From July to September 2020, ALDA supported the Municipality of Schio with the aim of relaunching the Neighborhood Councils, activating a participatory process aimed at increasing the sense of belonging of the population, solving the problems of the various communities from below and planning their future in a shared way.

The participatory approach at local level offers immense possibilities for strengthening financial resources, time, ideas and energy to be used in municipalities, a subject in which ALDA has twenty years of experience, throughout Europe and in the surrounding areas.

What are Neighborhood Councils? They are non-partisan, democratic and non-profit bodies, which operate for socio-cultural, sports, recreational and solidarity purposes, with a view to the exclusive satisfaction of collective interests.

Within this framework, the participatory approach at local level offers immense possibilities for strengthening financial resources, time, ideas and energy to be used in municipalities, a subject in which ALDA has twenty years of experience, throughout Europe and in the surrounding areas.

The participatory process implemented in Schio (Italy) during July 2020 has seen the involvement of more than 150 citizens, representing all the 7 districts of the Municipality, and consisted of three steps:

1.ACTIVATION PHASE: 2 public meetings were organised, in July and September, in order to create a pilot group and to plan the participatory campaign. The meetings gave rise to 11 working tables, attended by more than 65 citizens from Schio, who identified common problems and discussed possible solutions at a general level, and then planned the participatory campaign in the neighborhoods, defining the themes and schedule of meetings.

2. CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATING IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODS: From 14th to 25th September 14 meetings were held in the 7 districts of Schio, 2 per district, aimed at drawing up the Manifesto of the new Neighborhood Council and presenting a list of candidates for each Council.

Led by a team of experienced ALDA+ facilitators, the assemblies of each neighborhood discussed and collected the most important and feasible proposals for resolution and composed their own Neighborhood Manifesto. These meetings resulted in 7 Posters and a list of candidates for each new Neighborhood Council, with 79 candidates collected.

3. ELECTIONS AND VOTES: this phase is still in progress, given the postponement of the elections to spring 2021 due to the Covid-19 emergency. A promotional campaign was planned, in order to reach the quorum of 15% of the electorate in each district, necessary for the validity of the Council election.

In general, on this subject, we would like to point out that on 31st October, the Secretary General of ALDA Antonella Valmorbida was interviewed by Elena Borin, Artistic Director of the ConversAzioni Festival. In this interview, Antonella analyzed participatory processes and communities, bringing as success case the participatory processes concerning the Neighborhood Councils of the Municipality of Schio.

It was a great experience of intercultural promotion, collective caring for common issues, and an important occasion to stimulate young people’s active citizenship in Strasbourg. As it insisted on the fundamental role of youth in becoming “actors of change”, in addition, the project contributed to the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities; SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production; and SDG 13 – Measures relating to the fight against climate change.

Funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs through FONJEP, ECO-CHANGE was coordinated by ALDA together with Stamtish, a Strasbourg-based NGO whose mission is to promote the integration of people with migrant background through culinary and eco-responsible events. 

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