Our lives will never be the same again, they say: how do cities shape the urban future after Covid-19? How will the city of tomorrow look like? – Welcome to Eurocity, a place made of the best examples of how real cities all over Europe meet the challenges they face with Covid and beyond. For the animated website with the title ‘Reinventing cities’, Eurocities has collected more than 70 examples of city actions, along with over 25 initiatives and projects. You can visit Eurocity and explore more here
After more than 700 posts since March 2020, the start of the first corona lockdown in Europe, the platform COVIDnews has served its purpose. The exchange of best solutions for common challenges during the pandemic has been important, as the active participation of more than 120 cities proves – and the number of more than 100,000 views from all over Europe and beyond. Now the focus of many city administrations has shifted from ad hoc measures to sustainable recovery: the Covid response is integrated in urban policy making. That is why we are also integrating COVIDnews into the redesigned Eurocities website.
Thank you for all the contributions and interest! Let’s continue the exchange on eurocities.eu
Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis is running a communication campaign to warn people of the ecological impact of throwing away masks. Single use masks are quickly becoming a major contributor to marine waste. This information campaign reminds people to think twice about the kind of mask they use, and the choice of how to dispose of it. More information (in French) here.
Cardiff has worked with local Fintech company Yoello, which has developed an innovative app which allows customers to order meals from a number of restaurants and cafes across the city which are then delivered to the city’s new Castle Café. Customers simply use their smart phone to access an online platform by typing Cardiff-castle.yoello.com into their browsers, or by scanning a QR code placed on their table. The customer pays through the secure payment platform and the food and drink is delivered to the table.
Set up by Cardiff Council to assist the city’s hospitality sector which was struggling to operate profitably indoors because of the two metre distance regulations in Wales, the Castle Café enables trade in a safe, socially-distanced outdoor setting directly in front of the iconic Cardiff Castle. More information here.
Local governments and other organisations across Europe are invited to present their solutions facing the corona pandemic in a contest, organised by the city of Lublin. Winners in five categories will be announced at the Cross-Border Cooperation Congress held by Lublin in October and will receive a film as a prize, promoting their initiative. Applications have to be sent until 31 August. You can read more about the congress and the contest here
Athens is using culture to boost the city’s recovery after corona. Already at the beginning of the lockdown, the municipality invited artists through an open call to suggest events for the special situation under the pandemic. More than 600 proposals from all cultural sectors – arts, music, theatre, performances, dancing, cinema, literature – were made and are forming a comprehensive programme now, including Culture@Home with live streamings, writers’ videos (“Stay Home with the Authors”) and live events under the corona restrictions. The city coordinates the activities and provides free support for streaming and publicity, and even the Athens City Hall was opened for smaller cultural events. You can find the full programme here
Better food and more sports – these are the ingredients of a programme from the Antalya Muratpaşa Municipality in Turkey, to support its citizens for a healthy living during and after the corona pandemic. Although the number of Covid 19 cases has decreased in the summer months in Antalya as in the world, it has been observed that the situation is far from completely normalising. In order to contribute to the citizens to combat the Covid19 Pandemic more effectively in the long term, the administration has sought new comprehensive methods.
Within the scope of the 2020 European Mobility Week from 16 to 22 September with a focus on ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’, the city of Bamberg will offer free rickshaw rides for senior citizens. The elderly have been particularly affected by the corona pandemic. The activity aims at promoting a carbon-neutral and inclusive urban environment. You can read more here (in German)
The “Anti-Stress Campaign”, which was launched by Beşiktaş Municipality in July, with its motto “Beşiktaş Will Heal”, continues with stage shows. Free theater shows and stand-up performances will be held in the local parks of Beşiktaş every weekend until mid-September. Beşiktaş Mayor Rıza Akpolat invited all residents to the events.
The Brussels Region has create a four phase plan for recovery, the first of which is underway: nearly €500 million allocated in aid measures, in support of people and businesses affected by the crisis (bonus for traders, self-employed people, artists, etc.).
