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
The municipality of Amsterdam will plough an additional €17 million into support for local arts over the next couple of months. The plan aims to ensure that key institutions within the cultural and creative sector can mitigate the effects of the crisis. Read more here
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
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)
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 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)
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)
Municipal libraries reopened from May 11 under safety measures. In this first phase only the home loan or the return of documents will be made, by prior appointment. After their return, the books in the meantime will be quarantined and only then available for new loans. Read more here (in Portuguese)
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.
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.
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.
Murcia has declared culture to be an essential activity, with the mayor launching a ‘COVID Cultural Reactivation Initiative’ which will reactivate the sector with €710,000 of municipal spending (in a city of 450,000 inhabitants).
Beşiktaş has centralised all its public health efforts in a single ‘Public Health Digital Management Centre’. The centre, set up to deal with COVID19, will remain after the outbreak to tackle further pandemics, disasters, earthquakes or any situation that threatens public health. The centre facilitates crisis communication, administration, data flows and inter-institutional coordination from a single point, and can be used to identify at-risk groups and areas. Beşiktaş’s mayor, Rıza Akpolat, has committed to personally man the centre, performing the coordination of all its units day and night.
“Our Europe stands for togetherness and solidarity across borders, also and especially in times of global crisis” – that’s the message of European city leaders for Europe Day on 9 May 2020. In a joint video message, mayors of 14 European cities call for solidarity and emphasise the role of cities which are working together and helping each other.
To celebrate Europe Day, the cities, all members of the network EUROCITIES, sing together the European anthem, ‘Ode to Joy’ from Ludwig van Beethoven and Friedrich Schiller. Singers from each city join from home, due to the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, and form a European choir.
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)
Glasgow like other peer cities is acutely aware of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the city’s community groups that many in the local communities rely upon. To help these groups during the public health emergency, the Glasgow Council on Voluntary Services is offering a range of free training workshops and surgeries designed to support staff, volunteers and organisations.
The workshops have been developed, planned and will be delivered in partnership with the city-wide Glasgow Capacity Building Group including Glasgow City Council, Volunteer Glasgow, Jobs and Business Glasgow and Glasgow Life. Surgeries will cover topics such as funding, staff furlough, homeworking and lone working, redundancy and restructure.
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.
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
In cooperation with the University Hospital Dusseldorf, the municipality is planning an antibody testing of 1,000 people (representative sample) in order to obtain information about the estimated number of unknown cases of the Coronavirus infection. In addition Dusseldorf’s testing centres are now able to inform citizens about negative test results by SMS, while positive results are still communicated by phone and are followed up by ‘containment scouts’. Read more here and here
The Municipality of Guimaraes has instituted a series of measures from housing for homeless people to providing tablets for students to enable distance learning and offering support for tourism focussed micro-enterprises. Read more here
Paris has compiled a summary of some of the measures the city has taken to support healthcare workers, ensure continuity of municipal services, and take support the vulnerable. You can download the document here.
With most shops, the first museums and libraries, as well as playgrounds now open again, the City of Dusseldorf sharing posters and digital information about the new rules. Read more herehere and here.
The team at the Glasgow City Council’s Blairvadach Outdoor Education Centre in Rhu have produced an online workbook which could help parents and children to learn about outdoor education during lockdown.
The centre normally hosts a five day outdoor education residential for pupils from across the city, providing outdoor learning opportunities for young people using activities including hillwalking, canoeing, rock climbing and more. Katie Mackay an Outdoor Education Instructor from Blairvadach said: “Because of Covid-19 and lockdown many schools are missing out on their planned trip which is a big disappointment for the pupils
As the weeks go on children and adults are looking for ways to stay entertained at home. The Glasgow Science Centre is continuing to share an exciting programme of lessons online.
Each day the team from #GSCAtHome are sharing a video with an experiment or task. This week includes ‘The Monty Hall’ problem, making oboes from straws and using coat hangers to learn more about soundwaves! In 2020, as our world becomes more and more invested in digital technology, we need more than ever to crack codes and to write them.
