• Copying Neighbours - augmented edition

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    Copying Neighbours
    20/01/2023

    More lessons learned about how to transfer inspiring practices between cities on sustainable food?

    Take a look at last BioCanteens URBACT Transfer Network publication



     

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    COPYING NEIGHBOURS…
    How to facilitate the collaboration between territories, the exchange of inspiring cases, the translation between governance cultures, the emulation and transfer between cities and resilience through cooperation in the face of such as the pandemic, the Ukraine crisis, or other unprecedented future problems?
    BioCanteens is one of the 23 URBACT Transfer Networks engaged in a form of “action-research” to transfer "Good Practice" from one city to a set of partner cities across Europe. In this augmented edition completing the first publication based on the experience of BioCanteens1 with the experience of BioCanteens2 “second wave”, you will find out...

    ...LESSONS OF BIOCANTEENS TRANSFER NETWORKS
    BioCanteens Transfer Network is about ensuring the distribution of sustainable school meals in participating cities as a key lever towards the development of an integrated local agri-food approach, protecting both citizens’ health and the environment. The project aims to transfer Mouans-Sartoux’s Good Practice based on the daily distribution of meals that are 100% organic and mostly composed of local products, the drastic reduction of food waste thereby fully compensating the higher cost of switching to organic products, and the organisation of dedicated educational activities to raise children’s awareness about sustainable food. It tells the various “Transfer stories” of the 9 BioCanteens city partners: Gavà in Spain, Liège and Pays des Condruses in Belgium, Rosignano-Marittimo in Italy, Torres Vedras in Portugal, Trikala in Greece, Troyan in Bulgaria, Vaslui in Romania and Wroclaw in Poland. You may also learn about “Transfer outcomes” after BioCanteens 1 & 2 and in particular the European online event organized in March 2021 in partnership with URBACT and the Glasgow Declaration and the Mouans-Sartoux Food Festival « À TABLE ! » organized in September 2022 to share the networks experiences, to raise European cities’ awareness on food sovereignty and to call on Europe to consider the need for a food exception in public procurement.

     

    Read the full document HERE and start your revolution!

  • Is the compact city model endangered?

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    Is the compact city model endangered? Article COVER
    20/01/2023

    Three Action Planning Networks (2019 - 2022) came together to gather inspiration on how people can experience and move through the city.

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    Urban mobility
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    The Walk’n’Roll initiative, 27 different towns, cities and metropolises from the RiConnect, the Thriving Streets and the Space4People networks had a common mission. Together, they reflected about how mobility can play an important role when building better public spaces and increase the quality of life for local communities.  Iván Tosics, URBACT Expert who followed their exchange and learning journey, shares with us some of the key take-aways, findings and open questions that were raised during the Walk’n’Roll many and which are compiled in a brand new Guidebook. Take a ride with us and enjoy the read!

     


     

    URBACT Walk'n'Roll

     

    The recent pandemic was an important episode in the history of urban development. Much can be learnt from the immediate reactions to the health crisis, especially in dense cities. There were many brilliant examples about innovative tactical interventions in public space, inclusive housing policies, new types of economic support and social protection mechanisms, from which we can take stock.

    As the peak of the pandemic has slowly come to an end, the life in cities has quickly returned to its pre-Covid pace. A negative legacy is the incessant growth of suburbanisation, a process that has exploded over the last two years not only in Europe, but also in almost all parts of the world...

     

    A common effect in different cities

     

    In Oslo (NO), internal movements in and around the city, have shown an increased outmigration in the past two years with people aged between 25-30 and 60-70 moving away from the city, towards its outskirts and beyond. The “working from home effect” can partially explain this phenomenon. People with higher wages had a tendency to move away. It’s interesting to note though that most of the outmigrants were people who were not born in Oslo, according to studies.

    Likewise, in American cities, a substantial reallocation of housing and office demand has become tangible. People chose to move to the suburbs, away from dense city centres. Some analysts have called this as the “doughnut effect”. Meaning the rise of the suburbs and the slump of the city centre, driven by a fear of crowds and the opportunity of working from home.

    In a very recent analysis on the situation of the Paris urban area (FR), the academia has tried to collect all available information about internal residential migration, using unusual data. Information from rural associations, from the post office regarding permanent re-direction of mails to new address, or even schools' registrations were used as unexpected, yet rich sources. As evidence shows, migration flows from the downtown to the urban fringe are visible. According to this analysis, such movement of people cannot be considered as an urban exodus though. So, if not an exodus, what are these new forms of migration then?

     

    The new intra-urban migration tendencies

     

    First of all, research suggests that no direct, causal links exist between the spread of the virus and urban density. According to an OECD, it’s not density alone that makes cities vulnerable to Covid-19, but rather a mix of factors. The structural economic and social conditions play a role in this regard with overcrowdness, inequality, insufficient living conditions and the spatial concentration of the urban poor.

    The consequences from this new suburbanisation, on the other hand, are very clear: growing climate and energy problems due to increasing car-use, intensification of social disparities, since those who are leaving the city centre are the ones who can afford to do so. Moreover, there are also more and more problems in places where people tend to move out from. In the Budapest area (HU), for example, there are growing complaints in the agglomerational settlements with physical and human infrastructure problems, caused by the quick, unplanned growth of new residents.

    That being said, the post-Covid city presents us with a silver lining, an opportunity to rethink the principles of the urban compact development. For instance the British professor, Greg Clark, offers us a vision with blended cities and a more spread planification process. He argues for a wider distribution of activities between urban areas to offer second and third tear cities more chances. He also makes the case for better disposition of services within functional urban areas, based on the growth of "neighbourliness" and the emerging social capital.  

    Clark argues that people living in the fringes might still travel to the larger city centers from time to time, and acknowledges that they might not always work from home. At the same time, they will also get a taste for the local life where they live. People will spend more time – and money – in their neighbourhoods and, by consequence, new opportunities might arise for towns, suburban and secondary downtowns. So, these are not simply places where people sleep and work from home, but also places of exchange and for gatherings. Where, eventually, communities might thrive.

    This idea raises challenges for future urban development, for instance, issues related to metropolitan planning. Where to build new housing and dwellings? And how to regulate transport fares? These are just a few of the questions that were discussed during the Walk’n’Roll conference in Barcelona (ES), held in July 2022. The findings are summarised below.

     

     

    How to improve existing dense areas?

     

    The most widely accepted definition for adequate urban density is the one that acknowledges the need for an accessibility shift: changing urban transportation and land-use planning on the basis of people's ability to reach destinations, rather than on their ability to travel fast. This vision relies on the principle of re-humanising cities.

     

    The proximity aspect

     

    In the Walk’n’Roll conference the topic of proximity was at the heart of the discussion. In order for residents to give up the frequent use of car and, in perspective, also the ownership of a car, urban areas have to be changed. They must allow people to reach the most important everyday-destinations in a short time on foot, by bicycle or using public transport rides. There are many ideas raised for this shift, like the concept of the 15-Minute city. Besides the innovative practices of superblocks, Tempo30 and parking management – which are thoroughly described in the Walk’n’Roll Guidebook, Booklet 2 – you can find below two other ideas.

