Three Belgian projects get EU funding for city-living initiatives

Three Belgian projects get EU funding for city-living initiatives
A cargo bike at work in Brussels. © Belga

Three projects in Belgium are among 11 chosen to share in €50 million in European Union funding aimed at making cities more liveable.

The Urban Innovative Actions programme is an initiative of the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF), and put out a call for proposals last year, with a December deadline.

The call received responses from 222 partnerships from 23 EU member states, with programmes on air quality, culture and cultural heritage, circular economy and demographic change vying for a share of a budget of €50 million in ERDF funding.

The Brussels-based pilot project Cairgo Bike was one of those selected for funding. Cairgo Bike receives almost €4.7 million.

The Brussels region, which is one of the partners, aims to “accelerate a drive to clean air by tackling significant impacts caused by overuse of large goods vehicles and cars for short motorised trips”. That involves moving some transport operations from car or van to cargo bike.

The initiative covers not only cargo bikes as such, but also baby carriages, suspended child bikes and other forms of soft transport to help make the city – and cities in general – more liveable and more breathable.

The Leiedal intermunicipal project in the Kortrijk area in West Flanders receives just under €4 million for a DC power grid that connects a variety of renewable energy sources and storage facilities. That is intended to power the Transfo heritage site near Kortrijk, which consists of social family houses, offices, a microbrewery and leisure & sporting facilities.

Finally, the CoGhent project in the city of Ghent receives €4.76 million to create a moveable space on cultural heritage. The physical space can move between three neighbourhoods in Ghent, where local people will be able to consult and contribute to the cultural heritage collection.

Other projects chosen for funding are in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Halandri in Greece, Tilburg in the Netherlands, Košice in Slovakia, Verona and Ferrara in Italy, Almeria in Spain, and the Hungarian capital Budapest.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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