URBACT fosters integrated urban deelopment in Europe by supporting networks of cities and towns to exchange good practices and ideas. 

URBACT Action Planning Networks

URBACT Action Planning Networks is new initiative comprises of 30 different groups or 'networks' with 252 individual partners from 28 European countries. From 1 June 2023 until December 2025, these partners will exchange, learn from each other, build their skills and develop Integrated Action Plans to tackle their local challenges.

Longford County Council successfully applied to be part of the URBACT Action Planning Networks under the UR Impact: Priotising Social Impact in Urban Regeneration. This project seeks to address the promotion and measurement of the impact of social inclusion and community development in urban regeneration projects. The network is led by Cinisello Balsamo (Italy) and brings together partners from nine other countries:

  • Municipality of Mértola (Portugal)
  • Broumov Municipality (Czech Republic)
  • Municipality of Targu Frumos (Romania)
  • Municipality of Murcia (Spain)
  • Municipality of Hannut (Belgium)
  • Municipality of Longford (Ireland)
  • Municipality of Bovec (Slovenia)
  • Kamza Municipality (Albania)
  • Municipality of Bielsko-Biata (Poland)

For this, Longford County Council attended the kick-off meeting online for this project earlier this year, where we got to meet our partners and the Lead Expert Liat Rogel who is going to lead the network through the process over the next 30 months. The main aim of URBACT is as a learning exchange, allowing municipalities to learn from each other and to bring that information back to our local communities to share with them. In that regard, each partner will set up an URBACT Local Group (ULG) which will bring together stakeholders affected by the challenge facing the town or city.

The kick-off meeting allowed all the partners to get to know each other better as well as have a discussion on our experiences and expectations from URBACT and the project. The focus of the project in Longford will be to support the Ballymahon ‘Pobal le Cheile’ project, in the development of a strong governance model and to explore opportunities to ensure large capital regeneration projects take into account social inclusion and community development as part of their development.

Our Lead Partner from the Municipality of Cinisello Balsamo along with the Lead Expert Liat Rogel will visit each partner over the coming months, with a visit to Longford and Ballymahon on the 13 and 14 November scheduled

URBACT University 2023

As part of the Action Planning Network process, URBACT hosted the URBACT University 2023. This was a capacity-building event held in Malmö, Sweden held in August. It brought together 490 representatives from across the 30 networks to prepare for the next stages of this Action Planning Network journey.

Longford County Council was represented by Town Regeneration Officer Lorraine O’Connor and Housing Senior Executive Officer Terry Rooney who will lead on the UR Impact project in Longford. The University introduced the participants to the tools URBACT uses to ensure participatory and integrated planning and the participants then worked within their networks to put those tools into practice. The University also allowed opportunities for all the Irish partners involved in different networks to come together and discuss ideas and opportunities.