Narrative Report / Evaluation form ECF Grants Programme
River//Cities flow of Identity - Grant Number 927
1. Factual information on the project
Activities: List the project’s activities, and elaborate on participants and target groups (size and type of audience reached). Please include also a copy of the programme, list of participants.
Took place between 23-25 July 2009 in Warsaw, attendees: Austria (Marcus Schober, Bernd Herger, Kurt Rogan - Danube Island Festival); Germany (Tania Strehe, Barbara Wuench); Italy (Marta Moretti, Mara Vittori Cities on Water), Macedonia (Robert Alagjozovski, River Vardar Festival); Poland (Agnieszka Wlazel, Impact), (Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda, Baltic Cultural Centre, Gdansk); Portugal (Joao Sehna, EGEAC); Sweden (Chris Torch and Chrissie Faniadis, Intercult) , UK (Mike Flood, Thames River Festival); and Ukraine (Katherina Rodchenko, Ulyana Rudnytska).
The purpose of this first meeting was to bringing the project forward, to establish the working methods and the flow of the communication.
It was decided that the Platform needed a Coordinator, Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact) was chosen to fulfil this role. The main, short-term objective of the Platform was to attract new partners, and to examine the possibilities of formalising the Platform. It was also decided that another main focus needs to be a R//C website development, discussed the ECF River//Cities flow of identity project, its preparations, task distribution, action plan.
Agreed on agenda for the following months, agreed the date for the Gdansk Conference in March, and next R/C meeting in Vienna in November.
River/Cities meeting in Vienna
Meeting in Vienna, took place on 19, 20th November 2009.
The main aim of the meeting was the evaluation of a needs and preparation of an educational project for those taking part in revitalisation of the rivers; members also discussed future plans.
Attendees: representatives of organisations from Odessa, Warsaw, Stockholm, Vienna, Lisbon.
Study visit to Copenhagen
Between 5th and 8th of November 2009, Agnieszka Wlazel, Impact Warsaw took part in a study visit to Copenhagen, and participated in the Danish Performing Arts project, called p@rt. This visit was a great opportunity to meet up and start a dialogue with many different organisations from all over the world. Approximately 200 different organisations took part in p@rt, many of them represented projects, institutions or festival connected to water. Agnieszka made acquaintances with organisations from Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and Italy.
Study visit to Stockholm
This study visit and member’s meeting took place between 14-16 January 2010. Attendees: Impact, Intercult)
During the meeting, member’s discussed additional grants for 2010/2011 (options: Gruntvig and Culture Programme), agreed on the next General Meeting date in Gdansk: 21Mar 2010, and it’s topics:
· Formalisation of the network
· Steering Committee election
· Action plan for 2010 and a 3 year strategy
· Establishment of working secretariat responsible for the membership development, as well as communication and branding of the network. The secretariat will also be in charge of examining financing opportunities for the platform’s continued activities
During this visit was also decided the whole Gdansk conference programme.
Study visit to Maribor, Slovenia
This study took place between 28th and 30th of January 2010. The conference – New Times/New Models was attended by Agata Etmanowicz (Impact/LAC, Poland).
New Times/New Models conference was a part of a bigger project, coordinated by cultural center - Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže from Maribor, financed by the ECF. The conference aim was to look at the role, an independent culture plays in the development of society, both on a global and a local level. The conference was focused on inventive, dynamic and sustainable models of governance of independent cultural centers and the relationship between these and public authorities. It provided a space for discussion and common work, gave a chance to compare best practices in the area of culture development in Europe - both East and West.
A core issue of this conference was - how relations can be improved between public authorities, the private sector and independent cultural centers.
Over ninety cultural operators, activists, artists, managers, experts and writers met in Maribor in order to discuss those issues. For River//Cities, it was a chance not only to present its platform (during the workshops, official discussions and during more private meetings) and search for new partners but also to explore different models of internal governance, which served as an inspiration for future development of the network.
Study visit to Brussels
Took place in June 2010. Thanks to Venti di Cultura, Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact) and Marta Moretti (Centre Cities on Water) were able to participate in the study. Among many activities participants took part in: the guided tour of the Art Nouveau sites, presented by Ms Karin Debbaut; waterfront activities - guided tour of the site “Tour & Taxis” - a masterpiece from the golden age of industrialization in Belgium; met up with a representative of “La Fonderie” - a cultural centre dedicated to the economical and social history of Brussels and its surroundings and Réseau Art Nouveau Network coordinator Elisabeth Horth.
