Eutropian colleagues Daniela Patti and Lukács Hayes travelled to Gdansk last week to participate in the latest consortium meeting of the EUARENAS project. During the three-day-long event, consortium members had the chance to discuss the most important issues concerning the project, see the progress of different work packages and visit sites in Gdansk related to EUARENAS.
The Municipality of Gdansk, being a consortium member, hosted the meeting with commendable hospitality while the European Solidarity Centre provided an immaculate venue to host the activities of the meeting.
The City of Gdansk has extensive experience in developing and carrying out social initiatives and has a long tradition of applying participatory forms of governance and policymaking, which made our visit particularly relevant for the EUARENAS project.
One such project is the development of the neighborhood of Orunia in cooperation between, the municipality, civic organizations and local citizens, which was visited by the consortium on the last day of the meeting.
Orunia Gorna is one of the more underprivileged districts of the City of Gdansk. In the past 10 or so years, it has been a subject of many community organizing and social initiatives (including social businesses), in collaboration with the municipality and various civic and local stakeholders. Most importantly, the municipality has been working together for over 10 years with the Foundation for Social Innovation which, apart from other initiatives, operates a neighbourhood house, a social cafe (Kuznia Café), homes for children and runs activities for rescinders of social housing.
Consortium members were shown around the neighbourhood by Przemek Kluz, one of the founders of the Foundation for Social Innovation and one of many people driving social change in Orunia.
EUARENAS is a Horizon2020 project. It looks at different ways and means to include citizens into municipality-level decision making through the use of different participatory mechanisms and tools, tackling contemporary challenges of cities. The project includes municipalities from four pilot cities: Voru, Gdansk, Budapest and Reggio Emilia, as well as a number of organisations and universities from other European countries.
For more information visit the project website.