The second phase concerns short-term measures that will help people and businesses requesting public support, and measures to improve the living environment of the inhabitants during the summer. Read more here and here
London has set aside £1.6m of emergency funding for artist studios, with 80 per cent of organisations receiving funding led by women, people from a BAME background, the LGBTQ+ community or people with disabilities. Read more here
A new 240-seater outdoor covered eating area in Cardiff will allow customers to order food and drinks for delivery from a wide selection of restaurants and cafes using a QR code on site or by accessing an app. The idea is to allow businesses which could struggle to operate profitably indoors because of the two metre distance regulations in Wales to trade in a safe, socially-distanced outdoor setting.
In addition, the city council will install new pop-up cycleways, to provide safer, mostly-segregated routes to enable people to travel by bike on some of Cardiff’s busiest roads. Read more here and here
Nice is now offering free testing facilities without appointment or prescription. Residents simply need to bring along their ID card, and will receive their results within 24 hours. Read more here and here
The Metropolitan City of Florence has guaranteed €650,000 in funding grants to support culture throughout the pandemic this Autumn, half of which is to be assigned to cultural associations. Read more here
Provision and support for young people provided by Cardiff Youth Services has been expanded in order to meet increased demand during COVID-19. The Council has reallocated staff to join the designated street based team, to engage with young people and listen to their views. Digital engagement between services and young people has increased and the Council has appointed a digital officer for this area. New ways to engage young people in conversation have been created, including innovative activities via social media platforms like competitions and Question and Answer sessions. Many young people have not been able to attend school, college or youth provision since March. You can read more here
All political groups of the Madrid City Council have agreed on an action plan to deal with the corona pandemic and lay the foundations for recovery. The ‘Acuerdos de la Villa’ (City Council Agreements) contain measures in various areas – emergencies, health, mobility, economy, tourism – to guarantee the wellbeing of the people living in Madrid and accelerate the city’s economic recovery. You can download the document here
The city of Warsaw is using the Living Lab concept to co-create solutions for the gastronomy sector. With restaurants and bars hit hard by the consequences of the corona pandemic, the local government invites different experts: entrepreneurs, journalists, city officers from different departments. In a pilot project they aim to define the most adapted co-creation method at the municipal level and to tackle the crisis faced by the gastronomy sector. The final solution shall be ready in September.
“We’ll pull through” – that’s the motto for Barcelona’s path back to normality after the corona pandemic. The city has put up a website to support that route, sharing the latest updates, for example on the use of protective masks, and information about social, emotional and financial support. The website is available in English, Spanish and Catalan
#WhoseFuture is a new creative collaboration by Rising Arts Agency, Out of Hand and Bristol City Council to amplify diverse creative voices throughout Bristol. It will showcase works from 40 young creatives on Bristol’s billboards, giving a platform to the city’s voices while also asking questions about its future. The campaign is in response to Black Lives Matter, as well as inequalities suffered by young people and the impact on them of the Covid-19 lockdown. You can click on the hashtag #WhoseFuture and read more here
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has created a summary of the policy responses to the corona pandemic and the plans for recovery. You can download the document here. More information (in Turkish) is available here
Glasgow City Council has launched its Contemporary Art Trail for the city centre. The trail will offer Glaswegians and its visitors an opportunity to enjoy a curated experience in an easily walkable trail as part of the city’s cultural and leisure attractions. Read more here
With yellow posters all over the city and the metropolitan area, Bologna is promoting cycling after the COVID-19 pandemic. The messages of the campaign #andràtuttinbici (#everyonewillrideabike): travelling by bike allows physical distance, is good for your health, strengthens the immune system and keeps the air clean. The initiative is promoted by the Bicycle Council of Bologna and is part of the policies of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan in Bologna. You can read more here (in Italian)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Glasgow City region has capitalised on its strengths as city of science and innovation. Activities include researching vaccines, helping to understand more about how the virus works, designing and developing protection equipment for health workers, and utilizing new technologies. You can read more here
Ghent wants to attract conference organisers again after the corona crisis. The city has seen an increasing number of overnight stays of conference tourists in recent years and aims to revitalise that trend with an additional marketing budget of €140,000. Conferences are an important business for Ghent, with visitors spending money in town and acting as ambassadors for Ghent as an attractive destination after their stay. You can read more here
Glasgow’s initiative to bring together Glasgow City Council and its creative community to look at Life After the Pandemic saw the end of its first phase today.
