Neighbours of Europe
Date du début: 31 août 2005,
Date de fin: 30 déc. 2007
NEIGHBOURS OF EUROPE aims to create more effective regional policies and strategies in new urban governance to aid urban regeneration and sustainable development. These strategies should promote a broader participation of citizens, including the most disadvantaged groups. The project also seeks to enhance partnership between public sector organisations and local communities, improve public health and safety and to ensure greater coherence between the cities objectives and EU policies. Achievements: Achievements so far Neighbours of Europe had for main objective to create effective strategies in urban regeneration and to strengthen local democracy. Citizens participation in urban planning is an essential factor for a successful urban development. The approach is linked to the WHO 'healthy cities' agenda implying that all city policies have an impact on the well-being of the population. The activities were organised around citizens thematic trainings. These helped them to be better equipped to implement local initiatives as well as to prepare them for exchange visits in the partner cities. Study visits provided opportunities to compare situations and tools and to share practices. They were preceeded by 5 trainings so that during the 5 days programme, presentations could be of high quality. The partners selected public spaces and confirmed the theme on which they wanted to see improvements and around which they would host a visit. Belfast hosted the 1st visit in March 2006 on the theme 'safety'. Belfast concentrated on the 'feeling of security'. It was a strong moment: discovery of the NI context and of the work carried out to encourage both communities to build bridges between their shared realities. Brussels hosted the 2nd visit (June 06). The exchange was organised around the added-value of institutionalised citizen participation. The 3rd exchange took place in November 2006 in Lyon. The theme was 'the inhabitant, first expert of his/her neighbourhood', stating that he/she is best placed to change or improve the situation of his/her living environment. The 4th study visit took place in Milan in March 2007 on the issue of the intercultural dimension of an urban area and its representation in the local projects committees. All visits were successful in calling on the public authorities for an increased participation of the local residents in the planning and definition of urban policies, in particular those aimed at improving the quality of life in neglected areas. The last semester of the operation was dedicated to finalising the productions of the partnership - the evaluation report by the Milan University and its CD-Rom, the long version of the film reporting 2 years of common work, the writing of the terms of reference for a resource centre. A working group meeting took place on Sept 28-29 to agree on the format and content of a Resource Centre, as a guarantee to sustain the network. On November 9 2007, the final event gathered an audience of 120 p in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. Mr Michel Delebarre, President of the Committee of the Regions, opened up the day with an encouraging word to networks like Neighbours. Mr Michel Lamblin presented the new priorities of INTERREG IVC. All participants received a copy of the Polytecnico evaluation report and of the 10 min version of the film. The day was a success. All speeches and relevant documents can be found www.neighboursofeurope.eu
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