     

    The pedestrian-priority city

     

    Pontevedra (ES) is a medium-sized city with 83 000 inhabitants. In 1999 it was just another car-oriented city, but things started to change with the election of a new mayor – who still holds this position until this day. Mr Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores told citizens back then that the act of buying a car didn’t magically grant people with 10 square meters from the public space for a parking spot.

    His ideas consisted of making a distinction of the need for mobility, according to social criteria. He put people in the foreground, with at least half of the surface of all original streets turned into pedestrian areas. Intersections without lights and raised promenades were created, alongside he limited of parking hours in the downtown to a maximum of 15 minutes. In addition, underground parking was built under a concession and free public parking spaces were provided within a 15-20 minute walk of the centre.

    The results of these interventions were staggering: a decrease of motorised traffic by 77% in the dense urban area and by 93% in downtown, besides a decline in traffic accidents with no fatalities at all. Pontevedra became a high quality place to live with all public spaces serving the people, instead of the cars.

     

    Car-free places in every neighbourhoodURBACT Walk'n'Roll

     

    Back in 2014, in collaboration with 24 parish councils, the municipality of Lisbon (PT) started a programme called “Uma Praca em Cada Bairro” (“A space in every neighbourhood”). Currently being implemented, the programme is helping to renovate areas in the city to get people out of cars and to create new public spaces. The squares and streets will become the meeting point of the local community and “microcentres”, concentrating activity and employment.

    Henceforth, walking, cycling and public transport will be favoured, as the car traffic will be significantly restricted. The citywide programme in 150 squares and streets, practically in all neighbourhoods of Lisbon, could only be carried out with the support of the population. The programme counted with strong public participation processes.

     

    Potential externalities of public space improvement policies

     

    It goes without saying that the improvement of living conditions, with more public spaces and fewer cars, can lead to raising rents, pushing the most vulnerable residents away from the city. This is why it’s fundamental for the public sector to control the gentrifying effects. The efficiency of the public intervention depends on the willingness and political power of the municipal leadership, as well as on the housing system of the given city. A good example is the city of Vienna (AT), where the majority of the housing stock is under direct or indirect public control, with little or no gentrifying effects as a consequence of mobility and public space improvements.

    The situation is slightly more difficult in Barcelona, where the share of rental housing represents 31% of the housing sector. Only a small portion of these houses is actually owned by the public sector, making it almost impossible for the municipality to defend tenants. To tackle this challenge and avoid a “New York Highline effect”, the municipality provides subsidies to the urban poor, regulates private rents, oversees the housing market and even negotiates with landlords.

     

     

    How to create efficient metropolitan cooperation in blended cities?

     

    In the post pandemic world it’s not enough to make the dense urban cores more attractive, attention has also to be paid to those peripheral locations where many families aim to move to. Planning in larger territories can bring to light different questions, as to where new housing stock should be constructed or how to regulate and tax different forms of transport. The key aspect for public intervention in wider territories is a metropolitan coordination, which can be illustrated by the examples below.

     

    Turning highways into urban boulevards

     

    The classic period of suburbanisation started in the late 1950s in the USA, with the construction of 40 thousand miles of motorways financed by enormous central state grants. Urban planners were unstoppably carving highways into the urban structure, eradicating vulnerable neighbourhoods with fewer abilities to resist and, finally, ensuring the separation of functions following the leading planning concepts of the time. A similar car-oriented “modernisation” wave also reached most of the European cities. During the Walk’n’Roll conference, city practitioners showcased examples of recent efforts to reverse this phenomenon.

    In the course of the work done by Metrex for the From Roads to Streets learning platform –with support from Eurocities and URBACT – many European cases are analysed, including the transformative strategies adopted in Helsinki (FI), Oslo (NO), Lyon (FR) and Brussels (BE). In these dynamically growing cities the leading model is the urban intensification to concentrate growth and avoid urban sprawl. One way to achieve this principle is to direct new development to areas along the highways – provided that these are transformed into urban boulevards, with more space given for non-motorised vehicles. In Utrecht (NL), for example, two alternative projections were calculated for future scenarios and, according to them, the "A Proximity Model" foresee 20% less car-use.

    The opportunities and challenges of these new urban boulevards are gathered in a project to humanise the N-150 road, which is the central element of Barcelona’s Integrated Action Plan for the RiConnect network. This project deals with the motorway-like national road at the fringe of the metropolitan area, which created a division between the settlements and was putting the speed of mobility as the top priority. In order to restore old connections between the peripheral municipalities, the concept of metropolitan roads was born: without building new roads the extinct links between areas should be revived. This shall calm down traffic on the national road and even enable people to cycle from one town to another, which was not previously possible with the highways.

     

    URBACT Walk'n'Roll

     

    Improving the rail network to ensure metropolitan cooperation

     

    The Krakow (PL) Integrated Action Plan for the RiConnect network shows another way how metropolitan cooperation can be created. The Skawina Mobility Hub aims to create a connection point in one of Krakow’s satellite cities, on the line of the fast speed agglomerational railway that is under construction.

    Besides exploring the future functions of the evolving mobility hub, the intermodal links, park and ride (P+R) facilities and how to connect the station with city centre of Skawina, many efforts are being made to change the mobility mindset of people. This includes co-creation workshops, which resulted in the establishment of the integrated ticket system.

    Krakow is a good example for bringing public transport to the overall reflection on the metropolitan area. Such strategies, however, have to face the financial challenge of running public transport. During Covid times the ridership of public transport decreased almost everywhere and the rebouncing is still slow.

     

    Bringing planning and governance together at metropolitan level

     

    The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) is a great example of how planning and governance can come together, not only at city, but also at metropolitan level. The AMB, the Lead Partner of the RiConnect network, is an agency with competencies in terms of mobility and public space in the metropolitan area – which counts with the double of inhabitants in comparison to the city itself. AMB is managing a very innovative mobility plan covering different aspects, such as generating safe and comfortable spaces for pedestrians, and sustainable methods of mobility, while reducing the use of private motorised transport.

    Unfortunately, not all cities have powerful metropolitan governance systems and/or strong agencies for planning and mobility. In the lack of these, urban planning cooperation between the municipalities of the urban area can help a lot. Sometimes these are initiated in bottom-up process, in combination with the national level, in order to use efficiently the EU Cohesion Policy resources. The Kraków Metropolitan Area (KMA), for instance, is responsible for coordination of transportation investments, which are implemented in the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) framework for the city and and its 14 surrounding municipalities.

     

    How to move towards an accessibility shift?

