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EUROPEAN REGIONAL CHAMPIONS AWARDS 2008
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European Regional Champions Awards 2008 3
EUROPEAN REGIONAL COMMUNICATION CHAMPION 2008
EU-villages Europe Game Booklet VoicE - Giving People a
Smedjebacken, Sweden Austria Voice in EU-Legislation
The municipality of Smedjebacken in Central This project came about because there is not How is the safety of toys guaranteed? Which
Sweden led a transnational pilot project with enough information about the EU available additives are allowed in food? Will the
the objective of creating EU villages across to schools in Austria. The project was created European market for electricity be liberalised?
Europe with the aim of increasing the knowledge, especially for secondary schools, in order to reach EU legislation in the area of consumer protection
understanding, cooperation and solidarity as many children as possible between the ages of is barely comprehensible for many consumers
between EU citizens. The villages are meant to be 10 and 14 and their teachers. and raises a multitude of questions. In the future,
meeting points for ordinary people – a place for citizens will have a unique chance to discuss current
discussions, seminars, conferences and The “EUROPE-GAME” is a booklet with two parts: topics linked to consumer protection with their
for passing on information on different themes general and regional EU matters. This booklet representatives in Brussels via the eParticipation
and issues. enables children to learn about Europe and the platform “VoicE”. The discussion will focus on ﬁve
EU in an easy and playful way and is focused on main topics: energy, telecommunications, nutrition,
Smedjebacken is the lead partner among various geography, history, languages and the different toy safety and Consumer Market Watch.
municipalities in central Sweden, as well as Tralee cultures, among other topics.
in Ireland, Larnaca in Cyprus and Petrosani in The site offers background information on all
Romania. The project included a series of national The distinctive feature of the “EUROPE-GAME” is the above topics as well as on EU legislation
and international meetings and activities with its interactivity: pupils can decorate the booklet and the European institutions. Through a graphic
representatives of the participating regions. with stickers and have fun while learning about visualisation tool, users can see which stage a
the EU. The answers to the questions are included legislative proposal has reached and when voting
The project aimed not only to offer information as well. on the proposal will take place in the European
and cooperation, but also strived to create a parliament. Using state-of-the-art communication
positive local development and drive economic The 2008 edition of the booklet was made by tools like blogs and online forums, the platform
growth. Faced with the lack of support from EuropeDirect Lower Austria. The ﬁrst edition facilitates a constructive dialogue between citizens
ordinary citizens for the EU, the EU villages created (in 2006) was based on an idea from the and their elected representatives at EU level.
a meeting point for ordinary people to discuss EuropeDirect Network Austria, and we had 5000
important EU issues on a local level. The feeling copies for our region that ﬁrst year. Because of VoicE involves a consortium of nine partners from
and opinion that democracy is not strong enough enormous demand for the “EUROPE-GAME”, we three countries (Greece, Spain, Germany), and now
within the Union was challenged, and it became were nearly out of stock at the end of 2007, has a regional subdivision as well: one platform
clear why it sometimes is difﬁcult on an EU level which is why we decided to create an updated has been set up in Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
to work and co-operate on different and important edition. We presented the 2008 version, of and one in Valencia (Spain). Citizens can thus
issues. But is also showed how the successes of which 4000 were printed, on Europe Day, 9 May directly contact the MEPs from their local region, ask
the EU have beneﬁted its citizens. 2008, and ever increasing numbers of schools relevant questions and voice their opinions.
in Lower Austria are asking for the game. Due to Politicians have an opportunity to react immediately
this continuous demand we are planning further to citizens’ proposals and answer their queries,
editions and we have also decided to promote the and VoicE allows them to listen to their voters’
game to other countries through the EuropeDirect concerns and learn more about their expectations of
Network. Some countries like Germany, Hungary European politics.
and Lithuania have already reproduced it.
