Lublin – Best practice contest

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

Contact: Roman Jaborkhel

Antalya Muratpaşa – Healthy living

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.

Continue reading “Antalya Muratpaşa – Healthy living”

Brussels – Recovery and redeployment plan

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

Contact: Geert de Roep and Antoine Umbrain

Cardiff – Outdoor living

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

Contact: Beverley Watson

Madrid – Pact for wellbeing and recovery

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

Contact: Juan C. de Castro Pita

Barcelona -The new normal

“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

Contact: Marta Puchal

Istanbul – Overview of measures

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

Contact: Asena Selçuk

Bologna – Everyone will ride a bike

© Bologna Municipality

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)

Contact: Francesca Martinese

Ghent – Promoting conference tourism

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

Contact: Els Uytterhoeven

Madrid – 352 measures for recovery

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)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Cities talking about food policy during crisis

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.

Contact: mufpp.secretariat@comune.milano.it

Ghent – 1.5 million to boost sustainable tourism

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

Contact: Els Uytterhoeven

Nice – Promoting local businesses

The city of Nice is launching a communication campaign in support of local merchants hit hard by the Covid19 crisis.

Besiktas – Anti-stress campaign

‘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.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Florence – All aboard, trams services

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

Contact: Alessandra Barbieri

Lille Metropole – Health charter to reassure tourists

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.

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Lille Metropole – Cycling boom

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.

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Madrid – Strengthening social services

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.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Beşiktaş – Anti-stress campaign

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.

Speaking to the Clinical Psychologist İbrahim Eke about the benefits of the ‘Anti-Stress Campaign’ for Beşiktaş, Mayor Rıza Akpolat asked Eke about the questions of neighbours and the work to be done.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Rotterdam – Investing in the future

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.

Contact: Murat Altunbas

Nantes – Becoming a giant vegetable garden

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)

Contact: Elsa Thual

Recovery – Mayors call for a new pact between the EU and cities

Eurocities’ mayors meet online with Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans from the European Commission

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’.

Continue reading “Recovery – Mayors call for a new pact between the EU and cities”

Düsseldorf – Childcare is back

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.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Guimarães – Culture is back with security and trust

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.

Contact Adelina Pinto.

London – Restarting

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

Contact: Ian Catlow

Frankfurt – Campaign for local shops

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)

Contact: Hendric Fuchs

Frankfurt – More space for outdoor restaurants

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)

Contact: Hendric Fuchs

Cardiff – One-way sidewalks for pedestrians

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

Contact: Beverley Watson

Berlin – Traffic lights guide corona measures

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.

Contact: Johanna Eisenberg

Antwerp – adding 19 km of bicycle streets

Credit: Belga

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 – 32 millions to support local economy

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)

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Vienna – 1000 new municipal apartments

Mayor Michael Ludwig and City Councillor Gaal, responsible for housing. © C.Jobst/PID

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.

Continue reading “Vienna – 1000 new municipal apartments”

Nice – Mapping positive impacts

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

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Madrid – Public transport gratitude

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).

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Milan – Security matters

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

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Lille Metropole – Renovation at heart of €80 million plan

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.

Contact: Christophe Bolot

Nice – Pact for jobs

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.

Continue reading “Nice – Pact for jobs”

Madrid – Lower taxes for local businesses

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)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Vilnius – Holiday!

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

Contact: Jurga Pociūtė-Mikūtienė

Brussels – City centre becomes residential area

Pedestrians can walk on the streets in the centre of Brussels, with cars going on a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Until mid-August, the city centre is treated as residential area. The measure shall promote cycling and walking while ensuring physical distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus. You can read more here. The city also plans for 40 extra kilometres of cycle paths.

Contact: Geert de Roep and Antoine Umbrain

Dusseldorf – More space for restaurant terraces

With restaurants suffering severely from the impacts of the corona lockdown, the city of Dusseldorf wants to help restaurant owners by giving permissions to enlarge outdoor terraces. That way they can host more guests at the same time whilst applying to safety regulations. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Athens – Pedestrianisation for physical distancing

Athens is banning cars from its historic centre for three months from mid-June to provide more space to pedestrians to physical distance. The measure, which could be further extended for another three months, is seen as a precursor to the project announced by the Athens Municipality, and approved last week by City Hall, foreseeing the creation of a large pedestrianized network unifying downtown areas of the Greek capital. More information here.

