Places2b is a European partnership project which began one and a half years ago. The project’s main goals are to bring together those people interested in opening communication channels with various stakeholders of their community, in a participatory process, and to create a local tourist guide.
Although the initial group was fairly big, a natural selection of people wanting and willing to work was soon established including those that first ensured that this non-profit making initiative was of no danger to their personal undertakings. With only a few participants from Fitou, 4 roundtables were successfully launched and the local tourist guide, is just weeks away from being finished. Contrary to Fitou and its region, the roundtables held in the context of this partnership project welcomed a large and positive response on behalf of the local authorities in all other participating European regions. Their local authorities and municipalities and individual citizens have manifested their understanding of the needs that this project recognizes and tries to fulfill.
During the course of the project in Fitou, two key questions have arisen :
- Why does this project not exist within the infrastructure of an Association-loi 1901?
- Why should we collaborate with other European countries?
Why do we invest in this project? Why do I take part as an individual in a non-profit making initiative that could improve the environment in which I live?
We are all citizens, not only of France, but also of Europe and we have a responsibility to take care of our environment, of our home. As an individual, it should not be necessary to be a part of an organization, association or some other sort of established group to be able to improve, share and care.
It is no longer possible to ignore that we are a part of Europe. Why is Europe so important?
Fitou and the region in which we live is touristic. It is a region that welcomes tourists from all over Europe. It is naive and self-destructive to believe that we can separate ourselves from other European communities. People from all over Europe – if not the world – are a part of our ecosystem and it is therefore vital to join through sustainable structures, including tourism.
It is still possible for the inhabitants of Fitou, members of the local municipalities and associations, to get in contact with the project group. The final meeting of this project will take place at the beginning of June when we welcome 14 participants from all European partners, including mayors of Italian and Welsh villages.
All those interested in contributing to their environment and community are welcome to attend this meeting that will take place from 8 to 9 June 2012.
Do not hesitate to contact Christine Graf for further details.
Draft program for the places2b meeting in Fitou, 7-10 June 2012
7th June: arrival of participants
09:30 – 10:00 Welcoming participants, program & organisational things
10:00 – 11:30 introducing Fitou and region by presentations from the Fitou group, including a walk through Fitou)
11:30 -12:30 presenting the project results by partners
12:30 -13:30 Lunch
14:00 – 17:00 Roundtable
“Examples of collaborative community actions – motivation, actors, process, results”
The aim of this roundtable is to understand community actions as a catalysator for local development. In a moderated process we will elaborate initial positions & motivations, the development process and results by comparing different community based actions:
- The mayor of Mondavio, Italy presents the approach of participatory budgeting
- The mayor of Sant Angelo in Vado, Italy presents a community initiative to develop local tourism
- The mayor of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales presents the local development of a world class trekking path
- Marcus Williams, a representative from the Pengwern community Wales presents the “Community Pub Project”
- Fitou could present its activities to develop community based tourism
21:00 Concert with Gai Toms & band from Wales in La Chapelle de Fitou
Exploring a place2b (either a guided walk around Fitou/ Etang, or a journey with the petit train jaune or Carcassonne, or…).
10th June: departure of participants