awards 2008

The Hague 2008 - "Building active cities - modern citizenship and integrated governance"

The EUROCITIES awards recognise outstanding achievement by EUROCITIES members in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens and will be judged in the context of the theme of the annual conference. Entries are judged by an independent jury of five members from the thematic sector, academia, EU institutions, media and NGO. Jury members change every year.


Innovation: recognising innovation in the planning and implementation of activities or practices by a local authority.

Participation: for activities or practices of a local authority which are successful in actively promoting citizen participation.

Cooperation: awarding cooperation efforts undertaken by a local authority with partner organisations or cities.

Shortlisted cities

Awards for innovation


Belfast: Mural Removal Project

The partisan nature of Belfast’s communities can be clearly identified by the murals which adorn gable walls.

In 2003 a pilot project was run by Belfast City Council (BCC) in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (a statutory agency who manage and allocate social housing in Northern Ireland) and the local communities. The agencies focused on the removal of these murals, through community consultation and agreement. Throughout the project thirty murals were successfully removed.

The murals that were identified for removal in this project were paramilitary by nature and often depicted violence, guns and sectarian messages.


✭ WINNER - Espoo: Cultural Chain

Cultural Chain is a network instigated by Cultural Services of traditionally unconnected institutions within both municipal sector and NGOs. It focuses on improving the quality of life of aged people by bringing art and culture ‘home’ to  those who cannot get it otherwise, and to enhance intergenerational dialogue.

The network includes all municipal old people’s care centres, institutions teaching arts & performing to all ages, sports activities, kindergartens, a local orchestra etc. It has created new outputs from existing municipal resources, and these ‘best  practises’ are shared between other cities in the Metropolitan area (Espoo,  Helsinki, Vantaa, Kauniainen).


Utrecht: Electronic Beer Boat

The beer boat is serving four breweries and 65 clients from the canals in the city centre of Utrecht. The advantages above transport by road are no time windows, no axis load restrictions and no congestion in the city centre. This means we can preserve the medieval wharfs better. Utrecht is the first city in the world implementing an electronic beer boat for inland water transport. This means that both propulsion as cargo handling are powered by batteries on the boat. Advantages for citizens are the absence of noise, cleaner air and the reduction of CO2 reduction in the city.

The CO2 reduction is the equivalent of 11 football fields of trees. In short, with the electronic beer boat, Utrecht works on a clean and environmental friendly city centre.

Awards for participation


Madrid: Citizen Participation and Social Reequilibrium in the City of Madrid

The Special Plans of Investment are initiatives created by the city council of Madrid in 2003 that, aiming to solve the problem of territorial imbalance existing in the city, incorporate social actors in the formulation of the policies of public investment. This is a model of participatory budgeting, where the local government and residents in the affected districts, have created stable ties of cooperation and information exchange. This program are benefiting at 41,76 percent of the population, representing an investment of 577.242.246 euros and the execution of 182 actions by the local government. The Villa Vallecas and Puente Vallecas plans are the latest plans and will be the framework for explaining the Madrid experience.


✭ WINNER - Newcastle: Udecide – Participatory Budgeting in Newcastle

Empowering residents of Newcastle upon Tyne to play a major role in spending public funds.

PB provides citizens with information that enables them to be engaged in prioritising the needs of their neighbourhood and setting budgets for projects and/or services that will meet those needs. In the UK this tool of engagement is gathering momentum and the work in Newcastle is widely regarded as pioneering in this field. Over the past two years we have run a series of PB events branded locally as Udecide.


Reykjavik: Ready, steady, Reykjavik

The project “1,2 og Reykjavik” or “Ready, Steady, Reykjavik,” as it could be translated into in English, is a “social capital” project and as such aims at increasing the citizen participation in decision-making for the city. The project focus is neighbourhood-based and is meant to stimulate the citizens to show interest in their close environment. Various methods are used to promote a discourse between the citizens and the city but all of them are done under the overhead project title “1,2 og Reykjavik.” Although various methods are used the main gateway is an online multi-functional ePetition Portal where the focus is on creating a dialog between the city and its inhabitants about maintenance work and smaller construction projects in the city’s neighbourhoods.

Awards for cooperation


✭ WINNER - Ghent: Ghent 2020, Gentinfo

For 5 years already, the general public can contact Gentinfo - from Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. - via telephone, e-mail, information kiosks on the street and the city of Ghent’s website - with questions regarding basic information about > 70 city services, events in Ghent, but also with reports, suggestions and complaints for city government, extending and reserving material borrowed from the library via the telephone, applying for a resident’s parking pass or to find a vacancy for your children in one of the city’s many childcare facilities. Gentinfo is often visited by candidate cities, authorities, even businesses, as 1 of the “best practices” when it comes to information provision, quality care and organisation.


Istanbul: My Project Istanbul

“My Project Istanbul” is a cooperation platform between the local authority and academic world with financial, social and technical dimensions, aiming to increase the life quality in Istanbul and to meet the need for research and development necessary to tackle the challenges faced by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in its activities through making use of the research and development potential of the universities in Istanbul.

With this R&D platform, it is aimed to find social and technical participatory advanced solutions for the problems of Istanbul through combining the existing resources of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the capabilities of the research and development of the 21 universities out of 22 in Istanbul. Some researches have been finalized and 22 of them have been put into practice in order to increase the life quality in the city.


Lublin-Lviv: Cinematic Cities

The main objective of the project is to enhance the advantages of Lublin, Lviv and Polish – Ukrainian borderline through the development of the trans-border cooperation in the field of audiovisual industry.

The initial objective of this project is to create the possibility for Lublin, Lviv and Polish – Ukrainian borderline to be more often used as filming locations.

Attracting film productions, laying out production budget in the area of the film set and involvement of the local community, this influences the dynamics of the economic development.

Jury members

The 2008 Awards jury panel was composed of the following members:

Chairman of the Jury:
Frits Huffnagel
City of The Hague

EU institution:
Corinne Hermant
European Commission, DG REGIO

Rob Atkinson
Urban Research Director,
University of the West of England

Albrecht W. Hoffmann
Ideenschmiede A.W. Hoffmann GmbH

Pauline Aarts
"De Posthoorn"