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)
The municipality has establish an online community based on videocalls to allow those who feel lonely to share their feelings and receive support from others. This is just one among a number of initiatives to tackle the spread of the pandemic have been implemented since the lockdown began seven weeks ago. Read them all here
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.
‘’Fast and Clean’’ is the game that Sultanbeyli Municipality has designed for the families to play at home while educating their kids on safe habits during the pandemic. Games will be delivered to the first 1000 families who participate in the campaign to be held on corporate social media channels. Read more here (in Turkish)
During the Covid epidemic Kartal Municipality is helping citizens to recycle and reuse old materials to create handmade decorative or household materials. Within the scope of the Environmental Protection and Control Directorate – that recycling textile waste since 2016 – textile piggy banks are placed at various points in Kartal District, and citizens are encouraged to put their old clothes and fabrics in. Now the municipality is producing Youtube videos to teach their citizens to use those materials and find an indoor entertainment.
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
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.
The Beşiktaş Academy has started offering online classes launching its new Youtube channel. This initiative from the Beşiktaş Municipality has been helping students prepare for high school and university education and also supporting the personal development of our citizens aged 7-90 through culture and art courses. This service will not only enable students who are preparing for their exams to continue studying their lessons but also give citizens the option to learn at any age. Visit the Youtube channel here
Since the beginning of the lockdown the city bike sharing system, is now free of charge or reimbursed when used for under an hour trip. On other matters, Parisians are offered tailored services to maintain their access to culture, such as online museum visits and access to municipal libraries. These are just a few measures among the new updated overview of measures that you can download here
‘Helping you at home’ is an initiative involving most of the personnel of the social services, targeting the most vulnerable groups to provide them with groceries, medication and material help. The project has three pillars: the helpline, the research unit and the field group. They all work together to assess the applicants’ situations and provide help as efficiently as possible. Read a more detailed explanation here
Created in partnership with the start-up Whishibam, the city of Nice is today launching a virtual trading platform, which will enable registered Nice merchants to easily sell their products and sell off their stock, generate immediate cash flow and benefit from a new showcase throughout the year. The launch of this virtual trade site in Nice complements other measures to support local economic actors and traders. Visit the website here
Belfast is using links with its Chinese sister city Shenyang to access masks and other protective equipment. When the COVID19 outbreak began in China, Belfast donated medical equipment to its sister city. Now Shenyang is reciprocating, sending a shipment including 10,000 masks to Belfast. More information here.
Leeds Museums and Galleries are giving residents the chance to travel back in time and explore thousands of years of history from home thanks to a new series of online digital discovery sessions. This includes hosting a series of online videos examining artefacts from the Leeds Discovery Centre, which is home to more than a million objects from prehistory, Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. Visitors also have the opportunity to choose which objects will be covered by the online sessions by voting for their object of choice via a Facebook poll. Visit the site initiative here
Together with the Leeds Street Support Delivery Team and partners out on the streets in the day and night, outreach work is continuing across the city directly engaging with those in need. The city council is continuing to offer people that are sleeping rough or homeless a variety of help which includes access to permanent and overnight accommodation provided by charities, free food and tailored specialised assistance for those with addiction or other health needs.
The city is also supporting two initiatives called Covid-19 Protect and Covid-19 Care which aim to further support those without permanent accommodation during the crisis. The City is working with housing providers to identify suitable locations for people to self-isolate in should they start showing symptoms. And if further care is needed additional facilities have been identified and made available.
Dedicated bins for masks and gloves were placed at certain key points such as public institutions, markets and family health centres. The medical waste thrown into the waste bins will be duly disposed after they are properly collected.
