Manchester – Support for social distancing

Manchester has committed to creating enhanced space for pedestrians and people on bikes across the city-region, to enable people to keep their distance for safe essential journeys and exercise during the coronavirus lockdown and through recovery. £5 million of funding has been made available through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund. More information here.

Contact: Grainne Bradley

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

Dublin – Recovery mobility plan

Dublin has released a framework of mobility proposals together with the National Transport Authority, ‘Enabling the city to return to work’. This plan proposes measures such as more space for pedestrians, cyclists and where people are waiting for public transport, and possible additional parking in the periphery of the city core area. The plan is available to read in full here.

Contact: Grainne Kelly

Madrid – Buses ramping up service

Madrid’s municipal transport company increased its operational bus fleet to 90% of normal service at peak times in response to the first stage of deconfinement, which began on 25 May. The buses are running with a much lower capacity, having blocked off half of the available seats and capped the number of people who may travel standing. More information (in Spanish) here.

This move has come in combination with a new campaign to raise awareness about the needs of disabled people traveling on public transport. Learn about the campaign (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Sofia – Open air summer programme

20 outdoor stages for concerts and performances in parks, movie screenings under the stars – some of the things Sofia has planned for the summer culture programme, after the corona lockdown. Also the zoo, the city library and the Regional History Museum will be open, yet all with a maximum capacity of 30%. You can read more here (in Bulgarian).

Contact: Sevdalina Voynova

Vilnius – Masks for the elderly

Vilnius has given 2,000 reusable face masks to senior citizens. As the Lithuanian government is moving ahead with easing quarantine, free food support to the most vulnerable people is being replaced with reusable face masks. Seniors, disabled people and other Vilnius residents at risk, little by little are starting to move around the city and supermarkets. Therefore, Vilnius Municipality decided give them free reusable face masks with the symbol of the capital and flyers with recommendations on how to protect yourself. More information here.

Contact: Jurga Pociūtė-Mikūtienė

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

Karlsruhe – Music for Europe Day

Karlsruhe marked Europe Day with a performance of Ode to Joy from the city’s balconies and windows. Four musicians of the Karlsruhe City Youth Orchestra at the town hall, members of the Badische Staatskapelle at the Baden State Theater and five groups in different locations in the Grötzingen district supported this expression instrumentally. A simultaneous performance took place in Karlsruhe’s twin city Nancy to mark 65 years of friendship, as well as Nancy’s other twin city, Lublin.

Continue reading “Karlsruhe – Music for Europe Day”

Madrid – Easy moving for people with disabilities

Madrid is running a campaign to raise awareness among public transport users about the importance of following daily gestures such as respecting seat priority for people with disabilities, people with reduced mobility, pregnant women or the elderly. These gestures will make mobility easier and more pleasant for these groups who are particularly impacted by deconfinement measures. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Ghent – Safe reopening of shops

Ghent has put in place measures to guarantee that the reopening of shops was safe for all. Pedestrians have to follow directions like traffic, and on main shopping streets they’ll find ‘waiting spots’ on the pavement in case of queues. A group of 30 ‘warm-hearted shopping street assistants’ are available to answer questions and mediate in case of problems. To make it easy for shoppers to wash their hands often, the city has also installed washbasins, and to encourage the use of bikes, Ghent has added bicycle parking in the area. Read more here

Contact: Els Uytterhoeven

Dusseldorf – Hardship funds for minijobbers and freelancers

Employees, students, pensioners or artists in Dusseldorf who suffer from substantial financial losses due to the coronavirus can be granted a onetime aid up to €1,000. The money can be used to enable participation, for example via online learning tools or newspaper subscriptions. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

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

Espoo – Digital youth work

The youth centre activities of the Finnish city of Espoo went online during the corona lockdown. Young people are meeting on digital platforms like Discord to chat or play games, they share images via Instagram and organise online events like cooking together. With more than 400 young people participating, Espoo wants to continue the digital youth work in autumn when the youth centres are open again. You can read more here

Contact: Annika Forstén

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

Nice – Solidarity run for corona research

More than €12,000 have been collected so far through a ‘connected race’ in Nice, France. Runners and walkers can choose a distance between 5km and a marathon of 42,195km, run individually and report their results via an app. The fee of €5 per person is donated for medical research to fight COVID-19. The race is open until tomorrow, 24 May. You can read more here (in French)