Contact: Dimitris Konstantopoulos

Madrid – Support for safe mobility

Madrid is curbing the return of cars to its streets by cutting traffic on several roads to allow children to play and exercise on the road on their bikes, scooters and rollerblades. More information (in Spanish) here.

The city has also opened a new car park reserved entirely for shared vehicles. More information (in Spanish) here.

The addition of 45km of new bus lanes is expected to further support residents who want to avail of public transport rather than turning to using cars. More information (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Antwerp – Mobility for social distancing

Antwerp is taking measures to reduce the return of cars to the street and provide safe mobility options for locals, including by promoting safe walking and cycling and adding new features to its mobility map and route planner, as well as supporting companies to continue allowing employees to work from home. More information here.

Contact: Kris Van Berendoncks

Brno – Support for businesses


Brno is supporting the areas of business that have been most affected, such as gastronomy and tourism & culture, and has also approved complex measures for businesspeople. It provides easier administration of permits for the outdoor areas of restaurants, and it also suggests that the establishment of these areas should be done at no extra cost to the proprietor.

© Brno City Municipality
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Bordeaux – Emergency cycling plan

Bordeaux has developed an emergency cycling plan that responds to physical distancing requirements. The measures should help ensure that cycling infrastructure can accommodate any potential wave of new cyclists. NGOs working to promote cycling and cycling service operators have helped to develop it.

The city wants to entice people who would not normally cycle to do so, particularly those who regularly use public transport. The plan focuses on 100 priority zones within the metropolitan area that have a high potential for cycling but currently lack the appropriate infrastructure. In total, Bordeaux is building 78km of temporary bike lanes. More information here.

Contact: Marie-Elisabeth Sapin

Paris – Updated overview of deconfinement measures

Paris started to gradually ease confinement on 11 May. Doing so has involved a host of measures, from distributing face masks and increasing testing, to information campaigns, reopening of schools, introduction of new bike lanes, and support measures for businesses, cultural institutions, NGO’s and other organisations that are now opening up. These measures are evolving as the situation progresses – read a full updated overview of these measures in English here, or in French here.

Contact: Jean-Yves Camus

Guimarães – Disinfecting Kindergartens

Guimarães has begun the the disinfection of the kindergartens of the public preschool network, through a specialized company, with a view to reopening next Monday, 1 June. This process started last Monday and runs throughout this week, covering around 50 schools in the municipality, in all school groups.

The Ministries of Education and Social Security have issued guidelines for the reopening of kindergartens, which open doors for children aged three to five again. The document for kindergartens indicates that “under no circumstances can masks be put on children.” These personal protective equipment will only have to be worn by adults. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Adelina Pinto

EU budget and recovery – Reclaiming the future for cities

Cities were hit hardest by the corona pandemic – Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence and vice-president of Eurocities, declares a state of social and economic emergency for his city and many others across Europe. In an article published on Euractiv, he argues that cities are key for a sustainable recovery in Europe.

“Cities need direct and rapid access to national and European funding – otherwise we will collapse,” Dario Nardella writes in view of the new EU budget and post COVID-19 recovery fund presented today, Wednesday, by the European Commission. “In exchange, cities have a lot to offer. We can inspire national and European politics to build back better, to create a sustainable recovery.”

You can read the full article here

Dusseldorf – Preparing for the second wave

With a step-by-step approach, the city of Dusseldorf wants to keep coronavirus infection numbers low and prevent a new spread. The daily monitoring will be continued. Should the infection number rise to 30 per 100,000 citizens in seven consecutive days, communication and control of the regulations, like physical distancing and wearing of masks, will be reinforced. From 50 new infections, stronger restrictions can be implemented. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Dusseldorf – Sport is back (cautiously)

‘Sports in park’, Dusseldorf’s free outdoor gym, has started again. After online only courses during the corona confinement, classes are held outside again since last week, applying to safety measures, like keeping physical distance. Passive sport lovers can enjoy the ‘Bundesliga’, Germany’s football premiere league which is running again, yet with empty stadiums. In order to ensure public safety, the city doesn’t allow outdoor TV streaming in certain areas where it could get crowded. You can read more here (in German).

