencing the population abandon. The expertise assurance and the management will be provided by the publications, urban plan, evaluation of needs, evaluation on gender integration etc. By the means of its capacities the university will set up a model for the sustainable development of the towns, giving its support in reducing of the social problems and degradation.