     

    Action Planning Networks labelThe new Walk’n’Roll Guidebook is split in three booklets – WHY, WHAT and HOW – and brings to light solutions that any city, regardless of its size, can use as a reference to drive change towards more blended and less compact cities. In order to tackle the most recent challenge of post-Covid suburbanisation, however, the practical interventions that are presented have to be combined with territorial visions. Regulation, planning and the support of governance institutions are equally important. Although this might sound challenging, there are different resources that can be particularly useful. Take for instance the EU Cohesion Policy, where investments in urban transport have more than doubled – from 8 billion EUR in 2007 - 2013 to 17 billion EUR in the 2014 - 2020, with even more opportunities in the next programming period.

    The first URBACT IV (2021 - 2027) call for Action Planning Networks is also a great occasion for cities to find partners to exchange, pilot ideas and develop an integrated set of actions at local level. While URBACT stresses the importance of the priorities of green - gender - digital, the RiConnect, the Thriving Streets and the Space4People networks are living proof of the wealth of themes that can be tackled within the spectrum of any urban subject, as today’s mobility challenge. These projects are in the crossroad of building more inclusive cities – for women and all – while also promoting the reduction of carbon emissions.

    Cities that wish to apply to the call are welcome to choose whichever network topic they deem relevant to their context. URBACT welcomes – and always will – bottom-up approaches that look at the big picture. Walk’n’Roll is bear fruit of the past round of Action Planning Networks and, hopefully, the next batch of URBACT cities will carry on its legacy and put its knowledge into action.

    URBACT Walk'n'Roll Guidebook

  • What’s in for future Action Planning Networks’ cities?

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    COVER what's in for future Action Planning Networks APN
    11/01/2023

    Taking stock and looking ahead, we delve into the insights and reflections coming from the past round of URBACT III networks.

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    Standing at the starting line for URBACT IV, we wonder to what degree URBACT has helped cities to develop an integrated set of actions for sustainable change in the recent past. We asked city practitioners and leaders who participated in the last round of Action Planning Networks (2019 - 2022) about their integrated action-planning journeys – highlights, experiences, perceptions and suggestions for change. Here are the key findings and lessons for creating an even better fitting support environment for municipalities and partners seeking to take part in URBACT IV. 

     

    Integrated action-planning for better urban futures is considered one of the strong pillars of the URBACT Programme. The main objective is to help city leaders, practitioners and stakeholders to develop plans and strategies that have the strong potential to make a positive difference in the future of local citizens and communities. The unique value proposition comes from its distinct approach to planning. URBACT namely creates a conducive framework and provides proven tools to mobilise strong horizontally linked local partnership coalitions geared up to tackle important or novel local challenges.

     

    Grounded in principles of integration, participation, action-learning and transnational exchange, many European cities have over the years evidently benefited from this soft and relational instrument of the Cohesion Policy. Let’s take a look back at the experience from our last 23 networks that concluded their work last year and check how well URBACT has actually helped our cities to deliver high-quality sustainable local strategies, the Integrated Action Plans.

     

    Taking stock: tracking and analysing local URBACT journeys

     

    Reasons for joining URBACT - Source: APN 2022 Closure Survey
                        Source: 2022 Closure Survey Analysis Report

    Let us zoom-in by posing a simple starter question: why should European municipalities join URBACT? The figure to the right gives some convincing answers.

    Following a closure survey, the former beneficiaries cited the attraction of a relevant, interesting and appealing topic as the top priority when deciding to participate in an Action Planning Network. Involvement has also been incentivised by the prospect of transnational co-learning for advancing local processes and practices. Without doubt, becoming an URBACT Lead Partner or Project Partner is not primarily about the money, but about learning together how to best tackle local challenges by means of cross-border exchange of useful knowledge, good practices and fitting processes.

    But what actually drives URBACT locally? Certainly, the heart, soul and engine of the URBACT project is the URBACT Local Group. This grouping brings together dedicated and influential city leaders and different stakeholders in an effective and fit-for-purpose project setting. It’s the leadership, structure and governance of this entity that – combined – chiefly impacts on project performance and progress. One of the most challenging tasks in this matter is maintaining the active involvement of local stakeholders, especially after the initial high-intensity engagement phase. Concerning long-term success, it’s the continuation of a Local Group-like structure after the official project funding period is over, and a trust-based, synergetic relationship with the municipality that seems to matter the most.

     

    Solid action-planning, ultimately, is about both the process and the output. The ultimate output of the almost three-year long URBACT journey is the local Integrated Action Plan, which is co-designed by each Project Partner with their respective URBACT Local Groups. This document summarises the planned future actions in the chosen intervention field. The survey respondents were asked about the relative importance of the corresponding planning steps. Most significance has been assigned to the task of clearly defining actions, followed by accurate problem definition, setting the right objectives and creating a commonly shared vision. Put differently, having a sense of direction and a clear focus appear to distinguish the Integrated Action Plans that can make a real difference from those that become more easily side-lined, watered down or even forgotten. 

    The past round of networks has counted with a novelty: the possibility of running testing actions, also known as small scale actions. This is an occasion for cities to experiment new approaches and practices, and feed lessons immediately into their Integrated Action Plans. So how well have project teams embraced this opportunity and successfully incorporated this testing dynamic into the action-planning journey? Findings are positive as say two thirds of respondents claimed very good and good integration outcomes, which validates the relevance of these pilots and justifies further in-detail refinement.

    While URBACT provides Action Planning Networks with a safe space for soft interventions, without adequate resources, well-designed strategies often underperform during implementation. Resourcing provides the fuel for positive local change. Project Partners, asked about the relative importance of various funding sources, which highlighted the significance of public funding – be it from municipalities, national governments or European institutions. In contrast, private financial support and crowdfunding are less important, confirming the fact that URBACT is mainly a public service and common good-oriented programme. Yet, resourcing is not just about financing. In the summary, most action Planning Networks associated resourcing mechanisms to human resourcing as the number one priority, followed by funding and knowledge.

    At last, to take stock of the networks’ experience, projects are often assessed against their change impact. For URBACT cities, impact can take many forms. Prompted to rate different dimensions of the overall outcomes, Project Partners saw as most beneficial the improvement of understanding in certain topics. Almost as important has been the increased cooperation at European level, followed by the opportunity to pilot new practices and approaches as well as stakeholder relationship building.

    Still according to the survey, for structural change institutional capacity building is foundational. Here the largest improvement has been achieved in the area of transnational – local knowledge exchange, followed by action-learning. Noteworthy improvements occurred across the board (see the image below). Clearly the proven URBACT-formula once again bore good fruit.  A defining feature of the recent years has been the deeply felt disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. It caused significant challenges for the whole URBACT community, but also forced local teams to re-prioritise goals and adapt traditional work styles. The open responses confirmed the formidable impact on stakeholder engagement and a rapid shift to online communication and coordination, even with review of original objectives and plans.

