On 8 February, in Culleredo (A Coruña), Eixo Atlantico presented its recommendations for the Spanish tool in the current financing period to local stakeholders and the Managing Authority of the Spanish programme for Urban Development.

The Spanish action plan designed within the EURE project included two steps: 

  1. Working in close contact with local stakeholders, to produce a report about how to design Urban/ Rural Functional Areas’ criteria for small cities in sparsely and low populated territories.
  1. Organise a public presentation of the report.

Once the first step was concluded in November 2022, Eixo organised the public presentation on 8 February 2023. The panellists for this event included not only the author/coordinator of the report but also the Managing Authority of the Spanish programme which is still being defined; as well as a representative of the Ministry of Urban Agenda which is also involved in defining contents for the future financing tool.

The event was a success as attendance was open not only to Eixo members but to all Galician cities managing EDUSI (the Spanish tool for Sustainable Urban Development in the 2014-2020 period).

All speakers agreed on the need to establish urban functional areas (UFA) to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of the next tool (2021-2027). This should consider the specificities of the Spanish territorial reality (sparsely population in many areas).

The main messages emerging from the event were:

  • To design UFA based on criteria, such as population density, local identity, and municipal functionality. 
  • It is very important to consider that cities act as the main city of a wider territory, even if there is not territorial continuity between them.
  • We should think in cities and UFA from a citizen’s perspective. Cities should be functional and answer citizens’ needs.
  • UFA should be areas with common interests. 
  • Urban Agendas are interesting to design UFA strategies, but it should be considered that they are not just a document or a pool of projects but a process, a working method that should lead to concrete actions.

Good news arrived from the Managing Authority representative who announced that, despite the instrument still being under definition, it is sure that in this new period (2021-2027) they will also finance small and medium areas, as well as UFA of at least 20 000 inhabitants without the need to demonstrate territorial continuity among its members. 

The latter is a success for Eixo Atlántico as this was its main request working with the Spanish Managing Authority under the EURE project.

To sum it up, the event was a success in terms of attendance and was very well assessed by attendants who had the opportunity to exchange directly with Managing Authority and the other panellists their worries, problems and needs during the current funding period.

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