Lateral North, a Glasgow research and design collective who have collaborated with Arctic and Nordic partners, are curating an initiative involving a Summer School. In partnership with the Design Weans, a Glasgow based creative networking organisation, the creative community were asked to develop ideas regarding how we bounce forward, not back, and the themes of environment, sustainability, health (including mental) and community. The Showcase will occur this evening, Thursday 09 July 20:00 (CET). You can register here.
Cardiff is looking for creative ways to entertain people in lockdown, and Cardiff-based Arts Active have come up with a digital arts festival that people can enjoy whilst staying safe and socially distanced at home. ‘Out of Doors’ will provide free access to online activities and will include artist-led activities and mini projects to encourage people of all ages, not just kids, to be at one with nature whilst learning in a creative and fun way.
Madrid has launched a new on-demand bus service pilot to connect two hospitals in the outskirts of the city. The pilot has been launched in cooperation with Viavan, among other companies. During the pilot phase the bus service will be free of charge. More information (in Spanish) here.
Representatives from Karlsruhe recently spoke online with city partners in India about ongoing smart city initatives. They are especially exchanging on post-COVID19 recovery plans. In addition, the cultural festival ‘India Summer Days’, which celebrates the German-Indian partnership will take place in a digitally adapted version: whether cooking, dance classes or yoga online – the main and most important goal is: celebrating together. Read more here
Madrid’s City Council approved the ‘Pactos de la Villa’, an agreement listing 352 measures to revive the city after the pandemic. Measures include the reinforcement of social services, a telecare program, and the creation of a municipal social card and many more. Read more here and here (in Spanish)
Cities reacted to the crisis by setting up specific actions regarding access to food and food delivery, particularly for vulnerable groups. Different approaches and measures for new food aid systems have been put in place by the food policy teams of many cities that are part of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP). The MUFPP team organised a talk between Sao Paulo, Milan, Barcelona and Washington DC to exchange on challenges and solutions.
Ghent is investing over one and a half million euro in boosting local tourism in a sustainable way. The city assists entrepreneurs in developing a new coronavirus-proof tourist offer. The offer also highlights sustainable aspects of Ghent’s tourist offer, for example, cycling and walking routes will lead visitors to the sub-municipalities, the periphery, the green belt and less frequently visited sites in the city centre. Read more here
Bratislava quickly reacted to confinement with online broadcasts of theatre plays, concerts from windows and balconies, as well as cultural activities in hospitals. Read the full overview or Bratislava’s measures for culture here and more on the original article by Vlado Grežo and Pavol Demeš here (in Slovak)
As artists haven’t been able to perform in the past months, encountering financial issues, the city of Bamberg has organised a donation campaign in favour of local artists. The portraits of the donors are shown in a digital gallery.
‘Besiktas Will Heal Together’ is the main slogan of a campaign this month by Besiktas municipality to help people in the transition to the new normal. The campaign comprises many events such as meeting with psychologists, music concerts, yoga sessions and sports, which will all be held in local parks.
Cardiff going online with its popular Cardiff Food and Drink Festival. The Cardiff Food and Drink Festival will launch a new website www.cardifffoodanddrinkfestival.com tomorrow at midday, to run throughout July.
Visitors will find recipes, music and an online market place where a range of local and international food and drink can be ordered directly from the people who make them – things like cakes, marinades, flavoured oils, preserves, specialty gins and cider. More information here.
