The inhabitants of Eleusis have laid the foundation of the long-term cultural strategy of the city through the participatory planning programme of Pilot Cities. Βased on the agenda Culture 21 self-assessement guide they mapped out the position of culture in the city currently and shaped the priorities of tomorrow in a full day intensive workshop held on January 26, 2019 at the Labour Centre of Eleusis.
The selection of participants was based on their professional and volunteer experience in public, private and voluntary agencies and bodies and, in addition, on age, gender, ethnic origin, occupation, and education diversity, with a view to form a representative group of the total population of the city.
During the participatory assessment, fifty inhabitants of Eleusis formed four working groups, each of which worked on two interlinked themes.
The thematic dialogue tables were as follows:
- Culture and Cultural Rights / Culture, Equality and Social Inclusion
- Culture and Cultural Heritage, Diversity and Creativity / Culture and Education
- Culture and Environment / Culture, Urban Planning and Design
- Culture and Economy / Culture, Knowledge and Information
The Governance of Culture was the common theme for the four groups.
Each theme corresponds to one aspect of the cultural development of the city, which is either developed through organized policies or through civil society initiatives, but at the same time it is a commitment to the long-term cultural strategy of Eleusis.
The participatory self-assessment process highlighted the active and good examples of the city but also their prospects, uncovered the needs and revealed the dynamics of the groups, the thorough speech and the dialogue as tools of influence, persuasion and redefinition, as well as the value of citizens’ access in the participatory urban planning of the city.
The demanding task of self-assessment was the initial stage of Pilot Cities participatory urban planning. Next steps are the design of sustainable cultural policies, their implementation and the communication of the overall project.
Eleusis is the first Greek participating city in the Pilot Cities programme, through which it is linked to a network of pilot cities, including but not limited to ECoCs (upcoming, modern and future), which have as a common reference point that the recognition of cultural policies implementation contributes to the sustainable development of a city.
Following the expression of interest of Eleusis 2021, European Capital of Culture, Eleusis participates in the Pilot Cities programme, for the period 2018-2020. The cities network programme consists of: Galway, Gebrono, Lisbon, Izmir / Smyrna, Maastricht, Namur, Swansea, Terrasssa, Timisoara, Leeds, Nova Gorica, Tenerife, Rijeka, Esh-sur, Alzette, Eleusis and Eivissa / Ibiza including their cooperation during the programme.
The Pilot Cities programme is an initiative of UNESCO’s UCLG-United Cities and Local Governments, in cooperation with the joint european agency Culture Action Europe aiming at the dissemination of Culture 21 agenda, establishing civilization as a fourth pillar on sustainable urban development, along with the economy, the environment and social inclusion.
The project initiation phase was completed during the weekend of 25-26 January 2019 through the public presentation of the principles, aims, content and methodology, from the experts Clymene Christoforou, Marta Llobet and Kornelia Kiss , and the self-assessment lab of the city structure. The next step in the development of the programme is the announcement of the results of the self-assessment workshop. Stay tuned for their publication!