Provision and support for young people provided by Cardiff Youth Services has been expanded in order to meet increased demand during COVID-19. The Council has reallocated staff to join the designated street based team, to engage with young people and listen to their views. Digital engagement between services and young people has increased and the Council has appointed a digital officer for this area. New ways to engage young people in conversation have been created, including innovative activities via social media platforms like competitions and Question and Answer sessions. Many young people have not been able to attend school, college or youth provision since March. You can read more here
“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
The city has published a dashboard collating data on the city’s response during the pandemic. It includes data on items like sanitary equipment, digital services, CRM and help desk requests. Read more here
Join The Big Walk in July, book online courses at the Summer School of Cardiff University and order your favourite Sri Lanka dish from The Coconut Tree – all through the ‘From Home’ project by the ‘Visit Cardiff’ team, showcasing the city’s most exciting lockdown activities. Visitors and residents can explore them here
To enable all citizens to use digital tools for social contacts during the corona pandemic, the Swedish city of Kungsbacka has initiated a support service: people can book a ‘digital doer’ to assist them at home on how to make a video call, download an e-book or enjoy a live streamed concert or digital museum tour. The service is available for people aged 70 years or older and others who belong to a risk group and have difficulties using online tools. They can also borrow a tablet from the digital doers. Information about the offer is given via an outreach programme of the municipality and through a senior citizens network. You can read more here (in Swedish)
Cardiff based fintech company Yoello has joined forces with FOR Cardiff to launch a campaign to ‘#BackCardiff’ – offering cash-flow support to Cardiff based hospitality and retail businesses struggling whilst physical distancing restrictions are in place. The goal of the campaign, backed by TheFinTech Wales and Cardiff Council, is to motivate communities to help local businesses increase their cash-flow by purchasing right now to ease the strain that the lockdown has caused. Through the web-app platform, local merchants can create a shop page to sell their products and services during lockdown. You can read more here
The 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
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
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.
In Poznan, as part of the ‘Telephone of Digital Tips&Advices’ service, senior citizens receive support to use new technologies. The consultants on duty explain, for example, how to send an e-mail or download photos from a phone. Read more here (in Polish)
“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
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
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)
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)
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Reims has launched a digital platform to invite people to come up with ideas and solutions to pave the way to the ‘day after’. The city engages itself to implement projects collected on the platform that have been approved by popular vote. Projects can fall under areas such as: economic recovery, health and well-being, living together and support to culture. Read more here (in French)
Find creative digital solutions for the problems caused by the spread of COVID-19 – that was the challenge in a hackathon organised by the RISE Center for Excellence in Research and Innovation, coordinated by the municipality of Nicosia, and HackCyprus. 198 people participated in the competition in the beginning of April 2020. 15 projects around the themes ‘Save Lives, ‘Save Communities’, ‘Save Businesses’ and ‘Save Mental Well-Being’ made it into the final report. The ideas reach from a 3D game to enjoy everyday life under corona, including dancing and drinks, over a crowdfunding platform for local businesses to an app for digital healthcare, so doctors can take care of their patients who are at home. Read more here and download the report with the projects.
Both educational and fun – that is the ambition of the online platform ‘School at home’ from the Spanish city of Viladecans. Activities range from baking an Easter cake over math games to watching a short film and reflecting over the emotions represented in the movie. You can read more here
The research center RISE in Nicosia, Cyprus, has developed a mobile app to help limit the spread of the corona virus. The app, COVTRACER, is monitoring the movements of confirmed carriers of the virus to identify people they have been in contact with. The use of the app is voluntary. It has been downloaded 8,000 times since the launch. The pilot version of the application is designed for police and security forces, doctors, nurses and fire fighters.