4 European Regional Champions Awards 2008
EUROPEAN REGIONAL CULTURAL CHAMPION 2008
Give life to books Literaturport.de Network for the
Montforte, Spain Berlin, Germany commercialisation of local
products and rural tourism
Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain
‘Give life to the books’ is a cultural and Literaturport.de is a new website dealing with the The network for the commercialisation of local
educational project directed at kindergartens literary region of Berlin/Brandenburg in Germany. products and rural tourism project aims to unite
and junior schools, a total of 228 students. The Past and present are treated equally: the website the rural tourism of three Mediterranean areas:
project aims to bring library services to people, covers the literary history of the region, but also Sierra de Segura - Andalusia (Spain), Vibo Valentia
especially children, who do not normally have demonstrates the present variety and vitality of - Calabria (Italy) and Central Crete (Greece). The
easy access to them. We visit the schools - all literary life. aim is to establish a model of services offered
in the Montforte district - at the start of the year across all three regions based on high quality
with a small suitcase of storybooks. There are 10 The dictionary of authors is a good example of standards and characterised by common elements
suitcases in total, one for each classroom. The this approach. It covers almost 4000 writers from such as shared natural resources, a common
wooden suitcases can be simply transformed into both the past and the present, complete with commitment to hospitality and a warm welcome,
bookcases where the children can choose their pictures and a variety of additional information. It the quality and variety of the local gastronomy and
favourite books. is the website’s intention to cover every historical the richness of the cultural and historical heritage.
author that has ever lived in Brandenburg, and (if
The history suitcase, for example, holds books on possible) also in Berlin. This transnational cooperation project has as
heroes and characters from the past, transported its main objective an increase in the number
from the central library to schools across the Contemporary authors in the dictionary are listed of tourists visiting Monte Poro, Serre Vibonesi,
district. The books are chosen according to the according to a new principle – as a general rule, Sierra de Segura and Central Crete through new
national reading plan and are sorted according each author writes his or her entry herself. This initiatives and the qualitative development of
to age group. When a child takes a book, they way, the information is as reliable and up-to-date existing activities related to the rural tourism.
also take a piece of paper so that they can write as possible. Authors may use Literaturport as These are complemented by other actions such
down their thoughts about the book when they a representative space, and many well-known as the protection of the environment and the
are at home. Each fortnight, the suitcases are authors such as Günter Grass or Judith Hermann promotion of the local tradition and culture.
replaced by others, ensuring that they do the tour have already participated in the project. Authors’
of each classroom. During the year we also run proﬁles are also linked to free audio clips of new
events, such as visits from authors and illustrators. books (many of which are read by the writers
Children will also be asked to write or draw about themselves). The background of the region is
their experiences, and the resulting works will explored by material on literary institutions,
be exhibited during the International Day of the foundations, libraries and memorial places. The
Children’s Book. website also features historical texts, written by
classic local authors like Kleist or Fontane. There
is also a selection of daily literary events, as well
as the extremely successful “Literatouren” - tours
by well-known local authors such as Katja Lange-
Müller or Tilman Rammstedt through their very
personal Berlin using a literary text.
European Regional Champions Awards 2008 5
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EUROPEAN REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT CHAMPION 2008
Announcements for Young Workers Södertälje Iraqi Refugees
agricultural workers Integration Programme Södertälje, Sweden
Puglia, Italy Valencia, Spain
The Apulia regional government has, since 2006, Fundación Comunidad Valenciana – Región At local level, diversity should be interpreted as
taken a ﬁrm stance in the struggle against the Europea (FCVRE) is a foundation that was a source of richness and the integration process
black economy and irregular work, endorsing a created with the support of the Valencian regional should be promoted along with with employment.
thorough employment policy [PEP – Programma government and other bodies which represent the This is the experience of Södertälje, which hosts
Emersione Puglia]. It aims at creating open-ended social, economic and cultural framework of the more than 5,000 Iraqi refugees. This small city
contracts and regular work, strengthening control Valencian region. FCVRE has made it possible for in the region of Södermanland has a population
over working conditions, implementing a database many young people to complete their training by of 83,000 and has accepted more Iraqi refugees
that enables different public administrations to carrying out internships at its ofﬁces, becoming than the United States and Canada combined.
