Innovation & entrepreneurship will be the main engines of transformation
How do you transform Historic Urban Areas while preserving their unique identity and the environment? That’s the challenge that 8 European cities are taking up. Belfast (UK), Brasov (Romania), Utrecht (Netherlands), Genoa (Italy), Lisbon (Portugal), Nicosia (Cyprus), Slovenska Bistrica (Slovenia) & Angouleme (France) are each set to rehabilitate and enhance a selected historic area and transform it into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. To do this, they are supported by the project coordinator Lisboa Enova, the Energy and Environment Agency of Lisbon, and a group of European associations, local agencies and research partners.
Running until the end of 2024, the HUB-IN project (funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union) will place cultural heritage at the centre, to foster innovation and creativity. Keeping in mind local history and values, and with the collaboration of the inhabitants, civil society organisations and businesses, each city will test and develop its own solutions to the challenges of its area. They will pilot activities for their sustainable transformation, improving the wellbeing of the people while increasing the economic and ecological resilience of the place and strengthening social links.
HUB-IN will use stakeholder engagement methods, alternative financing models and acceleration programmes for start-ups. The project is also developing different tools and programmes to co-design solutions, increase local knowledge and share good practices and opportunities. The 8 historic areas will be connected, to facilitate exchanges and create an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the pilot cities.
HUB-IN partners aim at sharing the knowledge generated with as many cities as possible. They intend to select at least 20 additional historic urban areas to follow the project and potentially develop their own hubs of innovation. At the beginning of 2024, they will launch a training programme to further extend the rollout of HUB-IN led regeneration.