NESSIE: Event description

New Sustainable Spaces for Inclusive Europe - NESSIEProject
Participant: [N1] - Qala Local Council
PIC number: 905017276
Project name and acronym: New Sustainable Spaces for Inclusive Europe - NESSIE

Event Description
Event number: 1
Event name: NESSIE – New Sustainable Spaces for Inclusive Europe
Type: International meeting
In situ/online:[in-situ
Location: Malta, Qala, Gozo
Date(s): 23rd – 29th June 2023

Female: 167
Male: 133
Non-binary: 3
From country 1 [Qala, Malta]: 96
From country 2 [Canale Monterano, Italy]: 134
From country 3 [Arnot, Hungary]: 73
Total number of participants: 303 From total number of countries: 3

The event took place in the city of Qala, Gozo, Malta. It lasted 6 days and involved delegations from Canale Monterano (IT) and also from Arnot (HU), invited as an external participant. The target groups were a wide range of citizens, from PA representatives of the local administrations, to people involved in volunteering and other civic engagement activities, experts, students and regular citizens, also representing minorities or hard to reach groups. Young people have been mostly valued and targeted within the project workshops and activities.
The first scope of the event was to exchange best practices on urban development and naturalistic and urban historical heritage protection by involving citizens, with a particular focus on youth, in debates and talks and empower them in the decision-making processes which impact their lives. The event has been an occasion to explore together and discuss solutions to tackle the environmental sustainability of living spaces and fight against the abusive exploitation of the territories and the damage of pristine natural areas.
The second goal of the event was the valorisation of Malta and Gozo territories, by showing delegations the beauties of the islands, their history, culture, landscapes and pristine waters. As regards the first aim of the meeting, the first Workshop dealt with the official opening theme of NESSIE under the name of “Sustainable Urban Spaces. Bottom-up planning of urban development” and saw introductory speeches by Mayor Paul Buttigieg and the other delegations’ leaders, together with presentations about the participating municipalities, followed by a thematic seminar by Professor Alex Torpiano, Dean of Faculty of the Built Environment of the University of Malta and thematic presentations by each delegation.
The second Workshop was made up of the Seminar “Urbanisation, environmental sustainability and heritage affairs” by Dr David Mallia from Planning Authority of Malta”, the Conference “Citizens Engagement and Participation in decision-making process at local and EU level” which raised awareness of the role of European institutions and European policies, and a role play to find out the general feeling of faith and satisfaction with European institutions and European policies in the participants.
For the second purpose of the event, cultural visits and activities were carried out and included a tour of Qala, with its Belvedere, Hondoq beaches, churches and other points of interest; a tour of Gozo island and the naturalistic spots Blue Eye and Ramla; a tour of Malta and its landmarks, especially the historical capital Valletta and the medieval fortified M’dina. All meals were kindly prepared by local volunteers of all ages, making suppers become real integrational activities and pleasant get-togethers, and showing a friendly and mutual respect and cooperation among different generations. Having said that, Malta and its twin Gozo have appeared to be great examples of a peaceful melting pot of people of all nationalities, culture, gender and religion.

To sum up, the event has been an occasion to discuss common European issues and get to know European policies and programmes. The event has triggered change since it has informed citizens and has empowered them to participate in the decision-making processes relating to sustainable urban planning. Thanks to this event, citizens have also been able to exchange and learn best practices about current environmental issues and the municipalities have strengthened their friendship, encouraging the network cooperation for future initiatives.

Event description sheet