One of the major problems in Russian municipalities is that there is a big mistrust between the city administration and the citizens. The general political situation and the law obstruct community engagement, and activism while potential leaders may not have the necessary knowledge or awareness how engagement and dialogue in urban areas could work.
Having this problem as the main focus, CULTURE GOES EUROPE – Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V., and Center for Independent Social Research are jointly implementing the project ‘Stadt im Dialog’ funded by the German Foreign Ministry. With the aim of promoting urban development and community engagement in Russia, Stadt im Dialog brings together ten actors from different parts of Russia to solve urban problems in their local areas.
The first part of the project took place in the German cities of Weimar, Erfurt and Berlin, from September 1 to September 8, 2016. Throughout this week, the participants have shared and discussed their knowledge and opinions while defining the problems of their cities. As further sources of information and feedback, they have also met experts from the fields of Economics, Politics, and developed their own local projects.
As a part of this initial week, a public discussion was held in Weimar on September 3. In the event, experts in urban development explained their findings and, similarly, the project participants presented their own projects to the public.
Now, following this first part of the project, there will be two online seminars for follow up learning and reflection. The last event of the project, where the project participants will present their projects and deepen their networks, will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia in November, 2016. Here, the projects will be evaluated and three projects will be chosen and awarded.
CGE Erfurt e.V. is happy to be a part of Stadt im Dialog, we would like to sincerely thank our participants, partners and guests for their hard work and input. We are looking forward to the next stages of the project.