New publication on city – civil society cooperation

From the very beginning, IPoP’s work has involved a lot of networking with other organisations and civil initiatives in the pursuit of more inclusive and sustainable spatial planning, transforming mobility or addressing climate change. We think this is the only way to address the increasingly pressing problems we face as a society. That is why we support the networking of civil society organisations with each other and with public actors. We want for Slovenian municipalities to recognise the potential of connected communities in cities, which together can develop new ideas, strengthen local communities, and thus contribute to a more vibrant and resilient society. Such local communities are better prepared to face challenges such as economic crises, climate change or epidemics.

The publication Moč povezanih skupnosti v mestih is co-published by IPoP and Eutropian, an organisation that provides advocacy, research, and policy support to help develop inclusive urban processes. In the publication The Power of Civic Ecosystems published in 2021, Eutropian has gathered the experiences of civil society organisations and cities that have in the last 10 year made significant steps towards connecting and empowering civil society. They have drawn on the knowledge and experience of different European cities, gathered in the URBACT transfer network ACTive NGOs, which have adapted the good practice of NGO House Riga to their local context. Since 2013, NGO House Riga has been providing spaces for civil society activities. As a platform for civic engagement, it is managed and funded by the City of Riga, which, alongside the premises, also provides assistance in developing activities in the building and implements various funding programmes for NGOs. The NGO House plays an important role in connecting civil society actors in Riga and also at the national level.

To bring the content of this publication closer to the Slovenian public, especially to cities, ministries, and other public actors, and to NGOs and civic initiatives, IPoP decided to summarise and expand the publication. From the original publication, we selected and translated a set of practices that we considered important and relevant to our context, because they stem from comparable circumstances or because we could learn a lot from them. Additionally, we have included examples of good practices of networking and cooperation between NGOs and civic initiatives, as well as the support provided in this field by cities in Slovenia or near us.

In Slovenia, a successful example of municipal support is the Town’s living room Pr’ Golitu in Idrija. Through its participation in the URBACT action planning network CityCentreDoctor, the Municipality of Idrija has recognised the need of its inhabitants for a space for socialising and activities open to the whole local community. Later, with the experience gained in the URBACT transfer network Re-Grow City, this idea was put into practice. Their participatory design and successful operation have also been recognised as URBACT good practice. They then passed on their experience to six Slovenian municipalities connected in the URBACT pilot project National Practice Transfer Initiative in 2021 and 2022. In this publication you will be able to read how the partner cities have adapted and transferred the lessons learned to their local environment and the first results of the transfer of good practice.

The practices collected in the publication Moč povezanih skupnosti v mestih show us how important civil society networking is for more collaborative, fair, and resilient cities and how important shared spaces are for civic ecosystems. They also remind us how important it is for public actors to recognise the potential of such spaces and the communities that connect through them, and support them accordingly. 

Publication (in Slovenian):

The publication was co-financed by the URBACT programme.

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