To allow pupils who lack mobile devices to follow online classes from school, the Spanish city of Fuenlabrada is giving out smartphones with internet connection to families in need. The first 70 phones have been distributed, up to 300 more will be given out. The aim of the measure is to prevent students in compulsory stages from being disconnected from the course due to a lack of technological resources. You can read more here (in Spanish)
Films, concerts, ballets, tours, exhibition visits and lectures – the online programme of the municipal channel ‘Cultivez-vous’ (cultivate yorself) in Nice is updated every week with events to enjoy at home during the corona confinement. The new section ‘Pépites sonores’ (sound nuggets) offers rare recordings from the discography of the Nice Municipal Library, as well as literary texts read by actors. Here you get to the site
Members of the Zagreb City Library can read more than 600 e-book titles on different devices, and they can access a list of free e-books. They can also get help in searching for content thanks to the Ask Librarians service. The Library also collected on their YouTube channel interesting online events like forums and workshops, and is giving access to an online collection not only showcasing books, but also materials like photos and music scores. Read more here (in Croatian)
Several of Düsseldorf’s cultural institutions offer tours and events online. The Aquazoo (a renowned zoo for mainly aquatic animals) streams online shark feedings. The local theatre Schauspielhaus offers behind-the-scene tours and the Maritime Museum (Schifffahrtsmuseum) can be visited virtually. Read more here (in German)
People in Madrid can search for shops and delivery services as well as for help from different organisations in their area by using a new digital district map. The initiative ‘Compartimos barrio’, ‘We share a neighbourhood’, has been launched by the city council to make trade and essential services visible during the COVID-19, operational in each district. It aims to supply people who for various reasons cannot go out on the streets or cannot cope alone with the confined situation. You can find the district map and read more here (in Spanish)
Terrassa is offering a number of different cultural services online. These involve libraries, museums and archives, and make the most of social media and online platforms. The city is also taking measures to support the sector and the people working in it. Read more here
Zaragoza is offering free courses on electronic commerce aimed at the SMEs in the city in order to adapt their businesses to the new situation. Four courses are available online: Digital Marketing, Advertising on Internet, Web Analytics, Social Networks in retail. Read more (in Spanish) here.
The municipal Heinrich-Heine-Institute in Dusseldorf, a museum dedicated to the German poet Heinrich Heine, offers the reading of poems and other texts over the phone during the time it is closed due to the corona regulations. The museum also publishes educational videos, readings and quizzes on Instagram and Facebookto to keep eager Heine fans busy. Read more here (in German).
The municipal Clara Schumann music school offers digital music classes for its students. The lessons are conducted online or via video messages, students receive their music sheets online and send their rehearsed recordings to the teacher. Read more here (in German)
Since Espoo turned to distance learning, the city and teachers have learned the importance of clarity, the best methods, the role of the teacher and wellbeing of the child. Read about the city’s experience here.
Nice is keeping culture open online. Through it’s platform oncultivate-you.nice.fr, the city has launched twenty online programmes including films, concerts, ballets, visits to heritage places, exhibition, and conferences! There is even a free moment when artists and musicians have a carte blanch to perform as they want. Read more (in French) here.
The Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova (in the picture with volunteers), has called on the Bulgarian capital’s citizens to volunteer time and energy to help those at risk – the elderly, people with long-term health problems, socially isolated. For a week, over 100 residents joined as volunteers, serving over 3,000 citizens who need assistance with food deliveries, other shopping, providing medication or a friendly social call. Over 60 local businesses support the volunteer work with donating food and other products. You can read more here (in Bulgarian)
The City of Rennes has compiled an online ‘reading corner’ full of publications, long stories, podcasts, interviews with inhabitants, videos, and links to cultural sites among other items. Read more here
The city of Ghent is urging residents to help keep local businesses afloat by buying locally and has gathered together all other existing initiatives to create a portal to takeaways and local places to purchase food online. Read more here
While schools are temporarily closed, Bamberg has established an online platform that contains exercises and working materials for students. These materials serve a dual function, as they also relate to Bamberg’s cultural heritage. Read more (in German) here.
Bamberg is preventing staff shortages in essential industries. Companies can report their HR needs to the employment agency. These vacancies are then published for job seekers to contact those companies directly. Read more (in German) here.
