ACTAGE (English)

The project « ACTAGE (THE YOUNG AND THE ELDERLY – ACTIVE AGING) » was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens"


STRAND 2 – MEASURE 2.2 "NETWORKS OF TOWNS"

The project

Within the network of our towns, the project will promote the debate on the future of Europe by addressing and discussing the topic of Europe’s aging population and the issues arising from this fact. Focus will be on local level, comparing the local and national policy’s /initiatives/ best practice examples in 12 different municipality’s and countries throughout Europe. During 6 international events the participants will be engaged in a wide range of intergenerational activities focusing on the active involvement of youth and senior citizens. Project will address Euroscepticism among seniors and contribute towards the fact-based opinion making of the juniors. Expected outcomes of the project are:
  • - Photographic exposition (photography’s made during each event and throughout the project duration on the basis of photographic contest for students, ) Topic of the exposition: intergenerational cooperation/juniors for seniors, solidarity
  • - 12 Faces of Age-e-booklet (comparison between the municipalities in the field of quality of living of senior citizens, including the views from the standpoint of citizens living there)
  • - final report (promising practices, guidelines for other cities, recommendations to the regional and national authorities)

The project partners

The project includes 12 partner towns – 11 of them are Douzelage towns: Škofja Loka (Slovenia), Judenburg (Austria), Bad Kötzting (Germany), Asikkala (Finland), Bundoran (Ireland), Sušice (Czech Republic), Rokiškis (Lithuania), Kőszeg (Hungary), Holstebro (Denmark), Siret (Romania), Meerssen (Netherlands), and the city of Kruja (Albania). The municipality of Škofja Loka is the leading partner

The Events

Within the project, we will organize 6 thematic events that will take place between September 2019 and May 2021 in five partner towns: Škofja Loka, Judenburg, Kőszeg, Kruja and Bad Kötzting.

These 6 events which will take place in 5 partner towns according to the following schedule:

  • Škofja Loka, Slovenia (26.09.2019 – 28.09.2019);
  • Judenburg, Austria (12.03.2020 – 14.03. 2020);
  • Škofja Loka, Slovenia (07.05.2020 – 10.05.2020);
  • Kőszeg, Hungary (27.08.2020 – 29.08.2020);
  • Kruja, Albania (20.11.2020 – 22.11.2020);
  • Bad Kötzting, Germany (spring/summer 2021).

Event 1



Participation:

The event involved 50 citizens, including 24 participants from the city of Škofja Loka, Slovenia; 2 participants from the city of Judenburg, Austria; 2 participants from the city of Kőszeg, Hungary; 2 participants from the city of Bad Kötzting, Germany; 2 participants from the city of Chojna, Poland; 4 participants from the city of Sušice, Czech Republic; 2 participants from the city of Siret, Romania; 2 participants from the city of Rokiškis, Lithuania; 2 participants from the city of Rovinj, Croatia; 2 participants from the city of Meerssen, Netherland; 2 participants from the city of Maasmechelen, Belgium. 2 representatives from Sherborne, UK and 3 representatives from Sesimbra, Portugal also took part in the meeting. (Due to problems with Adria Airways airline, participation was truncated as delegations from Denmark, Sweden and Albania had to cancel their trips.) Albania was thus represented by an ambassador accredited to the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Pëllumb Qazimi.

Location / Dates:

The event took place in Skofja Loka, Slovenia from 26/09/2019 to 28/09/2019.

Short description:

The main topic is to achieve successful Intergenerational coexistence of population and transfer of good practices from partner towns. The aging of the population is a pressing issue for the whole European Union, and upon completion of this project, we want use our newly acquired knowledge and understanding to become an elderly-friendly municipality. Work topics of the meetings will include elderly care, e-literacy, intergenerational cooperation, accessibility, participation and participatory budget.

The introductory event of the project entitled ''An International Meeting of Mayors on the topic of Development and Exchange of Participatory Practices''
Mayors, deputy mayors and directors of municipal administrations from twinned and partner towns actively participated in the international meeting on the current topic of participation, which took place on Friday, September 27th , 2019 at Sokolski dom in Škofja Loka.
After the introductory greeting by Tine Radinja, the Mayor of Škofja Loka, Miha Ješe, who is in charge of international cooperation and Annigje Kruytbosch, the president of the Douzelage Association, the official program of the international meeting began.
The programme of the conference, which focused on various forms of public participation, was carried out in English by hosts Alenka Blazinšek Domenis and Matej Cepin.
Following the introductory presentation of the central topic, methods and goals of the meeting, Raf Terwingen, the Mayor of the twinned town Maasmechelen, Elke Florian, Deputy Mayor of Judenburg in Styria (Austria), and Janez Černe from the neighbouring Municipality of Kranj, presented selected examples of good participatory practices. A common thread of various successful practices is in creating and building trust that strengthens the community and cooperation, in introducing practices that are very inclusive, can be used by all citizens, are sustainable and encourage (intergenerational) cooperation.
In the second part, the two hosts introduced the step-by-step process and procedures that led to the introduction, implementation and functioning/operating of the participatory budget in the municipality of Ajdovščina, where the employees have done pioneering work in this field in Slovenia.
In the final part of the international meeting, participants took part in the workshop, presented ideas and made concrete suggestions on how participation could be implemented and how it could be successful for the elderly and the young in their local communities.
Upon completion of the workshops, the participants were informed about the future course of events and about the programme of the international project Europe for Citizens, which will culminate with the organization of an international conference in Škofja Loka, in May 2020.
In the evening part of the meeting, the participants discussed the topic addressed and made plans about the organisation and contents of the next five meetings, which will be held in Judenburg, Škofja Loka, Kőszeg, Kruja and Bad Kötzting.

Event 2



Participation: The event involved 95 citizens, including 61 participants from municipality of Škofja Loka, Slovenia, 2 participants from the Bashkia Kruje, Albania, 3 participants from Stadtgemeinde Judenburg, Austria, 5 participants from Stadt Bad Kötzting, Germany, 3 participants from Bundoran, Ireland, 4 participants from Mesto Sušice, Czech Republic, 4 participants from Municipality of Rokiškis, Lithuania, 4 participants from Kőszeg Város, Hungary, 3 participants from Orasul Siret, Romania, 6 participants from Vereniging Meerssen, Netherlands.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Škofja Loka (Slovenia), from 3/9/2020 to 5/9/2020

Short description:

The event in Škofja Loka focussed on solving the challenges of the quality aging of seniors through workshops and the exchange of experiences and good practices. The program was tailor-made for the needs of four target groups: officials, teachers, students and seniors.

