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Stories > Blue4Green: a developing EUI project
To optimise their green policy, City of Bruges wants to focus on good water management in the city. For green space maintenance, both water quality and quantity are crucial. Especially in the historic city center, for which Bruges is famous, new innovative solutions are being sought to make the green-blue network more sustainable.
The city of Bruges deliberately chose to apply within the European Urban Initiative – Innovative Actions (EUI). This is because their innovative plans fit perfectly with the EUI “call for proposals” for greening cities, which sought innovative urban solutions for green-blue infrastructure.
EUI sees cities (‘main urban authorities’) as facilitators of innovation. Hoping that cities turn creative ideas into pilot projects, EUI wants to encourage participants to take risks. This is why the programme proved an ideal match for the City of Bruges. After all, with their Blue4Green project, they aim for sustainable solutions for complex and interconnected local challenges.
EUI is unique within ERDF programmes because of its specific focus. In addition, the application form contains specific expectations and the success rate is low. City of Bruges sought professional support to qualitatively align the project idea with these requirements. So it ended up with Reeleaf, which was responsible for shaping the work packages, aligning partners and developing specific and measurable results, to maximise the project idea’s chance of success in the 2nd project call.
To make the results more ambitious, we asked technical staff within the city several questions – intended to open a discussion about what else could contribute to water management in the city. So the results we were able to present in the application were not just about the direct impact of the investment and activities. We also looked at peripheral phenomena, benefits for city services (time savings, fewer miles traveled) and how citizens can benefit. After all, along the waterfront, places are created where residents can entertain or relax. Setting up one or more swimming zones is also a possibility here.
The file was submitted on Oct. 5. The result will follow in the spring of 2024. Reeleaf worked pleasantly not only with the various city departments, but also with the other project partners. Everyone had a clear role and in just a few months, a good project proposal emerged with a solid chance of approval. The partners and the client were satisfied with the quality of the file upon submission.
Also interested and eager to get started with EUI? A new call is likely to follow in spring 2024. Topics for the call may be announced earlier. If your city has more than 50,000 inhabitants and has ambitions to join the list of innovative European cities, be sure to contact us. We will be happy to discuss the latest developments at EUI and how we can be of service to you.