     

    APN Capacity Building - before and after URBACT
    Capacity-building levels of Action Planning Networks' cities before and after URBACT - Source: 2022 Closure Survey Analysis Report

     

    Overall, the URBACT Secretariat and the networks proved to be resilient and adaptative under these trying circumstances. During their journeys, cities are never left on their own. In fact, the URBACT support infrastructure, tools and methods are considered one of the great benefits of the programme. Leaders and practitioners validated the exceptional support role of URBACT as 84% of survey respondents stated strong and quite strong support. This feedback demonstrates that the dedication and efforts of the URBACT Secretariat clearly pays off.

    Moreover, besides sound programmatic and methodological support it has been soft characteristics such as friendliness and approachability that have received special praise. There is an informal truth that the URBACT ecosystem constitutes more of a family than any other European programme. The 2022 Action Planning Networks closure survey powerfully validates this point. 

     

    Looking ahead: what’s in for future Action Planning Networks’ cities

     

    The survey unpacks the added value URBACT has provided to policy making and urban practice in cities. Three messages stand out. First, URBACT projects chiefly leave a local mark, for example the active consolidation of a particular administrative approach or a highly visible inner-city event. Second, URBACT-processes and support may foster beneficial personal development and skill acquisition, for example on digital skills and in leadership areas. Third, co-learning opens new spaces for better understanding the world, and our agency in the world. The essence of the added value may be defined as structured peer learning in pan-European trusted relationships.  

     

    2022 APN Closure Survey reportAnother finding puts the spotlight on which types of cities – from an income and population perspective – gains the most from the action-planning experience. It was found that local expectations were better met in less developed regions than in more developed regions. Quite fascinatingly, it is the smaller cities (up to 100 000 inhabitants) that seem to do best in relation to meeting and exceeding project expectations. Regardless of size and other circumstances, as it was previously mentioned, cities aspire to join the URBACT community predominantly because of a distinct policy theme or topic that resonates with their current needs, ambitions and/or policy priorities. The current call for Action Planning Networks encourages the mobilisation of the topics that particularly matter for lasting local impact.

    Crosscutting themes that can support sustainable impact – such as diversity, inclusion and equity, climate-safety and health as well as resilience are no-brainers in this regard.  Yet, the trademark of URBACT remains its bottom-up approach, which allows cities to choose whichever urban matter or challenge it’s deemed relevant for their proposals and future networks. The same applies to the URBACT IV crosscutting priorities – green, gender and digital – which shall be taken into account in a holistic way, without compromising the original intent of prospective Action Planning Networks. From a methodological perspective, the programme will carry out its proven URBACT-principles for improving urban policy and practice.

    Guided by the foundational values of integration, participation and hands-on action-learning – the so called URBACT Method – hundreds of European cities have seen local advances and win-win outcomes for almost twenty years now. These principles will matter even more in times of vexed multi-crisis challenges. These normative and practical reference points have the potential to continually unlock local pathways to reach better outcomes by encouraging strategic co-learning, by stimulating path-finding experimentation as well as boosting shared capacity-building across the transnational-local transmission points. URBACT-principles and associated tools have repeatedly shown their potential to inform positive local transformation. Let us build on this.

    Before anything, an honest appraisal of URBACT Action Planning cannot be conducted without tackling the thorny issue of what holds participating cities back. Put differently, what are the persistent barriers for URBACT-project success. Critical feedback was received from many angles, for example, on the difficulty of meaningfully combining the communication with citizens AND companies. Another point that was raised is how URBACT Local Group leaders can be easily overloaded with work and expectations and a – surely familiar – issue to all of us is the stifling shortage of human resources. 

    In response, future Action Planning Networks will be guided by new thinking on stakeholder engagement, notably using different capacity-building events and materials, better aligning resources and the local and transnational levels. Most importantly, the post-pandemic era calls for creative hybrid forms of communication and coordination, work modes that combine physical and digital exchange. We need in-presence meetings for trust, depth and motivation. And we need digital meetings for efficiency, scale and novelty. Let us co-design effective engagement formats for times where carbon footprint reduction is pivotal for sustainable futures.

    Redesigned engagement and co-learning processes should – even more than previously – help to ‘break-up’ institutional and organisational silos. As horizontal integration is both greatest URBACT-benefit and hardest task for local actors let us more strategically foster cooperation across different policy areas and departments in participating cities.  For an unpredictable future, Integrated Action Planning needs to pay much greater attention to building resilience. Central tasks are managing risks and designing prevention and mitigation measures. Three risk types deserve particular attention.

    Political and prioritisation risks are about foreseeing and responding to changing political and administrative agendas that may not align well with URBACT-interventions. Financial risks surround every resource allocation decision, yet URBACT-tools on resourcing may help to circumvent negative surprises; finally, we are forced to respond creatively to human resource and skills shortages that often stand in the way of implementing well-meant strategies and plans. Surely, no responsible public steering can afford to ignore the unsettling “worst-case scenarios” and “what if” questions. Still, some of the risks can be spotted ahead of time.

    Finally, the next round of Action Planning Networks – and more broadly, the URBACT IV Programme – will be informed by three related dimensions that evidently underwrite local success. On a normative and policy level, the objective remains to foreground further the relational qualities that evidently achieve synergetic change and transformation: dialogue, cooperation and trust-building. On a thematic level, the overarching angles for cities to decrease their carbon emissions, take the leap towards the digital transition and reinforce gender equality will be further mainstreamed. This shall support the alignment of the programme’s objectives with future local strategies. At last, on a legal, procedural and practical level let us explore the full possibilities of municipal procurement as key strategy that directly and strategically influences local futures. After all, this bundle of aspirations may be pivotal for switching local and regional pathways in Europe from “challenge to opportunity”.

     

    2022 City Festival - Driving change for better cities

     

    Continually adding value and building local legacies

     

    While this present article provides a stock-take from within participating Action Planning Networks by confronting the question of how well the latest cohort of URBACT cities – from their own perspective – travelled the path of the action-planning cycle, other studies on the local Integrated Action Plans and small scale actions are on the making. All these material will also feed the journey of the next round of Action Planning Networks (2022 – 2024). Interesting findings allow informed judgements to make about what went well and where future actions and processes can be improved.

     

    The unforeseen disruptor of the Covid-19 pandemic has left a strong mark on local and transnational engagement, yet our networks showed great ingenuity and developed robust resilience in their Action Planning efforts in the past years. Today, we wish them all the best for keeping momentum during implementation of their local Integrated Action Plans, and hope that they can build a positive legacy like so many cities before. To all those seeking new opportunities for shared transnational learning with proven methods, formats and structures, and complimented by good vibes, rich encounters and plenty of good fun, join the URBACT community now – the next call for Action Planning Networks is open until 31 March!

     

     


     

     

    URBACT open call - Join [u]s!

  • URBACT programos kvietimas ekspertams jau greitai

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    31/12/2022

    Norite tapti URBACT IV patvirtintu ekspertu? Naujas konkursas prasidės 2023 m. sausio 12 d. ir tęsis iki 2027 m.!