Attendees: Venti di Cultura, Centre Cities on Water, Impact, Industrial Heritage (Italy).
Study visit to Venice
In July 2010 Chrissie Faniadis (Intercult, Sweden) came to Venice to discuss the River//Cities’s development issues and get acquainted with Cities on Water activities.
Meeting’s attendees: Intercult, Impact, Cities on Water
Exploring Common Space’ conference, Festival Kanal and the workshop: in Brussels
Took place between 16th and 18th of September 2010 in Brussels. The workshop ‘Exploring Common Space’, opened the Festival. The seminar was enquiring on the role, the cultural and artistic events can play in the development and regeneration of urban waterways, and on how culture and artistic actions in public spaces can contribute to social cohesion: to social-economic growth.
1) Exemplary processes
2) Artistic practices in Public Space
3) Creation and mediation in public space
4) Walks and Discovery (walking as art science and as action – research for social transformation)
5) Traces and Impact in the city.
Three representatives (Ghent, Impact, Centre Cities on Water) of River//Cities Platform took part in the workshop.
World Canal Conference, Rochester, USA
Took place between 19th and 24th September, and presented the best practices at international level on the improvement and use of the waterways and as regenerated canals, public parks, facilities for leisure activities. River//Cities promotional material was distributed during the conference by Francesco Calzolaio (Venti di Cultura). http://www.wccrochester.org/
International Conference & Workshop in Ukraine, Lvov: “Perspectives for the Poltva River in Lvov”,
Took place between 19-20 Nov 2010. Organised by Municipal Development and Rehabilitation of the Old City Lvov, Museum of Ideas (River//City’s Member) and Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe. The conference was initiated by the Museum of Ideas, as part of their “LeoPoltvis” project. Three of the River//Cities representatives from Warsaw, Łódź and Venice were the speakers at the conference.
More information about the conference can be found in the ”Goals” section.
Lobbing & Promotional Materials
Lobbing activities and distribution of R//C promotional materials:
HUNGARY - Visit to Budapest during the Citizen’s Week , 29 Jan – 01 Feb 2009
Agnieszka Wlazel and Elzbieta Jurkowska (by the invitation of XIII. Kerületi Közművelődési Nonprofit Kft. /Cultural nonprofit Ltd. of the 13th District of Budapest/), Impact, Warsaw represented River//Cities Platform during the Citizen’s Week and took part in a dialogue about the development of Danube embankment with a Mayor of XIII District. At the same time, it was an opportunity to meet up with a Hungarian, R//C’s partner – “I love Budapest” movement.
ITALY - Hydrica, the International Exhibition of Water Technologies, Padua
Was held between 23rd and 25th June 2009, during which Cities on Water distributed on its stand River//Cities promotional materials.
ITALY - Conference "La riqualificazione del waterfront: una risorsa strategica per le città d'acqua. Esperienze internazionali, Venice.
Took place on the 2nd of October 2009, and was organised by the Cities on Water, within the initiative La Fabbrica della cultura/Incontri con le istituzioni, promoted by the the Candiani Cultural Centre in Mestre.
ESTONIA - Conference “Community participation in building an active and sustainable city environment” in Tallin.
The conference took place in Tallin, between 07th and 09th of October 2009. Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact, Warsaw) was invited by British Council to take part in this seminar, which was closely connected to the New World Neighbourhood Society's Public Planning Project and discussed new approaches to public space planning, focusing not only on physical space, but also on social relations.
The seminar covered all aspects of the above-mentioned project, including city communities and the importance of grassroots initiatives, creative neighbourhoods, and practises to engage local residents in city planning processes, urban ecology, sustainable energy and its use in cities.
During the conference were presented the following:
- Communities of practice in urban space: changes and perspectives
- The value of urban space and its bearers. Interests and participants
- Methods for engaging the locals. Wikiplanning
- Both R//C partner met up and talked about R//C with Anu Kivilo from the City Council and Triin Mannik from the Tallin 2011 European Capital of Culture 2011.
ITALY - Festival of Creatività, Florence
During the Festival, which took place between 15th – 18th October 2009, in the section “Future City. Le città del futuro, il futuro delle città”, the Centre Cities on Water distributed the River//Cities promotional material on their stand.
BELGIUM - Conference in Brussels – Breaking Down Barriers
Took place on 28th of October 2009, attended by Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact, Warsaw) by the invitation of British Council (Belgium).
This conference was organised by EUNIC, in partnership with the EESC, the Council of Europe, and Culture Action Europe, and was built on the recommendations of recent seminars, notably the CultureWatch Europe conference in Cracow, to chart a way forward for cultural players and decision makers in Europe.