share information about the local labour market a leading organisation for hosting young trainees.
and regional economic conditions. These trainees come not only from the Valencian Thanks to public programmes created by the
region, but also from the rest of Spain, from all region and the participation of several companies,
In December 2007, two new provisions were made over the EU and from third countries. Södertälje has become an example of how the
– granting business support, regular employment integration of immigrants should be carried out
and care for migrant workers, ensuring that FCVRE is considering the possibility of at EU level. The Södermanland region succeeded
seasonal agricultural workers with have a better consolidating this training experience by in involving public society in this process, whilst
life and working conditions. In particular, the implementing the project called: Young Workers avoiding any form of racism and intolerance.
rules are designed to help private employers and Integration Programme among Regional Ofﬁces Moreover, good management of the immigrants at
local authorities to provide services connected (YWIPRO). The main aims of this programme are regional level has helped this town to cooperate
to agricultural work, such as accommodation (for to facilitate staff exchanges between different with other towns in the region to create jobs and
example by giving grants to renovate buildings), regional ofﬁces (RO) and to offer ROs the facilitate the integration of this community.
meals, and sanitation and transport services. opportunity to make the most of the synergies
And the provision that accommodation must be derived from interregional cooperation.
maintained for the use of migrant workers for ﬁve
years (by private businesses) or ten years (by local
authorities) highlights the long term perspective of
this regional law.
European Regional Champions Awards 2008 7
EUROPEAN REGIONAL ENERGY CHAMPION 2008
Eco-efﬁcient city energy Regional Climate Agenda Sustainable energy
from co-generation Rotterdam Region programme
Helsinki, Finland Rotterdam, the Netherlands Alytus City, Lithuania
Helsinki’s district-heat and power company Within the Rotterdam region, all 16 municipalities The sustainable energy programme for small
Helsinki Energy is the world leader in co- have organised a pact to reduce CO2 emissions, communities in Lithuania-Poland border project
generation efﬁciency and continues to strive the Regional Climate Agenda Rotterdam Region. is aimed at increasing energy sustainability of
for further improvement. The energy company This industrial region represents over 25% of small communities through reducing overall
possesses unique capabilities and know-how the total CO2 emission of the Netherlands. The energy consumption, mainly heat for heating
among the world’s city energy producers. It not chairmen of the environmental committees buildings, and an increase in the use of biofuels
only generates energy for the city, it also feeds agreed in June to reduce CO2 emission in the in energy production. We carried out energy
electricity to the national grid. Approximately region by 40% in 2025, in comparison to 1990. audits on three public buildings (a school and
93 per cent of all City of Helsinki buildings are All municipalities contribute, some even going as two kindergartens) in Alytus, created two energy
heated with co-generated district heat. far as 50% CO2 reduction (Rotterdam), a CO2 efﬁciency laboratories in Alytus and Gizycko (PL)
neutral municipal government in 2012 (Maasluis) equipped with modern energy metering equipment
In co-generation, the extra energy generated or total C02 zero-emission, such as glasshouse and devices and some equipment for research on
when producing electricity, is used for producing municipality Lansingerland in 2050. biofuels, introduced a new training programme for
district heat instead of discharging it at sea as building ﬁtters, implemented cost-effective heat
lost heat. Helsinki Energy produces electricity All communities will work together on 10 regional saving measures in a public building, constructed
and district heating for the Helsinki metropolitan initiatives, not only involving the environmental new energy plants and set up a renewable energy
area primarily at local power stations, the policy, but making environmental policy part educational centre in Gizycko equipped with a
advantages of combined production often of economics, agriculture, housing policy and biomass boiler, solar heaters, pellets production
leading to a fuel consumption efﬁciency rate mobility etc. The initiatives in the region include a equipment.
exceeding 90%. Besides combining district-heat programme for isolation of housing and ofﬁce-
and power production, Helsinki Energy has for buildings, so reducing the need for warming Both groups of activities were supplemented by an
the past ﬁve years used the technology also to and air-conditioning, low CO2 emissions for new awareness campaign consisting of two seminars
produce district cooling, setting a world standard buildings and the encouragement of sustainable in Alytus and Gizycko, leaﬂets and articles in the
– Helsinki Energy’s model has been accepted energy – mainly wind energy or biomass. local press and on websites.