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

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

Cardiff – iPads for school kids

Cardiff Council is providing thousands of digital devices and broadband dongles via the Welsh Government’s Education Technology Project Fund to support children in Cardiff that have been unable to access online learning during school closures caused by COVID-19. The Council has worked closely with schools across the city to deliver the scheme which seeks to address the issue of digital deprivation. Over 5000 Chromebook or i-Pad devices repurposed from existing schools or purchased and 2500 broadband dongles will be provided. You can read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Guimaraes – Call for culture

The municipality of Guimaraes invites artists to propose special creative projects for the corona crisis. The idea is to develop a programme of community work and cultural activities to reconnect creators, public and community. Up to ten projects will be financed with a maximum total amount of €50,000. Applications are welcome until 5 June. You can read more here (in Portuguese)

Contact: Sérgio Gonçalves

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

Tbilisi – Overview of measures

The city of Tbilisi, Georgia, has compiled an overview of measures taken in the corona crisis, following the first confirmed case on 26 February: from the disinfection of public places to help for the elderly to support of local businesses. You can download the document here

Contact: Lika Davitadze

Guimarães – Public transport

The Municipality of Guimarães has taken on the charges for the provision of minimum services from the municipal network, with the companies Transurbanos de Guimarães, ARRIVA Portugal and Transdev Norte, considering the need to guarantee the assumption and continuity of an essential public passenger transport service, in the current emergency situation. More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact Sofia Ferreira

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
Continue reading “Vienna – Guidelines for safe reopening of the cultural sector”

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”

Gdansk – Overview of measures

Throughout the pandemic, Gdansk has taken a number of measures to ensure that all people had access to information and support, not forgetting the most vulnerable members of society, and, among other things, that children’s education can continue with a minimum of disruption. Please find a partial overview of some of the actions that Gdansk has taken here.

Contact: Joanna Krupadziorow

Palermo – Boosting digital competence

The Innovation Service of the municipality of Palermo, in collaboration with other offices, created a ‘digital toolbox’ at the beginning of March 2020. This online space provides the tools, procedures and information necessary for the new style of working online, including:

  • national legislation for smart working,
  • the fast internal communications of the Google Group “Aquile Agili” (“smart eagle”, the eagle is the symbol of the municipality of Palermo),
  • the procedures for drafting the Deliberation acts compliant with the national law concerning digital agenda (CAD: digital administration code),
  • the management applications to work remotely at home,
  • tutorials for using digital signature, to manage video meetings, to draft and share documents with colleagues on Google Drive, and more.
Continue reading “Palermo – Boosting digital competence”

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

Poznan – Masks for seniors by seniors

The City of Poznan, along with foundations and non-governmental organisations, has started the ‘Seniorro Masks’ campaign, where seniors sew protective masks for seniors. The material is provided together with instructions and patterns. Volunteers work together applying physical distancing and using face protection themselves. Masks are treated before distribution. Read more here (in Polish)

Contact: Anna Aleksandrzak

Helsinki – Talking it out

Helsinki offers a free low-threshold service, Mieppi, as a support to people during challenging times. During the crisis the service went online, and nurses and psychologists provided their support via phone or conference calls. Mieppi offers up to five meetings to people from 13 years of age and older. As a low-threshold service, Mieppi believes that early support and aid can help find ways of coping. Talking and being heard achieves the main goal of creating a human connection that will help overcome difficult times. Read more here

Contact: Outi Forsström

Guimarães – Public transport

Guimarães assumed the charges for the provision of minimum services from the municipal network, with the companies Transurbanos de Guimarães, ARRIVA Portugal and Transdev Norte, considering the need to guarantee the continuity of an essential public passenger transport service in the current emergency situation.

More information (in Portuguese) here.

Contact: Sofia Ferreira

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 – All information in one place

‘Transparency – so that everything that happens is visible to everyone’: that is the motto of a website from Madrid’s city council, to inform citizens about the council’s decisions and actions. A special section now gives access to information related to the city’s measures on COVID19 and data on the pandemic, also informing about public funds and citizen collaboration in the health crisis. You can visit the Spanish page here

Contact: Ana Buñuel

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

Nantes – Archiving lockdown

Nantes is encouraging citizens to archive their experience of lockdown to preserve its value for future researchers. This includes photos, texts, drawings and more. The Nantes Archives are launching a collection from the inhabitants in order to preserve the memory of the health crisis linked to the coronavirus and to set up a memorable collection of private archives whose preservation and access for researchers will be guaranteed by the community. In the longer term, the city will reflect on how to show this major collection. More information (in French) here.