The fall of the Berlin wall not only reunited Germany but fundamentally changed the whole of Europe on a socio-political, cultural and economic level. European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) partnered a series of conferences in Europe to explore the current implications of this momentous event. During the conference R//C promotional material was distributed by Agnieszka Wlazel.
ITALY - The port in the City, Venice
Took place between 4th and 7th of November 2009. Cities on Water, in occasion with the event on urban marketing, Urbanpromo 2009 (www.urbanpromo.it) and in collaboration with the Venice Port Authority, organised on November 6th, the conference during which they distributed R//C promotional materials. Attendees: approx. 80 people mostly Italian public administrations and port authorities.
PORTUGAL BTL - International Tourism Exhibition 2010
EGEAC promoted River//Cities and ECF on the big Tourism Exhibition in Lisbon in January 2010.
ITALY - Conference in Rome: “National maritime ports. Planning, projects and realisations”
Took place on the 18th of February 2010, Rome. Marta Moretti of Cities on Water introduced the River//Cities Platform during her presentation “The city – port relationship as strategic factor of port and urban planning”.
ITALY - Promotion during BIT International Bourse of Tourism, Milan.
Held in Milan between 18th and 21st of February, during which Cities on Water (Oriana Giovinazzi) distributed materials on River//Cities Platform at the Amici dei Navigli stand.
HUNGARY - Seminar in Pecs, Urban Ideas Bakery Summary
Took place between 2-6 Mar 2010. During the seminar Agnieszka Wlazel (who was invited by the British Council), Impact, Warsaw, promoted River//Cities project among the Hungarian and British, non government organisations.
The seminar’s subject was: A Creative process for the developing of innovative solutions for social and urban challenges. The UIB utilises a menu of tools and methods with social innovators, experts and policy makers. Each event is designed together with local partners and draws from a wide set of international expertise and networks to address urban challenges.
ITALY - Seminar in Comacchio
Subject: “Cities and Waterways - heritage, tourism and natural environment”
Took place on 30th of April, organised by Delta 2000 and University of Ferrara. Seminar was attended by Marta Moretti (Centre Cities on Water) and Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact) who met up with a potential new partner – University of Ferrara. During the seminar, both organisations distributed R//C promotional material. The outcome of this visit was cooperation with French representation and with University of Ferrara. After the conference, University of Ferrara sent out the mailing to their database promoting River//Cities.
PORTUGAL - The exhibition "Lisbon on the banks of the Tagus"
Took place between 16th of April and 30th of June 2010, in the Monument of the Discoveries. One of the main organisers was one of the R//C partners - EGEAC/Padrao do Descubrimiento During the opening, the EGEAC promoted River//Cities Platform, and distributed promotional material.
SPAIN, ITALY, POLAND
River//Cities was promoted in May 2010 during seminars in Spain - in Zaragoza (Alcultur Meetings 2010 ) and Madrid, on the conference in Genoa, Italy and during the workshop in Warsaw and seminar in Gdansk, Poland.
ITALY - Conference in San Vito al Tagliamento: “The man, the sea and the city. Living the transformation”
Took place on 19th of May, at the Auditorium of San Vito al Tagliamento (PN), where Marta Moretti (Centre Cities on Water), presented the River//Cities Platform activity during her presentation: “Waterfront and Riverfront regeneration as strategic challenge for cities on water”
ITALY - Conference in Venice: "Waterways: on water, between tourism and economy"
Took place between 3rd and 5th of June. The conference was promoted by Cities on Water and Impact/River//Cities. It consisted of both - seminars and exhibition - and dealt with several aspects of water issues, eg. maitime spatial planning, waterways and water privatisation. Organiser: Expo Venice Spa; Scientific support: eAmbiente and Città d'Acqua. A presentation of River//Cities Platform was conducted at the conference by Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact)
INTERNET - River//Cities project "Rivers of Change. Connecting - Learning – Creating"
This project has been presented on LabourforCulture.org, 18th of June.
BELGIUM - Study visit to Brussels
Took place in June 2010. Thanks to Venti di Cultura, Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact) and Marta Moretti (Centre Cities on Water) were able to participate in the study. Among many activities participants took part in: the guided tour of the Art Nouveau sites, presented by Ms Karin Debbaut; Guided tour of the site “Tour & Taxis” - a masterpiece from the golden age of industrialization in Belgium; met up with a representative of “La Fonderie” - a cultural centre dedicated to the economical and social history of Brussels and its surroundings.
