What is “Co-responsibility”?

URBACT

By URBACT, on July 30th, 2012

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Although the approach of “Co-responsibility” is ever more integrated into urban local policies, it remains a complex concept to explain and to understand. Therefore, the URBACT project TOGETHER launched a video to answer the question: “What is “Co-responsibility?”

Understanding Co-responsibility in ONE Minute!

Take a look here at the recent video elaborated by all TOGETHER project partners! Through a participative process, TOGETHER cities have created storyboards to express what their vision of Co-responsibility is.

Facing the difficulty to understand what Co-responsibility implies in a concrete way, the aim of the video is to explain the idea as well as effects of Co-responsibility through relevant examples.

Thanks to this collective work, three areas where Co-responsibility can be implemented are put forward: solidarity with elderly people, the development of a green living environment, and the access to housing.

However, Co-responsibility – and, especially, the TOGETHER project – covers many more issues, such as the inclusion of young people, early school leaving, education and employment, etc.

Co-responsibility’s Areas of Action: The Community as a whole!

Let’s have a look to some concrete initiatives led in Europe!

Regarding access to housing, the IGLOO initiative (Insertion Globale par le lOgement et l’emplOi) is a national initiative led by the NGO Habitat et Humanisme. IGLOO is notably implemented in Mulhouse, France, the TOGETHER Lead Partner.

IGLOO has been designed to help people who have difficulties to find not only a job, but also a training and an accommodation.

The objective of IGLOO is to integrate them into a specific path which simultaneously enables them to renovate their future accommodation and to follow a training in the building sector.

In Debica, Poland, one of the TOGETHER cities, the initiative called “Generation Gap” aims at breaking the isolation of elderly people. How? By encouraging them to exchange with young people! As a result, young people come to rest-homes to visit elderly people and to exchange some skills: for instance, young people can teach how to use computers, whereas elderly people can help young people improve their cooking skills.

On the field of “greening” the living environment, the city of Pergine Valsugana, Italy -another TOGETHER city! – created the “Vegetable Garden” which is a plot of land dedicated to inhabitants who want to plant vegetables and to grow organic cultures.

Co-responsibility’s Principle = Close Cooperation within the Community

To sum up: Co-responsibility aims at fostering social inclusion and improving the well-being of members among the community. This is made possible thanks to a close cooperation between public authorities, citizens and private stakeholders.

In the case of TOGETHER, partner cities relied on the SPIRAL Method designed by the Council of Europe. This methodology enables to define ways of progress towards the well-being of all, to identify the situations of exclusion not only based on material criteria, but also immaterial ones. Once the current situation has been assessed, pilot actions are implemented to improve the situation.

Many initiatives are implemented at the moment in the different TOGETHER cities. Find out more about these innovative actions during the Second International Meeting of the Territories of Co-responsibility which will happen in Mulhouse on November 22 and 23, 2013! Many more practitioners and citizens from Europe and beyond will come to exchange and discuss about Co-responsibility actions!
For more information in English, please contact Monica Petrovici, Coordinator of the TOGETHER network (monica.petrovici@mulhouse-alsace.fr). For more details in French, please contact Sébastien Houssin, Mulhouse Local Coordinator (sebastien.houssin@mulhouse-alsace.f).

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