Thursday, September 3rd:
The first day was dedicated to the arrival and accommodation of participants. The participants got to know the historical centre of Škofja Loka in a guided tour and a visit to the cultural exhibition opening. The day was concluded with a welcome dinner, which was an excellent opportunity for the introduction of traditional Slovenian cuisine, multicultural dialogue and bonding among participants.

Friday, September 4th:
On the second day the detailed program of all 5 future events with the keynote “Challenges of aging in European towns” was introduced to participants. After the plenary introduction 4 parallel workshops for each target group (officials, teachers, students, seniors) were implemented. All four workshops were structured around key elements:

  • Presentation of participants
  • The aging situation in each town (numbers and trends)
  • Key challenges you face
  • Some best practices in addressing aging in your town

At the Seniors` workshop which took place at Public University premises speakers presented the aging situation, the main challenges and the best practices in their towns together with the civil organizations dealing with elderly people. Participating cities sent their own materials and explained their view. These materials were presented and discussed in the workshop.

At the Official’s workshop good practices in each municipal administration were highlighted such as the establishment of a senior council, a senior coordinator, intergenerational buildings etc. Apart from good practices other possible solutions were identified such as Multigenerational playgrounds in the communities. One part of the workshop was dedicated to the identification of problems in elderly homes in each municipality and to new ideas how to introduce new activities for seniors in the light of corona safety measures. The conclusion of the workshop was that many municipal administrators are facing the same problems and it would be very beneficial for all towns involved if the official website of the town network Douzelage had its own section with projects and ideas so that other communities could refer to these best practice examples.

The Teachers' workshop dealt with the ageing situation, trends and local policies and practices in participating tows in the view of different target groups with the aim of getting familiar with different situations and challenges and existing practices in participating towns.

The facilitator invited all the participants to think over the following starting ice-breakers

1. Is it still true that only the elderly (in formal education the teachers) can teach the youth or has this relationship changed?
2. The importance of senior involvement in non-formal education
3. What have we learnt from the corona epidemic situation, especially when older teachers had to learn how to use modern devices to communicate with the young?

After a short exchange of opinions, the participants explained the situation in their local areas. In the continuation the following good practices were presented:

- projects that Gimnazija Škofja Loka carried out in the last few years dealing with the elderly
- the situation in Judenburg, Austria was presented, especially the way how the community communicates with the old peoples’ homes in the area and the elderly (help given in shopping, commuting, volunteering…)
- the situation in the town Bad Kötzting, Germany was presented i.e. how they eliminated the obstacles on the streets in order to allow the elderly easier approach to offices and banks. Examples of cooperation with the elderly and the positive outcomes on non-formal education in everyday life were emphasized.
- a mixture of volunteering and non-formal education approach with the collaboration between the youth and the elderly in Kőszeg in Hungary was presented as a showcase example.
- a teacher from the University of Maribor, dr. Jože Gričar presented some of the examples from his own practice and pointed out the importance of collaboration between the youth and the elderly, especially through education (formal or non-formal).
- a Slovenian student presented her own practice through non-formal education with the elderly in the local area.

At the end of the discussion the facilitator also showed the presentations that other Douzelage cities (Sušice, Czech Republic, Bundoran, Ireland, Meerssen, The Netherlands) have prepared.

Key conclusions of the of the workshop were that in terms of education there is always a possibility of communication, collaboration or participation between seniors and juniors, either through formal (institutional) or non-formal education. In this relation it’s a win-win situation for the seniors and the juniors, (visits to kindergarten, workshops in schools; these has always proved to be good practices of exchanging cultural heritage). Volunteering as a form of constant assistance has proved to be very helpful in many towns.

The Students workshop was focused on solving 2 key challenges and providing some fresh ideas in order to bridge the gap between the youth and the elderly.

Key challenge 1:

Seniors and Juniors are active, have a lot of different options – but not together with other generations. The main question is: How can we solve this situation?

Solution: Thanks to a lot of good ideas and best practice examples in our European partner cities, we focused on what every city can do. The main solution was in national and international volunteering of young people. The dynamics, obstacles and opportunities of volunteering were thoroughly discussed throughout the workshop. Also, the new European Union initiative for youth volunteering, the European Solidarity Corps programme was presented.

Key challenge 2:

Problem: Young people don’t want to join – they have to realize they can gain something from the work with seniors. How can we bring juniors and seniors together without forcing someone to do it?
Solutions: Best-practice examples were presented such as (Photography Course, Computer Course, Common Living) and further ideas were identified such as sport activities and other hobbies.
After the workshops, the participants got familiarized with good practice examples by visiting the local intergenerational centre and the elderly home which was facilitated at the outside premises due to the coronavirus restrictions.

At the afternoon plenary sessions conclusions of each workshop were presented to all participants and also to the team members who weren’t able to attend the event by means of live online streaming.
The last part of the agenda was dedicated to the introduction of the next event in Judenburg.

Saturday, September 5th:

The last day of the event was dedicated to the introduction of Slovenian cultural heritage by visiting the arts and crafts marketplace followed by the departure of participants.

Workshop: Officials
Participants: Jernej Tavcar (Skofja Loka), Wolfgang Kerscher (Bad Kötzting), Thorsten Wohleser (Judenburg)

The requirements for towns are currently under the sign of Corona and the associations are in an even more difficult situation of financing the projects. In the course of this workshop, projects of the communities in question were highlighted and discussed.

Relevant projects and ideas:

Senior Council: Pensioners have the opportunity to submit applications to the communities that have to be dealt with by the respective committees.

Elderly Homes: Rising costs, a lack of manpower and changes in the age structure pose major problems for the communities. The question arises what’s better: state or private.

Senior Coordinator: There should be ONE contact person who should serve as a one-shop-stop for the retirees. These persons should bundle leisure activities, funding opportunities, support and so on.

Connection between old and young: One possibility of inter-generation is that elderly homes and kindergartens are housed in one building. This enables both old to learn from young and young from old.

Intergenerational Buildings: Apart from mandatory facilities greater attention should be paid to the question how to bring several generations (associations, institutions, leisure facilities) into one environment.

Ideas in elderly homes: Due to Corona our towns have the same problems. To take away the loneliness of the residents, e.g. the following projects are implemented: secured visitor centers, therapy dogs, adapted animations.

Barrier-free community: A separate brochure with implemented projects on the subject of "barrier-free" was published, which also sets out the goals and projects for the coming years.

Active in the park: Multigenerational playgrounds in the communities

Other Ideas: Game evenings and increased cooperation with the senior clubs.

