PACTE: Active cities at the heart of a new European project
Following the 2017 Erasmus+ call for proposals, the PACTE project led by the Sport and Citizenship Think Tank was selected and was officially launched on 15 and 16 January in Brussels.
Maxime Leblanc, EU Manager, Sport and Citizenship Think Tank
The PACTE project (Promoting Active Cities Throughout Europe) follows on from the PASS project, also led by our think tank, which finished at the end of 2017. The aim of that project was to study public policies encouraging physical activity in Europe, and to look at different living environments (the sport, health, school, urban and professional setting) to improve their implementation.
PASS identified the urban environment as the keystone of a global strategy offering a response to the current sedentary-life-style crisis. In fact, there are still hardly any local policies promoting physical activity, although they directly affect citizens far more than national or European policies. It is therefore crucially important to activate this lever, by developing the relevance and quality of measures taken.
PACTE aims to be a catalyst for raising awareness, conveying information and planning and promoting physical activity at the local level.
To achieve these goals, three steps are envisaged. The first involves carrying out and disseminating a survey aimed at identifying good practice and policies for promoting physical activity in European towns and cities.
A matrix will be created based on these elements, providing a self-evaluation process for the pilot cities, accompanied by recommendations tailored to their needs for developing their policies. Solutions which are easy to implement will be suggested, along with a methodology for assessing their impact and effects. An experiment will be conducted with several volunteer cities before the tool is fully developed and made freely available on the project website. At the same time, several workshops will be busy over the course of the next two years.
The last stage will take the form of a communication campaign targeting European municipalities in order to support and promote local policies in favour of physical activity.
Helping design the town of tomorrow
In 2016 the European Urban Agenda was established to improve the environment of tomorrow’s cities, particularly through multi-level governance. The Urbana Agenda rests on three pillars: Smart cities, Green cities and Inclusive cities. The ultimate long-term, ambitious goal of PACTE is for public authorities and private organisations fully to recognise the need for “Active Cities”, and for the concept to be an integral part of the Urban Agenda as a fourth pillar, thus consolidating the balance of the programme.