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    Prisijungimas prie mūsų ekspertų būrio atveria duris įvairioms ekspertų misijoms, skirtoms remti patvirtintus URBACT tinklus ir URBACT sekretoriatą. Patvirtinti ekspertai dažniausiai kviečiami prisidėti prie finansuojamų projektų ir miestų veiklos projektuose.

    Būsimas kvietimas kurti veiksmų planavimo tinklus yra puiki proga pagrindiniams ekspertams paremti miestus. Pagrindinis ekspertas atidžiai seka 2,5 metų miestų mainų ir mokymosi kelionę, kuriant vietinius integruotus veiksmų planus. Arba ekspertai taip pat gali būti kviečiami atlikti "ad hoc" misijas, kad būtų laiku teikiama pagalba miestams arba URBACT sekretoriatui, siekiant prisidėti prie programos veiklos, pvz., URBACT universitetų, URBACT miesto festivalių, URBACT žinių centro veiksmų.

    Suinteresuoti kandidatai gali pateikti prašymą tapti pagrindiniu ekspertu, galinčiu atlikti atitinkamą vaidmenį URBACT tinkluose, be "ad hoc" misijų, arba tapti išskirtiniu "ad hoc" ekspertu. Daugiau informacijos rasite čia.

  • Miestų forumas 2023 m. vyks Turine (Italijoje)

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    Cities Forum 2023 in Turin.
    31/12/2022

    Miestų forumas yra viena didžiausių tvarios miestų plėtros konferencijų Europoje. Kas dvejus metus vykstantis renginys, kurį organizuoja Europos Komisijos Regioninės ir miestų politikos generalinis direktoratas, suburia miestų suinteresuotąsias šalis Europos, nacionaliniu, regioniniu ir vietos lygiu. Kitais metais penktasis Miestų forumas vyks 2023 m. kovo 16–17 dienomis Turine, Italijoje.

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    Kalbant apie turinį, renginys siūlo galimybę keistis nuomonėmis apie dabartinius miesto iššūkius ir sprendimus. Daugiausia dėmesio bus skiriama „žaliajam perėjimui“ ir socialinei įtraukčiai. Taip pat renginiu siekiama sustiprinti mažų ir vidutinių miestelių bei funkcinių zonų vaidmenį ieškant atsakymų į vietos iššūkius. Be kita ko, sanglaudos politikos urbanistinė dimensija, ES miestų darbotvarkė, ES misija „100 klimatui neutralių ir pažangių miestų“, miestų vaidmuo įgyvendinant Europos žaliąjį kursą ir Naujojo Europos Bauhauso iniciatyva. Taip pat ES atsakas į Teritorinės darbotvarkės iki 2030 m. urbanistinį aspektą. Be to, Europos miestų iniciatyva (EUI) oficialiai prasidės MIestų forume, o pirmasis EUI renginys bus skirtas struktūroms ir kompetencijoms kurti (gebėjimų ugdymas).

    Čia galite rasti daugiau informacijos. Registruotis į Miestų forumą galite nuo 2023 m. sausio mėn.

  • URBACT programa 2022 metais paskatino pokyčius

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    31/12/2022

    Metams einant į pabaigą atsigręžiame į tai, ką nuveikėme. Prisijunkite prie mūsų ir iš naujo apžvelkite svarbiausius 2022 m. URBACT programos įvykius.

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    Prisiminkite viską, ką išgyvenome ir kas dar ateis. Skaitykite ir įsitikinkite, kad šiais metais nepraleidote nieko svarbaus.

     

    URBACT miestų festivalis sugrįžo – ir šiemet vyko gyvai!

    1                                                

    Po internetinės koncepcijos 2021 m., šiais metais mūsų pagrindinis renginys sulaukė didelio susidomėjimo. 2022 metų birželį Pantine (Didžiojo Paryžiaus regione, Prancūzijoje) saulėtomis ir labai šiltomis dienomis daugiau nei 480 dalyvių iš visos Europos susirinko diskutuoti ir vieni kitus paskatinti. Šis URBACT miestų festivalis buvo ypač unikalus, nes tai buvo pirmasis anglies dvideginiui neutralus renginys. Pasirinkti aplinkai draugiškesnį sprendimą paskatino Prancūzijos pirmininkavimas ES, taip pat URBACT noras ateityje užtikrinti tik anglies dvideginiui neutralias priemones.

    2022-ųjų URBACT miesto šventė taip pat turėjo labai simbolinę reikšmę. Tai pažymėjo du svarbius įvykius: pirmasis buvo paskutinio URBACT III veiksmų planavimo tinklų etapo (2019–2022 m.) pabaiga, o antrasis – kito planavimo laikotarpio URBACT IV (2021–2027 m.) programos pradžia. Abu aspektai praturtino šventę ir bendrą trijų dienų renginio turinį.

     

    Prasidėjus naujam laikotarpiui, baigėsi ir URBACT III programa

     

    Ankstesniu URBACT programos laikotarpiu (2014-2020 m.) buvo finansuoti 83 miestų tinklų suformuoti projektai. Iš viso 678 miestai partneriai iš 27 šalių pasinaudojo URBACT metodu. Naudodamiesi specialiai pritaikytomis mokymosi ir mainų metodikomis, pritaikydami žinias ir pasinaudodami gebėjimų ugdymo galimybėmis, miestai kartu kūrė ilgalaikes vizijas ir kūrė savo gerosios praktikos pavyzdžius. Galutiniai projektų sėkmės ir nesėkmės istorijų produktai skelbiami siekiant dalytis žiniomis. Paskutinis šio planavimo laikotarpio etapas taip pat paliko erdvės eksperimentams: keturi bandomieji tinklai ir iniciatyvos vis dar vykdomi iki gruodžio pabaigos įgyvendinant URBACT III programą.

    Remiantis perdavimo tinklų patirtimi, pritaikant ir pakartotinai naudojant URBACT miestų gerąją patirtį, 54 miestai naujai iš 91 projektus įgyvendinusio miesto turėjo galimybę perkelti savo idėjas ir projektus į vietos kontekstą. Septynios projektų originalios gerosios praktikos, kurios dalyvavo ankstesniuose tinkluose, buvo pakviestos pakartoti savo patirtį su nauju partnerių ratu. Taip pat penki partneriai iš patirties perdavimo tinklų, įgyvendindami nacionalines iniciatyvas, turėjo galimybę pasidalinti savo „slaptu receptu“ su kitais miestais. Galiausiai buvo atrinkti penki užbaigti miesto naujoviškų veiksmų projektai, siekiant išbandyti URBACT patirties perdavimo procesą su nedideliu skaičiumi miestų partnerių.

    Tačiau 2022 m. baigsis ir kitas bandomasis projektas: pasaulinių tikslų miestų tinklas. Šis bandomasis projektas atitinka įprasto veiksmų planavimo tinklo struktūrą, tačiau su tam tikromis naujovėmis. Remiant Europos savivaldybių ir regionų tarybai (CEMR) ir pasinaudojant tvarių miestų orientacine sistema (RFSC), pagrindinė 19 miestų partnerių užduotis buvo lokalizuoti JT darnaus vystymosi tikslus. Visi šie projektai sukurs naujas patirtis kitam planavimo laikotarpiui, o kiekvieno partnerio patirtis yra įrodymas, ką būsimi URBACT miestai gali pasiekti net per trumpą tinklo veikimo laiką.