The number of the available seats on tram vehicles has been increased from 40 to 103, thus reaching a capacity of 40% compared to the total 272 persons capacity. This is part of the city’s steps towards phase 3 which will include reopening of schools, and hopes to reinstate 100% of public transport services on rail and road. Current measures on the tram include hand sanitising hand gels and markers indicating where to sit or stand. Read more here
Madrid is reopening all 68 of its nursery schools, while taking into account new health and safety measures, such as ensuring that schools do not exceed 50% capacity at any one time. This means organising children and teachers into smaller groups that should remain stable over time. Read more here
Through its ‘Emergency Community Response Hub’ Birmingham City Council has been providing food aid to the most vulnerable citizens since the beginning of the pandemic. It has also activated new communication channels and coordinated its response alongside charities and volunteers. Read more here and here
Launched by the city partners behind Bristol’s bid to become a Gold Sustainable Food City, the #BristolFoodKind campaign offers practical ideas for people at home during the pandemic on how to grow and cook food, reduce waste and shop locally. Every act of ‘food kindness’ can help improve health and wellbeing, support the community and secure the future of Bristol’s food scene. Residents are encouraged to get involved by sharing their stories on social media. Read more about #BristolFoodKindhere
Lille Metropole attractiveness agency, ‘Hello Lille’ and the Lille Pasteur Institute have developed a health charter to insure the safety of Lille as a tourist destination. The charter has already been signed by 200 major players of the culture and tourism industry. The signatories will display their commitment to the charter through a specific logo placed on their facades and in their communication tools.
This charter is based on 10 key commitments, including compliance with barrier gestures, social distancing, specific cleaning and disinfection of the premises, specific measures in the event of heat waves… Read more and see the signatories (in French) here.
Lille Metropole has implemented temporary cycle lanes to address the need of its increasing amount of users. Cycling has considerably increased within Lille Metropole area over the last two months, with an increase of 60% compared to the pre-covid period. Moreover, Lille Metropole launched the third edition of the metropolitan cycling challenge in June, inspired by the European cycling challenge organised up to 2017. The goal is simple, register with your family, friends or colleagues and try to cycle as many kilometres as possible during one month. A friendly competition to enhance cycling and promote regular users. More information (in French) here.
The city of Berlin is dramatically increasing its ongoing production of bicycle infrastructure in order to improve the conditions for safe mobility while relieving streets, buses and trains. Berlin’s districts are cooperating closely with the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection in setting up set up pop-up bike lanes, temporary cycling infrastructure.
Bristol is urging residents to make time to check in with one another following the launch of a new campaign. Developed by a partnership of local organisations, ‘Are you OK?’ aims to encourage people to focus on each other’s wellbeing and consider if others could be struggling or at risk as the lockdown begins to ease, with an initial focus on three areas: safeguarding of adults and children, domestic abuse and mental health. More information here.
Sevilla’s public water company is using waste water to detect and anticipate outbreaks of COVID-19. By testing samples of wastewater that it freezes monthly as part of ongoing protocol, the company is able to study how early the virus arrived in the city and better understand the prevalence of the virus. More information (in Spanish) here.
Shoppers, workers and residents visiting Cardiff city centre are now greeted by staffed Welcome Points, safe walking systems and some road closures as the city launches stage one of its phased plan to safeguard the public as COVID lockdown restrictions begin to lift. Read more here
A new campaign will build on the recent success in helping vulnerable people off the streets, in which two large hotels opened as additional emergency accommodation and shipping container homes were used as isolation units for clients displaying coronavirus symptoms. The campaign asks people not to give their spare change to those begging on the street, but instead to signpost vulnerable people to the services that can deliver real change in their lives. Read more here
As part of its pandemic response Malmo has instigated measures such as a 24-hour helpline and counselling centres; a campaign directed to young people in the age range of 13 – 21, suffering from honour related violence on Snapchat; a follow up campaign on Facebook directed to girls and women aged 15 – 44; and sharing information at local bus stops about where perpetrators could go if they wanted help with changing their behaviour. Read more here and here
The city has published a dashboard collating data on the city’s response during the pandemic. It includes data on items like sanitary equipment, digital services, CRM and help desk requests. Read more here
Vienna has dedicated a section of its website to public services, and shares a dedicated video produced by the Austrian Association of Public Companies. Public and municipal companies continue to ensure security of supply in municipalities and keep the cities running. In times of crisis it is particularly important that the broad range of services of general interest in Austria functions reliably and smoothly. Employees do an extraordinary job every day to ensure this and the important role of companies providing services of general interest cannot be overemphasised. Read more here (in German)
