December Issue – Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Dear all,

An eventful and turbulent year is almost over. The nuclear disaster of Fukushima, the Arab Spring, the massacre on Utoya, the Euro crisis and so on - 2011 changed the world and it changed Europe. More than ever the Union is facing new challenges and so do the rural areas in Northern Europe. Demographic change is just one issue besides many others. Being aware of this, the Innovation Circle Network members as well as politicians, decision makers and stakeholders from eight different countries met in Jurmala (Latvia) for the annual meeting of the IC network. About 60 participants discussed not only current challenges they also focused on realistic approaches for a sustainable future of rural Europe. At the end all attendees adopted a resolution which will be spread in the different partner countries. 

The tasks for the Innovation Circle network did not become less important. In fact, the network is needed now more than ever. As Rita Merca, IC chairwoman stated in Jurmala: “There are many networks in the world but we believe in ours” - with this positive, strong and confident avowal we should focus on the New Year. For now we wish all of you peaceful Christmas days and a successful and happy New Year full of joy, new projects, enriching cooperation and supportive friendship.

Your IC team

PS: You find an English version of the resolution on You can download the paper and forward it to whom it may concern.

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News from ICN:

“We are playing on the same ground" - 60 participants from 8 countries met at the Annual ICN Conference

In the Spirit of Solidarity - Jurmala Communique

Improving the quality of a small town – Cliff's Blog

International News:

About Soulless cities - Interview with Architect Rem Koolhaas

Let's study abroad - New Scholarship Program for Belarusians

Safe, colourful and friendly - Freiburg is Germany’s most sustainable city


60 participants from 8 countries met at the Annual IC Conference in Jurmala

?We are playing on the same ground"

„There are many networks in the world but we believe in ours“, with these optimistic and strong words Rita Merca, chairwoman of the board opened the annual conference of the Innovation Circle Network in Jurmala / Latvia. “We want to raise important questions and figure out what steps should be taken to overcome difficulties”, these high demands were the tasks for the next two days.



Jurmala Communique

In the Spirit of Solidarity

The Innovation Circle Network meeting in Jurmala, Latvia on 9 December 2011 notes with concern the situation facing citizens across Europe today. We are facing the most severe challenge for a generation: it threatens to do lasting damage to our towns and rural regions.


Helensburgh -

A design programme for Helensburgh by Cliff Hague:

Improving the quality of a small town

Helensburgh is a town of about 20,000 residents. Located on the Firth of Clyde it attracts day trip visitors as well as serving as a commuter settlement for Glasgow about 35 kms away. An innovative community-based design programme has been undertaken there that has similarities to work that partners in the Trans-in-Form project are doing.


HafenCity - Boris

Interview with Architect Rem Koolhaas

About Soulless cities

The 67-year-old Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas walks and talks nonstop while touring Hamburg’s HafenCity. The German news magazine Spiegel invited Kohlhaas to take a look at Europe's biggest urban development project. In an interview Kohlhaas discusses soulless cities and the failings of Europe's largest urban redevelopment project.



New Scholarship Program for Belarusians

Let's study abroad

Young Belarusians can now apply for scholarships to study for a BA or MA degree at European universities. The Open Europe Scholarship Scheme (OESS) is financed by the European Commission and managed by the Nordic Council of Minister.


apartments !

Freiburg is Germany?s most sustainable city

Safe, colourful and friendly

In his Blog this Big City Joe Peach published a post by Justin Woolford at Forum for the Future. Woolford reports from what is arguably Germany’s most sustainable city. It offers heliotropic houses, a solar district, modern ‘passive housing’ blocks that eliminate the need for externally powered heating and cooling. This is one of 17 sustainable ideas for the global climate summit.