Debrecen has created a financial aid fund to support those in need. Roughly €60,000 has been provided by the city’s budget. This sum was then augmented by tens of thousand euro by the mayor, companies and private individuals. Read more (in Hungarian) here.
The municipality has also set up an information center to support those in need with three dedicated phone lines. Read more (in Hungarian) here.
Torino City Love lists a number of free online resources and actions offered by the city’s partners and other businesses from Italy and beyond. The offer includes resources on education, health, connectivity, collaboration solutions, tools to work and/or study remotely, collaboration solutions, and connectivity. Read more here and here (in Italian) for more measures
Following the spontaneous balcony concerts of Italians, the city of Bologna makes live music available even with concert halls closed under the corona measures. The city’s web portal Bologna Agenda Cultura offers videos from musicians who played behind closed doors and gives free access to a wide range of online events.
The museum StadtPalais in Stuttgart is going fully digital. Under the title ‘Online for you’, a varied programme of interactive live tours, digital visits and media guides for home are offered, as well as online workshops for children and families, speed runs and live guests. The whole programme is for free.
The University Hospital of Munster, Germany, offers medical advice to intensive care doctors in other hospitals by video. With this support, corona intensive care patients could stay longer in smaller hospitals close to their home and would not have to be transferred to university hospitals so quickly, while those beds could be reserved for more severe cases. In the region of Westphalia Lippe alone, more than 200 hospitals could use the telemedicine offer from Munster in cooperation with the University Hospital Aachen. Read more here (in German)
In compliance with the coronavirus measures, the city council of Ghent, Belgium, held a digital council meeting this week. The 53 councillors participated online from their home computer. It was the largest digital council meeting ever held in Flanders. The city now wants to share its knowhow with other municipalities. Read more here
Rome’s libraries are making their catalogue available online for free with the #cultureathome campaign. People can subscribe for a free membership that will give them access to over 7100 periodicals from 90 countries in 40 different languages, the main national and international newspapers, and widely circulated magazines. Users will also be able to borrow from 2 to 4 e-books. Read more here
Warsaw launched several virtual broadcasts showcasing the natural world, serving both educational and recreational purposes. The videos show how employees of the city zoo take care of animals, or teach interesting facts about the animal world. People can also take a digital stroll in Lasy Miejskie, the City Forest of Warsaw, and teach their kids how to behave when in the forest. Read more here
Barcelona is helping the elderly get the information they need on COVID-19 and get answers to their questions on the pandemic. The VinclesBCN Service, already used by 2,400 people aged 65+ to combat loneliness and foster social contacts, adapted to the pandemic by creating a new health channel. The channel is managed by a doctor and nurse, who answer the various questions through text or voice message and feed general health information related to COVID-19 into the different groups in the channel. Although not intended as an emergency phone number, the channel provides official, accurate support to one of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. Read more here
Elderly people in Madrid who are isolated in confinement due to COVID-19 can call a free phone number and have a conversation with a volunteer. The project ‘Minutos en Compañía’ – ‘minutes in company’ – has been initiated by the Madrid City Council in collaboration with the organisation ‘Adopta un Abuelo’ – ‘Adopt a Grandparent’. More than 100 volunteers are taking the calls via a switchboard and an app on their mobile phones at home. Read more here (in Spanish)
Sports clubs in the city of Stuttgart offer daily sport lessons on video for people at home. The programme includes functional fitness, yoga, aerobics and Zumba. One episode lasts around 25 minutes and is available every day at 5.30 pm on the city’s Facebook channel and on YouTube
Zaragoza has launched a platform for corporate solidarity contributions. The site connects the commitment and resources of private companies with the needs of Zaragoza society in order to face this emergency situation. Five work areas have been set up in which the different companies can lend their help: health, education, entertainment, technology and food. Read more (in Spanish) here.
Tallinn is working together with local start-ups and communities to offer basic services for people in isolation. On Friday, March 13, 2020, Estonian startup foundation Garage48 launched an online hackathon to figure out ways to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the solutions is the web-based platform COVID-Help that connects volunteers from local communities with the most vulnerable members of those communities.
