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Future Cities: Shaping Europe from the bottom up

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The 2016 edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine looks at the cities of the future in Europe. While the EU is grappling with challenging problems - Brexit, migration, the economy, terrorism, to name a few - many European cities are reinventing themselves and tackling these problems in their own way.

"Empowerment is what

"Empowerment is what the rural development not always appreciated by politicians," he said. EU FUNDING GAP Jones, unlike many of his peers in Wales, did not When Britain leaves the EU, probably at some point pubs from dying. money for their own businesses. Photo: EUobserver Jones employs two people full-time and another person part-time to help tend to the 360 hectares he shares with his wife. "I've been farming for 45 years," he says over the phone. Like many of his peers, he receives payments from the "Welsh farmers depend very heavily on the … payments," he said. But those who stay behind in the EU are also likely to face funding gaps. at the EU's body for sub-national authorities, the an adverse effect on villages. that some rural regions in Europe still lack internet access. "As we have fewer and fewer farmers it is necessary to create other sorts of jobs, but there is no investment in this area," she said. Farmers in Wales pocket around €240 million a year in EU money for their own businesses. development, with nearly €1 billion set aside for new projects between 2014-2020. She says only 10 percent of the regional development fund is actually being used in rural areas. "It is completely unfair that for 90 percent of the territory, you have 10 percent of the budget," she said. called ghost towns are becoming increasingly common Photo: Lisbeth Kirk He said the EU money is a lifeline, and helps to “provide employment to advisers, support people, trainers, people who are sons and daughters of farmers who live in the countryside”. Last year, locals saved a pub in the village of help. He noted that similar investments, coupled with community action, are needed to protect Welsh villages. 32 — FUTURE CITIES OCTOBER 2016

In Brussels, the last interestinging bui lding to be erected was the Ato mium in n1958 . Photo: O Pallson 2030 B R U S S E L S The EU capital has had an awful year. Looking forward, the city needs to urgently make itself a better place for people to live in and visit, starting with its notorious problems with congestion, pollution and bureaucracy. By Gareth Harding The past year has been an “annus horribilis” for Brussels. First, terrorists from the city were linked with the Paris authorities to lock down the Belgian capital for three days resulting in over €350 million losses for local businesses. twin attacks on Brussels airport and a metro station in the EU district. and a statue of a peeing boy was suddenly jihadism. a raft of increasingly surreal campaigns to lure back visitors. But publicity stunts will not work unless policies are changed and Brussels becomes a city that people feel more comfortable and safe to visit and to live in. At present, the blunt truth is it is failing on both counts. In terms of overnight visitors, Brussels FUTURE CITIES OCTOBER 2016 — 33

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