The special issue “Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches” edited by József Hegedüs aims to discuss different theoretical concepts and their empirical relevance. It represents a unique collection of seven papers written by leading housing researchers in this field.
OpenHeritage project, led by Metropolitan Research Institute, organized its first international event in Warsaw in October 2019, in the framework of the Informed Cities Forum series, in cooperation with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Actors of Urban Change network.
The 7th Informed Cities forum was a two-day event called “Who profits from heritage? Communities, capital and urban space”. It took place on 15-16 October, and explored the interrelation between urban regeneration and heritage, reflecting on the importance of community involvement and the creation of a heritage community. The latter is a crucial building block of all successful projects. As Katarzyna Sadowy of OpenHeritage partner Warsaw Association of Polish Architects (OW SARP) pointed out in her keynote speech, “heritage doesn’t exist without the heritage community – people who make the buildings, places, stories part of their identity”.
Building on the experience of the OpenHeritage project and the Actors of Urban Change community, the Forum explored new ideas and tools to empower local communities and safeguard urban commons. The realities, challenges and successes of urban regeneration were illustrated through a series of field workshops organised by local partners representing the public, private and community sectors in Warsaw. The workshops explored community-managed spaces; partnerships for creative districts; the future of urban peripheries; mapping values using heritage; and modern placemaking.
The event gathered more than 100 participants, who were a mix of urban activists, social entrepreneurs, local and European policy makers, researchers and investors.
The global crisis and recession created a new situation for urban financing. Severe changes in economic and financial conditions extorted the revision of existing public policies. Under the worsening financial conditions, the traditional functioning of cities collapsed – writes MRI director Iván Tosics in the special issue of Urbanisme, focusing on the URBACT programme.
Hanna Szemző, managing director of Metropolitan Research Institute gave a presentation at the launch event for a new report by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) titled ‘The energy transition in Central and Eastern Europe: The business case for higher ambition’ in Bucharest on the 21 of March 2019.
European Investment Bank assigned Metropolitan Research Institute with the preparation of a study on the urban development of Győr, a thriving economic hub in Western Hungary – at the same time, a “secondary city” in the vicinity of three dynamic metropolises, which has to compete for workforce and other resources. The study, elaborated by senior experts Iván Tosics and Éva Gerőházi, also takesi nto account EIB’s role in the city’s outcomes.
Located between three European capital cities, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest, Győr has to work hard to attract investment and jobs. The Hungarian city has set itself up to attract innovative companies, creating new urban values such as education-based innovation, a high-quality urban environment and a lively cultural sphere. Yet the three capital cities attract most of the development potential in the area, making it difficult for smaller cities such as Győr to attract the headquarters of international companies or to develop large-scale new urban areas.
Győr’s response has been to focus on “smart specialisation” in line with its broader innovation-based development concept. The city’s industrial heritage helped attract investment, especially a major AUDI plant, which has become a definitive player in the local urban economy. Yet this runs the risk of resulting in a monofunctional local economic development direction, and make the city vulnerable to economic cycles. To prevent this, the municipality has long been focusing on diversifying the local economy, relying among others on EU funding (for which national co-financing was advanced in the form of an EIB loan). A flagship pole in these diversification effort is the cooperation between Széchenyi István University, the public sector, and market actors. This is manifested in the Center for University-Industry Cooperation, permitting the implementation of the future Technopolis vision. In addition, EU funding supported the improvement of urban environment and alleviating spatial segregation in Győr.
The study authored by Tosics and Gerőházi is available in English, German, French, and Hungarian on EIB’s website.