Conclusions:

It is important for communities to be familiar with the various types of funding. Depending on the administrative level, this turns out to be very different and complicated from country to country.

Many communities have the same problems; it would be an idea for the Douzelage website to get its own section with projects and ideas so that other communities could refer to these best practice examples.

Report prepared by Group manager Thorsten Wohleser

Workshop: Teachers

Juniors for Seniors - Active Ageing Report on Teachers' Workshop

Friday, September 4, 2020, 11.15 am – 12.45am, report at 4.30 pm, Škofja Loka Municipality

Topic: Ageing situation, trends and local policies and practices in participating tows in the view of different target groups

Aim: getting familiar with different situations and challenges and existing practices in participating towns

Facilitator: Jože Bogataj, prof.

Participants:

- Agatha Kertscher, Bad Koetzting; Germany ex teacher
- Katarina Hofke, Bad Koetzting, Germany, a student
- Ilona Berger, Judenburg, Austria, public sector
- Vera Nora Darabont, Koszeg, Hungary, a student
- Dr. Jože Gričar, Ljubljana, University of Maribor, a teacher
- Ema Nunar Škofja Loka, Slovenia, a student
- Ana Prevc Megušar, prof. Škofja Loka, Slovenia, a teacher

The facilitator invited all the participants to think over the following starting ice-breakers

1. Education has always (since pre-historic times) been understood as passing the knowledge/experience/skills from one (usually older) generation to another (usually younger). Let us think over the times and find out the existing practices in a modern society. Is it still true that only the elderly (teacher in formal education) can teach the youth or has this relationship changed?

2. As teachers we know that everyday practice has proved that non-formal education is getting more and more important and that knowledge/skills/experiences may be gained in any situation, not only in classrooms. In this respect seniors may be of a great help when speaking of non-formal (i.e. non-institutional) education.

3. In March this year we had to lock down schools all over the world due to the corona virus and started to teach on line, using different gadgets and applications in order to communicate with our pupils and students. What have we learnt from the corona epidemic situation, especially when older teachers had to learn how to use modern devices to communicate with the young?

After a short exchange of opinions the participants explained the situation in their local areas where they came from.

Škofja Loka, Slovenia, Ana Prevc Megušar and Jože Bogataj (see power point presentation):

- Presenting a few projects that Gimnazija Škofja Loka carried out in the last few years dealing with the elderly: Symbioses projects were launched in 2011 and the young had the opportunity to teach the elderly how to use a computer (sending an e mail and browsing Google); later in 2016 the Symbioses project started to launch physical exercises to be performed in collaboration with the elderly, and recently this project has launched the idea how the young can teach the elderly to use tablets and smart phones.

- On the other side the elderly can be very informative when speaking of cultural heritage. Students from Škofja Loka Grammar school visited the old people‘s home in the town and recorded /filmed the elderly telling a poem or a song from their youth. In that way they presented the local heritage and later on some of the most precious examples were printed in a book.

- Gimnazija has ran a MEPI project (Duke of Edinburg Award) since 2004. Many students participate in the project and one of the four disciplines they have to so is to be a volunteer. That is why Škofja Loka Grammar school has a lot of volunteers and a lot of voluntary work has been done in the past year in the local society. (In the corona times this work has stopped.)

- During the national and international exchanges of students: a part of the programme has always been a workshop of modelling ginger bread. A local craftsman is invited to the school.

Judenburg, Austria, Ilona Berger reports (see the power point presentation)

- Ilona Berger presented the situation in Judenburg, especially the way how the community communicates with the old peoples’ homes in the area and the elderly (help given in shopping, commuting, volunteering…)

Bad Kötzting, Germany Agatha Kertscher (see the power point presentation)

- She explained the present situation in the town i.e., how they eliminated the obstacles on the streets in order to allow the elderly easier approach to the offices, banks… Further on as a former teacher she told us some examples of cooperation with the elderly but finds the education system very rigid. That is why she believes in non-formal education.
Bad Kötzting, Germany Katarina Hofke

- Katarina pointed out the positive outcomes on non-formal education in everyday life.

Kőszeg, Hungary Vera Nora Darabont, a student (see power point presentation)

- She presented the situation in Kőszeg in Hungary. A mixture of volunteering and non-formal education approach with the collaboration between the youth and the elderly.

Ljubljana, University of Maribor, dr. Jože Gričar, a teacher

- As a respected lecturer he presented some of the examples from his own practise and pointed out the importance of collaboration between the youth and the elderly, especially through education (formal or non-formal). And that is the reason he would introduce a new title to the schools that participate and collaborate with the seniors, following the existing “Age-Friendly University” global network” to “Age Friendly Secondary School”.

Ema Nunar Škofja Loka, Slovenia, a student

- Ema Nunar presented her own practice through non-formal education with the elderly in the local area.

At the end of the discussion the facilitator also showed the presentations that other Douzelage cities had prepared:

Sušice, Czech Republic, Bundoran, Ireland, Meerssen, The Netherlands.

Outcomes of the workshop:

- Speaking of education, we agreed there is always a possibility of communication, collaboration or participation between seniors and juniors, either through formal (institutional) or non-formal education.

- In this relation both seniors and juniors are benefited – it is a win-win situation. (visits to kindergarten, workshops in schools: these have always proved to be a good practice of exchanging cultural heritage.)

- Volunteering as a form of constant assistance has proved to be very helpful in many towns.

- As Mr Gričar said: We’re in the same boat. And we all need to help each other. We’ll all survive.

Jože Bogataj, facilitator

Workshop: Students

Key challenge 1:

Seniors and juniors are active, have a lot of different options – but not together with other generations. The main question is: How can we solve this situation?

Thanks to a lot of good ideas and best practice examples in our European partner cities, we focussed on things every city can do.

Volunteering

A volunteer is a person who wants to help other people without force or payment. This does not have to be a person from another country. Because of our European project, we want to combine the idea of getting in contact with other Europeans and the idea of “Juniors for Seniors”. And that is why we’ll focus on examples with volunteers from other European countries in the following examples.

The main goal of international volunteers is to get in contact with people from other countries, learn new perspectives and get inspirations for their own life in the future. Most of the time people volunteer in other countries after High School or during a semester at University.

People who want to volunteer must choose between a lot of different styles of volunteering. We discussed with young people in Škofja Loka who are working with children in Slovenia for one year as volunteers from other European countries. They said that they know people who are working together with seniors in other countries. But no one knows anyone who is working with seniors and juniors

Our solution to solve the problem is:

Why not combining working with children and seniors? With new programs and ideas, volunteers could have a positive impact on living together in every city. Especially people from other countries could have a new and positive impact on the people in the country where they start their voluntary work because of their native country and projects people do there. They also have the perspective of an outside person and could see where the real problems are (organization, potential etc.).