River//Cities Platform and it’s aims was introduced to all organizations which were part of the study visit:
Ms Françoise Aubry (Director of the Horta Museum), Ms Elisabeth Horth (Coordinator of the Art Nouveau network), Ms Karin Debbaut (Art historian), a representative of “La Fonderie” - a cultural centre, a representative of the Cultural Lab.
Attendees: Venti di Cultura, Centre Cities on Water, Impact, Industrial Heritage (Italy). Other organisations which attended the study: Belgium, Greece, Italy and Malta, all of them were interested in R//C work.
BELGIUM - Exploring Common Space’ conference, Festival Kanal and the workshop: in Brussels
Took place between 16th and 18th of September 2010 in Brussels. The workshop ‘Exploring Common Space’, opened the Festival. The seminar was enquiring on the role, the cultural and artistic events can play in the development and regeneration of urban waterways, and on how culture and artistic actions in public spaces can contribute to social cohesion: to social-economic growth. Three (Poland, Italy, Belgium) representatives of River//Cities Platform took part in the workshop. It was an opportunity to establish contact with organisations from Belgium and France.
USA - World Canal Conference, Rochester
Took place between 19th and 24th September 2010, and presented the best practises at international level on the improvement and use of the waterways and as regenerated canals, public parks, facilities for leisure activities. River//Cities promotional material was distributed during the conference by Francesco Calzolaio (Venti di Cultura). http://www.wccrochester.org/
POLAND – Nationwide Conference: Subject : River. Ecology, People and Development.
Building Partnerships in Riverside Initiatives, organised by Impact Foundation (Subject: River is part of an educational programme organised by Impact) was held between 04th and 05th of Nov 2011 in Warsaw University Library. The conference had a nationwide scope. Participants were the scientists, students, activists, NGO members, employees of government institutions and local governments. 40 different experts from around Poland presented good practises in building partnerships in riverside initiatives. The conference was accompanied by a workshop session. During the Conference was also launched a Nationwide Network of River Animators.
The conference included Agnieszka Wlazel presentation: “River//Cities – culture for a development of public spaces by the river, examples of initiatives in Europe”.
Approximately 80 participants, who represented pro-river projects received R//C promotional material.
The above presentation is available to download at:
UKRAINE - International Conference & Workshop in Ukraine, Lvov: “Perspectives for the Poltva River in Lvov”.
Took place between 19-20 Nov 2010. Organised by Municipal Development and Rehabilitation of the Old City Lvov, Museum of Ideas (River//City’s Member) and Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe. The conference was initiated by the Museum of Ideas, as part of their “LeoPoltvis” project. Three of the River//Cities representatives from Warsaw, Łódź and Venice were the speakers at the conference. In conference took part 12 representatives of waterfront development projects from Germany, Italy, Poland and Ukraine. In the conference and workshops participated approximately 70 pax.
More information on this project available in the “Goal” section.
- Newsletter of the HDPK sent to 50 addresses of the cultural groups in Germany.
- River//Cities promotion at AEME conference Leeds 2010, UK (event and festivals globally) and AEN (Audiences Europe network) meeting to liaise for a communal conference of AEN and River//Cities in September 2010 in Rotterdam.
Thanks to work of Liz Nolan, as Cultural and Arts consultant in Kilkenny, R//C were presented to various cultural organisations and local authority departments in South East Ireland. These included: Temple Bar Cultural Trust (Dublin), the National Heritage Council, the County Manger (Mr Joe Crockett), Kilkenny Leader Partnership (KLP), Architectural consultants, Failte Ireland (Development Officer of Tourism in South East Ireland), Arts Officer, Heritage Officer (Local Authorities), and the Fisheries Board.
Promotion of R//C website on Member’s websites (Facebook profiles, and other websites/portals)
1) NGO Art Travel, Ukraine
http://www.polinst.kiev.ua/ua/institute/news.htm?year=2010&id=115 - Polish Institute Kiew,
3) NCK, Poland
4) Impact Foundation, Poland
5) Intercult, Sweden
6) HDPK, Germany
100.000 hits of site, promotion via news clips on website
7) Cities on Water, Italy
8) Kulturanova, Serbia
9) Temple Bar, Ireland
10) Bratislava, Slovakia
11) RHIZ, LABFORCULTURE, FACEBOOK
12) THAMES WATER FESTIVAL, UK
13) KALMAR, Sweden
Conference & Annual General Meeting
River/Cities conference: “River banks as space for citizens’ integration”, Gdansk & the first General Assembly of the Platform. Took place on 22nd and 23rd March 2010 in Gdansk, Poland. Organised by the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdańsk in co-operation with the River//Cities platform and Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art. Agnieszka Wlazel had an opening speech where she welcomed participants on behalf of the River//Cities Platform and ECF.
