Assigned by URBACT, in 2013 UrbanIQ organised a series of three interactive training seminars in Brussels for elected representatives from 30 European cities, on modern urban management theories and tools. The participants were all involved in Urbact projects. Key topics were stakeholder engagement, integrated approaches, problem definition and action planning tools; also, the politicians peer reviewed each other’s policies. Here is an impression of the 1st seminar.
Ákos Hegyi, a councillor in the Hungarian city of Pécs, a partner city in the URBACT Markets project, found it a stimulating experience. “Even as I’m saying the words of my presentation, new concepts and ideas come into my mind; and I write them down immediately so I can share them with fellow politicians or decision makers when I get home,” he said afterwards.
In many ways, Francoise Rivoire, Deputy Mayor of Lyon, summed up the value of the pilot training. “We need new policies and projects for our city and I’ve come here for ideas,” she said. “What I’ve really enjoyed is the diversity of the elected representatives from so many different countries and different levels. I think we’re complementary. We’re all putting our difficulties on the table and looking to doing things differently, so that we can construct things differently afterwards.”