Promoting Active Cities Throughout Europe
Promoting Active Cities Throughout Europe is a three year project, financed by the Erasmus + program, which focuses on physical activity rates across Europe from a municipal perspective and on the creation of Active Cities. Previous projects and recent research have highlighted some alarming facts as concerns physical activity across Europe, such as:
These findings have therefore unveiled physical activity policies at the municipal level as an area deserving much closer consideration for further work since it is remains a sphere overlooked by physical activity researchers, and because local administration delivers more impactful physical activity policies than national ones do.
On the other hand, the European Commission has been increasingly promoting the European Week of Sport (EWoS) since it’s first launch in 2015. The annual event continuously gains ground and support from the sport sector and national coordinating bodies- from this perspective it is worth considering the contribution local authorities bring to EWoS’ promotion.
Sport and Citizenship Think tank, along with eight project partners TAFISA, ICSSPE, EUPEA, EFCS, ANCI, ECF, the Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association, and the City of Liverpool; as a recognised consortium, have thus set off to assess the current status quo of local sport and physical activity policies, and to further implement Active Cities across Europe.
Over a period of 36 months the PACTE project has elaborated several goals in order to develop Active Cities in Europe. The outcomes are as listed:
A Europe-wide representative survey of municipalities’ physical activity policies and practices.
PACTE’s first step is to disseminate a quantitative survey aiming to collect widespread responses so as to establish the foundation of a European mapping. It will equally offer the possibility for respondents to receive a follow-up survey that will be narrative-based, thus providing further qualitative insight-municipalities fulfilling this second survey will also be granted the opportunity to become a pilot city in the next stage. The survey analysis not only enables to define averages and best practices, but also to further pinpoint common needs in sight of promoting physical activity.
The creation of a matrix for change for Active Cities, including an evidence-based rating and evaluation process, focusing on building the relationship between the established key success areas and targeted population engagement; and a multi-level, dynamic qualification or labelling system to reward municipalities, and encourage continued efforts and improvement.
Based on the survey findings, research, and outcomes of the five topical workshops, the matrix seeks to standout by providing decisions makers with easy step-by-step solutions resulting in measurable benefits. TAFISA and the City of Liverpool will organise the Active Leisure workshop, EUPEA the Active Education one, ECF Active Transport, and EFCS the Active Workplace. Once the matrix is completed, a pool of cities having filled in the second survey will be selected and supported to trial the matrix, that will likely lead to some adjustments. Hereafter, the matrix will be adapted as an online platform of resources, available to all
A communication campaign targeting municipalities in Europe shall be developped and delivered in order to further support and promote physical activity policies. The same trial cities will be offered the possibility to continue their collaboration by acting as ambassadors to promote project deliverables and messages.