Annual Meeting Attendees: Impact, Warsaw; Cities on Water, Venice; ECoC Umea 2014, Umea; Kalmar Town Hall, Kalmar; Intercult, Stockholm; Thames Festival, London; The Baltic See Cultural Centre, Gdansk; EGEAC, Lisbon; ECEOC, Liverpool; NGO ART Travel, Odessa; Drugo More, Skopje, Ondadurto Theatro, Rome; Forderband, Berlin; Trui Maes, Urban Planner, Ghent; Danube Festival, Vienna; Museum of Ideas, Lviv; Cultura Nova, Novi Sad; Centre of Urban History of EC Europe; United Islands, Prague; Kult Flux, Vilnius.
Participants: 250 pax, mainly from the Pomeranian region, but also from other cities in Poland and from Europe.
During the conference were presented the following:
Presentation on variety of waterways and their potential in the Pomeranian region; debate on finding the solutions on how to use most effectively river banks as a public space; presentation on the specific problems and the potential of the riversides areas in European cities; presentation on cultural actions as part of policy development: access, creativity and sustainability; presentation on cultural actions by riversides in the context of environmental and landscape protection; the debate during which the participant shared their views on the potential of the visited (during the conference) areas, emphasising the quick need for some infrastructure to be developed there. They also discussed more general topics such as the importance of co-operation of various groups: politicians, investors, ecologists, urban planners, artists and cultural operators to succeed in bringing river banks in cities back to their inhabitants.
Cooperation with artists – creative development of R//C mission and promotional tools
River//Cities Platform presented a series of documentaries depicting problems related to riverside and waterfront areas revitalisation in several European cities.
These documentaries present a personal relations and opinions of the inhabitants of each of the depicted places on their city’s waterfront. They tell a story about the importance of water, its function, history, the expectations concerning its future characteristics, after which we plunge into the rivers and even seas of our dreams and our childhood memories. We wanted to make the audience stop for a while and reflect upon those extraordinary places. Films were made by Kamila Chomicz, a Polish artist, and created in cooperation with members of the River//Cities Platform.
Production: Impact Foundation Warsaw, Poland
Collaboration: Museum of Ideas Lviv, Ukraine; City of Kalmar, Sweden; Municipality of Mörbylonga, Sweden; Danube Island Festival Vienna, Austria
The invisible River, Lviv Ukraine
Preparatory visit: 20-24.04.2010
Film Production: 11-15.06.2010
Music: Rec & Abstract group
Collaboration: Kit Igor, Zelenśki Igor, Szewczyk Ołeg , Wołodymyr Mageriwskij, Wołodymyr Demczuk
From Kalmar to Oland, Sweden
Film Production: 17-19.06.2010
Preparatory visit: 9-12.05.2010
Coordination and realisation of the movie plan: Björn Samuelsson, City of Kalmar; Jutta Swärdh, Kerstin Olofsson from Mörbylånga komun
Collaboration: : Interpreter/help: Leif Johansson, Sound: Pelle Hybinette, Skipper at the boat, Willy: Pelle Hallström, Magnus Engvall, Lena Petersen – guide at research trip.
Music: Michaell Colley from Great Britain
Danube Island Festival – Vienna, Austria
Film Production 23-27.06.2010
Help with coordination and realisation of the movie plan: Bernd Herger.
Outcome: List the project’s concrete results including details of publications, exhibitions, performances, etc. Please include audio-visual materials and other documentation on the project (reviews, publications, articles, etc).
1. River//Cities Platform presented a series of documentaries depicting problems related to riverside and waterfront areas revitalisation in several European cities. 3 River//Cities movies are being produced and are going to be presented around Europe. More details as above.
2. R//C members created promotional leaflets (inclusive of ECF logo), print run – 1000 leaflets. Leaflets were distributed during the conferences, exhibitions, study visits etc.
3. Each conference had big media coverage by local portals, newspapers, radio and TV stations.
4. River//Cities has been present on many internet websites (links above).
5. www.river-cities.net web site with permanent ECF logo presence (statistics available from 3.10.2010).
Goals: Elaborate on the project objectives (as listed in your contract) and whether they were reached.
Active development of River//Cities:
1) Research of new Partners. Objective reached.
