Read about what is happening in our project 

Today the partners had a meeting on zoom, after a long time.

It has been lovely to meet and talk again together and also to cooperate for planning.

Our project is going on durig these difficult times.

During the meeting we discussed:

- state of the project

- planning activities (short and long term)

- management of the budget for online activities

- dissemination

Stay tuned to follow our next activities!

Here the smiling group:

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Local activity by Unesco Initiatives Centre

Million tons of garbage produced annually, climate change, species extinction, environmentally-linked cancers, genocide, deforestation, food demand growing by 70% - such a vision of the world in 2050 sounds terrifying, but not all is lost - the actions we take now will have an impact on our future.

The workshop started with the presentation - some scientific facts and theories were the background of the ecological workshops we conducted for our team in July in Szczawno. Our aim was to help our team members build their knowledge and understanding of ecology, the challenges we face and the needs for change so that it becomes more fully integrated into their project planning and implementation. We created the relaxed environment for discussion, where everyone’s views are valued. The entire workshop was built around sessions and activities designed to stimulate debate and to enhance the interactions.

Second part of the workshop covered topics related to the ecological approach in facing urban challenges in Wrocław, including the application of nature-based solutions and planning for eco, smart and sustainable city. During the event, we promoted local and recycled products.

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Urban Foxes is an international multi-disciplinary non-profit organization with their headquarters in Brussels. We aim to improve urban health & wellbeing and social cohesion through creative and playful interventions, workshops and lectures. Our approach is focused on the participatory process of all stakeholders, from citizens to policy makers, from children to adults. We firmly believe in a bottom-up approach were co-creation will transform cities into places were people can breath, relax and enjoy themselves. Turning them into healthy, green, happy, vibrant, sustainable and livable neighborhoods.

Brussels City, also known as the Pentagon, takes its name from the shape created by th earlier city walls. The fortified walls & gates around the city were gradually dismantled from the 18th century onwards after its military function had become obsolete. Architect Jean-Baptiste Vifquain designed the plan to transform this vacant space into a promenade. The liberated space became a walking and cycling boulevard, with green spaces, panoramas, a square and benches to take a breath. What he could not foresee, however, was that his idea, which was especially enjoyable to walkers and residents - and which also contributed to the well-being, solidarity and social cohesion of citizens - would eventually be hijacked by king car in the second half of the 20th century.

Under the influence of increasing car traffic, many adjustments were made, as a result of which this promenade lost its original cachet and even worse its functions, namely bringing people together, inviting them to walk, enjoying themselves in the public space and enjoying the views. The Little Ring, as it is now called, is circumventing the city centre and is literally suffocating Brussels. It is no coincidence that we find the highest pollution value on this route. The residents of the nearby streets and neighborhoods, including Anderlecht, and all houses along the route, are seriously affected by the enormous car pressure and the associatedair and noise pollution. Not only was the roadway widened in the course of the 1970's, but local authorities turned a blind eye to illegal parking on the remaining space in the central reservation for decades. Offenders were not punished, and hundreds of cars are still kolonizing the space originally designed for people. What makes matters even worse is that the nearby neighborhoods score very poorly in terms of public space. Every year, 10,000 people die in Belgium from the consequences of air pollution. Many young people and other citizens live in precarious conditions with an acute shortage of healthy air, space to move and play.

Several citizens' initiatives had already raised questions and contested these inhuman conditions, with some victories as a result (Parc Ninoofse Poort) and currently some politicians are also beginning to realize that change is needed. Former Minister of Mobility Smet launched a participation project with the classic tools, such as neighborhood meetings, to temporarily set up the so-called central dividing strip, used as an illegal parking, as a shared space. We the young people, and people for whom the threshold for such meetings is too high, are unfortunately not sufficiently involved in this practice, or the processes are not accessible enough or insufficiently adapted to our needs or interests (ex-cathedra, difficult times, formal approach,…) We found these plans, namely a temporary implementation of the so-called “central reservation”, not ambitious enough and we believe that not all actors were sufficiently informed, questioned and involved in the current process and in the "city making”in general.

That is why we, 8 young people from the neighborhood, started a European project of 12 months to inform young people and other inhabitants of these neighborhoods about the original destination, conceived by Jean-Baptiste Vifquain, to raise their awareness about the pollution & ( urban) human rights, together with them to think and dream about an alternative interpretation of this space that now mainly goes to the car (traffic & parking spaces), reclaiming the space through various creative interventions in the space and the neighborhood and bring people together.

Our main goal is to improve and activate the neighborhood and public space for and together with the local residents, the so-called placemaking process. But also make the neighborhood and the residents dream about an alternative for the current situation where space mainly goes to the car and where breathing is unhealthy. To achieve this goal, we use two strategies. We want to improve our neighborhood by starting an inclusive and accessible participation program that informs, questions, dreams and involves citizens in informal ways (through regular and accessible actions and interventions), for example through social moments and sports - and to organize game, green and social activities in the "central reservation".


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