The project supports BMI with internationalising the National Urban Development Policy and the New Leipzig Charter. Study and expert trips and joint events are regularly held to this end.
The project’s central focus is the implementation of transcontinental peer learning networks, each of which comprises up to eight cities. In conjunction with national authorities and city associations, they each take an in-depth look at one real project example per city in 'living labs', where the implementation practice is examined with a critical eye on both, the local and national frameworks. One central part of the networks is cooperative learning on an equal footing, or the 'peer learning' method.
Participants support the implementation of the project examples over a period of around two years, exchanging information on the implementation in face-to-face workshops, local assignments and virtual advisory meetings. Participants also interact with policy-makers, intensively and openly.
What all project examples have in common is that they take an integrated urban approach with a clear place-based focus (neighbourhood). In the living labs, challenges relating to governance are often at the forefront. These include the management of interdepartmental coordination processes, multilevel governance or long-term citizen participation. Supportive measures such as temporary placements provide a deeper insight into the 'other' everyday working life above and beyond the local assignments.
Experiences gained are taken into consideration in the national urban development policies and their implementation programmes. They are also presented at conferences such as BMI’s annual National Urban Development Policy Congress and made available to other municipalities through associations such as the Association of German Cities.
Open exchange based on trust and in the context of peer learning helps improve the implementation of national policies related to integrated urban development focused on the common good and permits open dialogue on existing challenges.
In South Africa, citizens are already benefiting from new exchange formats. In the municipality of Msunduzi, representatives of the administration sat on the 'red sofa' to talk directly to citizens about rejuvenation of the inner city, away from the highly formalised standard participation processes.
Participating urban developers, municipal associations and ministries are more invested in their key role in the sustainable structuring of the city of tomorrow and are better able to defend their positions with integrity in the face of resistance.
National partners and bilateral programmes in South Africa and Ukraine adapt and replicate the peer learning method and have formed their own national urban development learning networks.
Last update: December 2020