     

    URBACT e-universitetas pasiūlė informaciją apie finansavimą jums po ranka

    2

    URBACT universitetai yra pagrindinė mūsų įvairių gebėjimų ugdymo dalis, kuri kuria programos patirtį ugdant įgūdžius. Kalbant apie miesto specialistų gebėjimų stiprinimą, URBACT siūlo priemones ir tinkamą turinį, kad būtų galima remti miesto veiksmus planavimo cikle, kartu užtikrinant dalyvaujamąsias ir integruotas intervencijas. Ši koncepcija buvo pratęsta ir 2022 m. e-universitete. Tris dienas trukusiame renginyje buvo akcentuojami žingsniai, reikalingi miestui sėkmingai įgyvendinti tvarias strategijas ir numatyti lėšų atitinkamiems veiksmams.

    Nors e-universitetas buvo uždaras ir jame galėjo dalyvauti URBACT projektų partneriai, visas susijęs turinys buvo paskelbtas ir pasiekiamas platesnei auditorijai per URBACT įrankių rinkinį. Ten miesto entuziastai gali rasti įvairių gairių ir šablonų, padėsiančių miestams praplėsti projektų finansavimo galimybes. Šios priemonės buvo sukurtos per metus, atsižvelgiant į aktualų poreikį – suprasti, kaip veiksmų planai ir strategijos gali tapti realybe. Gairės išteklių ir finansavimo tema greitai nepasens, ši medžiaga bus ypač naudinga ES savivaldybėms, kurios ateinančiais metais (2021 - 2027 m.) nori pradėti naujus projektus.

     

    Dar kartą paaiškėjo, kad lyčių lygybė yra teisingų pokyčių pagrindas

     

    Lytiškumas yra labai svarbus aspektas, į kurį reikia atsižvelgti kuriant klestinčius miestus ir bendruomenes. Tai kompleksinė tema, apimanti daug daugiau miesto problemų, nei galima tikėtis, todėl nenuostabu, kad #GenderEqualCities yra vienas iš pagrindinių URBACT IV programos prioritetų kartu su skaitmeniniu ir žaliuoju perėjimu. Viena vertus, siekiame tęsti šios temos įtraukimą programos lygmeniu; kita vertus, toliau skatinsime miestus nagrinėti susijusią veiklą vietos lygmeniu.

    Siekdami patenkinti konkretesnių priemonių vietos valdžios institucijoms poreikį 2022 m. pristatėme daugybę produktų. Pirmiausia buvo išleista nauja politikos ataskaitos „Lyčių lygybės miestai“ versija su visiškai naujais atvejais ir pavyzdžiais – pirminė ataskaita buvo išleista 2019 m. gegužės mėn. Programa taip pat pradėjo keturis naujus mokymo modulius, kurie padės Europos miestams įgyvendinti lyčių aspektą atitinkančių viešųjų pirkimų iniciatyvas. Kartu su Europos lyčių lygybės institutu URBACT į savo strateginių viešųjų pirkimų internetinį kursą įtraukė šešis lengvai suprantamus vaizdo įrašus, įskaitant du miesto atvejų tyrimus iš Vienos (Austrija) ir Baskų krašto (Ispanija).

     

    3

     

    Esame arčiau nei bet kada iki kito URBACT paraiškų konkurso veiksmų planavimo tinklams, kuris prasidės 2023 m. sausio 9 d. Per metus kvietimą pristatėme įvairiuose renginiuose: Miestų festivalyje, Europos regionų ir miestų savaitėje bei kituose renginiuose. Viską apie kvietimą galite sužinoti pažiūrėję šį įrašą čia. Be to, savivaldybės, agentūros, didmiesčiai ir vietos valdžios institucijos jau nuo spalio mėnesio pradėjo ieškoti potencialių partnerių.

     

    Atminkite, kad URBACT prasideda nuo Jūsų, todėl būtinai pasidalykite idėjomis ir peržiūrėkite kitus pasiūlymus mūsų partnerių paieškos įrankyje!

    Ar laukiate 2023 metų? Pasižymėkite URBACT programos internetinių seminarų, skirtų naujam Veiksmų planavimo tinklų kvietimui teikti paraiškas, datas:

    • Sausio 17 d., 10:00-11:00 (CET): įvadas apie kvietimą
    • Sausio 19 d., 10:00–11:00 (CET): tvirtos partnerystės kūrimas
    • Vasario 7 d., 10:00–11:00 (CET): patirties mainai ir mokymasis
    • Kovo 7 d., 10:00–11:00 (CET): paraiškos pateikimas
  • Floriade Expo 2022: food policies and cities actions

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    26/12/2022

    On 22-24 June Expo Floriade 2022 that took place in Almere, hosted the partners of the NextAgri Urbact project, the Food Trails Horizon 2020 project, and of the Eurocities and Milan Urban Food Policy Pact network, to talk about food policy and food system innovation. 

    The NextAgri partner took the chance to meet in Almere during the Expo and realize the 2nd physical Transnational meeting, that was postponed due to the Covid emergency. This has been a great opportunity to share the state of the art of the project among city partners but also to participate in the bigger events promoted by the other projects networks.


    Indeed, some of the events planned by the organizers (City of Almere, Food Trails and Milan Urban Food Policy Pact) were related to food policies and some specific issues that the NextAgri project is covering: rural and urban linkages, periurban agriculture, food hub innovation. Over 80 participants from cities all over Europe discussed their experiences and good practices on food transition in order to accelerate the transformation of urban food systems.
     
    In this context the first two days the Next Agri partners met in the Volks canteen in Almere city center and worked on the project and also had the chance to visit local experiences of urban agriculture such as: Ostenwold and explore the project of the supermarket of the future. The added value of this meeting was the participation to the main conference promoted by the other network, that enable the Next Agri partner to increase their knowledge on food policy practices.
     
    What were the issues addressed in the Floriade food program and the objectives of the meetings?

    The transformative potential of food through the food policies was at the heart of the conversation of the conference. How to innovate these systems through several kinds of actions, like raising public awareness and acting on urban planning. Relating to these topics was stressed the importance of the collaboration between local and national level and the necessity of a strong multilevel governance. 


    Thanks to the visit to the Expo Floriade 2022 it was possible to participate in several side events connected to food policies action, monitoring framework and implementation techniques. During the conference “The Table is Set” a specific focus was the role and the experiences of cities to face food inequality. This event was focused on food policy creation and priorities and therefore the various cases that have been presented: Almere, Birmingham, Ghent and Milan, have been very inspiring for the NextAgri Partners that do not have a food policy at city level but that are starting to face this issue at local level. 