The current protective equipment recommendations is also bringing along the problem of medical waste. Uncontrolled disposal of waste masks and gloves may increase the risk of citizens’ being infected. For this reason, Beşiktaş municipality started implementing a different practice for a proper waste management. Read more here (in Turkish)
Leeds City Council has joined forces with third sector organisations to deliver vital services to people in need across the city via a network of volunteers and community hubs. Anyone needing help or support during the Covid-19 emergency can call a helpline where they will then be matched with one of the thousands of local volunteers.
The Community Care Volunteer Programme has seen over 8,000 volunteers offer their support to help the vulnerable in Leeds. Volunteers can sign-up to offer practical support such as shopping deliveries, preparing meals, dog walking, making check-in phone calls or as an informal volunteer within their own neighbourhood in more general ways.
The city wants to show its support for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) staff and key workers with a colourful street art campaign called ‘Posters for the People’.
The project, led by the street art movement, In Good Company, and supported by Leeds City Council, has seen over 150 sites across the city transformed into colourful designs to spread positivity and show support to all those keeping the country running during this challenging time.
Rennes is providing safety kits to shopkeepers, many of whom will be able to open as of May 11, to guarantee the protection of customers, shopkeepers and their employees. The city will distribute a kit to 2,600 shopkeepers (excluding cafés, hotels and restaurants) in the city. The kit contains two fabric masks, a protective visor, hydroalcoholic gel, a chalk spray for marking the ground and an information poster on physical distancing, to be affixed to shop windows. A guide listing the main advice in terms of hygiene, cleanliness, reception and protection of customers and employees is already available for consultation and downloading on city’s website. More information (in French) here.
Braga will allow restaurants, cafes and local commerce to open their services in the streets for the months of summer and until the end of the year. This ‘Open Door’ system for local commerce will allow restaurants, cafes and bars to extend their terraces to the streets and create new ones to expand capacity. This will help businesses to serve more people while maintaining health and security measures and protecting jobs. The local Chamber of Commerce and the movement ‘Urbac’, which brings together restaurants and bars of the city, support the initiative ‘Braga Open Door’. Mayor Rio of Braga has also announced a total exemption of municipal fees and licenses covering the occupation of public spaces for all local businesses. More information (in Portuguese) here.
On 20 March, the City of Nantes set up a mutual aid platform to collect donations, facilitate and support initiatives, recruit citizen volunteers and collect information on the needs of the people of Nantes. The 15 or so agents involved were able to ensure 2,000 contacts and connections. Nearly 750 Nantes citizens have applied for volunteer missions and 300 of them have already been mobilized to help with shopping, food distribution, supporting families, medical and social institutions and making deliveries. More information (in French) here.
In order to support initiatives for the manufacture of masks for the general public made of fabric, to meet the demands of professionals and individuals, the city has set up a system, ‘A vos masques’. The city also supports the Association Des Femmes en Fil (Women in Thread) which brings together some 15 neighbourhood associations and already more than 100 seamstresses with the aim of making 15,000 masks for Nantes neighbourhoods. More information (in French) here.
Rennes has made group order of 500,000 fabric masks to equip all its inhabitants (250,000) and 95 other municipalities in the department. These masks are to be worn in addition to social distancing measures. In Rennes, the distribution will be carried out by volunteer civil servants at about fifteen sites spread throughout the city’s neighbourhoods.
Ljubljana is is countering a rise in domestic violence, serious injuries and femicide. The city co-finances NGOs dealing with violence, but these organisations, which provide accommodation and counselling programmes, are currently overburdened. Counsellors are using telephone and video links to remain in contact with victims and violent offenders included in the programme. The city is working with these NGOs to offer two new 24-hour hotlines to deal with increased calls at night and over the weekend.
To raise awareness, the city has published instructions on what steps to take in the event of violence, with contact information for NGOs on the city website and a municipal newsletter that is distributed to all households in Ljubljana. The city is also broadcasting messages with the hotline numbers of NGOs on LCD screens in Lekarna Ljubljana outlets and the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. LPP (Ljubljana public transport) will also be invited to show this information once restrictions on public transport are eased. More information (in Slovinian) here.