Thanks to this viewpoint and the function of a volunteer, these people could start new programs, realize new ideas and organize events where juniors work together with seniors.

Volunteering as a chance

To realize our solution, the municipality, schools, and clubs have to advertise the advantages of being a volunteer.

Therefore we pointed out the main benefits to start a volunteer year in another European (partner-) city:

  • Good for yourself
    • lots of impressions
    • you learn a lot from others
    • get in contact with new people
    • learn how to live in an area you don’t know
    • learn a new language
    • learning a new culture means opening your horizon
    • learn what the European idea is about
  • Good for Curriculum Vitae
  • Gaining important working experience

Problems to solve:

The main problem which can occur is that it can be hard to find people with a certain level of ‘professional’ knowledge in some situations. Which means that working together with children or seniors with special constraints (for example very old seniors with illnesses) needs volunteers with special qualifications.
At least, people from other European countries should speak English and should be willing to learn the language where they live and work.

Key challenge 2:

Problem: Young people don’t want to join – they have to realize they can gain something from the work with seniors.

How can we bring juniors and seniors together without forcing anyone to do it?

A connection can be made through common interests or hobbies!

It is important to make both sides see the point: Learning from each other!

Best-practice examples:
- Photography Course
- Computer Course
- Common Living

Further ideas:
- Sport activities
- All possible hobbies (theatre, playing instruments)

Sometimes it is hard to bring people together because of our way of thinking (“this is something for young people – what should I do there?”)

Idea: Go with juniors to a place where seniors are!

For example: Bowling.

Another best practice example: https://lowvelder.co.za/608958/ball-steel-fun-appeal/

Report prepared by Group manager Julian Preidl

Workshop: Seniors

The Seniors` workshop took place on Public University premises.

Due to the COVID-19 situation not all the participants from Europe were able to be present at this event.

18 participants participated in the workshop. Participants were from the project team and guests from associations from Škofja Loka.

Speakers presented the aging situation, the main challenges and the best practices in their towns together with the civil organizations which deal with elder people.

Participating cities sent their own materials and described their view. We presented and discussed these materials at the workshop.

In the afternoon plenary session we discussed some topics with remotely connected team members.

Seniors` workshop findings

Current situation:

• Age structure: seniors' population is between 16% and 33%
• Share of old people over 65 years in the total population is increasing
• Different services and care for elderly people are led by the government (public organizations) and civil organizations
• Many projects for elderly people are currently running and many are already finished successfully
• Cities and organizations expected more funding
• Costs for care and services are constantly rising
• Lack of appropriate housing for elder people
• Too many seniors are not included in any service/care
• Technology has an influence on seniors' life
• Juniors are not included sufficiently in caring for the elderly
• Effects of COVID-19 epidemic on the elderly population

Key challenges:

• To improve the lifestyle of elderly people
• Offer new programmes oriented to elderly people
• Well organized institutional care and voluntary work
• To promote inclusion of more seniors into offered programmes
• Proper share between public and civil institutions
• Linking public and civil institutions and social enterprises
• More old people`s homes, sheltered housing, and day-care centres
• Grant more living communities and popularize them
• A support to elderly people to stay at home longer
• Building a common community intergenerational living space
• Inclusion of more seniors in service/care, omit discrimination on the grounds of age
• Support elderly people in using new technologies
• Adequate funding for programs, more money is needed; funds should be shared between state and civil organizations
• Make better possibilities against COVID-19

Best practices:

• Successful projects and services: town without barriers, pedestrian and cycling paths, transportation projects, get-together events, learning & knowledge transfer to seniors, library and reading for seniors, charity, sporting & recreation, creative workshops, student and children visiting seniors ...
• Various solutions for elderly people’s housing (own homes, elderly homes, retirement homes, care farms, meal delivery …)
• WMO - responsibilities in the area of care and welfare are devoted from the Central Government to the municipalities [Meerssen, NL]
• Youngsters are obliged to serve in civil institutions before they graduate [Hungary]

Report prepared by Group Manager Igor Medič

Event 3



Participation: The event involved 90 citizens, including 51 participants from Kőszeg Város, Hungary, 5 participants from municipality of Škofja Loka, Slovenia, 4 participants from Stadtgemeinde Judenburg, Austria, 5 participants from Stadt Bad Kötzting, Germany, 3 participants from Mesto Sušice, Czech Republic, 3 participants from Municipality of Rokiškis, Lithuania, 2 participants from Tryavna, Bulgaria, 3 participants from Orasul Siret, Romania, 3 participants from Vereniging Meerssen, Netherlands, 4 participants from Zvolen, Slovakia, 4 participants from Chojna, Poland, 1 participant from Holstebro, Denmark and 2 participants from Agros, Cyprus.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Kőszeg, Hungary, from 26/08/2021 to 29/08/2021

Short description:

The event in Kőszeg focused on the relationship of seniors and modern technology, e-education of seniors, change of education, travel, and communication possibilities. Workshops, presentations, discussions, exchange of experiences and good practices and study visits were used to reach our goals. The main target groups were teachers and students, but the presence and point of view of some seniors and officials were also important.

Thursday, August 26:
The first day was mostly dedicated to the arrival and accommodation of international participants and their registration. The opening ceremony started with a remarkable piano concert given by a 107-year-old lady; it completely fits to the project theme. Participants were greeted by the head of the Lutheran school, which was the site of the meetings, and by the head of the organizer Town Twinning Association. The moderator – a young University student asked the participants to introduce themselves shortly. Delegations also gave those presents which – as a surprise – were put into the exhibition cabinet next day. The evening finished with a welcome dinner, which was an excellent opportunity for the introduction of traditional Hungarian cuisine, multicultural dialogue, and bonding among participants.

Friday, August 27:
The whole second day was a hard-working day beginning at 9 AM, finishing at 5:30 PM. Although it was long, and crowded, the variety of the methods ensured participants’ active involvement.
At the beginning participants were welcomed by Béla Básthy, Mayor of the Town of Kőszeg, who underlined the importance of the theme, particularly because there are many seniors living in the town, and the officials try to help them. Mrs. Annigje Kruytbosch, President of the Douzelage expressed her happiness, that after such a long time when we could see each other only with the aid of the Internet we finally can personally meet, touch each other. She also emphasized how important the knowledge of modern technology is; we all could see this particularly during Covid time. She also talked about the importance of those kind of associations as the Douzelage because it helps the cooperation of different nations in many fields. As the president of the Douzelage she expressed her gratitude for the Slovenian project leaders and the local Kőszeg organizers.
Miha Ješe, the head of the applicant organization briefly introduced the ACTAGE project, underlining that the previous meetings’ summaries are already uploaded on the towns’ Websites. Finally, Ilona Tálos, the head of the Kőszeg program shortly reminded the participants of the most important program elements and information.