    The potential created by the participation to the Floriade Expo 2022 meeting, has been exploited by the NextAgri partners and creates the opportunity to strengthen the network among cities, tio share also with other Urbact city experiences that  participated to this important european food event and to enrich the knowledge of the NextAgri city partners
     
     
    Here the
     link to a short video of the conference

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  • Milan Urban Food Policy Pact: Regional Forum in Europe and Asia Pacific

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    26/12/2022

    Since 2015 the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) has grown, increasing the number of the city partners and reaching new important results as the last two Regional Forums in Almere (NL) and Bandung (IDN).

    Eurocities and MUFPP European cities met on 22-24 June in Almere (Netherlands) alongside the Floriade Expo 2022 to discuss new and old challenges to transform the urban food system. The meeting, titled “The table is set”, has focused on crosscutting issues like: multilevel governance collaboration, food environment, food identity and social inclusion, local and regional food and circular economy solutions for food.

    Furthermore, on 3-4 August 2022, the city of Bandung (Indonesia) hosted the 1st Regional Forum in Asia Pacific, an opportunity to advocate the importance of improving access to food and building more sustainable and just food systems. The two-day event titled “Improving City Food Security and Creating Work Through Urban Farming Based on Culture and Technology” focused on overcoming existing inequalities in accessing food, obtaining greater food security and boosting job creation. One of the solutions Bandung has implemented is the Urban Farming programme, whose purpose is to overcome the issues of food quality and insecurity in the city with actions such as encouraging culture-based urban farming.


    Thanks to these opportunities created by the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, the city partners and the international experts have had the chance to work together and share knowledge and practices on key issues to achieve a more sustainable food system from various viewpoints, improve food policies practices and reach the goals set by MUFPP.


    More info on: milanurbanfoodpolicypact.org 

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  • Hudba a tanec pomáhajú rozvoju detí a rodín aj v Lučenci

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    28/12/2022

    V Lučenci sa do plánovania aktivít OnStage zapojilo viacero inšitúcií. Okrem samosprávy aj zamestnanci Komunitného centra, Centra voľného času, Základnej školy M. R. Štefánika. Možností osloviť a zapojiť deti z marginalizovaných komunít bolo viac, napokon zodpovednosť za realizáciu novej voľnočasovej aktivity prevzala pani riaditeľka Občianskeho združenia Za dôstojný život Zdenka Kotrasová a lektorky Marianna Žilková a Anna Čemeričková z Centra voľného času. Aké malo Mesto Lučenec plány, ako prebiehala realizácia pilotného programu a aké skúsenosti získali lektorky, sme zhrnuli v tomto článku.
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    NPTiOnStage



    Aká bola situácia vo vašom meste pred iniciatívou?

    Mesto Lučenec čelí výraznému starnutiu obyvateľstva a odlivu mladých ľudí. V dôsledku odchodu pracovnej sily a klesania atraktivity mesta pre investorov dochádza k znižovaniu kvality života obyvateľov a zhoršovaniu ich sociálnej situácie. Miera nezamestnanosti je 12%. K rómskej komunite sa hlási približne 3000 osôb, čo je 11% obyvateľstva. Práve táto skupina obyvateľov má nižšie vzdelanie, s čím sú spojené aj obmedzené pracovné možnosti, nižšie príjmy a horšie podmienky na bývanie. V dôsledku týchto faktorov je táto skupina obyvateľov ohrozená sociálnym vylúčením. Bez školského vzdelania je 13,56% obyvateľov a základné vzdelanie má dokončených 11,41% obyvateľstva v meste. V tejto skupine sú však započítané aj deti a žiaci, ktorí sa ešte len vzdelávajú alebo sa vzdelávať začnú. Predčasne ukončenú školskú dochádzku má cca 2% obyvateľstva.


    Čo ste od projektu očakávali?

    Najzásadnejšou výzvou, na ktorú sa chcelo mesto zamerať, bola väčšia miera sociálnej inklúzie marginalizovanej komunity. Cieľom bolo napomôcť zlepšeniu školskej dochádzky a efektívnemu využitiu voľného času detí zo sociálne slabých rodín, pre ktoré klasické voľnočasové aktivity nie sú ekonomicky dostupné. Zámerom mesta bolo tiež pracovať s rodičmi detí. Plánovanou cieľovou skupinou boli deti zo sociálne znevýhodneného prostredia, resp. marginalizovanej rómskej komunity, ktoré by takto mohli lepšie využívať voľný čas a zároveň v rodine nenachádzajú podporu vzhľadom na finančné problémy.

    Cieľom bolo prehĺbiť integráciu sociálne znevýhodnených osôb do majoritnej spoločnosti a verejného kultúrneho života. Podchytením detí motivovať ich rodičov k spoločnej aktivite detí s rodičmi. Výsledkom by mala byť lepšia dochádzka do školy, ako aj lepšie výchovno-vzdelávacie výsledky detí. Predpoklad je, že týmto sa zlepší samotné chovanie detí zo sociálne znevýhodneného prostredia. Zároveň sme mali v pláne podchytenie talentovaných detí, dať im možnosť vyniknúť, napr. na školských akciách, alebo akciách mesta.


    Čo ste sa rozhodli z dobrej praxe preniesť, čím ste sa inšpirovali?

    Inšpiráciou je pre nás predovšetkým spolupráca školy na komunitnej úrovni, systém skupinovej výuky a dostatok pomôcok. Mesto Lučenec podľa vzoru Mesta Brna zakúpilo hudobné nástroje a otvorilo krúžok zameraný na skupinovú výučbu hudby. Hudbu považujeme za vhodný nástroj na spájanie a vytváranie sociálnej súdržnosti. Jedná sa o univerzálny jazyk. Je to vhodná voľnočasová aktivita, priestor na vzájomné stretávanie, vytváranie inkluzívneho prostredia a budovanie vzájomnej empatie.

    Metóda skupinovej výučby sa javí ako vhodná pre deti predškolského veku, ako aj deti na prvom stupni. Menší počet detí v skupine zaručí individuálne potreby dieťaťa, ako aj možnosť spolupráce medzi deťmi. Je predpoklad na zvládnutie koncentrácie dieťaťa na aktivitu, pri ktorej rytmika je motivačným prvkom, ktorý zaujme a podnieti sústredenosť dieťaťa na hru.


    Čím bola pre vás účasť v iniciatíve OnStage prínosná?