as a Best Available Technology (BAT) by the
EU. In the summer, absorption chillers using These measures had considerable cross-border
condensing heat from power generation, which impact. There are similarities on both sides of
would otherwise be lead to the sea, produce the Lithuanian-Polish border not only in the local
district-cooling. This procedure increases the conditions for biofuels production but in terms of
efﬁciency of the thermal power plant. energy consumption and saving habits too. It was
useful to share best practice in both countries and
make use of the existing opportunities.
8 European Regional Champions Awards 2008
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EUROPEAN REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT CHAMPION 2008
INAWARE Centre of Excellence for Green Health Care Öresund
Bauska, Birzai Environmental Technologies Öresund
Latvia, Lithuania Slovenia Denmark, Sweden
The overall objective of the INAWARE project is The “Environmental Technologies” Centre of A green hospital is a hospital where environmental
to strengthen cooperation among the Bauska Excellence (COOT) brings together the resources considerations are incorporated in daily routines
and Biržai regions for better nature and water of research institutes and universities with and development. The Interreg III A Oresund
management. The key word is cooperation, with the needs of enterprise and industry so as to project “Green Health Care Oresund” has evoked
local farmers, governments, citizens and NGOs, to ensure an integral approach towards solutions interest and shared experiences in green hospital
explore the relationship between the legislation for environmental problems. The vision of the management in the Oresund region. The Danish–
on both sides of the border to create information centre is to develop competitive knowledge, Swedish interregional project has created an
tools to help reduce pollution levels. The aim of technologies and products which will preserve inspirational and fruitful exchange of ideas on how
this project was to stress the importance of nature the environment in line with the principles of to move towards greener hospitals. The project has
and assess the practical means of ensuring the sustainable development. Through the Centre, a developed criteria and models for a sustainable
efﬁcient protection of rivers and nature in one of network of research and engineering capacities ward, as well as an energy saving scheme that
the most remarkable natural territories in Latvia has been created that is capable of increasing includes monitoring of energy consumption and
and Lithuania. the innovation potential of the Slovene economy, training of staff.
accelerating regional development and offering
This territory is famous not only for the almost new possibilities for education and training in With a small dedicated team, highly transparent
untouched environment, home to a large number R&D and technology. working method, and efﬁcient information
of different animal, plant and habitat species, strategies, the project has managed to involve
but also for its cultural heritage and its unique The Centre provides innovative methods and ﬁelds the hospital personnel to a level far beyond
geological nature. This so-called karst process is of co-operation with enterprises and industry to expectations. Concrete hands-on examples and
well known, and is going on all over the world, but young researchers from the academic sphere and visual displays that are easily approached by
only in very rare areas is it possible to observe access to top research facilities and knowledge non-experts have successfully been embraced by
surface displays of this process - karst lakes of partners in industry. COOT and the Slovenian the hearts and minds of the hospital personnel,
and holes. This project promotes awareness of Ecological Cluster established a Slovenian despite their busy schedules. For the larger
the natural biodiversity, beauty and singularity of Technological Platform for water (http://www. audience the project has gathered written and
the territory, demonstrates nature conservation tpvode.si) with 32 partners from across Slovenia. visual testimonies on an attractive homepage
and water management measures, and presents The Slovenian TP for Water has actively entered (www.greenhealthcare.eu). The project is a
a common approach to nature protection and the European Water Supply and Sanitation good example of how an initiative can create
water resource management. As a result of Technological Platform (http://www.wsstp.org). momentum on the practitioners’ level and seed
INAWARE, several other projects are going to a greener thinking in the energy intense social
be implemented by other stakeholders to solve services that hospital provides.