Beşiktaş Municipality has moved its medical consultation services online. Psychological guidance, nutritionist, family counselling and physiotherapy services which the municipality provides take place through the platform ‘Online live-video medical advice service’ within the office hours.
These services help locals facing physical and psychological issues, either already existing or brought on or exacerbated by confinement during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ljubljana’s Home Care Institution is providing home care services during the COVID-19 epidemic, including help to the elderly, chronically ill and people with disabilities with their everyday core activities, chores and establishing or maintaining social connections. Field caretakers visit the most vulnerable people who urgently need help and cannot receive it from their families or have no relatives, and take care of the most urgent daily activities, such as maintaining personal hygiene and feeding.
To support the gradual reopening of the city after the coronavirus lockdown, the city of Milan has launched the campaign ‘A new start. One step at a time’, inviting citizens to respect the rules in this phase. A video, narrated by the Italian singer Ghali, shows the city of these weeks of isolation and five citizens who are getting ready to leave their homes for a new start. You can read more here
The municipality of Besiktas, Istanbul, has shared a video with a digital version of the traditional parade on Turkey’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on 23 April. Every year, this holiday is celebrated by children with various activities. Due to the corona pandemic, it was decided to digitalise the celebration. Parents were invited to send photos of their children for a digital parade which was shared via social media.
The streets of Vilnius are currently dotted with giant photos of people wearing protective masks made in creative way. The images are part of a new project called Mask Fashion Week, which drew its inspiration from members of a Facebook group known as Mask Your Fashion. Unlike a traditional fashion week, the project is open to everyone: the city streets have become a runway. While still adhering to safety recommendations, audiences are invited to travel the Mask Fashion Week route through the city by foot or in their cars and reflect on the role and look of the new accessory that has unexpectedly become part of our day-to-day lives. The city’s outdoor advertising stands now feature photos of masked project participants with the slogan ‘Creativity Cannot be Masked’. You can read more here
The city of Reykjavik, Iceland, has compiled a summary of measures taken in the coronavirus crisis. The document describes the different phases in response to the pandemic and how “aggressive testing, tracing and quarantining” has slowed the spreading of the virus. Iceland has introduced a tracing app which has been downloaded by one third of the population. Restrictions are eased since beginning of May. You can download the document here
Artists and other cultural workers and organisations in Katowice, Poland, can get financial support by the city during the corona pandemic. Artists who have lost income as a result of the lockdown measures can apply for a grant. Cultural organisations renting municipal office spaces will be exempted from rent until it is possible to resume their normal work. The city will also ask private property owners to reduce rents for artists. Artists and cultural organisations paying property taxes will be exempted from this tax as well as from the waste disposal charge. Katowice has reserved €110,000 for the support package and had consulted local artists and city councillors in advance for the design. You can read more here (in Polish)
Ljubljana is increasing its offer to all age groups; from working with volunteers to keep the elderly company and offering free counselling via telephone; to digital services for the young and telemedicine by telephone or other telecommunication means introduced for all.
Further measures adopted by the city include providing additional space for the homeless and working with volunteers from Ljubljana’s firefighter association and members of Ljubljana’s mountain rescue association and civil protection on public communication. Read more here
In a bid to bring live entertainment direct to Bratislava’s elderly population housed in care homes, most of whom have been in isolation for two months now, the city administration, alongside other organisations, has started organising live outdoor concerts. Read more here
Ljubljana’s city library is offering a postal service for students and high schoolers seeking study material. This is further facilitated by a wide array of online material, including films and documentaries, and an easy remote registration.
For children and their parents as activities include listening to or reading fairy tales, taking quizzes, drawing and solving riddles. Videos of past cultural events are also available on the library’s YouTube channel.
At the request of the mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, a new centre is coordinating community, volunteer, and other organisations’ efforts to assist individual vulnerable sections of Kyiv’s population in the spread of new coronavirus infection.
