Barcelona has been announced as one of 18 winning cities of the European-wide Urban Innovative Action (UIA) project, an Initiative of the European Commission that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new solutions to challenges. The project, B-MINCOME (Combining guaranteed minimum income and active social policies in deprived urban areas of Barcelona) will receive €4.85 million over the next 3 years to develop a pilot programme on Universal Basic Income.
The project will test and analyse how effective forms of universal economic support, combined with access to services such as housing, education, work and community participation can reduce poverty.
The project will also investigate the most efficient ways of combatting urban poverty, including improving the coordination and efficacy of the various services which operate in the same geographical areas, and increasing the participation of people in community life.
To develop the project, Barcelona City Council has established an alliance of 4 specialist organisations – the Young Foundation, IGOP [Institute of Government and Public Policy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona], UPC [Polytechnic University of Catalonia], and the Centre for Social Innovation at the IESE Business School.
The Young Foundation will design, conduct and evaluate an Ethnographic research process to gain understanding about the impact of poverty in the city, offering participants the opportunity to tell their own stories about their life journeys and the strategies they have developed for dealing with poverty.
Glenys Thornton, CEO of The Young Foundation, said,
‘Getting welfare and support for people right is one of the great challenges of our times. There is much debate about how current welfare systems including sanctions affect people’s lives and opportunities to contribute and flourish. This project is key to helping us find solutions that place resilient communities at their heart. Public authorities across Europe will be following this work with great interest”
Mary Hodgson, Director of Research at The Young Foundation said,
“Through our innovative research methods we hope to help understand how people across Barcelona, specifically people experiencing high levels of poverty think about inequality and its impacts on their lives, as well as how they challenge it. We are delighted to be supporting the partnership in finding radical ways to tackle old and seemingly entrenched problems and think its process and findings will be of great interest to communities across Europe.”
Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Social Security, Laia Ortiz, visited Brussels for the announcement of the winning projects, which were chosen from 377 candidates. Ortiz said,
“The Basic Income project is based on the firm commitment of our Government to implement a universal income as a genuine instrument of change in the fight against poverty. This support will improve the capacity of people to make decisions and encourage them to develop their own strategies once they have a guaranteed basic income.”
Notes to editors:
1. For interviews please contact Lucie Russell, Head of Communications on 07931 507873
2. The Young Foundation harnesses the power of community led social innovation to tackle the root causes of inequality. We do this by conducting research, facilitating social movements and building people powered initiatives that create change
Founded 60 years ago by activist and innovator Michael Young, The Young Foundation has since created and supported over 80 organisations including the Open University, Economic and Social Research Council, NHS Direct, and Action for Happiness.
Find out more at www.youngfoundation.org