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Peer review workshop in Messina

Edited on

16 November 2021
Read time: 2 minutes

After a year and a half Health & Greenspace partners were lucky enough to organise the first in person meeting and Messina had the honour of holding this event.

On the first day Messina, Breda and Tartu delegations presented their draft Integrated Action Plan, which is the expected result of the project, they described the "green strategies" of their cities and shared the "good practices". Their IAP draft were reviewed by other partners which was the best way to get opinions and suggestions to improve.

It was a great opportunity for each city to not just present the IAP draft but also to talk about green strategies put in place back home. It was very impressive to find out how much the Health & Greenspace project impacted each partner and influenced future environmental strategies. 

Messina, like every other partner, was a very good example of how useful URBACT projects are in terms of sharing good practices and exchanging information about each other: the main green project of our city, ForestaME, was certainly influenced by the actions taken by other partner; the idea of using parts of the regenerated parks for rehabilitation came from Budapest as well as requalifying an abandoned train station came from Breda and so on.

The following day all partners visited the Tourism Info Point, welcomed by Vincenzo Caruso, Head of Culture and Tourism dept. of Messina Authority, where they heard about some traditions and attractions of the city and then the day was dedicated to “study visits” which included the Multifunctional Centre up on the Peloritani Hills where they could see the beautiful regeneration of this area with a “butterfly garden”, aromatic or medicinal plants, the“lithographic map” with samples of every different kind of rocks present in the Messina district.

Not far from there, we all visited the Camaro Forest and that was really important for Messina to show as it is the biggest requalified area so far. The director of the project explained a bit of the fascinating history about the area, how they managed to keep some of the native plants, all the security systems including fences all around the area and the solutuions to make water flow without causing flooding.

Another place all partners really enjoyed was the Wild life recovery centre, still in the Peloritani mountains, run by the most famous environmental activist of our city who told us about all the goals she and people working with her managed to achive: almost no birds shot in the area just to mention one.

We all had lunch at Forte San Iachiddu, one of the fifteen fortresses of Messina, which used to be totally abandoned and now brought to new life thanks to the hard work and dedication of a franciscan priest who told us about the history of the fort and also gave the chance of a very spiritual and intimate atmosphere.

The day ended in Taormina.

This event was extremely important from both personal and professional points of view, it gave all partners the opportunity to actually talk about extremely urgent matters like the environment face to face, to talk about each city experience and position in the green solutions strategy but also to enjoy each other company. Looking forward to next event!

Written by Josephine Di Pino