TONETA meeting in Guimaraes

Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator

Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator

Coinciding with the General Assembly of the Atlantic Regions, TONETA partnership met in Guimaraes on 17th and 18th May 2013. This event was labelled under the “European City of Sport”, an award received by Guimaraes (Vale do Ave) in 2013 and by Cardiff for 2014.

The first day the debates focused on the importance of sports in territorial cohesion and urban development. The meeting was opened by Mr. Gabriel Pontes, responsible for the project TONETA in Vale do Ave and Secretary-General of AMAVE. Paula Nogueira, from the Sports’ Commission of Guimaraes presented the application and the implementation of the European City of Sport, while João Zamith (Intercéltica) discussed about the role “The role of culture, sport and heritage in boosting tourism and regeneration in coastal areas”. These inputs were followed by the intervention of CAAC Coordinator, Ms. Tamara Guirao, who in behalf of the TONETA partnership presented the diverse initiatives of the cities involved concerning sport and urban development. The day was closed by François Arbellot, Leader of the Atlantic project NEA 2, who explained the procedures and challenges around nautism in the Atlantic Area; and Vitor Lemos, who presented the XIX Edition of the Atlantic Watersport Games and the initiatives around the Sea City in Viana do Castelo.

The second day took the shape of a workshop. In the first session the participants analysed the TONETA project so as to draft a swot analysis to be presented in the final report and draw lessons for the future. In the second session, the focus was dedicated to the European Call on Sports, discussing the adequacy of this call as a future evolution of TONETA. Participants also stated that more simplification was needed in EU projects’ presentation and justification, following the example of more friendly calls like Europe for Citizens. As a significant guideline of TONETA, networking possibilities were examined by discussion on the examples of the – “World surf cities network” (of which Viana do Castelo is a member) and the Volvo Ocean Race.

In the conclusions, Mr. Gabriel Pontes, Secretary-General of AMAVE invited partners to keep working together, and to see the final report not as an end of the project but as a start of new ways of cooperation.

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Community energy projects reducing urban poverty

English: Cardiff University

English: Cardiff University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PhD Studentship looking at building community resilience: the role for community energy projects in reducing urban poverty.

Community-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects provide a wide range of social and ecological benefits, including cutting carbon emissions, promoting pro-environmental behaviours and building community resilience through generating sources of sustainable income. However, there remains a lack of research into the impacts of community-led initiatives on reducing fuel poverty, particularly in deprived urban areas. How can community groups and the organisations supporting them measure the impacts of community energy projects in reducing levels of fuel poverty? What is the capacity of social enterprises to sustain and better integrate community action in deprived communities? And, how can community development programmes effectively coordinate and support community action on energy that will specifically target the most vulnerable groups? Guided by these research questions, this doctoral studentship position will directly engage with the current knowledge gaps.

esrc logoThe empirical research will focus on deprived urban communities in Cardiff. An interdisciplinary and action research approach will be employed with research participants enrolled as co-researchers. This will support development of methodologies to bridge the gap between science and community and the cooperative generation of new knowledge to support community action. The learning outcomes of the research will be used to support a wide range of community and third sector organisations to develop more effective ways of supporting community action on energy.

The School of Planning and Geography (CPLAN) will be the home school for this studentship position. CPLAN is the largest planning school in the UK and takes a wide definition of planning which encompasses the policy areas of economic development, environment, housing, urban design, transport, health as well as land-use planning. The School strives to be a centre of excellence in research, teaching and policy and practice associated with the planning and management of cities and regions.

The doctoral academic supervisory team is comprised of affiliates of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE). PLACE combines expertise in planning and urban design, energy systems, rural and urban communities, ecosystems, infrastructure, health, and decision-making which addresses the management and policy needs for integrated place-based solutions. It operates as a scientific ‘meeting place’ in research and training between the Schools of Social Sciences, Planning and Geography, Medicine, Earth and Biological Sciences, Law, Architecture, Psychology, Engineering, and Business. Based in PLACE, the doctoral student will be supported in adopting an interdisciplinary approach which draws on research into sustainable energy consumption, fuel poverty and community resilience from a number of disciplinary perspectives. Interdisciplinary (and cross-disciplinary) working will also guide the action research methodology.

The studentship is also supported by the Welsh Government. As part of this support there may also be the possibility for the candidate to spend some time based within the Welsh Government, situated in the People & Environment Division. The policy scope of this division encompasses: – Energy Efficiency & Fuel Poverty, Local Environment Quality, Sustainable Behaviours and Engagement (inc. SD & Climate Change) and Radioactivity & Pollution Prevention.

Source:  Cardiff

Local authorities can play a key role to better involve parents : Prevent project

The prevention of early school leaving (ESL) should be built on a comprehensive approach of the child, taking into account the family environment, the neighbourhood, and his/her life in and out of school.

The role of parents his a key element to reduce the rate of ESL. How can one boost their confidence and provide them with tools and support in raising their children?

In the strategy 2020, the European Union recognizes Early School Leaving (ESL) as a major challenge with an aim to reduce it below 10 %. Education researchers and pra

ctitioners consider that the role of parents in the prevention of this problem is crucial. Through a range of policies, local authorities can play a key role to better involve parents. PREVENT proposes to share experiences related to the involvement of parents in the prevention of early school leaving.

Early school leaving (ESL) processes have complex and varied causes and the reasons for dropping out of school are individual. However, ESL follows certain patterns that are often linked to socio-economic background: disadvantaged minorities, low education backgrounds in families, poor achievement in education and training, families difficulties involving child participation to family income or taking adult responsibilities such as caring for family members and/or a combination of social, economical, emotional and educational problems putting individuals at risk.

PREVENT proposes an innovative approach, where parents are considered as a key part of the solution to reduce ESL, and cities as driving forces to create synergies, common understanding and develop concrete collaboration between stakeholders.

Source : Prevent project

La Rochelle : M-SPICE project Monitoring – sustanaible and participatory initiatives for cities in Europe

-Spice aims to develop and implement a joint framework to monitor local strategic plans to engage  stakeholders and citizens in an integrated and sustainable approach. The aim is to disseminate the project results at strategic events during the course of the project. One starting point for the project will be the Monitoring progress tool, developed within the EU Reference framework for sustainable cities as a local contribution to relevant EU 2020 objectives.

La Rochelle, CAAC city, is one of the partners.