similar problems in this region as well in the wider
10 European Regional Champions Awards 2008
EUROPEAN REGIONAL INNOVATION CHAMPION 2008
JINNOVE Lofar ProAct
Nord-Pas de Calais, France Northern Netherlands Province, Podkarpackie Voivodship,
The Netherlands Poland
Collaboration between innovation actors is The LOFAR project is developing and constructing a The ProAct Project (Practical Regional Researcg
crucial for effective support to innovation — both sensor network for the collection and processing of and Innovation Policy in Action) implemented
in terms of working with the stakeholders in a real-time streaming data. Early ideas for the project from 2006 to 2007 by Podkarpackie Voivodship
particular region, and of investing in European stem from designs by ASTRON in Dwingeloo (The under the sixth framework programme, gathered
projects. A strong regional network (i.e. JINNOVE) Netherlands) for the development of the Square partners from eight European countries: Austria,
is the foundation of the collaborative strategy Kilometer Array (SKA), a global project to build an Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom,
in the French Nord-Pas de Calais region. extremely sensitive radio telescope from 2015. the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
Collaboration for JINNOVE means groups of LOFAR will pioneer much of the technology that will Its general objective focused on the exchange
regional innovation professionals working with be needed for the SKA. In contrast with traditional of experiences in respect of the elaboration of
different actors involved in innovation and radio telescopes, which rely on heavy and expensive strategies and implementation of innovation
technology transfer. Over the years, JINNOVE has dishes, LOFAR makes use of large numbers of policies between developed EU regions and less-
become known and respected for its efﬁcient relatively inexpensive antennas to collect signals developed areas.
functioning and the excellent cooperation and from the sky.
knowledge sharing between its members. While implementing the project, a number of
It was quickly realised that the infrastructure conferences on regional innovation and research
JINNOVE’s web portal (www.jinnove.com) has been needed to house a distributed radio telescope policy were organised in Podkarpackie Voivodship.
a large part of the project’s success. It is the main would provide opportunities in other areas as well. A case study was also produced, presenting the
port of call for anyone wanting to ﬁnd out about This has led to the inclusion of two other disciplines Aviation Valley as a successful example of an
innovation in the Nord-Pas de Calais area, and in the project. Geophones and infrasound sensors innovation-led industrial cluster. The possibility
it provides well-organised and vital information will be used for geophysical studies. Dedicated to compare with other regions and to exchange
on what enterprises need to know to carry out sensors will also be included to monitor the experiences allows for the improvement of existing
innovation projects — such as the availability climate in crops and the movements of animals systems in order to optimize the way they work.
of ﬁnancing tools and a database of regional for precision agriculture. Further sensors and/or
scientiﬁc and technological competencies. The applications may follow. Over the past few years,
website is also a platform for all actors working in international interest in LOFAR has increased
innovation in the area to discuss ideas. greatly. Consortia have been set up in Germany,
the UK, France, Sweden and Poland to build local
Regional enterprises have beneﬁted from JINNOVE LOFAR stations, which will all be connected via a
on different levels. For example, they can ask for dedicated ﬁbre network, sending their signals to the
different ﬁnancing schemes (regional, national same supercomputer in Groningen. LOFAR will soon
or at European level) to enable them to get be a European sensor network which has been
involved in innovative projects which they could developed in, and will be controlled from, the north
not have carried out without JINNOVE’s help. The of the Netherlands.
information provided and the events organised
by JINNOVE have enabled the enterprises to
create good relations with potential partners.
These effects are being further developed in the
context of other activities, such as a study of key
technologies that will take place in the Nord-Pas
de Calais region in 2010.
