Join the AMELIA MANIFESTO for more active public spaces

DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT FOR ACTIVE PUBLIC SPACES

There is a rising demand for more liveable, better organized public spaces in urban areas and we, the Mayors, the citizens, the companies, the members of Associations and Civil Society Organizations, the Sport Associations want to collaborate together to ensure a city-wide impact of our placemaking initiatives. We are a network of active public space enthusiasts committed to creating better public spaces in European cities. We are individuals and organizations coming from all backgrounds, from builders to designers, from experts to citizens. We are passionate about creating amazing places, improving neighbourhoods and changing perceptions about the role of public spaces in our lives. Signing this Manifesto is a demonstration of commitment for improving the quality of life in our cities to access healthy, inclusive and connected public spaces where sport is the key factor for a healthy and active local community. As Mayors, Citizens, Companies, Members of Associations and Civil Society Organizations, members of Sport Associations we are committed to take into consideration:

1. Revitalize public spaces to make a big difference to the community’s quality of life.

Great outdoors encourages walking and cycling, offers a healthy alternative for densely urbanized and populated areas, and promotes a new opportunity of residency. Cycling and pedestrian paths make citizens feel that the space belongs to them as much as to cars. A greater attendance at public places ensures greater safety and decreases crime. Spaces that are fit for outdoor sports have the possibility of changing citizens lifestyles and are responsive to the challenges of climate change.

2. Public spaces as factors of social cohesion.

Public spaces must provide the sense of belonging, of pride and cultural identity of their territory. They can create and ensure the vibrant social life of a community, by providing places where people meet, talk, exercise, interact. They can define the conditions for living in dignity for the residents.

3. Public spaces contribute to healthy living.

They provide the opportunity for children to play, for people to exercise and enjoy a comfortable calming environment reducing stress. Well-structured public spaces increase access to vital services such as clean safe water, improved sanitation and proper waste management. Green spaces reduce the impacts of climate change and enhance planet sustainability: they improve air quality, act as a drainage system, cooling corridors, wind shelter and a solar temperature moderator.

4. The importance of implementing green spaces.

We will encourage the improvement of our existing open spaces through a range of new initiatives. De-industrialization can become an opportunity to transform abandoned areas into sport-based solutions and for green regeneration. Riverbanks transformed in riverside walks, parking lots in playgrounds, are some examples of transformation of use of spaces always with a view to ensuring that greenery and water are elements taken into consideration during planning.

5. City-wide approach.

Streets, squares, passageways, arcades, and pocket parks can be used for connecting the city: public transport, pedestrians, cyclists can have alternatives to avoid the use of the cars. It is necessary, when designing public spaces, to think about connections with other citizens’ facilities. Active outdoors activities encourage walking, cycling and increased use of public transport. We believe in connecting localized initiatives to ensure their city-wide impact. A healthy, walkable and sustainable city can only be achieved through a well-connected network of public spaces, implying the need for collaboration of all public space stakeholders in the city.

6. Diversity of functions and productivity of public spaces.

A successful public space is a community well-used space: sport activities, picnic and play, organized activities like markets, performances, festivals, recreational feasts, bike racing, sports tournaments, marathons. Open spaces should become the meeting place where all kinds of citizens can feel happy and safe. We are dedicated to promoting multiple uses of public spaces to maximize their utility and relevance in line with different needs and expectations and to seek for a harmonious cohabitation of all public space users – both in physical terms at one time of the day as well as at different times of the day and the year.

7. By promoting fuller use of the city's great outdoors, people can enjoy life in the city and keep healthy.

Promotion of activities through Municipal communication and Association’s channels will notify people so that they know the schedule and location of the activity. Investing in communication encourages people to explore places they have not been to before and to make the places more inclusive.

8. Inclusive active public spaces to contrast barriers.

An outdoor green space for sport activities is a place that must be planned to remove physical and social barriers and must be accessible for everyone. Accessible, catering to all users “to leave no one behind” and listening to the needs of people with disabilities. Safe throughout the day, night and year to make the most vulnerable citizens comfortable and supporting women to use the space. Planning should be flexible, providing the potential for a variety of activities and events that can include all the needs expressed by citizens, making public spaces accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnic and cultural origins and social belonging.

9. Participatory approach and community ownership.

We believe in the power of citizens to shape their city together. Placemaking is about creating places that are suited to each community but also about empowering the residents and developing their capacities to define and implement what they desire.. We also encourage the full participation of users of the space in regards to its restoration and maintenance to ensure the sustainability of public spaces.

10. Public spaces as self-management laboratories.

The sense of belonging perceived by citizens in public places must become the reason for creating space management by associations, volunteers, residents, sports clubs coordinated by the town hall, but free to develop the most congenial and requested activities by the residents. We build places to build communities. An integrated approach addresses different aspects of public spaces. It looks at everything from restoration to management and maintenance. Creating public spaces is not only about a great physical design, it is first and foremost about mobilizing the local community to own the space so they can protect it and maintain it.

Sign the Manifesto