From the 22nd to the 24th of February, representatives from ten European cities gathered in Sarajevo for the ECoD City Network Meeting, which focused on intergenerational participation in urban life. The event provided a valuable opportunity for city officials to share best practices and learn from each other, with insightful workshops from representatives of Antwerp and Braga.
On day one, Roel Camps and Isabelle Van Damme from Antwerp led an insightful workshop on the city’s youth participation program and policies, including its ten principles of youth participation and effective participation processes. Antwerp’s project “ComPas”, which combines personal development and youth engagement, inspired fellow network members to seek the implementation of similar programs in their cities.
The group also visited Sarajevo’s Home for Healthy Aging, a facility that convincingly demonstrates how cities can promote active aging. The home approaches senior care with diligence and creativity, infusing the seniors’ daily lives with singing, crafting and exercising.
At the War Childhood Museum, Amina Krvavac, the executive director and ECoD Experts’ Juror member, welcomed the group and introduced the museum’s background and mission. The exhibits on the impact of war on the lives of children in Sarajevo left a lasting impression on the participants.
The second day shifted the focus onto political engagement of senior citizens. Braga’s Diogo Farinha and João Alcaide presented their approach to senior participation. They emphasised the importance of engaging senior citizens in municipal life, as well as preventive healthcare and lifelong education. The city’s Senior Academy, a pioneering initiative that the elderly citizens have received well, is another best-practice project highlighting the significance of actively engaging different community groups.
The network meeting closed with an exchange session hosted by the network’s program manager, Martina Fürrutter. The representatives discussed their cooperation in the ECoD City Network and upcoming activities, including a joined funding application for the CERV Network of Towns.
Overall, the ECoD City Network Meeting in Sarajevo was a valuable platform for city officials to share knowledge and experiences on promoting intergenerational participation in urban life. The warmth and hospitality of Sarajevo added to the experience, creating a memorable event for all participants. We want to thank Mirela Džehverović, Amir Vrca, Nermina Suljević, Velida Mehić from the City of Sarajevo as well as the Mayor Benjamina Karić for welcoming us in their city and for the excellent organisation of our stay.
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