This objective was achieved by active collaboration between existing partners, who then actively searched for other organisations with similar objectives and interests to R//C’s Platform. The information about R//C was spread by word of mouth; during the conferences where information about R//C was distributed either by printed materials or by presentation during the speeches; by networking; by other means such as links on the partner’s websites, information on public sites, news letters, by blog, Facebook etc. Because our platform aims to work with all different sectors, we managed to recruit partners who’s background and connection with rivers might be different from ours. Therefore the architects, universities, research units, cultural operators, artists and local council representatives joined the Platform. We also noticed quite big interest among ecological organisations, which work with us as R//C partners.
Number of partners increased from 12 to 32. The objective was to increase the number by 5 members.
2) Preparatory Meeting. Objective reached.
Took place between 23rd-25th July 2009 in Warsaw, attendees: Austria, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, UK, and Ukraine.
It was decided that the Platform needed a Coordinator Agnieszka Wlazel (Impact) was chosen to fulfil this role. The main, short-term objective of the Platform was to attract new partners, and to examine the possibilities of formalising the Platform. It was also decided that another main focus needs to be a R//C website development. Agreed on agenda for the following months, agreed the date for the Gdansk Conference in March, and next R/C meeting in Vienna in November.
3) Development of R//C website. Objective reached.
Website is managed and maintained by Impact Foundation, Poland.
New website was released in September 2010, giving it fresher, more modern look.
On going work: updating Members’ data, adding description of Members’ organisations, their cities, rivers and their new projects and activities. Keeping up to date news about new activities, meetings, conferences. Uploading new images and films. Analysing web data, number of visitors to the page, their nationality.
Most visitors to the site come from: Poland, Italy, Ukraine, UK, India, Germany, Slovakia, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden. A total of 36 different countries and 162 cities.
4) Creation of favourable conditions for the development of ideas and projects. Objective reached.
Because of the close cooperation between partners, frequent meetings and participation in conferences, we created favourable ground for the exchange of experiences, ideas, brain storming and development of projects between members and partners. Some of the trips were paid by money from the ECF, but not only. Many meetings, conference rooms, hotels or even flight/train journeys were paid by members themselves. Few organisations with bigger finances/budgets sponsored some of the trips (travel or accommodation) for members of other organisations with smaller funds.
5) The heightening of the significance of the river/riverfront areas in everyday life of the city.
Objective reached. Two biggest events which had the biggest impact on good practise policy and the largest significance to the local and national community were the conferences which took place in Gdansk and Lvov.
Gdansk Conference - River banks a space for the citizens’ integration. Took place on 22, 23 March 2010 in Gdansk.
During the conference were presented the following:
- presentation on variety of waterways and their potential in the Pomeranian region;
- debate on finding the solutions on how to use most effectively river banks as a public space;
- presentation on the specific problems and the potential of the riversides areas in European cities;
- presentation on cultural actions as part of policy development: access, creativity and sustainability;
- presentation on cultural actions by riversides in the context of environmental and landscape protection;
- the debate during which the participant shared their views on the potential of the visited (during the conference) areas, emphasising the quick need for some infrastructure to be developed there.
They also discussed more general topics such as the importance of co-operation of various groups: politicians, investors, ecologists, urban planners, artists and cultural operators to succeed in bringing river banks in cities back to their inhabitants. Also, during the conference in Gdansk, the decision was made to transform the platform into a foundation, under the Polish law.
Lvov Conference - Perspectives for the Poltva River, Lvov Ukraine.
Took place between 19th-20th Nov 2010. Organised by Municipal Development and Rehabilitation of the Old City Lvov, Museum of Ideas (River//City’s Member) and Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe. The conference was initiated by the Museum of Ideas, as part of their “LeoPoltvis” project, which began in 2008 and aims to rescue the river as a focus of cultural and social activities in the city. In conference took part 12 representatives from Germany, Italy, Poland and Ukraine. In the conference participated ca. 80 pax, in the workshop ca. 20 pax.
The aim of the conference was to:
- raise awareness of the issue of the hidden canalised Poltva River in Lvov;
- discuss ways of revitalizing abandoned or derelict rivers with direct reference to the Poltva River;
- develop ideas for utilizing the potential of the river as a public amenity and as a catalyst of city development
- establish ways of achieving a common understanding of the need to revitalize the river and the possible methods of revitalisation.