Bologna will organise affordable initiatives throughout the summer investing every courtyard and every square. Citizens will be able to meet and stay together respecting security measures. ‘Bologna Estate’ will have a wide offer of screenings, performances and concerts in addition to traditional museums and tourist attractions, and to bring culture in every corner of the city, each neighbourhood will turn into a culture venue hosting small theatre performances, mobile storytellers, monologues and much more. Read more here and here (in Italian)
Join The Big Walk in July, book online courses at the Summer School of Cardiff University and order your favourite Sri Lanka dish from The Coconut Tree – all through the ‘From Home’ project by the ‘Visit Cardiff’ team, showcasing the city’s most exciting lockdown activities. Visitors and residents can explore them here
The annual Tafwyl festival celebrating Welsh language and culture will be live streamed this Saturday, 20 June, through AM, an online platform sharing creative work from Wales’ cultural scene. Along with live music, several of Tafwyl’s usual offerings will be provided, including Q&As, literature sessions and children’s workshops. Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “Of course the pandemic means the festival can’t go ahead with the huge crowds that it has attracted over the past few years, but by opening up Cardiff Castle for this live broadcast, I hope it will remind everyone of the great times the’’ve had there in the past, will give them a real buzz on the day, and whet their appetite for its full return next year.” You can read more here and follow the festival here, where you also can download the app
Madrid City Council has allocated €5 million to strengthen social services with 264 personnel. The Temporary Employment Plan (PET) includes 118 social workers (a 22% increase over the total) and 41 administrative assistants (33% more). PET has a duration of six months, extendable up to three years. In addition, the employment plan approved this week adds 20 vacancies for social services assistant, which have already been filled by new officials. Read more (in Spanish) here.
Beşiktaş Municipality has launched an anti-stress campaign to help people as restrictions are lifted. As part of the project, an anti-stress committee was established with psychologists at Beşiktaş Public Health Digital Management Center. Citizens will be able to meet with clinical psychologists at the events to be held in the public parks, online, or in private by appointment. Stress-relief activities such as yoga will be held at the local parks and other public places while keeping social distance. Musicians will also begin to play at many places in the district. More information (in Turkish) here.
Rotterdam is now allowing a 40% occupancy rate on its public transport, as of 1 June. To achieve this goal, and to help citizens on their journeys, the city, the public transport company RET, and four companies who offer bikes, electric-bikes or electric motor-scooters, are working together to offer a clean and seamless connection. At transport hubs, the city has made room for the four companies to park their bikes/motor-scooters for easy access. On RET’s app, travellers can check in real time what method of transport would be best to continue or start their journey. It is the first time that all of these players have worked together to offer such a service. More information (in Dutch) here.
Helsinki has offered operating support to 5000 entrepreneurs. The support is a lump-sum compensation of €2,000 euros for sole entrepreneurs to cover costs caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the business activities. Around 5,000 entrepreneurs have already received operating support from the city. This means that Helsinki has distributed around €10 million to sole entrepreneurs, to cover damages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. More information here.
Rotterdam is investing €2.4 million in schoolchildren and €20 million in homeless services. The money for schoolchildren will help provide 6,000 children from disadvantaged families and areas with extra classes and courses this summer so that they don’t fall behind. The homeless services receiving investment include support for independent housing, chonselling, advice and providing better living conditions. This move follows the provision of 150 homeless shelters, with social distancing measures in place, since the beginning of the outbreak. More information (in Dutch) here.
Madrid City Council has opened 15 places in shared housing for victims of gender violence, expanding the city council’s capacity as a temporary measure in response to the current increase in cases of gender violence. Read more here
With Municipal nursery schools will reopen their doors to students from 0 to 3 years old from July 1, Madrid is also looking to organise urban summer camps that will be operating from the second half of July. Read more here
A new online platform, officially launched during the lockdown, aims support local businesses through this crisis and beyond, by providing them with a more traditional and local version of Amazon. With 120 businesses already signed up, 200 waiting in the wings, and 20,000 products already available, it has already proved a success. Read more here
Bordeaux has launched a new trial project helping members of a dozen social grocery stores to buy fresh fruit and vegetables by having the city pay the difference between cost price and store price. The city also supports the Food Bank and various other organisations to give access to good quality food to those in need for free. The city and its partners have collected around €300,000 to finance food distribution actions.