Two short lectures helped the participants to warm up, and to tune into the group work. The title of the first lecture was a short sentence: You will be old, as well. Claire Strasbaugh presented advice on planning for a good quality of life from a lady who celebrated her 100 year birthday this summer. She urged participants to be mindful not only of external preparations such as medical or transportation needs, but also spiritual preparations and maintaining a positive attitude. After this Anna Heitler gave the presentation of the questionnaire results. The questionnaire – sent to the partner towns half year before the event – was answered by about 600 seniors in 12 countries. The questionnaire was made by Andrea Bancsó. Also, she analyzed the answers, prepared the PPT with graphs. These results were necessary to be able to explain some questions related to the behavior and attitude towards modern technology. (The questionnaire results can be found on the project’s website.)

The lectures were followed by workshops in 4 mixed groups (by age and nation). Participants were so divided into 4 groups that – if possible – each nation could be represented in each group.

The first group discussed the following: What I like/dislike about young people/old people.
The second group discussed the Stereotypes about young people/old people.
The third group discussed the following: What am I/am I not envious of young/old people.
The fourth group discussed the good effects and bad effects of the pandemic on the relationship between young people and seniors.

Workshops took place in 4 classrooms (equipped with computers, projector, and intelligent board). The workshops took only 45 minutes but were very efficient. Group leaders took notes, summarized the outcomes of the workshops. After the coffee break, they presented the summaries.

The 22 participants of the first group had to talk honestly about a difficult question: what they like and dislike about young and old people. The group leader, Mira Kuthi, a high school student presented the topic and used a method that the whole discussion was interactive, everyone could comment and share their idea. Participants have written their opinions on post-its, and stuck them on the board.

There were a lot of great ideas on the board, of which the group leader highlighted the most important ones when she summarized the outcomes.

First, they highlighted facts related to the seniors. Most of them agreed that they love to tell old stories and share experiences they have had in their lives. Also, among the many good ideas, they enjoyed life and not rushing through the moments. As a bad trait was mentioned that they have a hard time deviating from their usual habits and are picky about a lot of things they’ve been used to over the years. As well, they have a hard time tolerating things that bother them, so they are sometimes quite easily annoyed.

The group also had a lot of ideas for the youth part of the question. It was quite often mentioned among the best for being full of energy and open to novelties. They also mentioned that they have a good understanding of modern technology and are very receptive to their brains, so they can easily learn and memorize things. However, there were obviously mentioned a lot of properties for bad properties. First, they are impulsive, so they often make ill-considered and even bad decisions. They are also stubborn, so they often choose the longer and harder path to something than to take the advice of adults that could help them reach their goal more easily. Yet probably the most important thing that was also mentioned was that, unlike the seniors, they are always in a hurry and often do not enjoy the charm of each moment.

Overall, the group leader said that they had a very good group task behind them, where they managed to gather a lot of qualities about what we like and what we don’t like in the seniors as well as the youngsters. Luckily, nobody had the feeling of being hurt, actually they all agreed that those properties are right.

The 22 participants of the second group discussed the Stereotypes about young people/old people. The leader, Hanna Andrasek, a university student, provided a short time for participants to prepare their answers anonymously on post-it notes, and as she read them, the participants were able to discuss the merits of each, providing their own opinions. One of the key issues focused on the perceived lack of patience of young people, which some considered to be a hyper-focus on efficiency, driven by the techno-culture’s speed and innovation. Another topic of discussion was that young people are the “native-born digital citizens,” while older people are the “immigrants to the digital world.” The group discussed the problems of communication mishaps, slow progress, and difficulty navigating the “new world” for these immigrants.

At the beginning, many general stereotypes were listed, to name a few: young people are careless, too rebellious, lazy, rude and how older people complain about minor issues and worry too much. The group agreed that these stereotypes are very extreme and cannot be discussed thoroughly – they may fit certain individuals, but not an entire generation.

A particular stereotype that appeared the most frequently was the impatience that juniors generally show towards the seniors. This takes many forms, however, the senior members of the workshop experienced it mostly while driving and when they asked for assistance with a particular digital device such as a mobile phone or tablet. The group discovered that a possible reason for impatience from the juniors’ side is the fast-moving world itself – they are used to managing their time efficiently and that comes hand-in-hand with being quick with digital devices. Another reason could be demonstrated by the example that a member provided: youngsters are native digital citizens whereas seniors as immigrants to that world – or with other words, what comes as natural to youngsters has to be taught to seniors. Many seniors have a hard time adapting to new circumstances as they are accustomed to another, entirely different world – the argument from many seniors’ side that „we have always had it this way” forms a root so deep in them that many are reluctant to adapt to the new world around them.

This brings up the second most frequent topic, that is seniors don’t understand the younger generations. Some juniors opened about their experience of seniors not listening to them due to their vast life experience and wisdom that they had collected over the years. To form a bridge over this misunderstanding between the two generations, the group concluded that juniors should show more respect towards seniors, while seniors should stay open and hear out what juniors have to say – they could show a different way of looking at life.
Lastly, many stated that juniors first do, then think, while the seniors first think, then do. Interestingly, there was complete agreement on this statement, both generations believed that this statement fit them personally. The group agreed that the lack of experience that leads juniors to make irresponsible decisions without thinking them through thoroughly is what seniors have collected throughout their lifetime. Seniors used to make such decisions as well, they have just learned from the consequences and have reflected on them ever since when they have found themselves in similar situations. It has also been highlighted that many of these mistaken decisions cannot and should not be prevented as these are the life lessons that form juniors into the adult they shall become.

All in all, besides having conducted a thorough discussion about stereotypes on the seniors and the juniors, the workshop left all members with a good feeling in their hearts, knowing that both groups have made a step towards each other to finally close that generation gap.