Contact : Doris Abela

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

Nantes – Culture at home

Nantes is reinforcing the availability of culture in resident’s homes. Measures include:

  • Enhancement of existing digital offers: books and reading, films, music, history, heritage, archives, archaeology, sciences, art history, live performances, etc.
  • Creation of new services and new content by cultural institutions
  • Collecting proposals from the territory’s cultural players in: dance, cinema, music, literature, writing, reading, comic strips, visual arts, theatre, multidisciplinary projects, debate of ideas, CSTI, etc.

As a result, Nantes has seen + 83% of subscribers to the Facebook page of the Conservatory and + 82% for the page on the collections of the Arts Museum. More information (in French) here.

Contact : Doris Abela

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.

Continue reading “Bordeaux – Citizen dialogues”

Murcia – Citizen engagement

Murcia has seen a large increase in the use of the already implemented e-governance processes that started in 2015 and allow for citizens to complete over 209 bureaucratic procedures online (83% of all procedures in 2020 have been completed on-line) and also the citizen engagement and participation tools developed by Murcia City Hall. The following are two tools that Murcia is finding particularly useful during the crisis:

Continue reading “Murcia – Citizen engagement”

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

Istanbul – Bill on the hook

A campaign based on the system of ‘askida fatura’ or ‘suspended bill’ has raised over €2 million, which is enough to help more than 124,500 households pay their water and gas bills. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality matches people who cannot afford to pay their bills with those willing to cover the cost of these bills out of an act of solidarity in difficult times. Read more here

Contact: Raci Karaca

Cardiff – Online library

A range of digital resources are available from Cardiff Hubs & Libraries Service for people to enjoy at home during the corona lockdown.  The service has free e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines, e-newspapers and ancestry resources that library members can access from their own devices. Cardiff residents who aren’t currently members can also join up online. You can read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Lublin – Summer festival in autumn

“As many of us have spent several weeks at home, it cannot have escaped us how fundamental culture is to us”, states the city of Lublin, Poland, on its website. “Whether watching a film, listening to music, enjoying an online museum tour or simply reading a book, culture matters so much to our everyday lives.” Lublin had to cancel or postpone many cultural events due the corona pandemic, other offerings went online. You can get an overview here

Contact: Roman Jaborkhel

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

Dusseldorf – Live tv talk with the mayor

video in German only – German subtitles available in settings

Dusseldorf’s mayor Thomas Geisel is hosting a weekly talkshow, ‘Corona Talks’, where he discusses the local impact of the pandemic with guests and answers questions from citizens. The videos are available on the city’s YouTube channel

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

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

Angers – Traffic wardens go shopping for the elderly

During the corona containment period, the communal centre for social action (CCAS) in Angers has been offering a home shopping service to help the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with low incomes. The service is available for every household in need once or twice a week, and is carried out not only by social workers but also by traffic wardens. You can read more here (in French)

Contact: Bruno Gourdon

Izmir – Pay your neighbour’s water bill

People in Izmir who cannot pay their water bills due to economic problems resulting from the corona crisis can get help by others who anonymously pay for them. Following the example of Istanbul and Ankara, the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has implemented the system of ‘askida fatura’, ‘suspended bill’. That is the name of a Turkish tradition, practiced in bakeries: a customer buys one loaf of bread but pays for two, so someone in need can come in and eat later. Now this principle is used for water bills, via ‘BizIzmir’, the digital platform for municipal services.

Continue reading “Izmir – Pay your neighbour’s water bill”

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

Nice – Doctor Robot checks you for corona

With the help of artificial intelligence, the people of Nice can check whether they have symptoms of COVID19 and get advice on the phone. The city has launched the vocal assistant ‘AlloCOVID’, developed by the startup Allo-Média in collaboration with INSERM researchers. Based on a series of questions, a robot tries to understand if the caller presents symptoms of COVID19, and thus orient them. Available seven days a week and 24 hours a day, the system can manage up to 1,000 simultaneous calls. You can read more here

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

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

Budapest – Ride your bike!