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Dusseldorf – Summer@home

Since many families and citizens have cancelled travel plans and will most probably spend the summer at home, a new initiative has been presented by the city of Dusseldorf: ‘Summer at home’. Sport, culture and family activities shall form a holiday programme, following the hygiene regulations, presented on a dedicated website. The city has initiated a round table with organisers and is now calling for event offers. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Dusseldorf – Public offices open again

Foto: Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf / Michael Gstettenbauer

After having turned down working hours to a minimum during the pandemic, public offices in Dusseldorf are now open again with their usual working hours. In the past weeks, urgently needed documents were delivered via bike couriers. About 4,500 passports and other documents have been brought to the people free of charge that way. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Vilnius – Empty restaurant seats for fashion mannequins

Restaurants of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, are using social distancing rules to become fashion displays for local designers. As of this week, the country has eased the restrictions on bars, cafes and restaurants to allow them to operate indoors, yet strict social distancing remains in place. The indoor restaurant tables that otherwise must be kept empty will therefore be used for mannequins to demonstrate this season’s fashion. You can read more here

Contact: Jurga Pociūtė-Mikūtienė

Milan – Chatbot for corona news

The citizens of Milan can now get the latest news related to COVID-19 via WhatsApp from the municipality, using a chatbot tool developed with Facebook Italia. It follows a similar model from the WHO and is the first testing in a EU city. The chatbot gives information citizens support services during the emergency, reopening activities, public services and worship places, allowed movements of people, traffic and parking, services for citizens with disabilities, how to contribute to the emergency management, health and sanitary measures and regulations.

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Vienna – Guidelines for safe reopening of the cultural sector

Vienna has drawn up a “Guide for the Cultural Industries” in cooperation with medical experts and cultural practitioners. The rules foreseen in the guidelines could already apply in June. However, in order for them to be implemented and for theatres or concert halls to be able to restart, a federal ordinance or amendment to the law is needed.

Councillor Kaup-Hasler with Marijana Stoisits of the Vienna Film Commission – Copyright: Katharina Schiffl
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Guimarães – Deconfinement

Guimarães is beginning to implement its deconfinement strategy. In the parks, which reopened last week, in addition to walking and running, the practice of sports activities in a non-competitive context is allowed from 19 May, observing the minimum distance of 2 meters between citizens for activities to be carried out side-by-side, or 4 meters for queued activities and also preventing the sharing of materials and equipment.

Continue reading “Guimarães – Deconfinement”

Vienna – Overview of measures for safe and inclusive recovery

Vienna has taken an approach of cautious exit and inclusive recovery as the country is slowly going back to ‘normal’. The updated overview highlights measures with regard to a smooth and safe running of city services, from childcare and schools to health and social services, support for the local economy and unemployed citizens and much more. It also contains a survey that shows that the city’s crisis management was positively received by the population. You can download the document here.

Contact: Michaela Kauer or stay up to date at @Stadt_Wien

Madrid – €7.5 million for culture

Madrid’s ‘Applaud Madrid’ plan will augment the city’s cultural budget, which remains uncut, with at further €7.5 million to avoid the closure of cultural spaces and institutions. Theaters will receive €1.9 million, cinemas €1.2 million, live music venues €1.3 million and theater, dance and circus companies €530,000. These grants will cover the costs of supplies and rent from March to September. All future beneficiaries of these grants must commit themselves not to close these spaces for at least one year after the end of the pandemic.