European Regional Champions Awards 2008 11
EUROPEAN REGIONAL MARITIME CHAMPION 2008
Baltic Sea Challenge AQUAMARINA LIFE-project
Helsinki, Finland Brittany, France France,
The mayors of Helsinki and Turku have made a The Region of Brittany has been very active in The LIFE-project, the reintroduction of Alis Shad to
commitment to improve the state of the Baltic maritime issues. In 2007 it created Aquamarina, the river Rhine system, is a European project that
Sea and have challenged hundreds of other a working group of 40 maritime regions within aims to conserve and protect an endangered ﬁsh
organisations to take part in the challenge. The the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of species in Europe and to restore the biodiversity
measures presented in the Baltic Sea Challenge Europe (CPMR). The main goal of Aquamarina is in one of the largest rivers in Europe. The Allis
commitment aim to decrease the burden on to follow up the implementation of the EU action shad was one of the most important commercial
coastal waters and the entire Baltic Sea caused plan resulting from the Blue Book “An Integrated ﬁsh species in the Rhine and hundreds of
by the functions of the cities of Helsinki and Turku Maritime Policy for the European Union”. thousands of ﬁsh migrated into the river each year
themselves. One of the aims is to decrease the until the end of the 19th century. Only 30 years
environmental effects of sea trafﬁc. The member regions of the Aquamarina group later the population collapsed. Today large shad
will devote their meetings to the various themes populations exist only in France.
The main themes of the actions which are to within the Blue Book Action Plan, namely:
improve the sewer network, decrease the load maritime spatial planning, integrated coastal With partners in the USA, France, the Netherlands
caused by the waste water of scattered settlement zone management, maritime transport, maritime and Germany, this project developed mass
and agriculture, dredge and deposit polluted economy, research, employment and training. production techniques and built the ﬁrst shad ﬁsh
sediments as well as decrease the emission of Aquamarina plans to meet three times a year for farm in Europe together with regional ﬁsh farmers
waste water from ferry and boat trafﬁc. The cities two years (2008 and 2009), corresponding to the in France. The ﬁrst 500,000 allis shad were
can implement some of the planned actions, but timetable ﬁxed by the European Commission for stocked in the River Rhine in 2008. Monitoring
for further actions a more extensive cooperation the introduction of its maritime policy. campaigns, scientiﬁc exchange and research
with other authorities is needed. Therefore, Turku build a sound basis for this ambitious project.
and Helsinki challenge also other municipalities, LIFE-project “The reintroduction of Alis Shad to the Exceptional public awareness campaigns with e.g.
companies, organisations, educational institutions river Rhine system” Germany national and international talks, a multilingual
and other instances to participate in the website (www.alosa-alosa.eu/), symposia,
protection of the Baltic Sea. exhibitions, a multilingual project video explain the
goals of the project to the public.
12 European Regional Champions Awards 2008
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EUROPEAN REGIONAL SOCIAL POLICY CHAMPION 2008
The Ray of Hope Partyfriends Taste of Europe
Šalčininkai district, Lithuania Belgium Pärnu, Estonia
“The Ray of Hope” (“Vilties Spindulėlis“) is a Partywise is a concept aimed at reducing alcohol The “Taste of Europe” project was for young people
public institution established mainly for mentally and drug related health problems in the Flemish with special needs. They went to Portugal, to
disabled people, although physically disabled nightlife. The general concept was launched in the city of Penich, to get knowledge about food
people attend the centre as well. The founders of 2003. Every two years we develop an awareness and how to cook it. As well as Estonians, there
“The Ray of Hope” are the council of Šalčininkai campaign focusing on one topic. In 2005 we did were people with special needs from Portugal
district municipality and the wardship community a summer campaign aimed at nightlife tourism and Sweden there, and the aim was for them to
“Hope” (“Viltis”) of Lithuanian mentally disabled at the Belgian coastline. In 2007 we came up spend time with each other, cooking and sharing
people. Workers of the institution believe that with a new campaign focusing on peers in the experiences.
mentally disabled people should be a part of nightlife scene called Partyfriends. The idea
healthy people’s community. They also should get of motivating friends to take responsibility for After the trip three books in the three different
the necessary help to develop. The mission of their party friends is completely new within the languages were published, consisting of recipes
the institution is to encourage mentally disabled framework of a campaign. The principals of the and pictures of the different foods as well as the
people to integrate into society, to discuss and Partyfriends campaign are based on research emotions experienced by the young people during
solve problems on their own as much as possible. that shows that friendship and solidarity have a the trip to the Portugal.
good potential to prevent problems in nightlife.