English subtitles available in settings

Cycling is on the rise in Budapest dutring the corona pandemic. Measurements show a significant increase of bicycle use in the city, as a healthy and affordable way of moving. The city had created new temporary bike lanes and wants to preserve this change after corona. You can read more here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Pau – Cultural survival kit

How to get the dose of culture you need to live during the corona lockdown? The city of Pau is offering ‘cultural survival kits’ online, with new programmes every week: resources to cultivate, entertain and think of something else while fighting the coronavirus. You can find the first four editions here, here, here and here (in French)

Contact: Valérie Demangel

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

Madrid – Vouchers to support food solidarity

The municipal markets will start to sell vouchers to give the consumers the opportunity to support the action made by district associations to provide food to those in need. The Economy, Innovation and Employment Area has doubled the amount of subsidies for the expansion of municipal markets, as well as their digitalization, which has been fundamental in recent months and has allowed them to meet the demand of the people of Madrid from their homes, increasing market sales in this sense by more than 400%. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Budapest – Chimney sweepers deliver food

© FŐKÉTÜSZ (Metropolitan Chimney Sweeping company) / City of Budapest

Budapest’s chimney sweepers are carrying out social duties since the suspension of chimney checks due to the pandemic. Chimney sweepers are delivering food and medicine for vulnerable and elderly residents. More information here.

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

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

Toulouse – Safe metro

In order to secure the movements of people who use the metro for their essential journeys, and in particular for the medical staff, access to the metro will require a validation of a transport ticket. The metro will regain its access control through the validation of subscriptions and tickets, which will be downloaded free of charge in the case of subscriptions or reimbursed after use for other tickets. These tickets will be fully refunded at the end of the lockdown period.

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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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Budapest – Sheltering the homeless

Budapest has increased the capacity of its social institutions by creating further space for 500 people. However, further development is needed to meet self-isolation and social distancing requirements. Therefore, one of the wings of the City Hall building – later to be used as the Budapest Gallery – is being renovated to serve as a temporary shelter for the homeless who would like to voluntarily enter into quarantine. More information here.

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

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

Braga – Support for restaurants

In a bid to bring viability back to the hard hit restaurant sector, the Braga City Council is allowing restaurants and cafes to extend their activities to adjacent streets and squares. By relaxing protocols for the rest of 2020, these establishments have more free reign to install items such as an open terrace, outdoor ice cream machines and awning, while respecting rules for physical distance. Read more here and here

Contact: Nuno Gouveia

Haarlem – Shopping service for vulnerable people

A shopping service has been established on the initiative and collaboration between an association, a foundation and a supermarket in Haarlem. The service is aimed at people over the age of 65 and people who are less mobile or have health problems who cannot get their groceries themselves during the corona period. Visit the initiative’s website here

Contact: Valentina Schippers

Haarlem – Coupons for help

With the platform “Help the Horeca”, catering partners collaborate with online platform Gifty to support catering entrepreneurs during this difficult corona. These coupons help entrepreneurs earn income, even now that they are closed. Consumers can redeem the coupons as soon as the cafes and restaurants in Haarlem open their doors again. Read more here (in Dutch)

Contact: Valentina Schippers

Haarlem – Virtual museum

The Teylers Museum in Haarlem (Netherlands) is physically closed due to corona, but the museum is virtually open. Visit the museum from your own living room, wander through the building and discover the collection in detail. Children have dedicated tips available for nice activities and the stories of the employees of the Teylers Museum. The museum also gives live tours via Instagram, the recordings of these Teylers Home Tours can be viewed on YouTube. Read more here (in Dutch)

The starting point for the virtual visit to The Teylers Museum

Contact: Valentina Schippers

Vienna – Extensions for social benefits

The director of the department, Agnes Berlakovich – (C) City of Vienna

The city social affairs department ensured its services to its 133,000 users during the crisis by extending the duration of expiring social benefits. People could easily extend their benefits from the security of their homes as Vienna put in place an automatic procedure and postponed controls. This allowed everyone in need to get their social allowances and stay financially stable. The team made sure relevant information reached all concerned people. The department will reopen soon following hygiene and distancing rules. Read more here (in German)

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Nantes – €1 million for culture

Nantes has set up an emergency fund of €1 million to support cultural structures and professionals. The fund focuses on supporting the most vulnerable and threatened cultural entities in Nantes. It wants to preserve the city’s cultural diversity and reinforce the economic impact of culture in times of crisis. Read more here (in French)

Contact: Nicolas Joffraud

Mannheim – Culture for safety

Mannheim, UNESCO City of Music, together with the Enjoy Jazz Festival, launched the social media campaign “weRculture” on April 1, backed by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Since then, more than 100 artists and creative workers have participated and contributed creative videos that call upon the viewer to stay at home, think respectfully and act responsibly in this time of crisis. More information on this global call here.

Contact: Nelly Saemann


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