EUAP Urban Innovation (January-February 2015): Groningen and Oldenburg

In January and February 2015, the European Union Academic Programme (EUAP) has specifically introduced some innovative strategies on science and technology implemented by Oldenburg, an independent German city, also the economic concept carried out by Groningen, a main municipality and the regional power of the northern Netherlands.


The Dutch city of Groningen was acknowledged as a place of systemic innovation among the finalists in the 2014 iCapital competition of the European Commission. It demonstrates a high capability of connecting different mutually reinforcing parties, together with the use of new concepts, tools and processes to develop different smart green strategies. At the same time, the neighboring German city of Oldenburg was recognised as the “City of Science” (Stadt der Wissenschaft) for its exemplary cooperation and knowledge transfer projects between the academic sector, the city and civil society participation, which significantly consolidates its social cohesion for further development. 


The two cities being part of an EU urban cooperation network are also in a productive cross-border cooperation linking their public administrations, and working on joint urban projects and long-term development strategies, including climate change protection concepts.


Concerning the key contribution of different cities to the EU modernisation strategies, the EUAP is glad to have the honorable guest speaker Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner, former Mayor of Oldenburg for a series of seminars and colloquium as follows:


29 January 2015

Groningen – Oldenburg: Urban Innovation Partnership in the European Union by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner

3 February 2015

EU Urban Innovation – Partnerships and Networks by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner

4 February 2015

Lokale Wirtschaftsförderung China – Deutschland (In German) by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner

5 February 2015

Experiences from Oldenburg – The City of Tomorrow: Strategic Planning, Marketing, Public Engagement and Urban Renewal by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner

6 February 2015

EU Strategy 2020: Impact on Urban Planning by Prof. H.W.Hess and Weronika Cycak of the EUAP  

10 February 2015

Culture and Urban Identity Formation by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner


The events mainly focused on the effectiveness of urban innovation strategies carried out in Oldenburg and Groningen, including how international urban partnerships and various innovation policies among cities can enhance economic competitiveness and simultaneously consolidate German- Chinese economic relations. Moreover, Prof. Schwandner was invited to the Planning Department to share his experiences on the strategic positioning of Oldenburg’s planning and the marketing concept as the Übermorgenstadt (City of Tomorrow) together with an in-depth explanation on how the city engages citizens through the planning and its limitations by presenting urban renewal examples of art and cultural spaces in Oldenburg and Groningen.  In the colloquium, the EUAP members presented and discussed the EU policy guidelines and actions taken regarding sustainable city development “Europe 2020”, their effectiveness and limitations as perceived on the local/regional level.