Less flowers, more tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes to feed vulnerable people in Nantes. The city is transforming green spaces, greenhouses, shared gardens or unoccupied green areas into vegetable gardens. Around 50 plots, for a total of 25,000 m2, will grow tomatoes, courgettes, beets and corn to be harvested in mid-July, and potatoes, squash and dried beans to be harvested in October. In total, the city hopes to collect 25 tons of vegetables, to be distributed to about 1,000 households in difficulty via the Food Bank, the Secours populaire, the Restos du cœur and neighbourhood associations. Read more here (in French)
Cities want to play an active role in Europe’s recovery after the corona pandemic. Mayors of major European cities have offered a ‘new pact between the EU and city leadership’ to overcome the impacts of the crisis. In meetings with the European Commission’s Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and Commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Johannes Hahn on Friday, organised by Eurocities, the mayors proposed to involve city governments more in the EU recovery programmes and demanded direct access for cities to European funding. More details are outlined in a joint declaration: ‘EU recovery powered by cities’.
From the Crisis Management Desk that handled the corona pandemic, to the website ‘Ankara One Heart’, to food for stray animals: the municipality of Ankara has compiled an overview of measures during the corona crisis. You can download the document here
Düsseldorf opened kindergardens and daycare facilities regularly again on 8 June. In cooperation with the youth and health departments, the virology division of Düsseldorf’s university hospital will conduct a clinical model study in local kindergardens. It’s the first study of this size and concept in Germany. 5,000 children and child care workers will be regularly examined and tested for the coronavirus in order to obtain results concerning the spread of the virus among children.
Guimarães is reopening some of its cultural institutions, including ‘The Workshop’ which has designed an exceptional programme for exceptional times. Cultural events during June and July will be staged on patios, gardens and museum rooms with a programme of performing arts, visual art and training. To take ensure the safety of audiences and performers, the scale, security and context of each cultural event have been carefully considered. More information (in Portuguese) here.
Chemnitz addressed all its inhabitants in a live stream assembly. The mayor, several deputy mayors, and high representatives from the health sector participated to the assembly. To put the limited time to good use, the administration collected questions in advance in addition to answering questions during the event. More than 2000 people watched the live stream and more will be able to watch the recording. After the event, answers to the questions were collected and published on the city’s website. Read more here (in German).
A social media campaign, ‘gender equality begins at home’, highlighted that ‘there is no women’s business, no men’s business; there is housework’ and that ‘taking care of children is a common task of parents.’ Read more here
Vienna is investing €17 million to help out the more than 16,000 young people currently without a job. The package includes intra-company vocational training, qualification passports, assistance for catching up the missed time and offers to enter into professions in health, care and IT, dedicated to the young generation.
Transport for London, working closely with the Mayor, has put together a plan to ‘re-open carefully, safely and sustainably’. This includes gradually increasing the frequency of services on public transport routes, easing pressure on public transport by creating more space for walking and cycling, and providing specific briefings for businesses. Read more here
Bristol launched #shortitout, an initiative inviting filmmakers of every age and experience to create and submit 90 second films. The initiative encouraged creativity and storytelling, and provided an opportunity to hone filmmaking skills and connect with peers. Read more here or read the #shortitout feed
As part of its economic support programme, the city of Frankfurt is promoting local shops with a campaign. Posters, print and online ads are being used to advertise local businesses and restaurants, or to encourage citizens to take advantage of the numerous delivery options. The aim is to get citizens and guests to support the local businesses. You can read more here (in German)
A corona treatment centre with 800 beds has been established at the exhibition centre in Berlin. The idea is to relieve the city‘s hospitals so they can focus on treating critical Covid-19 cases. Patients not in need of intensive care may be transferred to the treatment centre. So far, the centre has not been needed. You can read more here
The city of Frankfurt is temporarily allowing larger public spaces to be used by restaurants and bars with existing outdoor seating areas. In addition, outdoor consumption approvals will automatically be extended for two months without additional costs. Restaurants in Frankfurt are allowed to open again after the corona lockdown since 15 May. You can read more here (in German)
