AgriGo4Cities – Urban agriculture for changing cities: governance models for better institutional capacities and social inclusion
In recent times, the main needs and challenges related to governance systems within the Danube region can be associated with decreasing public institutional capacities to incorporate participatory approach into decision-making processes. The absence of participatory mechanisms is contributing to reduced motivation of people to engage in governance and administration because they feel relegated from political, social and economic agendas and not competent enough to act as an equivalent counterpart and a considerable driver of “change”. The gap between citizens and public authorities at all levels is therefore increasing and leading to intensified mistrust and lack of public participation, especially among the most disadvantaged communities at risk of exclusion, such as the poor, unemployed, homeless, Roma communities, elderly, women and youth. The growing social and economic inequalities are reflected in reduced quality of urban life. To overcome these challenges the AgriGo4Cities project wants to involved Participatory Urban and Peri-urban agriculture (UPA) as a powerful and emerging method to improve public institutional capacities in order to tackle socio-economic exclusion of vulnerable/marginalized groups and to stimulate sustainable urban development in the Danube region. To its end the projects aims to develop innovative methodology of participatory planning and integrate it into decision-making processes. The methodology will improve capacities of public administrators to involve relevant stakeholders and civil society into governance and public participation. Intensified cooperation will boost mutual trust and will stimulate strengthened socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable/marginalized groups. The reduction of social and economic inequalities will lead to more sustainable development of disadvantaged neighbourhoods. By applying a transnational multi-level approach the AgriGo4Cities project ambition is to become a flagship of well governed Danube region.
The project has been developed by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.