1st PACTE Workshop: Getting to the heart of the matter
Promoting Active Cities Throughout Europe held its first workshop in Liverpool- whose city council is a project partner and living example of the change that the Active City concept brings about. For the occasion Liverpool’s Director of Community Services, Ron Odunaiya, found the time to formally welcome participants and the project to Liverpool.
Project partners welcomed urban planners, physical activity experts and city representatives from Bonn (DE), Ingelmunster (BE), Gent (BE), Guimaraes (PO), Paris (FR) and Umea (SE)- making for a motivated group from diverse backgrounds.
This first workshop essentially aimed to gather the participants’ feedback on the Matrix. The PACTE consortium is undertaking the ambitious goal of creating a self-assessment tool that responds to an actual need across European municipalities, of all sizes and locations. In this sense, it is held close to heart that the Matrix needs to be as user-friendly as possible and asks the right questions with the right words. By enabling cities to undertake a free online self-assessment and offering them tailored recommendations, cities will be provided with a clear vision of how to implement an active city strategy.
Since the Steering Committee meeting held late May, a busy couple of months have gone by for the PACTE project. This time span was primarily dedicated to diffusing the European-wide representative survey to as many cities and municipalities as possible and to the analysis of the findings. With over 700 responses, 663 were complete and therefore eligible the analysis and in parallel a pool of 60 respondents have shared their will to further continue the project. This survey, broadcasted in 7 languages, is the first of its kind since local physical activity policies have been largely ignored by research when paradoxically, local authorities are one of the most important levels of policy-making and implementation.
The workshop also included several external presentations and group work.
Nicky Yates (Liverpool Physical Activity and Sport Strategy Programme Manager) and Gina Perigo (Physical activity Programme Lead, Liverpool City Council) presented the Liverpool Active City programme, thus demonstrating the progress that has been covered since the city initially recognised the value of sport and physical activity in 2005, Liverpool status at present and its ambition for the future- to become England most active city by 2021!
A roundtable discussion between the six city representatives then took place, to better grasp the challenges municipalities may face on the ground when talking of sport and physical activity.
The second day mainly evolved around constructive group work where participants shared their thoughts and ideas on the Matrix as a tool for municipalities, but also on the first draft of recommendations that were elaborated following a literary review on all existing research on the topic of active cities.
The experience of the first workshop was rounded off by a field trip where participants were first welcomed by Dr Lynne Boddy, Dr Zoé Knwoles and Prof Keith George to Liverpool John Moore University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, before heading to Everton stadium where Michael Salla (Director of Health and Sport) presented the work of Everton in the Community.
Overall, the workshop offered a rich experience for all present. PACTE’s next stop will be the Active Education workshop that is to be held in Berlin next February. Stay tuned for more information!