The 22 participants of the third group discussed the following theme: What am I/am I not envious of young/old people. The leader of the group, Bence Végh, a university student first listed the ideas which came up during the discussion. These were the followings:

  • Old people have a lot of experience
  • Adults feel pressure because of the responsibilities
  • They didn't have the pressure of the social media. They could enjoy their time more freely, made deeper connections with their friends
  • As you get older, you don't need the opinion of all the people only your close family and friends
  • After finishing work, they have time to travel and enjoy their life.
  • Nowadays the young people "lost" 2 years of their life
  • Young people have time. Don’t have a lot of responsibilities
  • Nowadays young people have computers
  • A few years ago, studying and communication was more difficult.
  • Learning new things is easier at a young age
  • More choices in the field of work and study
  • Easier to travel across borders
  • Flexibility
  • More opportunities
  • Access of information. The huge amount of the information can make people depressed

It was not easy to summarize, as there were so many points of views. There are many things we can be envious of both young and older people, but also, because of many reasons we are not envious of either the young, or old people. It turned out: both being young and old have advantages and disadvantages which can or cannot be envied.

The group leader at the end shared his personal feelings and closed his summary with the following sentences: In the last few decades, the world has changed a lot, and because of this growing up changed as well. Older people didn’t have access to internet, and it was more difficult to learn and gather information. But this had bright side as well because as it turned out learned libraries are a good dating place. Some of the young people are envious for the lack of social media because a lot of information and being always present can make people depressed. My parents grew up "in the street" playing football, going out with friends so they have more deeper connections. In the other hand I have the opportunity to have friends from many countries and I can maintain my connections from all over the world. In my workplace I am learning a lot of things from my colleagues, and I am a bit jealous for their experience and knowledge, but of course this will come with time. By aging comes responsibility as well. Young people don’t have so many responsibilities as an older person and because of this they are more flexible. We can travel without fear and organize such events like this. For closing the topic, I would like to thank you the short discussion and the great ideas.

The 21 participants of the fourth group discussed the good effects and bad effects of the pandemic on the relationship between young people and seniors. The leader of the group, Hajnalka Rezner in her introduction described the workshop as very interesting. She summarized the findings and thoughts as follows:

● the pandemic thought us, that we cannot take things for granted
● young people became more conscious about their grandparents
● many young people helped their grandparents to discover Skype and other online chat programmes
● many of us thought that due to the pandemic society is going to change, but now it seems that things have not changed as most people are the same as before covid.
● there has been a difference between the 2 lockdowns: the first period was all about solidarity, but during the 2nd one older people got vaccinated first and started to get around while young people had to stay at home, which caused tension between the generations.
● before covid there were so many events that people could not enjoy them anymore – now, we can enjoy those few events much better
● communication, discussions and compromise is needed between the generations to lower the tension between generations:
o in the Netherlands young peope were blamed for the new wave
o in Austria many people blamed foreigners for bringing in the corona
o there is a conflict between people who are against the vaccination and those who support it
● More conversation is needed, but it should not be the task of the politicians or opinion leaders, but its down the communities (influencers, youtube) to achieve changes.
● The role of the media / social media is huge. Many people beleive in the fake news, especially the seniors are easy to influence, because they usually rely on the politicians. The older people should listen more to the youngsters and learn from them how to be more open-minded. They can also learn digital skills from them. The lockdown was a good opportunity to teach the older ones how to use online communication channels to keep in touch with their family.

So, as a conclusion we can declare that Covid had – or rather has had - both positive and unfortunately negative effect on the relationship of the youngsters and seniors. As for the Internet, its role is ambiguous. It many times helped the communication between the family members, but the content of the social media should be accepted only with criticism.

After the group photo the work continued with a group interview. The panel discussion, modeled after the Hungarian talk show Ridikül, featured a multi-national, multi-generational group of “guests” and two Hungarian high school students acting as hosts or interviewers. Following that sample, seven participants were previously asked to take part in the program. The topics was: Communication earlier and now; Travelling opportunities earlier and now. The two Hungarian reporters, Anna Benedikti and Hanna Andrasek (both students) talked with interesting guests who were coming from different geographical region and age group. Kristina Volná, Claire Strasbaugh, Annigje Kruytbosch the president of the Douzelage, Nicolas Christofi, Julian Preidl, Cezary Salamończyk and Béla Básthy mayor were excellent participants to be interviewed.

The topics ranged over technology use, childhood perceptions of others, and even touched briefly on politics. The panel largely agreed that during their childhoods, letter writing, and telephone use were the main avenues of communication, but differed between Western European countries and Eastern or Central European countries as to the availability of telephones. The youngest member of the panel discussed the advantages of growing up with video conferences and the World Wide Web. Another area that the panel found large agreement on was the value of face-to-face communication. One member of the panel, an immigrant from the United States, mentioned her appreciation for digital technology, which allows for easier communication with friends and family on the international scale. Panelists were also asked about the impact of the Iron Curtain, a question relevant to almost all the panelists, but especially so to the youngest member of the group. He provided the story of his parentage, one parent from East Germany, and the other from West Germany, and how without the fall of the Iron Curtain, he would not be who he is. The audience and the other panelists found his personal history touching and insightful. This final question from the panel discussion led directly to the next day’s activities, a trip to the Iron Curtain informational center.

After lunch the work continued with workshop about educational methods. As a warmup or introduction Claire Strasbaugh shared the interview with her 100-year-old grandmother who talked about her experiences. After this, participants formed 3 groups: students, teachers, other (parents, grandparents etc.). The workshops were organized in 3 classrooms about the changing educational methods (Prussian, modern, digital etc.). After the workshop group leaders summarized the discussion results.

The leader of the students’ workshop, Jázmin Fazekas underlined that student have personal experience only about the current time, the past is known only from movies or stories of their parents, grandparents: thirty years ago, education was based on books and lectures, now, it’s iPads and websites. This was the base of their discussion.

They came up with some thought about the past, when students would have to spend hours in libraries looking through books for a project or research. With the huge advantages of having the Internet at our fingertips, we can change those hours of surfing through books into 30 seconds. One major difference that has changed through the curriculum in schools is teaching students skills instead of content.

In the past, students were sat down and told to memorize the facts, information of subjects. Now that curriculum expanded and is making students work in a group to compare, contrast, and discuss those topics to increase their knowledge and work on their communication skills which will come in more helpful in their future rather than knowing facts -they all agreed that they are thankful for this improvement, and they don’t have to memories all data from the old books.

School corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of physical pain or discomfort and psychological humiliation as a response to undesired behavior by a student or group of students. Nowadays physically punished is gladly prohibited in schools and they are extremely thankful for that. According to their opinion kids can be punished by telling them off not just by hitting them with rules.

To summarize their main statement, she told: we are mostly happy about the improvement that the education system has made, and we can wait to see how it will change in the future.