The aim of “The Ray of Hope” institution is Peer groups play a vital role in providing
to prepare mentally disabled people for as information, sharing tips, and helping each other
independent a life as possible. Workers of the in case of problems. What’s more, youngsters
institution help mentally disabled people to ﬁnd it easier to talk with their peers, especially
develop everyday skills: people are learning about topics like sexuality and drug use.
how to wash themselves and how to dress.
The transport provided by the institution drives The Partyfriends campaign uses a positive
mentally disordered people to the institution approach towards young people and nightlife
in the morning and back home in the evening. and emphasises the positive role of friends and
The educational and social work is done in two the responsibility they have towards each other.
groups. One group is made of children from In addition, the campaign is in part driven by
six to 21 years old. The other group is made of the community feeling that exists in the nightlife
young people (from 21) and adults, whose age scene. In reality, the community spirit is underlined
is unlimited. There are people with the Down’s by the creation of a Partyfriends Myspace
syndrome, epilepsy, and other disabilities. Almost webpage and a contest where party people can
all have speech disorders. The activities provided send in a picture from their party friends. The core
at “The Ray of Hope” centre include art therapy, information for the party people is gathered in six
art and crafts, work therapy, cooking, physical categories in a dynamic website. The reaction from
education, discussions, excursions, acting the nightlife professionals and the party people
lessons and music therapy. on the Partyfriends campaign was unanimously
positive. The same reactions where obtained when
we recently presented the Partyfriends campaign
at an international conference on nightlife
protection in Ibiza.
14 European Regional Champions Awards 2008
EUROPEAN REGIONAL INNOVATION CHAMPION 2008
CityMobil / TVRCas UpCode on Helsinki Rapid-transit railway
Valencia, Spain bus and tram stops Styria, Austria
The CityMobil project seeks to validate and A number of Helsinki city bus and tram stops The rapid-transit railway system was started in
demonstrate the capabilities of new mobility are testing new electronic timetables which are December 2007, and was a major challenge for
solutions in different European cities. In ﬁve operated by a mobile phone equipped with Styria and its capital Graz (population around
horizontal sub-projects, the issues that still a camera, Internet access and the “Upcode” 250,000): more than 70 additional daily train
prevent full scale implementation of innovative software. When the user points the phone’s connections to and from Graz were established.
automated transport systems were investigated camera at an Upcode smart screen at the stop, The introduction of the rapid-transit railway
and solutions developed. The aim was to achieve the phone automatically takes a picture which system was a great success. Many people are now
a more effective organisation of urban transport, triggers the phone to perform the task deﬁned in encouraged to go to work by train, or to travel to
resulting in a more rational use of motorised the smart screen: the phone accesses the Internet their leisure destinations by public transport.
trafﬁc with less congestion and pollution, safer site that contains the stop’s timetable.
driving, a higher quality of living and an enhanced The introduction of the rapid-transit railway has
integration with spatial development. This objective The advantage compared to printed timetables been accompanied by a powerful marketing
can be brought closer by developing integrated is real-time service information. The system also campaign. Car drivers were informed via trafﬁc
trafﬁc solutions: advanced concepts for innovative makes announcements of service interruptions. message channels about the new public transport
autonomous and automated road vehicles for The service is free of charge to users. One of its offer, while a roadshow informed interested people
passengers and goods, embedded in an advanced applications is voice synthesised timetables for at various mobility events. A manual, “How to use
spatial setting. the visually impaired. The trial is part of Helsinki’s public transport”, was produced and sent to every
efforts to boost accessibility. household in the catchment area of the rapid-
The city of tomorrow is in need of integrated transit railway, together with the timetable. Last
trafﬁc solutions that provide the required mobility but not least, on the rapid-transit railway website,
in an efﬁcient, safe and economic manner. It is a fare-saving calculator showed people how much
inevitable that all possible forms of automation, money they could save by going by train instead
from providing information at one end of the of by car.
