The Royal Spanish Academy describes the word milestone as "a key and fundamental fact within a context".
This context is the European project KAIR├ôS led by the Municipality of Mula and the milestone is the conclusion of Phase 1 of the project with the presentation to URBACT of all the required validation documents to be able to pass to Phase 2 of
But we go in parts.
On September 2 last year marked the start of the KAIR├ôS Project, one of 23 projects at a European level approved by the URBACT Program, manager of these
projects by the European Union and whose main goal is to improve the quality of life in cities, mainly of medium size.
All projects are co-financed by ERDF funds.
We had six months ahead of us to give structure and content to the KAIR├ôS partnership consisting of the City of Mula as leader and seven associated European cities, namely Belene (Bulgaria), Cesena (Italy), Heraklion (Greece), Malbork (Poland) , Roskilde (Denmark), Sibenik (Croatia) and UmergÚ (Lithuania), all coordinated from Mula.
Its geographical distribution has allowed the consortium to have a solid and balanced structure with respect to the north / south-east / west axes and its less or more developed category.
They are all cities of very different nature but they have in common the presence of historical neighborhoods or districts with a rich cultural heritage that nevertheless require new measures of regeneration, reintegration into the social fabric and enhancement for both residents and visitors .
KAIR├ôS is the ancient Greek term that expresses the propitious moment, this renewal moment to make decisions and take action.
The KAIR├ôS project partners understand that this time has come.
And it has arrived to accommodate its slogan HERITAGE AS REGENERATION.
The main idea is to generate innovative strategies to use the historical, cultural and natural heritage as an engine for sustainable economic development based on cohesion and social inclusion.
So we are talking about an integrated and participatory approach.
Since the official inauguration of the project in Mula, all the partners have worked very hard in complying with an exhaustive questionnaire designed and supervised by an expert assigned to the project by URBACT.
These are eight voluminous documents of about 40 pages of extensive and reliable information on the one hand regarding the demographic and socio-economic situation of each city and on the other on all the positive and negative aspects of the urban areas under study both with Regarding the historical heritage and its natural environment, such as the decline and depopulation that these areas are experiencing in many aspects and in different degrees of intensity.
With this questionnaire, it was not only intended to obtain a clear conjunctural x-ray but also to invoke a deep reflection on the part of each coordinating team regarding the complexity of the challenges under study.
Because, in effect, this questionnaire has been the foundation on which the master study has been built that will grant the final validation to the KAIR├ôS project.
But there are other elements, such as the prospecting trips made by the aforementioned expert and the project coordinator to all the associated cities in order to obtain, on the one hand, a more precise image of the idiosyncrasy of each place and, on the other, to meet the KAIR├ôS teams. local, to motivate municipal authorities and to gather ideas and input from members of local support groups.
And it is precisely in this last context where the coordinating team of the City of Mula has set the bar very high and has set a recognized precedent by effectively responding to three of the basic concepts that underlie URBACT ideology, that is, citizen participation in through a call in the Iglesia del Carmen attended by some fifty residents, the location of some twenty experts in the field, local and regional who will continue to provide their support and interdepartmental collaboration with technicians from the City Council.
The convergence of these three support groups is what will make it possible to configure the INTEGRATED ACTION PLAN that will constitute the second milestone in the KAIR├ôS project, for which cities will have a period of two years of intense work and transnational exchange.
During this period, in Mula, as in the other associated cities, a series of improvement and revitalization measures can already be implemented, and without a doubt, once finalized and approved, the aforementioned Plan will serve to open doors to new financial aid with the in order to be able to undertake regeneration projects on a larger scale.
However, a fundamental element in the effective result of our Integrated Action Plan in particular is the participation and continued support of many Mule˝os, reinterpreting the meaning of JF Kennedy's historic words "do not ask what Mula can do for you, but what you can do for your Mule ÔÇŁ.
Anke van Wijck
International Coordinator of the KAIR├ôS Project
Source: Ayuntamiento de Mula