Archive of 2019

PURPLE to join discussions on peri-urban culture

Dec 23, 2019

PURPLE has recently heard that its application to become part of a group of organisations from across Europe taking part in the EU’s Structured Dialogue on the role of culture in non-urban areas has been successful.

The nature and potential of culture and cultural activities in peri-urban settings is a topic that has been looked at by the Working Group in the past. The Structured Dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector poses itself the question “What can the EU do to promote culture in the peri-urban spaces?”.

The written submissions from all successful applicants will be collated and published before the full group meets in Germany to discuss and compare thoughts in February preparatory to a high level meeting with EC officials to take place in Brussels in April 2020.

PURPLE Work Plan 2020-22

Dec 22, 2019

The 31st PURPLE General Assembly requested that the Working Group develop a draft of a three year Work Plan to replace that which expires at the end of 2019. That work has now been done and the proposed Plan will be submitted to the Executive Board for approval early in the new year.

For the first time, the 2020-22 Work Plan includes a short list of focus areas which are mapped against key European Union policies, against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the proposed Priority Objectives within the 2021-27 Cohesion policy and funds.

Should the Plan meet with the Executive Board’s approval, it will be submitted to the 32nd General Assembly for ratification in line with constitutional requirements.

Draft CoR Opinion on metropolitan areas

Nov 23, 2019

The latest draft of the Committee of the Regions Opinion "The challenges of metropolitan regions and their position in the future Cohesion policy post 2020" has been approved at committee stage and will next be submitted for plenary approval on December 04 2019.

The text for final approval now includes specific reference to metropolitan "regions" having "....strong links with peri-urban and rural areas ...." as a result of representations by PURPLE. Of course, PURPLE would also argue that much territory within "metroplitan regions" is itself peri-urban in reality. The text now also contains reference to the need to distinguish between highly urbanised and less urbanised areas, and an acknowledgement that "... the predominent model (of settlement pattern, presumably) in Europe is polycentric. There is also reference to the need to move beyond GDP as a sole indicator when calculating funding allocations (a cause PURPLE has long supported), and to the fragmented governance patterns within metropolitan areas. The text also concedes that there is in reality "... no consensus on criteria defining and delimiting Metropolitan Regions...".

The Rapporteur for the Opinion is Juraj Droba, Chairman of the Bratislava self-governing region and the draft Opinion in all offical languages can be found here:







ROBUST project meeting 5 in Riga

Nov 16, 2019

The H2020 ROBUST project consortium met in early November as the project reached month 30 of its planned 48 months duration.

With work on the project’s eleven Living Labs now underway, the meeting was an opportunity to review progress to date in these live research locations and at the same time to return to discussion within the five project Communities of Practice led by the project’s academic partners:

  • Business models and labour markets
  • Public services and infrastructure
  • Sustainable Food
  • Cultural connections
  • Ecosystem services

PURPLE was represented at the meeting by Paul Van der Sluys, Joanna Kubiak and Vincent O’Connell meaning that it was able to participate in all five Community of Practice discussions – PURPLE is due to produce papers on the rural-urban dimensions of each over the next months.

Vincent O’Connell also gave a presentation outlining the probable policy implications for each of the five areas in the context of what is known about the future plans of new European Commission.

Green4Grey materials published

Oct 23, 2019

In the aftermath of the highly successful final project conference and study visit event in late September, a full pack of event materials together with a series of project publications has now been made available at:

Amongst the new publications is a manual providing details of demonstrable good practice related to peri-urban green infrastructure as well as presentations from the day and details of various workshops and case studies from across Flanders.

The project leaflet can also be directly downloaded here

The Future of Cities report

Oct 17, 2019

The former – and, hopefully, soon to be again - European Parliament Urban Intergroup hosted the launch of the report The Future of Cities, Opportunities, Challenges and the Way Forward on Wednesday October 16.  The full document and Executive Summary have been produced as a “Science for Policy” report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) within the European Commission.

Conceived in many ways as the successor to the 2011 Cities of Tomorrow report, the new multi-authored publication (the citation runs to eight lines), completed in April this year also had input from numerous other Directorate Generals, from the Committee of the Regions and from the CEMR and Eurocities networks. The key stated aim of the report is to raise open questions and steer discussions on the future of cities “within the science and policymaker communities”. In that sense, its authors described it as very much the beginning as oppose to the culmination of a process.

The report sets out eight key challenges for cities:

  • Affordable housing
  • Mobility
  • Provision of services
  • Ageing
  • Urban health
  • Social segregation
  • Environmental footprint
  • Climate action

It goes on to posit six possible “perspectives, towards solutions”:

  • Space and the city
  • Tech and the city
  • Cities as innovation hubs
  • The citizen’s city
  • Urban governance
  • The resilient city

The report concludes with a series of eight “main messages”, the full report also including a section on related research and policy questions “still to be addressed”

The report and accompanying text can be downloaded in full and in Executive Summary form at: