On 11-13th May 2022, the EUarenas project met for a three-day Project Workshop in one of our pilot cities Reggio Emilia, Italy.
The project was welcomed by the mayor Luca Vecchi and the councilor for housing and participation Lanfranco De Franco in the historic Hall of Tricolore. Here, the mayor shared the history, development, and state of participatory democracy in the city of Reggio Emilia.
In the next two days, each Work Package shared their progresses, as well as organised small workshops to gather partners' inputs and feedback needed for their deliverables.
The Community of Practice also met and were introduced to the EUArenas consortium in-person for the first time in our first Knowledge Exchange workshop. Together, the Community of Practice and consortium explored the future of democracy, and mapped out the actors, tools, and techniques involved in mainstreaming and making the participation and deliberation processes horizontal, accessible, and inclusive. The results of the meeting were synthesised here.
On the last day of the Workshop held the Urban Climate Justice Day. The event called for the cooperation between various actors involved in the production processes of climate transition policies at various levels of governance – European and urban – with scholars and citizens. The conference also received a surprise speaker, Elly Schlein – vice president of the Emilia-Romagna region and former member of the European Parliament, who acknowledged the importance of the event and the scope of EUarenas project:
"Social and climate justice are deeply connected. [...] We need to embrace a just transition and accompany the whole society, starting from the most vulnerable members. Many thanks to you, because what you have been discussing here is very useful and fruitful to our administration to understand what we can do better, what other strategies were implemented in other cities in EUarenas – a very important project."