Innovative policy instruments for urban governance: the case of urban regeneration in the Danube Region

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Submission Summary
Consequences of deindustrialisation, urban transition and changing living patterns left especially small and middle size cities struggling to remain attractive and made them uncompetitive compared to other cities in the Danube Region. New urban planning and management approaches are needed to unlock the potentials these cities possess. On one side there is still a trend of the centralised approach of the governance system, where the higher-tier governments hold critical power to make decisions affecting the local level and on the other due to the lack of the interest and bad image the cities are facing the raising number of abandoned areas. Public administration governance needs to go beyond traditional approaches in a way of developing new governance models which could support and speed up urban development processes, developing innovative policy instruments and implement efficient participatory approaches for stakeholder involvement. In order to compare the state of the art in different parts of the Danube region and seek the appropriate approaches to address challenges, the Agora project has been initiated within the Interreg programme. The main aim of the Agora is to achieve a substantial change in the process of workflow of public administration on the local and regional level through empowerment of their capacities, to make the public administrations the credible and active leaders of urban regeneration processes through co-designing and testing new governance models, policy instruments on underuse and unused areas inner cities. 10 partnering localities from the Danube Region are co-creating new venues for stakeholders and public involvement (so called Agora Communities) which through actions and workshops aim to develop 10 AGORA Urban Regeneration Agendas (URAs) and 10 concrete pilot actions. Based on the AGORA experience policy-learning platform is being developed to support cities reintegrate and reconnect local undervalued areas and though new social and economic activities improve their value. Prerequisite for a successful co-designing of the URAs is to get acquainted with the state of the art of the governance models and decision-making procedures, to recognise the spatial potentials in the cities which are important inputs for involving stakeholders into the process of finding room for improvements. The framework of trans-national Agora project is designed to offer many opportunities for the peer-to-peer exchanges and learning. This contribution will focus on a selected theme only –innovative policy instruments that partnering cities are using to overcome obstacles of rather rigid planning systems and procedures. Innovative instruments are usually used to provide a more flexible planning environment that can better address the fast-changing circumstances and needs of the spatial, economic and social fabrics of the Danube region cities. They will be presented through different aspects that need to be taken into consideration when one aims to transfer them from one successful example to other environments, among others: administrative level, their legal status, basic objectives and aims, the level of inclusiveness they provide, types of actors they involve and outcomes they manage to reach. In the conclusion the importance of the cooperation between cities at the international level will be exposed by illustrating how Agora project helps cities understanding their own ways of operating, compare themselves towards the others and learn from each other by sharing good practices not only at the declarative levels but through the in-depth analytical processes that help understand which tools can (not) be used in various contexts. The importance of the on-line good practices compendia will be pointed out too within this context.
Submission ID :
ISO340
Submission Type
Submission Track
3: Smartness and development. Al-Souq: innovating for performance and management
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architect, urban planner, researcher and a project manager of EU projects
,
Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
senior scientific associate
,
Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
Urban Planner
,
URBASOFIA, www.urbasofia.eu
Urban Planner, Project Manager of EU projects
,
URBASOFIA, www.urbasofia.eu

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Dr Hiral Joshi
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