ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
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53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

UPLIFT – Urban PoLicy Innovation to address inequality with and for Future generations

What we are doing

UPLIFT seeks to establish an innovative approach to urban policy design for reducing socio-economic inequalities. It acknowledges that policies aiming to reduce inequalities are often ineffective, as they do not respond properly to the strategies and behaviours of vulnerable households. At the same time, policy failure in the face of increasing socio-economic polarisation, especially in the post-crisis period and under the fourth industrial revolution, could further destabilise social cohesion and resilience. To address this challenge, UPLIFT aims to develop a Reflexive Policy Agenda through participatory co-creation: with the inclusion of vulnerable policy beneficiaries, the project will yield context-specific, flexible, adaptable policies, with appropriate feedback mechanisms.

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What we are achieving

UPLIFT follows a multi-layer research method to map the processes and drivers of urban inequality in the post-crisis context. It uses macro level findings to contextualise micro level outcomes. It analyses the scale and dimensions of inequality in the EU, focusing on the national and regional (NUTS 2) scale. It then narrows down to sixteen functional urban areas (representing four robust urban types), looking at local inequality dimensions and drivers, and interpreting policy responses. On the third level the research narrows again to eight case studies, where micro-level analyses of vulnerability are carried out through the lens of youth (aged 15-29). Finally, in four Implementation sites UPLIFT co-creates reflexive policies with local stakeholders and communities, putting vulnerable youth in the centre from an educational, housing, or employment perspective. This focus on youth is not only a research tool, but is strongly justified by recent economic and policy shifts, which have put them most at risk of poverty and vulnerability in Europe.

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Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres - AEYC, Center of Studies for Social Intervention- CESIS, De Key, Delft University of Technology - TU Delft, Local Action Group Sepsi - GAL Sepsi, Metropolitan Research Institute, Orkestra Basque Institute of Competitiveness- Deusto Foundation, TARKI, The Young Foundation, University of Tartu, Uppsala University, Urban Plus - (Urban+),

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Related publications

Atlas of inequalitiesin Europe. Scale and trends in main dimensions of inequality in Europe.
Participatory Policy Brief
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