Actors of Urban Change – Academy Meeting Georgia from MitOst e.V. on Vimeo.Following the first two European meetings in Berlin (December 2013) and Athens (April 2014) within the framework of the Actors of Urban Change programme, three members of the Coordination Group of the PEDIO_AGORA project travelled to Georgia from the 11th to the 16th of September 2014. They visited Tbilisi and Zugdidi, where the “Open House” project, one of the top ten awarded projects, is currently being implemented. This project is being implemented by a local residents’ association in cooperation with the municipality of Zugdidi and local companies, and involves setting up a public open space, where the participants themselves organize events, classes, games for children, the installation of small coffee shops, and any other type of activity necessary to the local community in general. Through presentations of activists and political analysts of Georgia, the participants were informed about the challenges and the opportunities that the country comes across after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The four-day meeting program included fieldtrips, getting to know the local groups and an on-the-spot presentation of their actions, such as a project dealing with the participatory reconstruction of a region inside the old town of Tbilisi and a meeting with the citizens’ movement that saved the Vake Park in Tbilisi from being replaced with a hotel . The workshops mainly evolved around the topic of the “Advocacy for Institutional Changes” and were held at the Center of Contemporary Art of Tbilisi, an old factory that was recently renovated at the initiative of a local group.
The ten Actors of Urban Change groups have developed the strategy for the ten projects that are being put into practice in their cities by using the Advocacy Dash Board as their tool, and have also been trained on “Transition Management” matters by Ania Rok, the proponent of the idea and representative of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). On the last day, after hiking along the borders of Georgia and Abkhazia, all ten groups participated in the decoration of the Open House together with the residents of Zugdidi, and especially the children using the particular area. The fourth meeting of the event Actors of Urban Change will take place in Lublin, Poland, in February 2015. You can keep up with the development of the Greek project entitled PEDIO_AGORA by clicking here.