Attracted by a socialist past
Many cities in central Europe are marked by a socialist past. High-rise buildings and abandoned industrial zones are often seen as obstacles to development. But there are creative ways to use this heritage: The Museum of Socialist Curiosities in the Slovak small town of Hnúšťa attracts visitors from all over the world. The museum and its permanent exhibition are the result of cooperation in our ReNewTown project. Around 100 iconic items were collected with support from the local community. Today, the museum also hosts company team-buildings and school visits. By the way, do you know who the pioneers were? This young student from Chile has the answer because she volunteered in the museum:
Start small to grow big
Unused industrial sites can offer exciting new areas for the future. Our SECOND CHANCE project, finalised in 2013, piloted new financial and cooperation approaches in revitalisation of such spaces into creative living areas in five central European cities.
One of them is city of Nuremberg in Bavaria. Here a space once used for production of AEG electrical equipment has been transformed into multifunctional hall called “Werkstatt 141” where concerts, exhibitions and workshops take place. Local residents can benefit from new cultural space, but even more importantly the revitalised pilot became the forerunner of the big "Kulturwerkstatt auf AEG" project. An investment project run by the City of Nuremberg that transforms the site completely in the coming years. The municipal music school, the art and theater school will find their new home- base here. This small pilot grows into a real lighthouse project of urban redevelopment by building a new cultural identity and attracting fresh and creative minds.
living gluten-free life
One out of every 100 people suffer from some degree of celiac disease. Early diagnosis saves every patient a lot of complications later on and the gluten-free food becomes a key element of their daily routine. However, it is not only about the right flour for bread and buns you eat. The whole kitchen needs re-adjustments.
Public authorities and medical experts linked through our FOCUS IN CD project will create a patient-centred model, as final product of their cooperation. Moreover, in their pilot activities, they test new approaches to enable early diagnosis of kids, sensitise restaurants including fast food chains to offer gluten free dishes as well as launch brand new e-learning platforms for patients and doctors gathering the new shared knowledge. All very important steps towards a precise and early diagnosis as well as to help the patients to cope with the disease and make their lives easier.
reducing food waste
Nearly 88 million tons of Europe’s food is wasted each year. We cannot sit back and act as it does not concern us. But you can only fight the enemy you know and more of us together the better.
In Warsaw, this joint effort already led to 45% increase of food donation and three times more stores giving the food to the food bank. Thanks to the car that can transport all food donations that need special cooling conditions can the food bank now help many more people who live on the edge of poverty in Warsaw and cannot afford to buy their food.
While food banks are becoming more and more part of our urban landscape, we should aim to fight this problem together. If you do not know where to start, the platform www.reducefoodwaste.eu jointly developed by partners from our STREFOWA project, is a good starting point for everyone who wants to help reducing food waste.
We all know that we should be saving energy. By taking steps to reduce our energy intake we will surely contribute to a healthier and happier world. Big question is however often how to go about it.
City of Ludwigsburg, our partner in CitiEnGov project, launched a competition on reducing the carbon footprint of private households in September 2017. Over the next eight months, ten selected households self-monitor their consumption ranging from residual waste to kilometres travelled by car. They benefit from expert coaching supporting their transition to sustainable mobility and energy use. There is certainly a price to win, but the real motivation for all is to save money through their transition towards sustainable behaviour. Let´s see who will be the winner and how far the reduction in consumption can go.
Do you sometimes wish for little fairies changing up poorly looking green areas around your city district? So did Dóra, too. She lives in Budapest and she wished for them every time she looked out of her apartment overlooking a neglected slope.
One day the fairies she imagined materialised, as the slope turned from a burden to a blessing. It looked just amazing with all the plants and flowers, even little signs displaying their names! Dora came to know her new neighbours, a married couple nurturing the green space. She found out about a community of committed and sensitive people that she now herself belongs to as well. They are call “stewards” and gather on the regular basis in the district administration office of Hegyvidek, Budapest. The municipality pilots this activity in the framework of the UGB project, taking the urban green belts forward. Growing communities turn neglected small green spaces into little blessings around the district. Maybe it is your turn next time?
In it together
Use of seat belts in cars would have never took off so quickly unless people were convinced that it is for their own good. More than 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first weeks. Why? Because behavioural change is hard. We first have to believe that it really matters and only then change will follow.
Having a role models to push us towards the change also helps because we are more likely to look up to someone whom we respect. Like in case of the Province of Treviso who has taken a leading role in promoting behavioural change for better energy efficiency. Thanks to knowledge shared with the experts in the TOGETHER project, in Treviso they understood that an isolated approach to energy improvement, focused only on technological issues, can bring results, but it is our own behaviour that is fundamental when it comes to realising the change.
By signing the manifesto in which energy efficiency comes first in public spending and not as an exception in the management of consumption reduction, the President of Treviso Province, Stefano Marcon, set out on the your journey, that hopefully many neighbouring provinces will follow.
Transnational cooperation underpins EU Cohesion Policy and contributes to strategic EU priority areas, including innovation, environment, energy, transport and social issues.
Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE also helps macro-regional strategies to succeed. We bring together stakeholders from geographically and culturally similar areas and help them to jointly address shared challenges and opportunities.
Transnational cooperation improves capacities for regional development related to innovation, CO2 reduction, natural and cultural resources as well as transport and mobility.
Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE supports cooperation like yeast supports baking. We are the small but important ingredient hat helps ideas grow: into jointly developed, tested and accepted solutions.