    Účasť v CZ&SK iniciatíve OnStage bola pre nás prínosná v tom, že sme na návšteve v Brne a neskôr aj v Plzni videli a zažili vo výchovno-vzdelávacej praxi priamu činnosť a aktivity medzi vyučujúcimi a žiakmi, ktorí sa dokážu zapájať do hudobného procesu aj napriek tomu, že nepoznajú noty. Deti sa prostredníctvom rytmických značiek a individuálneho prístupu pedagógov dokázali postupne naučiť a osvojiť si základy hudobne teórie. Rytmus, im prirodzený element, dokázali uplatniť pomocou perkusií. Vyučujúceho dokázali  vnímať a zapájať  svoje zmysly tak, že dodržiavali počas rytmicko-hudobných výstupov daný takt, doby nôt a najmä dynamiku. Rovnako aj pri hre na hudobný nástroj sme sa presvedčili, že nie je potrebné deti vopred zaťažovať hudobnou teóriou. Priama činnosť a aktivita s hudobným nástrojom deti posmeľuje a motivuje od začiatku. Neustále opakovanie akordov, hmatov, získavanie zručností a istoty, to všetko v deťoch postupne buduje presvedčenie, že sa to dá naučiťaj takto. A hlavne, že na to má naozaj každý, stačí len trochu chcieť a vytrvať. V Brne sme mali možnosť presvedčiť sa o tom, ako sa to dá. Načerpali sme mnoho poznatkov a inšpirácie, ktoré sa budeme snažiť preniesť do vlastnej praxe.


    Mohli by ste nám predstaviť už realizované aktivity?

    Vytvorili sme pravidelnú voľnočasovú hudobno-pohybovú aktivitu pre deti vo veku 2 – 7 rokov, ich rodičov a zákonných zástupcov Zariadenia núdzového bývania v Občianskom združení ,,Za dôstojný život“ v Lučenci. Je to Centrum pre občana a rodinu, zároveň aj Útulok, Zariadenie núdzového bývania a Centrum pre deti a rodiny s názvom Margarétka. Stretnutia sme mali trikrát do týždňa – tu sme sa inšpirovali metódou El Sistema, ktorú aplikujeme v programoch OnStage podľa príkladu zo španielskeho mesta L´Hospitalet. Hlavným princípom tejto metódy je práve intenzíva práca s deťmi počas týždňa. Ukázalo sa, že to má svoj význam. Deti aj dospelí si postupne na túto voľnočasovú aktivitu zvykli a po čase sa začali na ňu tešiť. Videli sme, aký je rozdiel pracovať s deťmi z podnetného rodinného prostredia, s ktorými pracujeme zvyčajne v centre voľného času a s deťmi zo znevýhodneného sociálneho a rodinného prostredia. Rodičia a zákonní zástupcovia detí so znevýhodneného prostredia sa boli spočiatku hanbliví, nevedeli sa zapojiť do aktivít. Deti sú však živšie, smelšie a aktívnejšie, aj keď nie sú zvyknuté na dlhšie sústredenie sa. Predchádzajúce skúsenosti lektoriek boli opačné  -  deti zo stabilného a podnetného rodinného prostredia bývajú hanblivejšie a menej spontánne a ich rodičia sú aktívnejší a vyvíjajú väčšiu snahu o zapojenie sa do aktivít. Svoje deti niekedy až prehnane nútia spolupracovať. Naším cieľom je povzbudiť rodičov do činnosti, pomôcť im pochopiť, že to, čo možno nebolo vo veku ich detí dopriate im, nech sa snažia dopriať vlastným deťom. A aj svojou činnosťou a zapájaním sa do našich aktivit si môžu posilniť svoje vzťahy. Je pochopiteľné, že vzhľadom na ich životnú situáciu im veľmi do spevu a tanca nie je, ale ak je toto spôsob, ktorý by im a ich deťom mohol dopomôcť stráviť pár hodín v pozitívnej atmosfére, tak aj to zanechá určite na vývine ich detí kladnú stopu.

    Nedávame si vysoké ciele - zvládnutie 4 piesní, ktoré budeme vedieť spoločne zahrať a zaspievať. Využívame orffove nástroje, ako sprievodný nástroj syntetizátor. V budúcnosti plánujeme využívať aj boomwhakers a kachony, ktoré sme videli na hodinách hudobnej výchovy v Brne. Motivačný prvok bude tanec. Cieľom je naučiť vnímať rytmiku cez tanec a hudbu.


    Aký bol na nové hudobné programy ohlas?

    Pomaly vidíme výsledky. Rodičia hovoria, že deti sa na ďalší deň veľmi tešia, sú nadšené, majú radosť z nového. Priniesli sme im vytrhnutie zo stereotypu všedných dní. A vidíme na nich aj viditeľné pokroky. Na niektorých mamičkách tiež, začali sa viac zapájať. Chce to režim, pravidelnosť, opakovanie – presne podľa metódy El Sistema. Intenzívna práca prináša rýchle výsledky, pokroky, a tým radosť nielen pre deti, ale aj rodičov a všetkých zapojených ľudí, ktorí k tomu prispeli.


    Kto z kľúčových partnerov vám bol pri realizácii projektu najviac nápomocný a v čom?

    Občianske združenie Za dôstojný život poskytlo priestory na voľnočasovú aktivitu pre svojich klientov, ktorú viedli lektorky z Centra voľného času Marianna Žilková a Anna Čemeričková. Mesto Lučenec poskytlo financie na nákup hudobných nástrojov.


    Aké sú vaše ďalšie plány v rámci realizácie projektu a ako chcete zabezpečiť udržateľnosť navrhnutých aktivít v ďalších rokoch?

    Mesto Lučenec uvažuje nad ďalším vývojom v ďalšom roku a OZ Za dôstojný život uvíta spoluprácu v podobnom duchu, no bude treba pracovať na získaní financií na odmeny lektorkám, osloviť aj ďalšie inštitúcie a nájsť ďalších lektorov. V Lučenci je veľa detí, pre ktoré by hudobné, tanečné a iné podobné aktivity boli vhodnou aktivitou pre ich rozvoj a prepojenie minoritnej a majoritnej spoločnosti.


    Ako vás osobne obohatila účasť v CZ&SK iniciatíve OnStage?

    Získali sme možnosť zúčastniť sa niekoľkých stretnutí so zapojenými mestami v iniciatíve OnStage na Slovensku a v Českej republike. V Brne, Trenčíne aj v Plzni sme spoznali ľudí zo samosprávy, škôl a ďalších inštitúcií, s ktorými sme si mohli vymeniť skúsenosti a načerpať nové vedomosti. Veľmi nás zaujali praktické hodiny, ktoré sme mali možnosť navštíviť v základných školách v Brne a v Plzni, nové metódy, učebné pomôcky a jednoduché nástroje na precvičovanie rytmiky. Odchádzali sme vždy s pozitívnou energiou a radosťou z nových kontaktov.


    Aké tri rady alebo tipy by ste dali ďalším mestám, ktoré by chceli implementovať dobrú prax OnStage?

    Lektorky z Lučenca odporúčajú vytrvať, nedať sa odradiť a poukazovať na význam a zmysel všetkého, čo robíme.

     

    URBACT
                                                                                                 CZ&SK iniciatíva OnStage bola zriadená v rámci operačného programu URBACT III (2014 - 2020)

                                                                                                                      Text: Ing. Magdaléna Bernátová, PhD. expertka CZ&SK Iniciatívy OnStage