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STUDY VISIT IN MEDINA DEL CAMPO: FACILITATION SKILLS BY THE SPANISH WAY

18 November 2016
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The Spanish small town of Medina del Campo hosted since 5th to 8th September 2016 the first Working study visit of the second phase of the URBACT III Project City Centre Doctor. Around 30 international representatives of the different partner cities (Vamez - Czech Republic, Amarante - Portugal, Petrinja - Croatia, Idrija - Slovenia, Heerlen – The Netherlands, Radlin - Poland, Nort-Sur Erdre - France, Naas – Ireland and San Donà di Piave - Italy) participated in this study visit, probably during the hottest days of this Spanish summer, in a monumental framework (The Mota’s Castle was built during the XII and XVI centuries and nowadays it is a regional training centre). The study visit dates also were singular for the Municipality of Medina del Campo because they were in coincidence with the local fairs and festivity of San Antolín. 

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During the working days, the City Centre Doctor's Lead Expert, Mr. Wessel Badenhorst, managed the key activities of the meeting, contributing to its quality and sucess. Also, Mrs. Sally Knees from the URBACT III programme participated and moderated some foundamental work sessions, explaining participative methods to be implemented in the different ULGs. All the sessions were well accepted by the Project participants, always thinking in to transfer knowledges in their respectives territories. From the host city, the study visit performed in the context of the Medina’s Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Medina 21 and its experience as a participative and sustainable strategy with more tan 15 years of application. In this sense, there were worked two main axis: 
 
Firstly, there were exposed some sucessfull examples of private and public initiatives related with Medina 21. For example, participants knew a some successful entrepreneurs of the city centre as Juan and his Cheese shop (Los Quesos de Juan), the revalorization of the local historical market (Las Reales Carnicerías), the Rueda Wine Route and its pioneer winery (el Hilo de Ariadna) or the innovations applied to the Renaissance Week through infografics and the first VideoMapping Festival of Castilla y León. Participants also were able to discover some new initiatives as the Participative Mobile App related with Medina 21 Strategic Plan and the E-commerce initiative called MedinaShopping.
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On the other hand, they did an observation analysis of the city centre. Participants were divided in 3 thematic groups (Urban landscape and livebility, Economic activities and social issues) and they observed the city centre of Medina del Campo, analizing all the main aspects in order to comment and share their impressions with other participants, and in order to propose solutions and new initiatives to improve the city centre. In this activity and also, structuring all the city life, there was the Plaza Mayor de la Hispanidad. It is the main square of the city of Medina del Campo and it is city hearth of Medina del Campo since XVI century.
 
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There was also time to discover and enjoy some of the tipical activities of the fairs and festivity of San Antolin as the running bulls or the urban theatre, and there was also the opportunity to better know the Spanish culture exposed in the Medina’s citizenship, gastronomy, and culture in general. In conclusion, the study visit in Medina del Campo was really satisfactory, achieving all its objetives and always trying to make all participants, main actors of the opera.