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Urban innovation to attract businesses and qualified workers in Genoa

Peer review
By Platform
Peer review Genoa.jpg

On 27-28 June 2024, the Policy Learning Platform held an onsite peer review for the Municipality of Genova, which requested advice regarding their policy challenge on how to develop effective urban planning strategies to attract businesses and qualified workers


Main Policy Challenges
  • The Region is seeking to combine urban planning, urban innovation and economic development to make new areas and the city of Genova in general more attractive to businesses and qualified workers.
Peers from across Europe

Peers from across Europe

Alongside Luc Schermber, and René Tönisson, our Thematic Experts on ‘Smarter Europe’, six excellent peers participated in the peer review:

  • Kevin Lynch, Southern Assembly, Ireland
  • Luz Molina, ProMalaga, Spain 
  • Maria-Elena Seemann, Alba Iulia Municipality, Romania
  • Ricardo Goncalves, Municipality of Fundão, Portugal
  • Wolfgang Oehler, Büro Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung, Germany
Some Recommendations

To enhance Genoa's attractiveness for qualified workers and startups, it is recommended to co-create a shared vision that integrates urban, social, and economic dimensions. Effective governance structures across departments (and stakheolders) should be established to oversee this vision, ensuring clear leadership and accountability. Additionally, secure dedicated funding to support these initiatives and prioritise areas of specialization that align with Genoa’s unique strengths and opportunities.

More specific recommendations were drafted with respect to urban planning measures and measures fostering the attractiveness of Genao for qualified workers and startups.

Urban planning

  • Develop a binding master plan for urban development to guide Genoa’s transformation. It should ideally combine both spatial planning and economic development perspective in one single document.
  • Initiate impulse projects that are well-integrated with their surrounding areas and can generate interest in the local and broader community. Make thereby sure not to focus only on the impulse projects themselves but to ensure high-quality public spaces and services within close proximity (15-minute city).
  • Engage citizens actively in the planning and implementation of urban development initiatives.

Attractiveness for qualified workers and startups

  • Develop a unified branding strategy that highlights Genoa’s strengths to position the city as a prime location for qualified talent and startups. The branding strategy shall be connected with a shared vision for the development of the city and be taken up by multiple stakeholders.
  • Create a comprehensive strategy to attract and retain skilled professionals and innovative businesses to Genoa. Such a strategy should include „soft landing" support packages to assist newcomers in integrating smoothly into Genoa’s ecosystem.
  • Integrate startup infrastructure development with urban regeneration projects to rejuvenate Genoa and foster innovation. Old or unused buildings/spaces could for instance be used for developing innovative offers for young creative people and entrepreneurs (fab labs, co-working spaces, etc.)

Peer review publication

Find more information on the methodology and experiences of previous beneficiaries in our publication.

Drawing an idea

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