Continue reading “Madrid – €7.5 million for culture”

Vilnius – Recovery plan allocates €1 million to culture

Vilnius has a plan for recovery, the ‘Vilnius’ Plan 4×3’. The plan includes aid measures focused on aids to: individuals, businesses, and culture. The plan also wants to embrace opportunities, and it lists proposals addressed to the national government that will enable local governments to tackle the effects of the crisis. Culture will be a priority for Vilnius, as the plan allocates around 1 million EUR to the sector. Read more here

Contact: Jurga Pociūtė-Mikūtienė

Budapest – Restart the city

Flexible start times at work and school, to avoid crowded busses and trams. Enhanced possibilities for cycling and walking in the city. Outdoor catering on closed roads for restaurants. – These are some of the proposals of Budapest’s mayor Gergely Karácsony for a gradual reopening of the city. According to him, the easing of the lockdown demands new thinking and deliberate decisions in many fields from both the national government and the municipality. You can download the document here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Madrid – Preparing the reopening of terraces

The city council of Madrid is working on conditions to reopen the 5,323 terraces in the Spanish capital as soon as phase 1 of the de-escalation of the corona lockdown allows it. The aim is to make regulations more flexible and to harmonise the interests of hoteliers, shopkeepers and neighbours. The Hotel and Catering Terraces Committee has proposed a set of criteria that will enable the authorised areas to be extended, meeting a triple objective: not eroding the interests of other sectors, not interfering with the movement of pedestrians and at the same time complying with the regulations on universal accessibility. You can read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Bilbao – 50 ways to fight the crisis

The city council of Bilbao has approved an action plan worth €15 million, to address the urgent needs resulting from the corona pandemic. More than 50 measures, agreed upon by all political parties, deal with economy and employment, social cohesion and culture. The focus is on people and companies, especially small local businesses, hotels and restaurants, tourism and the cultural and creative sector. You can download an English briefing of the plan here and read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Alazne Zugazaga

Amsterdam – Overview of measures

Amsterdam has published a road map for the easing of its restrictions which includes plans for schools, cafés and restaurants to reopen in the next month and longer term plans for things like gyms and health spas. Meanwhile the city is already enacting a host of other measures to limit the spread such as the creation of a €50 million emergency fund. Read more here

Contact: Julia Robeer

Stuttgart – Working with other German cities

Stuttgart is working on its exit and recovery from lockdown in close step with other German cities through a dedicated forum within the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag). Through this forum, the city is sharing information such as legal documents and relevant links to updates on the situation in Germany. Read more here

Contact: Claudia Schulcz

Vienna – Gastro vouchers

When restaurant in Vienna opened on 15 May, the Vienna city government decided to support Viennese gastronomy with vouchers of €25 and €50 for food and non-alcoholic beverages for every household. In total, Vienna provided €40 million for this campaign. The campaign runs from June to September. 950,000 Viennese households will receive a voucher by mail, which they can redeem at a participating cafés and restaurants. One-person households will receive a €25 voucher, households with more people a voucher worth €50. More information (in German) here.

Contact: Michaela Kauer or stay up to date at @Stadt_Wien

Bordeaux – Citizen dialogues

Bordeaux is launching two participatory schemes this week: A consultation, which invites residents to put forward ideas for coming out of the crisis and for improvements to local life, and the creation of a Citizens’ Committee, which met for the first time on Tuesday afternoon, 5 May, by video conference with the Mayor of Bordeaux, Nicolas Florian.

Residents can also express their views on the platform debats.bordeaux.fr by putting forward suggestions on five themes: Health, schools, food, mobility and local economy. These contributions are accessible to all and can be voted and/or commented on, prioritised and put forward for wider discussion. They will be catalogued and analysed by the city’s elected representatives and administrative officers, to support decision-making in respect of lifting the lockdown.

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Guimaraes – Enjoying terraces’ reopening

Guimaraes is reopening food establishments and markets. Terraces will reclaim the public space and establishments that have the licences for terraces will be exempted from paying fees on them. The city will distribute protective equipment to these establishments. More info here (in Spanish)

Contact: Crisalia Alves

Milan – 3,500 more shared electric scooters

As Milan gets ready for the first acceleration of phase two of the lockdown, the city implements the Milan2020 plan for a new, more sustainable city: 3,500 new electric scooters will join the existent 2,250 urban fleet. Five new companies have been authorised to operate in the city for the sharing of electric micro-mobility vehicles, as an alternative for post-lockdown travel: EM Transit, Ride Hive Operations, LMTS Italy, Govolt and Bird Rides Italy, in addition to the companies already present, Wind Mobility, Bit Mobility and Helbiz Italia. You can read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Milan – Reopening shops and restaurants