The leader of the teachers’ workshop, Henrietta Várvizi summarized the opinion of the teachers. In the group there were teachers from almost all age, some were only beginners, some others already retired. The main objective of this workshop was to share their experiences about the changes that have occurred in education over the last few decades. The engaging atmosphere of the workshop allowed the participants to be very active in the discussion. They touched on some crucial aspects of education including the spread of information technology and the occurrence of new learning assessment systems in education as well as such troublesome phenomena like too much testing, the increase in special educational students or helicopter parenting. It was interesting to see that regardless of which country we come from and teach, the difficulties and challenges that we have to face and cope with in our teaching practice are a lot alike. They all agreed that education might change over the times, but well-qualified, devoted, and enthusiastic teachers are key factors to education. We, teachers need to be versatile, adaptable, and curious about our students in order to be able to keep up with the ever-changing developments of education.

At the end of the workshop participants watched a three-minute buzzy slam-poetry performance by Taylor Mali (https://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_mali_what_teachers_make), sadly speaking, not alive, in which he points out that teachers do make a difference and, all in all, they are indispensable contributors to the constructive changes in education.

Finally, the leader of the third group (parents, grandparents etc.), Irena Mateliene presented their discussion. She listed the discussion arguments on the topic „How it was“. They were the followings:

  • pupils used to sit in the wooden desks with an ink point.
  • a child who used to write with left hand was forced to write with a right hand. He / she received negative remarks or even extra lessons to „fix“ the handwriting. No one knows today, what impact on the child‘s development it had.
  • pupils used to obey. Those who didn‘t obay or made noice during a lesson, received physical punishment: slapping on a face, standing in a corner, punching on the head, kneeling in front of the classroom; pushing a chair around a classroom, ruler hits on fingers, extra time after school. The saddest thing to remember is that parents usually supported the punishment decisions as if their children were truly guilty.
  • teachers used to write marks for behaviour. Those were even worse than a bad mark for a school subject. A school subject might be difficult and parents might be tolerant but they‘d never be tolerant for a bad behaviour mark.
  • a sitting locational in a classroom was also important. Pupils who misbehaved, were forced to sit at the front desks, called „donkey bench“.
  • there was a big load of written homework that took 2-3 hours daily.
  • school worked 6 days a week but the learning process was slowlier compaired to the modern times.
  • some pupils had extra learning time during summer holidays. It used to be assigned by a tutor to fill the learning gaps.
  • learning by copying schoolbooks was most common in methodics. Lots of handwriting was implemented, as well. It is nothing to compare with today‘s gap-filling in a workbook. There were no workbooks.
  • teacher used to be in front, he/she was a center of the classroom – the most important person. His knowledge was unquestionable. However, a teacher was respected better than he/she is nowadays.
  • same was applied to the schoolbooks. The information in the schoolbooks were unquesitonable as well. Pupils who lived in a comunist republic and those who lived in the western Europe learn different history or social science. True information used to be received from books, teachers and scientist, no one doubted science as it is today.
  • pupils and teachers had little international relationship, and a very narrow outlook.

The most shaking conclusion was that people of different nations (German, Czech, Lithuanian, Cypriot, Slovenian, Hungarian) experienced very similar educational systems.

After the coffee break the last part was short presentation of the good practices. Partners were asked to send a short PPT about their good practices on the following fields :

  • teaching IT for seniors
  • social inclusion of seniors
  • maintaining physical and mental fitness of seniors
  • what do seniors get from youngsters and vice versa?

Parners were asked to highlight those methods they have not seen before and were successful in their neighborhood.

We could see many good solutions for all the topics above. Some participants brought examples for inclusive social life, seniors’ clubs, common celebration with seniors and children. Some others gave examples for their third age University, fitness club, physical activities. All presentations ar uploaded to the project’s web site.

To close the day, Andrea Bancsó presented the game KAHOOT she prepared just for this event to show how youngsters – or sometimes even seniors – can use their mobile, the Internet. Questions were related to Hungarian scientists – so Hungarian participants were not allowed to play.
At the end Ágnes Lepold, who was the moderator of the whole day thanked participants the active work and wished a pleasant evening – cultural program and dinner.

Saturday, August 28:
The whole program on Saturday contributed to the workshops and discussions on the previous day. It started with a town visit, but in an unusual way. First, some members of the “Darabonts” (a historical association) talked about the Turkish siege (1532) which made Kőszeg well-known all over Europe. It was also a good example of the cooperation of older and younger members, as their age ranges between 17 and 81.

After this presentation the guided tour gave impression about the life in an 800-year-old town. Not only the 500-year-old buildings, but the tradition, the honor market impressed the foreign visitors. Another group signed up to bicycle visit of the town and its surrounding. Meanwhile both groups could see examples for efforts the town leaders try to help older people with repairing roads, sidewalks etc.

The guided tour finished at the Town Twinning Park – or Europe Park – where participants could see how Kőszeg celebrates its numerous partner towns, how the local government and associations present the town’s partners to the citizens and visitors. As a surprise, they could already see those presents they took with themselves in the cabinet designed and prepared for this purpose. The participants also were informed about the plans how the town with the town twinning association will add other books, games etc. to make the park more interesting and informative.

The Local Government of the Town Kőszeg received support from the European Union for the implementation of the so called “Green Town” project. Within the framework of this project, complete or partial renewal of parks was implemented in five different parts of the town. The Municipality of Kőszeg decided on the project sites, considering the suggestions of the residents and non-governmental organizations. One of these areas is the Twin Town Park, or Europe Park where a new community space was created at a former grassy area in front of a primary school.

After the lunch participants were taken to the Iron Curtain Museum by bus. The museum is about the Iron Curtain and was set up by an old guard of the border. It is an open-air museum in which many parts of the Iron Curtain are shown. The museum covers three time periods: 1948-1956, 1956-1966 / 1970 and 1967 / 1971-1989. Each period has specific issues, and these are explained. Visitors from western countries or youngsters could not imagine life behind the iron curtain. They heard about it, but – as it turned out on the previous day – it was almost impossible to imagine it. No miracle, people are grateful that we could get rid of the communist era and are members of the European Union.

The day, and the whole event finished a multicultural performance of a Folk music group, and gala dinner. Next day, on Sunday morning the delegations said goodbye, and left for home.

The next meeting will take place at the end of September, in Judenburg, Austria.

