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EUKN Dutch Launch: The Hague 2 Dec. 2005

EUKN Dutch Launch, The Hague 2/12/05

[AHIE, 5c02] The European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) had its European inauguration in Paris, 27th October 2005. Today, the energetic EUKN team, hosted by the national KCGS (Kennis Centrum Grote Steden, Knowledge Centre Greater Cities) in The Hague, organised a consulting conference with participants and potential clients. Researchers (urban and university), local authorities and Dutch urban experts were invited to share their remarks, suggestions and knowledge, with the EUKN team.
Some very interesting suggestions were proffered, like facilitating direct contact between urban practitioners via the internet, collectioning more systematically international comparative studies, and adding “culture/professional artistic interventions” to the categories to be distinguished in the databases.
Maastricht alderman Han Hoogma underlined the benefits cities gain from a direct relation with the European authorities and –funders. A knowledge network like EUKN will help these cities to find independently their way in designing city-wide and region-wide (networked) solutions. Without Europe, the economic recovery of the transborder area Aix-la Chapelle – Maastricht – Hasselt – Liège would not have happened. Room to make their own rules, for instance on security and drugs, is essential for this kind of close intercity cooperation to succeed.
It was interesting to meet a representative of the Dutch consultancy firm RADAR, a specialist in social policies, who announced the launch of their Brussels bureau. The best discovery for me, was a meeting with two young representatives of the young city of Almere (created from scratch on the bottom of the former big lake in Holland’s centre). The 180.000 strong city has inherited much of Amsterdam’s poverty problems. It participates in an European INTERREG network as leading city for the “governance” theme. We hope to continue this contact on different themes and levels.

[Originally published 3/12/05 on: At Home in Europe]

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