Social inclusion in Public Spaces and Active Citizenship through non formal Education (SPACE) was a MVNGO-project aimed at bringing together youth workers and representants of local bodies from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Romania in order to discuss about urban issues, mostly those affecting young people.
Through this project we intended to promote the creation of a network of international associations to reflect about urban challenges and the related problems of social exclusion, and to explore new ways to encourage active citizenship among young people in their urban environments.
The 16 participants, whose sending organisations proved interest in the topics, was gathering for 6 days in Sassari, the capital of North Sardinia.
The city of Sassari was an ideal setting to cope with the topics that were analyzed during the project, since it has met a range of social problems linked to its unbalanced urban development. The participants was working on four main thematic areas: risk of social marginalisation and exclusion in urban environments; opportunities for the cultural and economic revitalisation of the old town through art, sport, food and culture; sustainability and public transports; active citizenship and cooperation of young people with the decision makers in order to propose solutions to the urban challenges.
The activities were coordinated through non formal education methods and was also including visits to the local cultural associations in the city centre, meetings with the students of the sociology course at university, exchanges with local administrators and members of local associations.
Some activities was taking place outdoors, to promote Erasmus+ and non-formal education and raise awareness on urban problems among the local community. During the last days of the project, participants had the chance to create working groups, to present ideas for future projects on urban issues, sustainability, promotion of young people participation in their local community.
Through this project participants gained awareness on the value of active citizenship, they were developing ideas on how to empower young people through initiative of social inclusion that might have an impact on their cultural, professional and personal development. In addition to that, the visibility of the event intended to be an example of how active citizenship and multicultural projects can help revitalize economic disadvantaged areas such as North Sardinia.