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Ecología Urbana, Democracia Juvenil y Participación Pública
Start date: 01 Apr 2015, End date: 15 Sep 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

“Urban Ecology, Youth Democracy and Public Participation” is a training course designed to empower youth workers to active public participation, advocating for facing social and ecological problems from a positive point of view where youth performs a key role. At present, there is a negative perspective of the ability of citizens to participate meaningfully in the governance of social-ecological problems, leading to a very limited view of democracy and participation forms. On the way to a more participatory, democratic and sustainable Europe, we must address the deficit of representation in the institutions and processes of decision making so that youth performs a key role in this society. For this reason, this project project seeks to explore innovative forms of democratic participation, especially those that provide the public the opportunity to reflect and act on some of the key issues in European society: environment, civic participation and youth empowerment. The specific objectives are pursued in this project are as follows: - Identify difficulties associated to public participation within the frame of social-ecological problems. - Distinguish and value key elements and processes for the organization of activities and projects in the frame of youth empowerment. - Recognize and evaluate main barriers to effective democratic participation. - Promotion of European youth participation by recognition of youth associations as key actors in the design, implementation and evaluation of European youth policies. The main activity of the project is a training course consisting of a 8 full training days, taking place in Zaragoza (Spain), from 21 to 28 June 2015, where 30 participants from 9 different countries (including Spain) will participate, selected by their respective organizations based on the expectations and needs of each partner. According to the justification of the project and the objectives therein, the different sessions and activities work different aspects of the course around three main areas: - Urban Ecology: An approach to mechanisms of democratic participation, sustainable development and cooperation in urban areas, and how environmental policies can help to link environment with other fields of study, such as social and political. - Youth Democracy: A strategy to boost integration and participation of youth in decision making processes, encouraging the capacity for critical analysis of the present social and environmental context. - Public Participation: Information, consultation and active participation give citizens an opportunity to become familiar with governmental policies, take the word, give opinion and contribute to decision making. During the course, indoor sessions will alternate with outdoor activities around Zaragoza. It will also include study visits to various associations and organizations within the city as well as a final debate where course participants will interact with local experts. Every methods and techniques to be used will be based on Non Formal Learning: presentations, role games, group dynamics, oral exposition, debates, individual and group reflection, local immersion, cultural night, etc. With this training course, participants will have the chance to experience and explore theoretical concepts, educational tools and methods and reach a global perspective connected with environmental issues, youth and active citizenship, which can be transferred and applied back in their countries. The impact of the results of this training course will be assured by the participants as they work directly with youth and they will be able to use the activities learned throughout the project. This training course enhances particular competences and provides practical tools and methods for a lasting impact on young people. The results of the training course will be shared on the media and it will be possible for every interested association and youth worker to be part of an online group in order to be an active voice in the development of a network to keep working in cooperation in order to increase the range of impact, in favor of a youth empowerment, active citizenship and a more sustainable society.
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