spectrum, to fully autonomous driving at the
other, will play a major role. We wish to make All in all, the province of Styria has invested about
signiﬁcant steps forward that will, in the short to €10m per year in the rapid-transit railway and
medium term, support a sustainable development we think this is a good investment. We see the
of European cities. The Spanish city of Castellón, success not only in the increase in the number
in the region of Valencia, has adopted automated of passengers (about 10% in the last year) but
bimodal buses (TRVCas) that are capable of also in the more positive attitude towards public
operating both manually and automatically (with transport as a whole.
no driver) – depending on where they are - running
on reserved lanes. These vehicles ofﬁcially started
operations on 25 June 2008
European Regional Champions Awards 2008 15
EUROPEAN REGIONAL INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE CHAMPION 2008
Knowing each other Dialogue Executive Council Bristol Intercultural
through diversity through Images of AP Vojvodina Dialogue Events
Isla, Malta Italy Vojvodina, Serbia Bristol, UK
Children and adults alike in Isla Network NEI is designed to aid The executive council of the The ‘Intercultural Dialogue: The Way
shared their views on diversity during cooperation between European autonomous province of Vojvodina Forward’ conference held in Bristol
a day dedicated to intercultural and non-European regions in the is the only regional institution in the during April 2008 was an initiative
dialogue on 2 May 2008. As part Mediterranean area, working within Republic of Serbia. In the process that brought together academics,
of the campaign ‘1001 Actions the Barcelona process. of Republic of Serbia‘s accession policy makers, community groups
for Dialogue’ and supporting the to the EU, regional intercultural and organisations from across
European Year of Intercultural The association involves institutions, dialogue is very important: during Europe to discuss the positive social
Dialogue, the Isla Local Council’s cities and regions around the the turbulent times of the break-up and economic impact of migration
aim was to create a communicative Mediterranean (Sardinia, Calabria, of the ex-Yugoslavia, the executive and cultural diversity and the
process between people of different Lazio, (IT), PACA (FR)) that have council of Vojvodina, with its clear challenges of a multicultural society.
races, culture, colour and religion. On developed policies of inclusion and politics, managed to maintain peace,
the day, the Local Council organised intercultural dialogue. stability and understanding between The conference was just one of
two different events - one aimed at people. a series of intercultural dialogue
children and another one for adults The “Dialogue through Images” events that was held in the city
with the theme “knowing each other project involved the creation There are six ofﬁcial languages in of Bristol this year, including
better through diversity”. of various documentary ﬁlms Vojvodina: Serbian, Hungarian, “A Passage to Bristol”, a gala
representing the way of life in the Croatian, Slovakian, Romanian celebration showcasing the diverse
The morning activity aimed at various regions involved in the and Russian. As such, Vojvodina origins & talents and stories of
children consisted of a dialogue project – the story of the old tobacco represents a unique example of the modern Bristol and “Refugee week”,
between the local factory of Cagliari told through the promotion of intercultural dialogue a city-wide programme of arts,
primary school children and local eyes of its workers, the story of and the full acknowledgement of cultural and educational events
children attending Junior Lyceum social desegregation in Los Angeles, national minorities. that celebrates the contribution of
with the participation of children London and Cagliari, etc. We believe in the future and our refugees to the UK, and encourages
from refugees Open Centres. The young people and, therefore, there a better understanding between
second activity consisted of an is a network of pre-, elementary and communities. These events involved
open discussion between the local secondary schools and faculties in in many different capacities people
residents, foreigners living in Isla, the languages of all the national from a range of backgrounds
refugees from the various Open minorities in AP Vojvodina. Education whose roots of origin are from 64
Centres in Malta and members is provided in the Serbian language, nationalities/countries proving
from different social and religious whereas members of national the wide appeal of the events
local organisations. The evening minorities attend school in their ﬁrst and the vibrancy of Bristol’s many
session includes ethnical music languages. In approximately one-ﬁfth communities.
performances from a group of of the total number of elementary
refugees. The events were open to schools lectures are in Hungarian,
the general public. in twenty schools in Slovakian, in
twenty-seven ones in Romanian and
in three schools in Russian.
16 European Regional Champions Awards 2008