Alba/ Maria Zamarbide/ Ruiz de Gopegui
Name of the initiative: E.C.O. BARRIO [E.C.O. neighborhood]
The acronym E.C.O. adds cultural and operational dimensions to the idea of ecologically sustainable co-created neighborhoods. In line with Culture2030Indicators, the project focuses on the role of community heritage in resilient urban planning. It addresses the idea not only from inside the community, but also from its connections with the rest of the city, identifying tangible-intangible dimensions of public life in a culturally diverse, economically deprived, riverside suburb of Pamplona.
In the mid-city of Pamplona, Spain, and specifically in the peri-urban neighborhood of Etxabakoitz.
Etxabakoitz was an underdeveloped peri-urban neighborhood that hosted low-class workers and ethnic minorities, now characterized by a multicultural population with residents from diverse origins. It is also one of the few remaining natural resource-areas in the city that has escaped modern urbanization. However, speculation is already suffocating the area with new apartment block constructions and municipal plans to build here the future high-speed train station, increasing uncertainty and fear of potential gentrification processes.
Our project aims to take into account both socio-cultural and natural attributes, and integrate them in urban planning interventions so that they contribute to preserve its cultural heritage as well as increase social cohesion and environmental resilience.
Despite the historical fragmentation of the neighborhood and the feeling of marginalization that exists among part of the population (according to a recent social diagnosis study), there is also a great interest and desire for participation, both by local associations and residents, in processes of improvement and promotion of intercultural coexistence.
Through workshops, interviews and collective mapping activities, the project aims to raise local pride, community empowerment and active citizenship; allow dialogue between different social groups and integrate these ideas in urban planning policies, thus improving the general idea of “participation” by increasing its recognition from municipal stakeholders and building trust in decision makers integrating citizens’ ideas and needs.
The project aims to incorporate the views, needs and feeling from the whole community of residents, placing special emphasis on the most vulnerable groups. For this, local associations will be contacted in the first phase in order to identify the main issues and critical communities. For the moment, we consider that some of the groups that should participate would be the elderly, children, women and immigrants. If we detect specific needs or some kind of friction between groups, different workshops will be held for each community (this will be defined in the first phases of the project).
0: Interview local stakeholders, collectives and associations and define an integral analysis framework.
1: Memory and heritage mapping about memories linked to local natural and cultural elements.
2: Community & Environmental assessment regarding social cohesion, climate resilience and the impact of future infrastructure plans.
3: Imagine and design future visions of the area with the community.
(Means: web-tool, interactive models, workshops, town walks)
4: Closing Festival presenting values, challenges, proposed solutions and perform pilot interventions. Means: placemaking workshops, talks, cultural shows, town walks, installations.
5: Follow-up and wrap-up: final diagnosis report and devolution of results to the municipality so that results can be integrated in future projects.
Through the development of the collective socio-cultural mapping process, as well as in the active participation of both locals and newcomers in the final event in a festive mood, there will be a greater engagement and dialogue between local groups, together with a raise in awareness, community empowerment and increase of local pride and active citizenship. Bringing collectives and experts from the city and outside it (e.g. Bilbao) to develop activities, installations or lectures will make of it a reference hub of innovative urban practices.
Finally, the project will increase dialogue and trust between neighbors and municipal officials, and will also encourage the use of civic engagement as a way to develop better quality projects and optimize the public investment in urban planning.
In middle-sized cities in southern Europe, and even more in multicultural and deprived areas, there is no great confidence in the political system as a means of making collective decisions about future city development. Participatory methodologies have not yet been integrated in municipal planning processes, but process like this can change the perspective of both insiders (local original population and the recent newcomers) and outsiders, living in other parts of the city, breaking the local stigma of isolation and marginality, and promoting dialogue, engagement and active citizenship. This welcoming environment will be specially vital for immigrants, many of which come from outside the European Union, so that they feel part of the citizenry, reinforcing the European democratic spirit.
Both of us are motivated by a personal and professional interest to contribute to generating more friendly, cohesive and resilient communities and urban spaces. In addition to our volunteering activities some years ago, and in parallel to our work activity, we have continued participating in diverse events, meetings and workshops around collaborative urban design, the commons, place-making or urban regeneration. For us, this is a great opportunity to put into practice the ideas with which we have been working in recent years, to help in the revitalization of this peripheral neighborhood with which we feel personally attached. Also, we always had the idea of creating our own association, and if this project evolved successfully it could be our launching point of our long-term endeavor
Funding requested from Civic Europe
INTERNAL COSTS: 40633.5-42833.5€
3 WORKSHOPS (Memory, Diagnosis, Future): 2400-3900€
materials, personnel, coffee break
2-DAY FESTIVAL: 4500-5000€
materials, space rental, marketing campaign, Personnel, coffee break
OFFICE EXPENSES (2-3staff-14months): 33.600€
Design and implementation of activities
Data analysis and documentation
TRAVEL COSTS: 140€
EXTERNAL COSTS: 3250-3300€
TRAVEL & ACCOMODATION COSTS for partners (2 staff): 250-300€
We need advice on the best ways to gain trust and engage a number of diverse local stakeholders, building a stronger network that may last beyond the project; and on planning and including in the proposal the long-term impacts of our initiative, its replicability and continuity of the actions.