Event 4



Participation: The event involved 75 citizens, including 40 participants from Judenburg, Austria, 16 participants from Škofja Loka, Slovenia, 4 participants from Kőszeg, Hungary, 3 participants from Bad Kötzting, Germany, 3 participants from Sušice, Czech Republic, 4 participants from Rokiškis, Lithuania, 3 participants from Meerssen, Netherlands, and 2 participants from Bundoran, Ireland.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Judenburg, Austria, from 23/09/2021 to 25/09/2021

Short description: The event in Judenburg focused on mobility and accessibility. The program was tailored to the target groups of officials (especially politicians) and senior citizens.

Thursday, September 23

The first day was mostly dedicated to the arrival and accommodation of international participants and their registration. The dinner gave an excellent opportunity to talk informally about different questions.

Friday, September 24

Opening

The congress was opened by Hannes Dolleschall, mayor of the City of Judenburg, Elke Florian, vice mayor of the City of Judenburg, Thorsten Wohleser, city councilor and organizer of "Douzelage" Judenburg, Annigje Krytbosch, president of "Douzelage" and Miha Jese, organizer of "Juniors for Seniors “- active aging. Daniel Peter Gressl - the initiator of the Ö-Nurse Judenburg - an all-encompassing health consultancy and expert in the care sector, was invited as a key-note speaker. The topic of this speech was "Challenges of Aging", where the current development trend of senior citizens was presented and discussed. In particular, the needs of a so-called community nurse were addressed.

Workshop 1

The first workshop dealt with the current situation in the participating cities. This includes suggestions for improvement and existing obstacles for the elderly and in particular, people with reduced mobility, as well as “best practice” examples from the participating cities.
The main tenor was that all cities have similar problems. For example, there are lanterns / lamps in the way or there are potholes and bumps. According to the participants, the environmental concept is also related to the topic of "accessibility". To this end, some cities have significantly reduced the cost of public transport for seniors. 

As a prime example: in Škofja Loka you can use certain public transport for free on shorter journeys.
Even if one cannot directly compare the circumstances and legal requirements of the individual states/cities, a few things could already be changed by using small resources. Another example is the planning of own “senior bus stations” near the city center and lowering the boarding level of the means of transport. "Disabled people" would be happy about more handicapped accessible ways and are very grateful for support. These people are only able to cope with this to a limited extent in their everyday life and are therefore severely disadvantaged
Each participating city has prepared a lecture for this purpose, with the presentations of the individual cities being attached.

Workshop 2

This workshop was carried out according to the principle of “learning by doing”. Four routes were defined in which the participants had the opportunity to overcome barriers themselves in a wheelchair, a walker, a stroller and using glasses for being blind. Best practice examples from the host city of Judenburg were tested and insurmountable obstacles were perceived. This close-up approach was received very positively and was able to make the extremely important topic tangible in a very informative way and generated quite a few AHA experiences! In the subsequent discussion rounds, these experiences could be exchanged and documented.

The main findings of this workshop were:

  • There are obstacles that can be removed with simple means. (e.g., Vinzimarkt ramp, uncoordinated poster stands)
  • There are barrier-free facilities that do not work because there are small technical deficiencies (e.g., lift at the local post office)
  • There are barrier-free facilities that cannot be classified as barrier-free due to a lack of information. (BF public toilet)
  • There are barriers that cannot be removed or can only be removed with uneconomical effort. There are regulations for this, but there are also alternative solutions. (Paths with large differences in height, higher entrances directly to the public property, etc.)
  • The topic is still not anchored in people's minds, it needs a continuous and target-oriented information channel.

The following measures can be set out as concrete steps from this workshop:

  • Further direct inspections with all stakeholders (people with disabilities and decision-makers)
  • Evaluation of the city centers for quick win solutions
  • Creation of an action plan with regard to the results
  • Implementation of an action plan and the Quick win findings
  • Creation of a barrier-free guide for entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs as well as for the public space (traffic / squares / paths and housing)
  • information campaigns
  • acoustic signals at traffic lights are not available and can be a problem for blind people.

Tenor: Accessibility serves us all! Stepless entrances and good information as well as orientation represent added value not only for people with disabilities and the elderly, but are the basic prerequisite for micro mobility, families with prams and everyone who wants to use a city that is livable and future oriented.

Workshop 3

The two focus groups “Officials” and “Seniors” were divided into two working groups. The findings of the individual participating cities from workshop 1 and from the city walk from workshop 2 were discussed and specific applications for the individual cities were derived.
The bottom line is that a lot is taken for granted. The change in the age structure (note: people are getting older) must be incorporated into the planning of the future in order to identify and solve problems relating to micro-mobility and accessibility as soon as possible. The experience of the “Citywalk with Obstacles - Workshop 2” was important for all participants, because certain obstacles could only be understood through direct experience.
Another conclusion was that barriers for disabled people need to be removed. These changes must continue to be checked, updated, and improved on an ongoing basis. Small improvements can make a big contribution to making everyday life easier. It would be extremely important to get larger groups of people (old & young) excited about this topic and to encourage them to improve.
In conclusion, it can be said that the participating cities have already developed an awareness of the topic of “mobility (in old age or with disabilities)”, but there are still many opportunities for improvement. Here, too, the tenor was established that all stakeholders (disabled people, elderly people, politicians ...) should check the cities for their accessibility at regular intervals. We do this together based on individual circumstances and not on the basis of stuck patterns.
Actuality: Much of what is still state-of-the-art today may already be out of date in a few years, especially with high investment sums and large structural measures, it is important to incorporate these developments as best as possible.

Concretely defined measures and advice:

  • The “city walk” model should be used regularly in all cities
  • Barrier-free guidelines should be established in cities, so citizens should be involved in building measures as well as possible.
  • Accessibility must be incorporated into urban development concepts as a fixed point - Financing and subsidies pose great challenges for many municipalities, and there are also enormous differences between the individual states and cities.
  • Changes in the age structure must be considered when you are developing cities
  • Cycle paths and sidewalks must be state-of-the-art
  • Public transport stations should be checked for suitability and accessibility
  • Public transport (keyword: entrances) is often a major problem
  • Public toilets are a major problem. They either do not exist, are closed or are not accessible. The sanitary facilities in Europapark in Judenburg can be cited as a positive example.
  • Gutters and manhole covers are often an insurmountable obstacle and should be checked for their accessibility.
  • Due to their height and size, machines and post boxes are often inaccessible by people.
  • Floor markings are a potential source of danger, especially when it is wet
  • Decorative objects often pose a problem for prams and wheelchairs.
  • Many ramps are often blocked with other objects (e.g. rubbish bins)


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A honlap fejlesztése az Európai Unió támogatásával valósult meg „A kőszegi történelmi belváros rehabilitációja és funkcióbővítő megújítása – NYDOP-3.1.1/A-2F-2009-0003” projekt részeként.