An improved walking and cycling infrastructure shall help Cardiff to restart public life in the city safely after the coronavirus lockdown. The plans include one-way pedestrian systems, designated queuing areas for shops and spill-out areas for bars and restaurants, to allow for physical distancing. Welcome points will be set up to explain how moving round the city will work. Pop-up cycle lanes shall encourage people to leave their cars at home. You can read more here
The city of Frankfurt has donated €10,000 to help its northern Italian twin city of Milan in the fight against the corona virus. Mayor Peter Feldmann had promised the support to his Milan counterpart Giuseppe Sala in a letter on behalf of the city government. The amount was donated to the ‘Coronavirus. Fondo di mutuo soccorso’, Mutual Aid Fund. End of May, the city had organised the ‘Frankfurt World Conference’, a virtual meeting with its twin cities Milan, Italy; Birmingham, England; Eskisehir, Turkey; Philadelphia, USA; and Guangzhou, China. You can read more here (in German) and watch the sessions here and here. A school exchange with Guangzhou had to be postponed, while the schools are keeping contact, as you can read here (in German)
Currently all three lights are green – Berlin has installed a coronavirus warning system, constantly following three indicators: the reproduction value of the virus, the number of new infections and the demand for intensive care in hospitals. Two yellow lights trigger a debate in the Senate of the city, two red lights mean need for action, for example curbing the traffic. The updated information is available online.
The city of Antwerp will speed up the construction of 19 km of new bicycle streets to guarantee social distancing for cyclists and improve the flow of bicycle traffic this summer. Currently, Antwerp possessed about 4.5 km of bicycle streets, to be increased to 23.5 km after the summer. Read more here
Lille Metropole is injecting about 32 millions, in the form of different support systems, into its local economy. The “Rebound Fund” will allocate €20 million to small businesses, such as shopkeepers, craftsman, and farmers, who will have to pledge in favour of their ecological or energy transition to benefit from the fund. A new facility dedicated to small companies or associations with less than ten employees has been created; it will provide loans up to €6.6 million that can be payed back over a 3 to 5 years period. Another €5 million will be managed by a new dedicated local economy department supporting and promoting the metropolis’ local and social economy, as well as the tourism and events sectors. Read the full plan here (in French)
The City of Vienna has announced to build 7 new municipal housing sites with 1,000 apartments in the coming years. “The effects of the pandemic are a particularly clear reminder of the importance of social housing policy for the well-being of the Viennese population”, as Mayor Michael Ludwig stated. Following the long and successful Viennese tradition of social and affordable housing, providing for more municipal housing is a guarantee for safe housing and high quality of life at affordable prices. The new buildings will be spread all over Vienna, the projects are to create a high-quality and affordable offer in attractive residential environments. The start of construction is planned for 2022.
The Côte d’Azur University, together with the city, launched the “Open Map of the Global Pause”, a project collecting positive phenomena that have occurred throughout the world, since the beginning of the crisis. Open Map has already collected more than 355 contributions from all over the world. These include natural phenomena, innovations, art and culture, initiatives of solidarity, research and some unusual events. The city plans to use the map as an educational tool in the future. Read more here (in French) and contribute to the map
Izmir has published a “COVID-19 Resilience Action Plan”, this includes measures taken by the city before and during the global epidemic, the work that was carried out, and the plans for recovery after the pandemic. Read more here and read the full Resilience Plan here.
Leicester has released a plan setting out how its transport system can best meet the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and help the city’s economy to recover, as well as securing longer-term environmental benefits. The is centred around safety, sustainability and social equity, and can be read in full here.
To celebrate world cycling day, Madrid has authorised the deployment of 4,800 free-standing shared electric bikes throughout its city, the use of which will help people get around while still respecting physical distancing guidelines. Read more (in Spanish) here.
Besides celebrating this move, Madrid has also taken a moment to pause and thank those operating public transport during the coronavirus crisis: 3,100 bus and train drivers who have been getting necessary workers around (more in Spanish here), and taxi drivers, who have given more than 135,000 free rides during the crisis (more in Spanish here).
