|Following the conclusion of the URBAN I (1995-1999) community initiative, a follow-up initiative entitled URBAN II has been launched by the European Commission.
This instrument supports urban development programmes to initiate economic and social revival of urban areas. The programme will continue until 2006/07.
Graz has already successfully participated in the first round of URBAN. More than 50 individual urban development projects were implemented in the municipal district of Gries as part of a project entitled URBAN Graz (Gries - a revived district!). These projects made a significant contribution towards improving standards of living and quality of life. Furthermore, an urban pilot project supported by the EU was realised in the Jakomini district (e.l.m.a.s.).
URBAN carries on
The city of Graz is now participating in the second round of URBAN. The overall plans were approved by the European Commission in November 2001. Based on the submitted programme, significant steps towards the development of Graz West are to be made under the title "Urban_Link Graz-West". The European Funds for Regional Development (EFRE) is providing Euro 4.20 million in development aid to finance projects up to 2006/07. A further Euro 12.60 million will be provided by the City of Graz, the province of Styria and other public and private institutions.
Urban_Link Graz-West - the new EU Programme
The Urban_Link Graz-West programme is tackling the problems of the historical problem zones of Graz West (parts of the Eggenberg, Gries, Lend and Wetzelsdorf districts): the district is characterised by a heterogeneous spatial structure, the monofunctionality of the area, partially inaccessible areas, the lack of quality of the design and the resulting social problem zones.
The goal now ist to initiate a development in Graz West to meet the demands of the development of a modern city: under the aspect of completely new demands made on 21st Century society, the residents, companies and organisations in the project area are to be handed the tools for sustained work and the chance for qualitatively high-quality living and working in this district.