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Neighbourhood regeneration in a nutshell

  • What is the neighbourhood renovation?  

The aim is to redress the social and economic problems of a given urban area by improving the physical and environmental aspects of the city as well as the buildings. 

  • Why is taken an integrated approach?  

An integrated approach looks for connections between different aspects: social, environmental, economic, accessibility, energy efficiency, and local renewable generation housing… (multi-sectoral approach). 

  • What do we want to do?  

To develop an integrated methodology to transform social housing districts into inclusive smart neighbourhoods to lead actions that will improve:  

  • The urban space,  
  • the accessibility 
  • the quality of life of all its inhabitants  

and to guarantee the connectivity of neighbourhoods in all areas: physical, social and digital. 


This methodology will be built upon two drivers: social innovation and local economic development: It will explore the potential of digitalisation and the cultural and creative industries to foster this social innovation and push the local economic development.  

To test this process, the methodology will be implemented in the Santa Ana neighborhood in the town of Ermua, Spain. The learnings of the implementation in Santa Ana and the experience and inputs from the peer cities of Matera and Elva will guide the final definition of the integrated methodology to transform social housing districts into inclusive smart neighborhoods. Matera will introduce its experience around the cultural and creative industries and Elva will bring the example of a digitally advanced city.

The strategic level of this methodology will be in the next steps tested in Matera and Elva.  

The implementation in Santa Ana will cover different actions, such as:  

  • the establishment of a neighborhood office to support the residents in the process to renovate the neighborhood,  
  • the implementation of a digital infrastructure to make it possible to deploy new digital services and products at the dwelling level to facilitate active and healthy ageing of the Santa Ana population, 
  • the development of a social innovation framework to articulate the cocreation and the citizen participation.  
  • The implementation of projects identified through co-creation with the neighbors and the local ecosystem  
  • The definition and implementation of a capacity building set focused on the construction sector of the town of Ermua as a result of the identification of the projects of the co-creation process. 
  • The study of the potential of the neighborhood for the development and implementation of energy communities based on PV panels installation, with a special focus on the social approach and the identification of the needed governance and ownership aspects for this kind of initiative in existing similar neighborhoods.  
  • The research around the local potential to generate economic wellness in the cultural and creative industries.  

It will not cover the refurbishment of the buildings or the installation of elevators, nor the works to adapt the dwellings.  

The neighborhood office will guide and support the building communities and homeowners providing technical advice and helping to find economic funds to renovate their buildings and homes. 

Other knowledge

drOp - Putting the residents at the heart of social district regeneration

drOp – Putting the residents at the heart of social district regeneration