The conference entitled "The Future of Urban Policy”, organized within EURE project, took place on the 21st of April 2021 in the form of a hybrid event: some participants and speakers were physically present in Lublin while the rest joined through Zoom platform.

The event was opened by Mr Zbigniew Wojciechowski, Deputy Marshal of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, who warmly welcomed the participants. Mr Xoán Vázquez Mao, representative of the Atlantic Axis of Peninsular Northwest (EURE project Lead Partner), gave an introduction on the EURE project and how it supports the exchange of experiences as a way to improve the environmental performance management of the EU urban spaces. Mr Jacek Skałecki, representative of the Unit for Programming of Regional Operation Programme Management Department in the Marshal Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, gave an overview on the “European Funds 2021-2027 for Lubelskie Region” project. Mr José Palma Andres, coordinator of the EURE Expert Team, shared a presentation entitled “EU Urban Policy in the context of 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy”. Aside of providing insight into financing the EU urban policy in the new financial period, he also shared the EURE recommendations for its future. Mr Andrzej Brzozowy, regional expert of the EURE Urban Projects, shared his thoughts about development opportunities for small and medium - sized towns and the progress they have made in the recent years, inking the topic to the EU policies and documents. Last presentation before the break was delivered by Mr Daniel Baliński, Deputy Director of the Strategy Department in the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, and it was entitled “Future of urban policy in Poland”. He highlighted the fact that the respective Ministry is currently updating/renewing the Polish National Urban Policy with a horizon to 2030.

After a break participants convened to watch the first of two videos presenting Good Practices: Photovoltaic and biogas farm in “Hajdów” Wastewater Treatment. The aim of the project was to: (i) reduce consumption of the energy produced from fossil fuel, (ii) increase renewable energy potential of biogas, coming from the Hajdów sewage treatment plant and (iii) installation of photovoltaic farm in the proximity of the treatment plant.

Further on, Ms Anna Krzyżanowska-Orlik, regional expert of the EURE project, presented the “Regional report on the implementation of ITI and the future of ITI in the Lublin Region” making the audience familiar with the urban network in Lubelskie Region, population trends, ITI implementation in Poland in the 2021-2027 perspective based on 2014-2020 experience and the regional urban policy. Mr Radosław Guz, Director of the Integrated Territorial Investments Bureau in Lublin City Hall, shared a presentation entitled “ITI instrument in the Lublin Metropolitan Area: experiences and plans for the future”. He briefed participants about investments and activities implemented during the 2014-2020 EU financial period as well as the plans for the future in accordance with the Supralocal Strategy of the Lublin Metropolitan Area 2030.

The final segment of the event was the second of two videos presenting Good Practices: Installation of Thermal Waste Treatment in Municipal Water and Sewage Company “Waterworks of Pulawy” in Pulawy.

Questions coming from the audience were related to the ITI instrument implementation in Poland and in Lubelskie Region, EURE projects recommendations for the future EU urban policy as well as post Covid-19 development opportunities for small and medium-sized cities.

As the first online themathic seminar and the first online study visit organized within EURE Project, the event could be considered as a very succesful one, providing important lessons-learned for the future project events of this kind.

Discover more about the conclusions of the event here.