As Italy moves into a new phase of emergency management, thus closing phase 2 of the lockdown, the Municipality of Milan has compiled figures on how it has stepped up to bolster the health system and ensure compliance with lockdown measures. This includes the provision of over 2 million face masks and conducting more than 15,000 controls to monitor whether regulations are being followed. Read more here
Bristol City Council has launched #WeAreBristol Kids, a new online resource to better connect children with the city during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Building on Bristol Children’s Charter, it aims to bring kids together in an entertaining and informative way. The interactive hub includes a growing range of content to encourage reading, cooking, physical activity and art, based on the input of children from across the city.
You can view the latest stories, tips, challenges and activities here.
Lille Metropole has announced a €66 million recovery plan to support its local economy, adding to the €14.6 million already pledged at an earlier stage of the crisis. As part of this plan more than €35 million will be invested in the renovation of 3,000 social housing units, more than 3,600 private homes and 600 student residences over the next three years. Renovations will be focused on making the homes more energy efficient. This will create jobs and support the construction sector, as well as favour the transition towards climate neutrality, in line with EU priorities. You can read the plan (in French) here.
The city of Nice is going to launch a Covid-19 screening campaign. Every resident from three years old will have free access to a serological test, so by blood sample. Three sampling sites will be set up, certain days will be reserved for families. You can read more here (in French)
The city of Mannheim has launched a poster campaign to support hygiene and health measures after the lockdown. Under the title “Mannheim remains cautious – to keep things going well”, the posters promote to open a window to let air in, to keep distance, to wear a mask and to do a corona test when showing symptoms. A fith poster will be available once the corona tracing app is published. You can read more (in German) and download the posters here
With a pact for employment the city of Nice, France, wants to support the economic recovery after the corona pandemic. Mayor Christian Estrosi met with representatives of the state and the local economic community on Friday to launch the initiative. He announced to allocate an additional budget of €3.5 million.
To enable all citizens to use digital tools for social contacts during the corona pandemic, the Swedish city of Kungsbacka has initiated a support service: people can book a ‘digital doer’ to assist them at home on how to make a video call, download an e-book or enjoy a live streamed concert or digital museum tour. The service is available for people aged 70 years or older and others who belong to a risk group and have difficulties using online tools. They can also borrow a tablet from the digital doers. Information about the offer is given via an outreach programme of the municipality and through a senior citizens network. You can read more here (in Swedish)
Volunteers across Cardiff are being celebrated this week, including the 1,200 strong Together for Cardiff force which was set up by the city council at the onset of the COVID-19 emergency. Working with council staff, the volunteers helped preparing and delivering more than 5,000 emergency food and essentials parcels for people experiencing difficulties getting supplies during the outbreak because they are self-isolating or because of the financial impact of the crisis. You can read more here
The city council of Madrid lowers taxes to promote the recovery of commerce, leisure, hospitality and culture. The reduction will lead to a drop of more than €66 million in business taxes. The aim is to mitigate the negative economic effects in sectors especially affected by the pandemic. You can read more here (in Spanish)
Cardiff based fintech company Yoello has joined forces with FOR Cardiff to launch a campaign to ‘#BackCardiff’ – offering cash-flow support to Cardiff based hospitality and retail businesses struggling whilst physical distancing restrictions are in place. The goal of the campaign, backed by TheFinTech Wales and Cardiff Council, is to motivate communities to help local businesses increase their cash-flow by purchasing right now to ease the strain that the lockdown has caused. Through the web-app platform, local merchants can create a shop page to sell their products and services during lockdown. You can read more here
The mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, has acknowledged the help received from people and institutions during the corona lockdown. She mentions that a total of €211,000 has been donated in the form of food, medicine, protective masks and clothing, medical equipment and disinfectants. More than 140 people in Sofia have received warm food daily. Furthermore, 238 citizens joined as volunteers. You can read more on the mayor’s Facebook page (in Bulgarian)
Residents of Lithuania can travel around the world by visiting their capital, Vilnius, this summer. While travelling abroad will be limited in this holiday season, communities of the city, tour and event organisers, restaurants, hotels and artists have teamed up to create an exotic experience at home. The project is expected to help businesses that have lost tourist traffic due to the corona restrictions. The programme starts next weekend, 5-7 June, with Italy in Vilnius, followed by India and the USA. You can read more here