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Community Initiative URBAN II

The urban centres dynamic -Greece and problems of Description -development of the current situation

The urban centres Greece are characterised by a series of dynamic factors and of problems which constitute opportunities and obstacles with their development simultaneously. 

Despite the differences that they present from the point of view of the importance of their population, these urban centres are characterised, to a large extent, by things in common at the level of their development mechanisms, both from the economic point of view and from the point of view of regional planning.

Provisions for application

7.1 introduction

The experience gained in the implementation of the programme URBAN I was exploited at the time of that of URBAN II.

The efforts of improvement of quality and of the effectiveness of the Community projects, in addition to the question of the absorption of the resources, were stepped up. The Greek government and the Commission agreed on a significant number of measures aiming to modernise and improve the effectiveness, so much as regards the implementation of the projects and of the operations, than of the operational programme management of the CSF and the initiatives.

For the next URBAN II, the challenge consists in preserving and in strengthening the asset, in particular with regard to the reliability of management, but also:

  • to apply a modernised system in order to strengthen the control national system effectiveness, the control of legality and of the regularity of expenditure, in accordance with the regulations of the Structural Funds and of the provisions concerning the fight against fraud, and
  • to ensure optimum use of the evaluation.

Evaluation ex ante of the proposal

6.1 identification and hierarchisation of the needs


On the basis of the analysis and on the basis of the data given in Chapter 1, proposed area to be incorporated into the programme presents the following socio-economic characteristics:

  • Economic structure characterised by structural problems such as a percentage of traditional activities (e.g., craft industry) and absence of new dynamic activities (e.g., services to companies), parallel to the very reduced size of the companies (which are "companies" made up of only one self-employed person).
  • High official unemployment, both in relative and absolute terms, and higher semi-official unemployment. The latter characteristic is in relation to the high percentage of informal economic activities.
  • Very problematic population pyramid, where the highest age brackets dominate.
  • Low training level and high proportion of illiterates.
  • Acute phenomena of inequalities between men and women: (a) the economic activities give only a reduced number of opportunities to women, in particular as a result of n and to the predominance of small enterprises of employed persons; (b) the absence of support infrastructure suchthe children's nursery schools and the large number of old people force women to remain to the hearth and to ensure "unremunerated" services, and reduce of as much their possibilities of taking part in labour market.
  • Concentration of numerous immigrants and of Gypsies (socially integrated).

Strategy and priorities

The Heraklion Western coast presents glaring elements of deterioration. As we showed in the first chapter , all the studied area presents a high rate of long-term unemployment, a high poverty and exclusion rate, a particularly deteriorated environment, of important gaps as regards qualifications and of the individual needs for conversion resulting from economic and social local problems. Moreover, the area studied presents, by places, precarious population trends and a malfunctioning as regards social cohesion owing to the concentration of a number important of immigrants and of the risk that phenomena of social exclusion develop among certain groups of inhabitants .

Vis-a-vis these problems, the primordial objective of the proposed programme consists of the economic and social regeneration of the deteriorated urban areas of the Heraklion Western coast.



The submitted proposal was drawn up by the Town of Heraklion in close cooperation with the Museum of natural history in Crete and the technical assistance of the urban planning Laboratory and of regional planning of the Thessaly University. During the development, co-operation took place with the social partners representing the workers of the area, the private companies and the relevant public bodies in questions related to the field of intervention of the Community initiative URBAN and of this proposal. As an indication, the participating organisms include the municipal Company of culture, of tourism and of the development of Heraklion, the prefecture, the Crete University, the ministry of the Environment, of Regional planning and of the public Works, etc. 

 At the time of the implementation of the programme, the Town of Heraklion will maintain a close cooperation, based on the partnership, with the Museum of natural history in Crete and will seek systematically to consult and involve the relevant bodies for the implementation of the individual actions, so as to disseminate information and to maximise the acceptance of the public. The aim is to obtain better effectiveness in the implementation and to give to the procedure a teaching and exemplary dimension. In order to promote these objectives, an advisory committee will be created where organisms will sit. At the same time, a constant contact will be sought with the organisms responsible for the implementation of the other Greek programmes under URBAN.

In a more detailed way, the Town of Heraklion is charged, via the office of the old city, with the general management of the programme during its implementation, while having itself helped by the municipal Company of culture, of tourism and of the development of Heraklion in the field of financial management. The Crete University will assume the management of the part of the programme which concerns the Museum of natural history and the training centre in environmental matters (measures 1.1. and 3.3., respectively).

At the same time, the participation of the inhabitants in the programme is ensured via the local level organisations to which they take part (for example, cultural associations, association of the friends of the university, etc), while the procedures of participative planning will be followed during realisation of the studies envisaged by the various measures of the programme.

Moreover, the organisation of the inhabitants in local associations made of the questions of the environment and covering various topics (environment, culture, etc.) will be encouraged. Thus, by means of these associations and the proximity centre envisaged by the measure 3.1., the awareness-raising of the inhabitants will be strengthened, as well as their active participation in the precise identification of the problems of the area in order to solve them.


Financial scheme

4.1 break-down of the aid by financing organisation


The budget of the proposed programme amounts to 10,600,000 €. the public expenditure is distributed between Community subsidy and national expenditure according to a ratio of 0,75/0,25. 


4.2 financial tables


The required financial tables are submitted in the pages which follow. 

Description of the current situation

The Community initiative URBAN II is a programme covering the development and the application of particularly innovatory strategies which aims at durable socio-economic city and agglomeration regeneration in crisis. It also covers the reinforcement and the exchange of knowledge and of experiences in relation to durable urban regeneration within the Community. 

The urban regions to which the Community initiative URBAN II addresses itself have to present certain problems inside a coherent geographical area, such as a high unemployment rate, a low economic activity ratio, a particularly deteriorated environment, the specific needs for restructuring, etc. 

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