- Uses of the Poltva River in the 17th/18th centuries- Integrated urban drainage management in Lvov
- Wastewater treatment in Ukraine- Eco-hydrology in river restoration in the context of integrated revitalisation and the creative city
- Public participation in waterfront revitalization projects in Poland and elsewhere in Europe, by Agnieszka Wlazel, Impact, River//Cities Platform, Warsaw
- Opening-up the rivers in Leipzig- Revitalization of the Weißeritz River in Dresden
- Valorisation of waterfronts and waterways for sustainable development, by Marta Moretti, Citta d'Acqua Venice, Italy- Leopoltvis Project in Lvov: activities and perspectives
- Films by Kamila Chomicz, including talk about her work
- Why regenerate the Poltva River? Workshop
6) Formalisation of the Platform.
The close cooperation between a key members (Impact Foundation, Intercult, Citta d’Acqua and NGO Art Travel) resulted in agreement to finalise the Platform. The meeting to formalise papers took place in Warsaw, and documents were signed on the 25th of October. The new River//Cities Foundation will keep its current steering group for the duration of the current mandate. The new board will be elected and presented during the next Annual General Meeting in the Spring of 2011.
2. Reflection on the project
Platform’s working methods:
- Electronic communication (email, skype)
- Platform’s website (notifications, news, rapports from the meetings, seminars, study visits)
- Meetings (local and overseas)
- Taking part in conferences, workshops, study visits
- Promotional activities undertaken by each member
- Dedicated mailing list and newsletter info
The most valuable and effective tool of working methods was a chance to meet face to face with partners, and potential partners.
Publicity and its effectiveness (reflections on the audience you reached, impact on the community, policy, etc)
Project has reached several thousands people around the world, not only in Europe. Its impact was bigger on local scales both, cities, organisations and individuals. Nevertheless this is perfectly fine having in mind that River//Cities was still informal network with super small resources – ECF grant plus partners’ own contribution and involvement.
Thanks to our activities we:
- raised awareness on river regeneration issues especially in Gdańsk, Lvov, Warsaw and in Italy.
- raised the interest on a multi disciplinary network and on the methodology and approach of work of the platform between partner organisations and meetings’ attendees.
Project partners: please reflect on the collaboration with your project partners.
In order to involve the partners and relative communities in the process, the project Flow of Identity included a series of trips and study visits, which highlighted different issues within the main theme.
The local/regional/national policymakers were invited to our meetings, in order to involve them in the discussions, present the best practices from project partners’ cities and influence them (valid especially for Poland, Ukraine, Italy). The emphasis was put on producing digital tools and promotional materials for disseminating project results.
- Press releases and all promotional materials were sent out by all partners to a local and national institutions and media
- River-cities.net website was prepared in cooperation with all partners for information diffusion
- Cross-promotion of the website by partners’ websites
The input and engagement is based on the expertise, experience and contact base that already exists within each partner organisation.
Main Partners (Intercult, Impact, Cities on Water, EGEAC) were very engaged in the work, promotion, development of the network and committed to all the projects, where the “supporting” partners of the network showed different level of engagement. Many of them just helped with a research of new partners and promoted the network.
It’s important to highlight the commitment of the Baltic Sea Cultural Center from Gdansk, which was responsible for the gaining the funds for the organising the Gdansk Conference and the Annual Assembly Meeting of the Platform; the EGEAC from Lisbon, greatly promoted the Platform in Portugal and Spain.
Impact Foundation took upon themselves overall coordination of the project, its administration, project evaluation, financial settlements, internal communication, dissemination activities, film production, as well as the R//C website management.
Intercult was providing its expertise, experience and networking abilities to disseminate the project results and exploit them in the best way for the project as a whole. Intercult played an important linking role for the Platform, and is primarily in charge of connecting and engaging cities from the Nordic region with the River//Cities Platform. As a member of the steering group Intercult also shared the responsibility of sustaining the Platform’s development, through the administrative tasks, PR-work, contact research and dissemination of information connected to the Platform. As an experienced cultural project leader, Intercult shared its expertise in curating and shaping the project ideas.
Cities on Water supported the development and establishment of the website and the promotion. This organization was identifying experts, devising methods and elaborating research papers, and was responsible for taking care of the general substantial content of the River//Cities activities and communications, taking part in the promotional activities and the creation of the newsletters and website content. Due to its expertise, Cities on Water greatly contributed to the organization of study visits.
NGO ArtTravel was responsible for the Eastern direction of R//C and programme development, especially in all post-Soviet countries.
Baltic Sea Cultural Center GDANSK was responsible for the development partnerships, activities and artistic creations within the Baltic See Region; gained the funds for the organising the Gdansk Conference and the Annual Assembly Meeting of the Platform in March 2010.
