Different territorial context, but common needs mark out the framework of the regional action plans, the elaboration whereof is now on the agenda of SWARE project.

Metropolitan City of Milan (MCM), as the responsible partner for developing the Recommendation paper on collaborative action planning, hosted the 3rd Thematic Working Group meeting on November 14–15, 2017, in Milan (Italy), where partners discussed the policy lessons learnt during all 3 Knowledge Exchange Sessions and how to convert them into effective results. The lessons learnt during the Knowledge Exchange Sessions will be integrated into the action plans. Although the situation is different in each partner region, there are common challenges:

  • how to foster interinstitutional cooperation,
  • how to involve stakeholders and at the same time ensure sustainable management of natural and cultural heritage,
  • how to improve involvement of society (volunteers) and facilitate a bottom-up approach.

“These 2 days have been very important and fruitful, because we had the possibility to tackle the key topics about the implementation of the Action Plan at each regional partner level. This is a remarkable challenge for MCM as we can identify in these key topics some important roles we can play in giving impulse to a new revitalization of our communities, our local authorities, municipalities, and also many associations at local level. We can raise up their sensibility, skills and capacity. We can give importance to their territories and to their good practices related to the waterways system of Navigli in Milan,” Dario Parravicini, the Project Manager of SWARE in MCM, admitted after the meeting. 

The importance of multilevel stakeholder involvement and consultation is one of the main conclusions drawn by partners – a multi-stakeholder environment with shared goals should be created for interaction and cooperation to trigger the change.

The idea shared during the meeting was that we should “dream big, but start small” and also celebrate the small successes to incite others to dream and take action, so that it leads to even greater achievements in the future.

During the next year each partner region will develop a Regional Action Plan addressing the improvement of policy instruments related to natural and cultural heritage management along inland waterways.


The SWARE project is implemented with the support of the European Regional Development (ERDF) Fund and the INTERREG Europe Programme 2014–2020. This publication reflects the author’s views only and the INTERREG Europe programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.