Milan moves its first steps towards a new normality with the opening of all its retail activities, as regional governments will be allowed to reopen bars, restaurants, hairdressers, barbers and beauty parlours from 18 May.  On top of the sanitary measures imposed by the regional government, the city implemented ad hoc protocols for the reopening of street food markets: temperature check, 2.5 meter distance from one vendor to the other, limited number of people, sign corridors and restriction to one person per family. You can read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Cardiff – Re-modelling public space

Extending pavements into the road, creating temporary cycleways, removing street furniture, carrying out a speed awareness campaign and re-designing public space around neighbourhood shopping centres: just some of the ideas being put forward by Cardiff Council as part of the COVID-19 response. With lockdown restrictions expected to be eased next week, a number of pilot schemes have been designed to keep the public safe and able to physically distance in public spaces. You can read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Guimaraes – Nursing homes open for visitors again

Old people living in nursing homes in Guimaraes, Portugal, can receive visitors again from next week, following the lockdown due the corona pandemic. The municipality is providing masks and other protective material and has established special regulation. In a first stage, each resident should have only one visitor, once a week, and the visits must not exceed 90 minutes. You can read more here (in Portuguese)

Contact: Crisalia Alves

Budapest – Exploring unknown parks and trails

While parks and hiking trails in and around Budapest are open again after the corona confinement, the city wants to avoid the popular destinations getting too crowded. A new online map is promoting lesser known green spots where people can walk or play sports. You can find the map and read more here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Dusseldorf – Reopening culture & arts

Step by step, and with special regulation, museums and other cultural institutions in Dusseldorf, Germany, are opening again after the corona lockdown. The number of visitors is limited and hygiene measures have to be obtained. It is recommended to wear a mask. You can read more here (in German) about the institutions already open and here about the next ones to follow. Also the municipal music school, which went to online lessons during the lockdown, opened its doors again. And the department of culture, in cooperation with local artists, has handed out 600 ‘Art Bags’ with materials and instructions for making crafts and arts to kindergartens and refugee homes.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Barcelona – City deal against the crisis

Under the ‘Pacte per Barcelona’, the Spanish city has gathered more than 200 organisations to fight the impact of the corona pandemic. This and more is described in an updated version of Barcelona’s ‘Lessons learned’. You can download the document here

Contact: Marta Puchal

Muenster – Free masks on Europe Day

Ahead of Europe Day on 9 May, the city of Muenster, Germany, handed out 5,000 free face masks with the design of the European flag. As part of the gradual easing of corona related restrictions, the masks are to symbolise the solidarity and protection of all Europeans. Markus Lewe, Lord Mayor of Muenster, personally took part in the campaign, as you can see in the video.

Contact: Anna Chevtchenko

Paris – Easing the lockdown

Reopening schools with small groups of pupils, making face masks mandatory in the metro and devoting roads to biking, to prevent an intensive surge in car use – these are some of the steps out of the corona lockdown in Paris. The city has compiled a summary of measures. You can download the document here

Contact: Jean-Yves Camus

Guimarães – Public space for businesses

Guimarães municipality has given exemptions to businesses from fees for the occupation of public space until the end of 2020 and increased areas for the installation of terraces. This is intended to minimize the impact of reducing the capacity of establishments to protect customers from COVID-19. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: geral@cm-guimaraes.pt

Nice – Digital crisis management

The Nice Côte d´Azur Metropolis has developed new digital crisis management tools from which Microsoft will draw inspiration to help other communities for free. In order to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic and the dissemination of masks to the entire population, the Nice has developed digital logistics management tools. Microsoft has praised the quality of work of the engineers of the Metropolis and will use it as inspiration to provide services to other French communities.

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Frankfurt – Support for local businesses

The programme ‘Frankfurt am Start’ (Frankfurt Ready) of the Frankfurt Economic Development GmbH supports the local business in Frankfurt’s city districts. A website gives useful tips on how local business and restaurants in the respective city districts can be supported. Among other things, citizens can find local business who sell / produce protective face masks. You can view the website (in German) here.

