The kick-off of the first phase of the European Healthy Cities project, of which the Municipality of Loulé is a partner, was given last week in the Spanish city of Vic. From 23 to 25 September, ten municipalities in Europe gathered to mark the start of this project, with a series of activities including workshops, presentations by project managers, field visits and sharing of experiences among those involved. .
The Louletan entourage was composed by André Gomes, Head of the Association's Association and Sports Events Division, and Tiago Guadalupe, Coordinator of the “European and Sports Projects” (Associations and Sports Events Division) area. In addition to Loulé, representatives from Vic (Spain), Pärnu (Estonia), Farkadona (Greece), Falerna (Italy), Anyksciai (Lithuania), Malta (Malta), Alphen aan den Rijn (Netherlands), Bradford (England) scored presence at the start of this first phase.
Funded by URBACT, a European learning and exchange program to promote sustainable urban development, Healthy Cities proposes to create a network of cities to deepen the relationship between health and the urban environment, to develop policies that focus on improving population's health status, as well as develop a rigorous health impact assessment of these policies. Cities may consider actions from different points of view and through different policies, but the global health perspective will provide a common framework and enable sharing methodologies to be developed.
André Gomes, Head of the Sports Associations and Events Division, believes that this is “an opportunity to understand and follow what is done at European level, to learn and to share information, knowledge, experiences and good practices at sport level”.
According to the official, “Sport has always been at the top of Loulé's political agenda, being one of the most powerful means of democratization and social inclusion”. In this sense, for André Gomes, the title of Loulé European City of Sport 2015 and the international leadership of the project “Vital Cities” (2015-2018) are an asset for Loulé to participate in this new European project that gave the first steps in Vic.
On balance, Tiago Guadalupe, European project coordinator, considered the presence in the Spanish city of Vic a success. A meeting that allowed all 10 cities to get to know each other. “It was very interesting to see that different places have similar problems, the same kind of challenges, despite the uniqueness in cultural terms, the specific context, tradition and democratic values, so the answers in each case will necessarily be different. ”He stressed. He concluded that “this first transnational meeting took place in an extremely positive exchange of experiences, as well as allowing us to get in touch with new trends at European level as significant steps are being taken on the old continent to make cities more sustainable. more environmentally friendly and healthier. ”