Increased measures taken by the city include heightened sanitation of roads, bridges, public transport, as well as public utilities and public parts of municipally owned buildings. Further actions include the closure of all children’s playgrounds.
Barcelona’s report looks back at the actions that have proven most effective in tackling the health crisis, and sheds light on how to approach the economic crisis. The City Council is working on defining a new normal that will allow the full development of the city’s economic, commercial, creative and innovative potential. Read the full report here
Cardiff is supporting young carers who have to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition or drug or alcohol problem. Young carers can reach out through WhatsApp group chats, and they can access daily updates and activities to engage with their relatives at home. These include live video chats, workshops and educational videos, as well as information about other support services. Read more here
Cardiff’s historic multi-artform venue Chapter presents: ‘Chapter from home’. The initiative offers fun film study, a Young Reporter’s Club, Watch parties, Instagram quizzes and much more, finding new ways to experience the arts. Chapter also organises educational activities with children, for example the ‘News Reporter’s Club’. This initiative empowers them to make their own radio news show about the world they see around them using only pen, paper and a mobile phone. Read more here
Techniquest, Cardiff’s science discovery centre, is hosting online science experiments that can be tried at home. People can bring science to life in their own homes by watching ‘How To’ videos and live demonstrations. The latest videos show how to make your own Lava Lamp or learn how to defy the laws of gravity. Viewers are also encouraged to share their own creations with the Techniquest team using the hashtag #TQatHomeRead more here
Vienna has prepared to open its 38 public indoor and outdoor pools by the end of May after the corona lockdown. Pools will be open for a limited number of customers and with a management system that only allows a certain number of people to swim at the same time. Saunas remain closed. “There is no reason to write off the summer season”, says mayor Michael Ludwig,
To protect the vulnerable group of homeless people in the corona pandemic, Athens has created a shelter with more than 400 beds. The three-buildings complex of seven floors was opened in April and is run by the City of Athens’ Reception and Solidarity Center. It offers accommodation in dormitories as immediate help and apartments for a longer stay, along with free meals and psychosocial support.
The emergency programme for the municipal museums in Bologna due to the corona lockdown is driving a general change, as the city expects. Museums are turning into culture hubs, involving new digital projects into the organic planning of culture and museum activities. The 13 municipal museums, covering archeology, ancient art, modern and contemporary art, music, industrial heritage and technical culture, history and memory, are developing a new digital narrative of the contents of their collections. You can read more here
“Cities will come back stronger than ever after the pandemic”, says Dan Doctoroff, former deputy mayor of New York. “But when they do, it will be driven by a new model of growth.” New policies and technologies, Doctoroff argues in the magazine Foreign Policy, have to “make urban life more affordable and sustainable for more people.” And city expert Janette Sadik-Khan wants to keep some of the advantages we are experiencing during lockdown: “We can bring back cities without bringing back the traffic, the congestion, the pollution.” Foreign Policy has asked 11 urban experts for their predictions of how life in our cities will look after the coronavirus pandemic.
After Scotland’s biennial festival of contemporary visual art, Glasgow International (Gi), has been postponed until 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, an online programme has been published. Artists including Jenkin van Zyl, Yuko Mohri, Alberta Whittle and Liv Fontaine have made new work for the digital programme, which also showcases works by artists Georgina Starr, Urara Tsuchiya and Sarah Forrest and an audio introduction by Festival Director Richard Parry. The full programme is freely accessible until 10 May at glasgowinternational.org
Glasgow residents are being offered a simpler way to find local health and support services online during the corona lockdown. A collaboration between NHS 24, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, the digital service will collate local quality-assured health and care services in one website, called Scotland’s Services Directory.
Glasgow Life has launched a new campaign aimed at uniting the people of Glasgow in an exhibition of positivity during the coronavirus pandemic. Tapping into a trend that has been widely embraced in recent weeks, the city is encouraging families and households across the city to create their own unique ‘People Make Glasgow’ posters and to display them alongside the rainbows already in their windows.
