In spite of the great difficulties that the current health emergency is causing, the EU_SHAFE project succeeded in organising the two main events that were on its agenda during winter 2020-2021: the project’s first intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning and the second domain focused interregional policy learning events.
The intense sharing of good practices for interregional learning in Hamburg
The workshops have been organised by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Labour, Health, Social, Family Affairs and Integration, on the 19th and 26th of November 2020 as online events.
On the 19th, the objective of the first workshop was to share the lessons learned on the WHO Domain 1 for age-friendly cities and communities – Housing’s seven local good practices collected in the EU_SHAFE partners’ regions and to present the results of the SWOT analysis of the policy instruments in this domain, with reference to the evaluations received from the local stakeholders’ groups consulted at local level. During the meeting, the methodology developed by the EU_SHAFE partners for analysing and influencing local policy instruments in the SHAFE area through interregional knowledge exchange has been applied for the first time.
The results of the SWOT analysis related to the Domain 1 showed the workshop’s participants that both the situation in the different regions and the regions’ policy instruments are quite diverse. An intense and fruitful discussion took place as closing part of the meeting. It gave the partners a better understanding of the strategies to support the development of smart and healthy living environments in the different local contexts.
The meeting on November 26th had the form of an online study visit of two ERDF-projects in Hamburg, local good practices related to the housing domain. The workshop’s participants had the chance to get some insights on the practices by key local stakeholders that contributed to their development, management and assessment in the context of smart and health living environments in Hamburg from 2012 on.
The local projects presented have been the “Vernetzes Wohnen im Quartier” funded by the former ERDF operational program and “Aktive und Gesunde Quartiere Rübenkamp und Uhlenhorst”, a scale-up of the first one characterised by a more integrated approach connecting different housing aspects at district level. The scale-up project started in 2016 and is still ongoing, within the current operational program.
Bizkaia domain focused interregional policy learning meeting
The second in the series of EU_SHAFE Inter-Regional Policy Learning Workshops, was hosted by the Bizkaia region on 19th January 2021, with organisational and media support provided by ECHAlliance. The online event was attended by almost 60 participants representing a broad spectrum of European regions and actors.
Focussing on sharing the lessons learned and collected good practices in the different regions participating in the EU_SHAFE project and related to the WHO for age-friendly cities and communities Domain 2 - Social Participation, the aim of the meeting was to boost the international learning policy exchange between the different territories. The event also allowed participants to gain a deeper understanding of social participation’s initiatives implemented in the Bizkaia region.
The workshop concluded with a highly interactive question and answer session between participants and the various presenters.
The following were the key take-away messages:
1. The perception of society should recognise the needs of all citizens, and a greater understanding of the challenges faced by older adults and those with disabilities in their living environment should be encouraged
2. Social Participation and Social Innovation provide a framework for greater inclusion of older adults and those with disabilities in the co-design and co-creation of solutions and initiatives which facilitate autonomy and independence
3. Policies need to be responsive to the needs of society. A changing demography, greater societal needs, and a recognition of citizen rights are some of the key issues to be considered by policy makers in designing services and infrastructure, as well as creating opportunities for the integration of new digital technologies which support independence and autonomy. To ensure the needs of all citizens are provided for it is therefore important to create cross sectoral and cross Government approaches that bring together policy makers and service providers with entrepreneurs, SMEs, Researchers and Citizens to understand the challenges and collaborate in the development and implementation of solutions.
The online Bizkaia workshop’s material, speakers’ presentations and online recording, can be found on the Library.