A brief by Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator
As described on the dedicated site « European Neighbours’ Day is an event which occurs every year on the last Friday of May. Any city or town or social housing organization is welcome to participate in Neighbours’ Day by promoting the event with the inhabitants using all the communication means at their disposal. It is then up to each resident or group of residents to organise their own party »
CAAC cities have endowed the spirit of this celebration of subsidiarity at a human level. European Neighbours’ Day takes place in cities like Poitiers, Brest, Niort, Saint Nazaire, Santander or Lisbon, aiming to better know the people that live around each other.
This specific day is the opportunity to break the anonymity and isolation that prevail in our cities. In spite of isolation and fear, mid-sized Atlantic Arc Cities are specially adapted to create tight links among the community, which is still a strong value in this corner of Europe.
Hence, as outlined by the San Sebastian Charter: The choice of so-called “sustainable” development cannot be made without giving serious consideration to the present and future welfare of the population. Issued in 2008 as a Declaration on the specific assets of Atlantic Arc Cities concerning sustainable urban development, this Charter also claims in its third chapter significant dimensions for a more social city, like:
- Give priority to the social mix in planning policies, by paying particular attention to the provision of a diversified offer of housing, high quality social services, and an ambitious cultural policy catering for all sections of the population.
- Support initiatives in favour of solidarity and social cohesion, promoting equal opportunities, help for the elderly, the poorest, combating all forms of discrimination, and encouraging active community involvement
- Involve and heighten the awareness of the local population in urban development choices, by implementing a modern and interactive communication policy, organising more consultation and through a real environmental education policy.
This and other principles are at the heart of initiatives on the EU day of neighbours.