Contact: Hendric Fuchs

Guimarães – Face to face service

Guimarães is operating face-to-face service by appointment, within the scope of the recently announced measures for exit and recovery from lockdown, as of today, 11 May. Meetings at the Balcão Único de Atendimento (BUA) at the Guimarães City Council can be scheduled through the municipality website, by phone, by email or on the mobile application “Guimarães CityFy”. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Carmo Martins

Guimarães – Opening daycare

Guimarães is testing all daycare employees for COVID 19 in preparation for the reopening of daycare centres on 18 May. All employees (teaching and non-teaching staff) will be tested. This covers about 450 employees in 39 institutions, and is taking place within the scope of the Government’s return to normality plan, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Security. The tests start this Monday, 11 May 11, at the facilities of the Pro-Child headquarters. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Crisalia Albves

Nice – Health Confidence Label

To support the restart of the local economy, the city of Nice has introduced the ‘Label Confiance Sanitaire’, a health confidence label. Shops and other businesses can use the label to show that they comply with the health safety rules following the corona pandemic. The label is based on a charter of commitment and shall reassure customers that shopping is safe here. You can read more here (in French)

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Paris – Survey on cultural reopening

As France begins looks to enact an easing of lockdown measures, the City of Paris has prepared a survey for other cities to complete on plans to restart cultural services, such as the reopening of city libraries: what are the opening conditions, how to borrow and return books. You can find the survey to fill in here.

Contact: Karin Fouledeau

Milan – Easing lockdown

The city of Milan has announced plans for the gradual reopening of public museums, exhibition spaces and libraries under specific sanitary measures. In addition 1,100 police officers are being deployed to oversee that measures are heeded in around 400 newly reopened playgrounds. The city council is also discussing to distribute the remaining monies raised through the city’s Mutual Aid Fund. Read more here

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Guimaraes – Lockdown end

From this Friday – May 8 – Guimarães gives way to the phase of recovery of economic activity and life in society, after the meeting with the Municipal Civil Protection Commission and with the Presidents of Parish Councils. The measures taken by the Municipality of Guimarães seek to resume the provision of public services in conditions that do not prejudice the containment of the pandemic. Later on, parks and sports facilities, among others, will reopen with 4 metres distance between users. Read more here (in Portuguese)

Glasgow – Innovation-led recovery for our cities

Following the initial Eurocities ‘online city dialogue on responses from cities to the coronavirus outbreak’ in early April, Glasgow and Nantes Métropole as European Commission 2019 Cities of Innovation identified the opportunity for further cooperation through Glasgow’s European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Alumni Network collaboration platform – iKEN

The iKEN platform is a spin-out programme from the European Commission’s annual iCapital competition which rewards cities who have built the most inclusive and dynamic innovation ecosystems, for the benefit of citizens and businesses. During a time of crisis, the need for innovation has never been greater.

Open to all cities not just iCapitals, Glasgow invites you to Join us at 11amBST / 12pm (CET) on Wednesday 13 May where you get the chance to connect with experts in other iCapital Alumni Network cities and hear first-hand the way some of Europe’s most innovative cities are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Register for the event here

Contact: Joe Brady

Tallinn – Exit plan

The city government approved on May 6 the emergency situation exit plan of the city, according to which the easing of the restrictions will start on May 11, first with regard to outdoor activities. On 18 May, restrictions on contact activities outdoors will be lifted and from 1 June, the city will resume services for the elderly. The restrictions will be implemented in multiple stages and follow the criteria recommended by the Health Board as well as the easing decisions of the government. Download the detailed plan here

Contact: Kerttu Märtin

Florence – Park educators

Florence parks are again accessible to families, although in compliance with the still necessary safety standards. Thus, the city of Florence has started a family support project called ‘Pollicino.Zero’ providing educators and volunteers in eight city parks and gardens. The operators will be there to answer the parents’ possible questions and suggest them creative activities to be carried out with their children.

Contact: Alessandra Barbieri