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has launched a volunteer programme for the fruit harvest during the corona pandemic. Due to the curfew it is expected that many seasonal workers will be unable to attend the harvest. Young volunteers can register online and receive a video training. The municipality provides hygiene sets, including masks, gloves and disinfectants, transportation and lunch. Work in the orchards will start on 11 May. The programme is part of Izmir’s support package for the agriculture sector.
The city of Osmangazi provides nutrition for stray animals in the city. While street cats in Turkey usually are fed and caressed by the people, this is possible only to a limited extend in the corona lockdown. Therefore the municipality deposits animal food at designated areas and collects sick and needy animals for further treatment.
Kartal made sure its children could still celebrate this year’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day and the 100th anniversary of the opening of Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The Kartal Children’s Council Special Session was moved online and Mayor Gökhan Yüksel met and listened to 20 children, representing their neighbourhoods. In addition, open deck busses took superheros and bands paying popular anthems and children songs on a tour of the district. The mayor payed a visit to the neighbourhood of 9-year-old twin sisters Nida and Eylül İlgöz to grant them their wish to celebrate together this day.
While Dusseldorf’s cultural institutions remain closed due to the corona pandemic, a wide range of free digital offers are available online: virtual museum tours, recordings of concerts and opera performances as well as hands-on activities and tutorials for children and young people. An overview of these programmes, updated regularly, can be found on the website of Dusseldorf‘s Cultural Department
“Walk & Talk” is a new service of the socio-psychological councelling office in Dusseldorf. In addition to the phone helpline, counselling is now also done during promenades outdoors, using walkie-talkies while keeping the safety distance. You can read more here (in German)
Online programmes of museums and theatres, live streams for concerts and podcasts: the city of Frankfurt has created a website with cultural highlights to be enjoyed at home during the corona lockdown. It also includes special activities for children and a programme in English. You can find the page here
Since those without shelter are especially exposed to a possible infection with the corona virus, the city of Dusseldorf has rented another hotel with 34 rooms for homeless people. It offers single and double rooms during the crisis as well as medical and social care. Including those rooms, the city has provided additional accomodation for more than 175 homeless people. You can read more here (in German)
The city of Milan is implementing a special plan to make use of extra national funding in support of smaller and more fragile organisations in the performing arts sector which are not covered by the 20 million emergency fund of the Italian Minister of Culture. In preparation for the reopening of museums and libraries, planned from 18 May as part of the ‘phase 2’ post corona lockdown measures, Milan is working on a protocol to ensure special health and safety measures for workers and visitors. You can read more here (in Italian)
The City of Frankfurt am Main supports the local economy by allowing for a moratorium on city taxes and municipal fees such as business tax. Additionally, tenants of municipally owned property are also allowed for a suspension of the rent due to income shortages in light of the corona pandemic. You can read more here (in German)
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a new fund of emergency £2.3m (€2.6 million) to support culture and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus. The money goes to grassroots music venues, LGBTQ+ venues, artist workspaces and independent cinemas. “Culture, creative industries and night time economy are so important to the fabric of our city”, said Sadiq Khan, “and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis.” You can read more here
Since wearing a mask in public transportation and shops is compulsory now, city staff of Dusseldorf and volunteers are distributing masks on different places in the city. For the elderly, 50,000 hygiene kits including masks have been prepared and can be ordered for home delivery. Additional 15,000 masks have been donated for refugees. With online videos, the city shows how to sew your own mask. You can read more here and here (in German)
People living in Madrid can watch films from their balconies during the corona lockdown after the local government brought in huge screens. The balcony cinema moves to a different neighbourhood every evening for people to watch a film with their neighbours. You can find a video from the BBC here
The public transport company of Milan has set a security plan in accordance with the distancing measures ruled by the Italian Ministry of Health for phase 2 of the Covid-19 emergency. The transport fleet has been widened and every station and transport is constantly sanitized. The number of passengers is controlled, signal pathways help to keep physical distance. You can read more here (in Italian)
The municipality of Osmangazi, Turkey, has disinfected more than 69,000 public locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Parks, gardens, squares, streets, containers, public buildings and sanctuaries are cleaned regularly. Workplaces, especially in the food sector, are inspected in order to guarantee the healthy production process. At the entrances of marketplaces, disinfectants and surgical masks are distributed free of charge.