Today there are more than 2000 volunteers connected to this platform who offer practical help, like doing shopping for those in quarantine or just calling and talking to lonely elderly people and thus taking some of the stress off local social workers.
Dusseldorf is turning to the internet and telephone to education, sport and support. A new hotline for the elderly and other high risk populations is available for getting help and advice. Read more (in German) here. A new e-learning platform provided by the city allows teachers to provide their pupils with learning material and online classes. Read more (in German) here. And the municipal department of sport, which usually offers free outdoor classes in Dusseldorf’s parks, has launched online workouts that people can enjoy from home. Read more (in German) here.
The VinclesBCN Service is adapting to COVID-19 and creating a health channel to answer questions from its 2,400 elderly users, who live alone. The health channel includes 21 COVID-19 information groups into which the users have been divided, through which the health team will pass on information that may be of interest to them concerning the pandemic.
With VinclesBCN, users can manage their social relationships by using a simple application installed on a tablet or smartphone. The profile of VinclesBcn users is a person over 65 years old, who is a registered resident of Barcelona and feels lonely. The 40 Social Services centers in the city are the main referrers, although the health service also refers people to the service.
Antwerp has launched a platform to facilitate the large number of volunteer initiatives that have erupted across the city. These initiatives aim to help residents who can, for instance, no longer walk to the store or pharmacy or take out their dog.
Residents who need help can report this via an online form or a free telephone number. Antwerp residents who do not only want to help people in their immediate vicinity can register as volunteers. The help offered is very varied. For example, this could be a volunteer who goes to the store every day or one-off telephone help for a computer problem. Even if people want to talk to someone for a while, they can register. Above all, the platform wants to bundle very everyday practical help questions: write a card, chat over the phone, take care of animals, deliver soup, go to the post, do the grocery shopping, etc. Check out the platform (in Dutch) here.
Stuttgart is coordinating a recent surge in volunteer efforts through collating and publishing offers of help, supporting and advising individuals and initiatives in volunteering, compiling ideas for delivering support without physical contact, and providing ideas on further possibilities for solidarity action.
The city is managing this through a new platfomr ‘Corona: Engagiert in Stuttgart’. Read more about the imitative (in German) here.
Madrid’s new online exercise channel includes games to play with children, aerobic training, challenges to exercise as a family, yoga and pilates, and more. The councilor delegate for Sport, Sofía Miranda, has stressed the importance of continuing to do sports at home to keep people’s immune systems strong. This is also being hosted on a municipal Instagram account ‘I train at home’.
All the content that is published is developed by the professionals of the municipal sports centers of the City Council. Read more here.
The city council is using its existing portal for citizen participation to give people a space to propose new initiatives, and for associations to share what they are already doing to improve the quality of life in Madrid while maintaining the current situation of alarm. Read more here
More than 30,000 people joined last weekend’s online cultural activities organised by the city. Among them, theatre, dance, shows for children and recipes with the most famous local chefs. Read more here
The #OurCityHelps platform has been shared free of charge with municipalities across Belgium. It provides an online place to bring together volunteers able to help out and requests for help, including things like doing groceries, chatting over the phone or walking a dog. The City of Leuven was the first city to adopt the platform. Read more here.
Zaragoza City Council’s new digital platform aims to organise all the citizen solidarity actions in one place and connect people in need of help with those offering their help. Initiatives are focussed on how to help the most vulnerable citizens in their daily lives, such as going to the food store, calling elderly people living alone, offering help to take care of the children. Read more here
The Youth Department of Madrid City Council has welcomed more than 500 people in its first week of digital activities for young people. This includes activities as diverse as fitness workshops, talks on cosmetics and an online acoustic music event. Read more here
The authorities from Botoșani, Romania, have moved the city’s council sessions online during the corona crisis. The counselors voted for the necessary regulatory changes at their meeting. The system provides an online conference and voting system. Counselors have been trained to use the software, so physical meetings can be avoided under the confinement. You can read more here (in Romanian)