City for Citizens, Citizens for City

Slovak Governance Institute in co-operation with the municipalities of Bratislava – New Town District (SK), Kashar – Tirana (AL), Prievidza (SK), Siret (RO), Vulcan (RO), and CSOs Prague mothers (CZ) and Co-PLAN – Institute for Habitat Development (AL) completed the project City for Citizens, Citizens for City supported by the Europe for citizens programme. The main aim of the project was to encourage civic engagement in public spaces, and present a wide range of online and offline tools for it. Following this aim we organized a series of participatory events and discussions for inhabitants who had a chance to meet their mayor, and present their suggestions on how to improve their neighbourhoods. Through repeated participatory events they also had a chance to intervene in public spaces.

Experienced facilitators led most of the events that helped to make them inclusive and accommodating needs and preferences of locals in final interventions. All of these events brought tangible changes to selected public spaces, from renovation of parks, playgrounds or neglected transitional spaces that did not fulfil any function before to pick-nicks, public readings, and other interesting programme that revived public spaces. On the whole, all participating organizations and municipalities organized seven events, some of them repeated, which helped to create local communities in few cases.

The project outcomes were presented at the final conference, which took place in KC Dunaj in Bratislava from March 24 to March 27. The conference discussed civic engagement, volunteerism, urban development, and meaningful cooperation between municipalities, private and non-profit sector, and public. Besides presentations there were several practical workshops led by experienced trainers devoted to the topics such as work with volunteers, communication, participatory planning, and two legal workshops, which helped the participants to familiarize with the issues of illegal buildings and parking.