“Budapest awaits!” is the message of a music and dance video, aimed at city residents and tourists. The film, created by the Budapest Festival and Tourism Center, shows the formerly cheerful and lively, but now empty city, waiting to see life returning to the streets and public spaces.
Toulouse metropole and Toulouse City Council are continuing to make many cultural offers free of charge online, but have further ensured that, for cancelled theatre shows, tickets can be refunded, and that engagement contracts with artists and technicians are honoured, even if work has not been carried out in full. Read more here
As one step out of the corona lockdown, the city of Florence is preparing sports trainings in parks, open for all ages and led by certified instructors from sports associations. Participants will have to register in order to control the size of the groups and ensure a safe distance. Other initiatives for ‘phase two’ include the reopening of restaurants and cafés for take-away services. The municipality wants to involve local businesses in virtual dialogues to develop more ideas.
The people of Nice will celebrate 1 May in a special way under corona conditions. The city has invited all citizens to their windows to sing, all together, the Nice anthem “Nissa La Bella“ at 11am on Friday. Usually, the arrival of spring is celebrated under the olive trees of the Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez. This year’s motto is “Make the May at home“, with activities going online. You can read more here (in French)
The social services of the city are slowly coming back to the normal meetings to serve the most urgent cases. 22 centers will reopen this week to combine digital and physical services. Read more here (in Spanish)
The city has compiled a detailed overview of the decisions and resources put in place to tackle the impacts that the crisis is having on the most vulnerable. This measures aim to preventing situations which could lead to social marginalisation as well as increasing the quality of life while promoting the social inclusion of vulnerable persons and groups within the community. Download the document here
Vulnerable residents of Riga have the opportunity to receive allowance to ensure the guaranteed minimum of the income level and housing allowance to pay for housing expenses as well as allowance for health care and others. Read more updated measure here
The municipal hospitals of the city of Zurich have patients refraining from going to the hospital and get treatment because they are afraid of getting infected. In order to make some treatments and also appointments possible, the city hospitals set up online diagnostic tools, where patients can contact their doctor if a physical meeting is not needed. You can read other measures in this summary
Restaurants and cafés will be able to share the public space without any charge in order to help this sector recover from the crisis. The city council has included this measure among the gradual exit strategy from the lockdown. More than 162 cafés, bars and restaurants have applied to inhabit the city’s public spaces with outdoor seating. Read more here
Experts have prepared this a guide to help decision-makers, from a technical point of view, on the criteria to identify the most suitable car parks for Covid testing. Urban car parks have a number of convenient characteristics for this purposes, such as allowing for significant flows of people in an orderly manner while facilitating the implementation of the necessary separation and control conditions. Read more here
Belfast City Council has established a Covid-19 brokerage platform that matches the expertise and capacity of the city’s innovator community. Bringing together the industry and the universities’ needs with the government and community organisations requirements. Visit its website here
Ahead of Europe Day (9 May), the City of Muenster plans to hand out 5,000 free Europe themed face masks to the public. As part of the gradual easing of Corona related restrictions in everyday public life, the masks are to symbolise the solidarity and protection of all Europeans.
Lisbon City Council has taken a range of extraordinary measures to protect culture. These include €200,000 in immediate support to the city’s Fado houses, as well as exemptions on rent payments for both cultural institutions and individual artists operating in municipal spaces. Read more here