Museum of Ideas, City of Kalmar and Danube Island Festival, were responsible for cooperation with River//Cities platform in developing activities and artistic creations. The Image Dept. of the BUDAPEST City Hall, The Mayor’s Thames Festival LONDON were active in promotional activities and content development.
Each partner organisation contributed to the evaluation.
Reception: feedback from participants and audiences
Liz Nolan (Ireland): In my work as a Cultural and Arts consultant in Kilkenny, (South East Ireland) I contacted various cultural organisations and local authority departments to inform them of my involvement with the River Cities Network.
The predicate for this was the recent development of a series of 'Looped Walks' in and around rural county Kilkenny. From attending River Cities conferences in Warsaw '08, Vienna '09 and Gdansk '10 I gained a deeper insight into how river fronts can be developed for the benefit of social, cultural and economic gain from the talks, presentations and tours of River Front areas.
Intercult (Sweden): As main applicant of the project application, Intercult has dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to fulfil the project objectives. As one of the initiators of the R//C network, Intercult has integrated R//C into regular activities in order to keep the network moving forward. As such R//C is present in the overall presentation of our work, and its transversal nature is a key factor to connecting the culture sector to other sectors brought together by the network. We are keen to give the network space to grow organically, and we seek to extend its membership particularly in the Nordic region.
Oles Dzyndra (Ukraine): I envy all of you that you all have rivers in your cities. Our river has been stolen many years ago and converted into sewage system. Thank you for inviting me to Gdańsk, I was inspired and want to work on the revitalization of our river in Lvov.
All River//Cities partners and meetings’ participants underline the value of the partnership as an inspiring experience, learning tool and a source of reliable collaborators.
Lessons learned: would you do something different if you would do it again? What were the most important points of attention? What would you advise other organisations to focus on when they would engage in a similar project?
Project had truly collaborative nature that meant dispersed collaborators around Europe and not just one working office.
Since the project lasted two years, we faced few problems that made our work a bit difficult. The problem was a different priority level of the project actions in the general workflow of each organisation. We had to be flexible and understanding.
Project actions should not be planned not only according to ambitious plan but also taking into consideration each other’s obligations and deadlines. Especially the project’s budget was modest (too modest for employing extra staff) and duration of activities was long.
Context: how did the project influence the local/regional/national cultural sector? Or maybe the local/regional/national authorities/policymakers?
The local/regional/national policymakers were invited to our meetings, in order to involve them in the discussions, present the best practices from project partners’ cities and influence them (valid especially for Poland, Ukraine, Italy). The aim of River//Cities was to inspire, to rise awareness of the role of culture in waterfront developments – and that aim was reached.
Future: in what way will activities be sustained and continued in the future? Do you expect any particular follow-up of the cooperation?
By allowing the Platform to continue its projects, the work of partners will lead to new international projects that will resonate with local communities and help their long-term development. We are also planning to expand globally. With a new year (2011) we already gained few members from North America.
The ultimate result will be an increase in the use of waterfronts as public space where culture can be experienced and enjoyed.
We will continue working on future projects within Culture 2007-13, Europe for Citizens and Grundtvig programs to develop artistic co-operation and social impact of the Platform. We are in the process of court registration, which will allow us to establish clear organizational structure.
We will continue sharing successful artistic project models, issues and solutions.
General evaluation: is there anything else you want to share with us about the way the project has developed?
- It was a democratic project, meaning that all partners had equal responsibilities and benefits from the partnerships. All activities were planned and executed in the spirit of cooperation. All partners were actively involved.
- It was a strong base for formalisation of the network and it had a huge impact on rising the number of associated organisations.
- it was a transversal and interdisciplinary experience.
3. Reflection on the ECF
How did you experience your relation with ECF (grants procedure, personal contact, etc)? Do you have suggestions for improvements?
Benefits of cooperation:
- The ECF grant gave us a chance for a dynamic development of the network (big increase of members and partners, professional website, business trips, promotional material production).
- It was a very good idea that there were two stages of the application. First the short version of the project, and the second one which was an extended version applicable to the organisations who’s projects went through.
- Both contact and communication were very professional and useful
- Information about the responsibilities of the recipients of the grant should have been more specific and clearer.
- It would have been great if the grant was not just financial support but the possibility of extended collaboration with the ECF.
- Easier way of locating the ECF logo for downloading from the www.eurocult.org
Big thank you to the European Cultural Foundation for giving the River//Cities possibility to grow!