Eutropian team travels to Reggio Emilia, Italy to EUARENAS project meeting

Eutropian colleagues from our Rome and Budapest offices travelled to Reggio Emilia earlier this month to participate in the 4th workshop of the EUARENAS project (2nd in-person meeting). The Municipality of Reggio Emilia is one of the partners in the project and they were kind enough to host this event in their beautiful city. 

The event consisted of a 2-day project meeting, a 1-day conference, the Urban Climate Justice Day, and a 1-day field visit to a few of Reggio Emilia’s pilot participatory project sites. 

Eutropian is mostly involved with work packages 3 and 4 of the EUARENAS project, looking at case studies of deliberative democracy tools a good practices and helping the development of pilot participatory projects, respectively. As part of WP4 we will be creating a Participatory Toolbox to help urban practitioners navigate the abundantly available good practices and tools of citizen participation to help them develop and carry out participatory processes in urban settings. The 2-day project meeting provided a great opportunity for us to build upon the initial concept and methodology of our Toolbox with the help of project partners. Giovanni Pagano and Lukács Hayes, our junior collaborators from Rome and Budapest, delivered a presentation on the current state of the Toolbox and we then facilitated workshops to capture the feedback and suggestions for further refinement from partners.  

We also contributed to the Urban Climate Justice Day by participating in a panel of cities looking at ways in which challenges of climate change and climate justice can be addressed by means of participation and citizen inclusion. Our role was to help the audience follow the discussion by visualising what was said in real-time on a MIRO board. Daniela Patti then delivered concluding remarks, summarizing the discussion and pointing out ways in which cities can be more effective in their fight against climate change by better incorporating participatory mechanisms and processes into urban policymaking. 

The project meeting in Reggio Emilia also provided a great opportunity to reconnect with partners of the EUARENAS project and some new partners that participated at the Urban Climate Justice Day conference. It also allowed our colleagues from Rome and Budapest to meet (some of them for the very first time in person) and catch up. 

Reggio Emilia is a beautiful city which has a real homely feel to it. With a respectably long tradition in participation and being the city where the cooperative movement started out, it was the perfect location to meet up and develop and build on existing ideas of participation. 

Reggio is also a great city to visit with numerous places to enjoy a drink on a terrace or a meal at a restaurant. That was precisely what Eutropian colleagues did after a long day of workshops.

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.