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Urban planning conference in the Straits region

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Province de Flandre orientale

Let’s discuss planning practices and issues facing our cross-border area !

The Straits Committee and the French society of urban planners are joining forces to propose a joint conference on the challenges of urban and regional planning at the scale of the Straits cross-border area.

On 6 July 2022, in the Hemicycle of the Pas-de-Calais Departmental Council in Arras, from 9.30 a.m., join us to discuss together the practices and issues of spatial planning on a cross-border scale.

The day will be structured around two round tables that will bring together elected and technical representatives of local authorities that are members of the Straits Committee with experts in urban planning.

Prior to this dialogue, the major current issues of these territories will be recalled. At the beginning of the morning, Vincent Goodstadt, Honorary President of the European Council of Town Planners, will present the Manifesto “Re Start Europe”, which will focus on spatial planning in response to the crisis of the COVID. Then, Charles Lambert, Executive Committee member of the French Society of Spatial Planners, will address the challenges of European spatial planning and the international recognition of the Straits region.

In the second part of the morning, a panel discussion on environmental issues will highlight how planning approaches can be used to reconcile them with the other interests at work in the territories.

The afternoon will be dedicated to a second panel discussion on examples of logistical development between the sea, the coast and the hinterland, through the presentation of emblematic spaces within the territory of the Straits Committee.

The Straits Committee announces the winners of its 2nd call for small projects

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The Straits Committee’s second call for projects closed in February 2022, and, on 22nd March, the members of the Executive Committee agreed to support the following projects:

A look back at the first Straits Youth Event:  21st – 23rd March 2022, Bruges, Belgium. 

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Almost one year ago in Ghent (Belgium), the Straits Executive Committee decided to organise an event in Bruges that would bring young people together from all areas of the Straits Committee. The theme selected was the environment and host province, West Flanders, appointed House of Europe Ryckevelde to deliver the event. 12 secondary schools from six Straits’ regions agreed to take part in this year-long initiative and, on 21-23rd March, over 109 students and 12 teachers met in Bruges and online at the first ever Straits youth event.

The event in Bruges, the high point of the students’ work together, was the Straits Committee’s first major hybrid event. This format was chosen to allow students from Kent to work with their peers remotely throughout. Over the three days together, the young people were set a challenge: work in mixed nationality teams to come up with an idea for an environmental project that could be implemented at all their schools. Each project had to address one of the following areas: mobility; sustainable food; or the circular economy. 

To help get to know each other in the months leading up to the event, the students enjoyed a pre-event programme of online meetings and activities overseen by the event organizer Ryckevelde. These included preparing video presentations for each other about their schools.

With their projects proposals designed, the students then took part in a closing reception where they brilliantly presented their ideas to the judging panel composed of Straits Committee members. This was a convivial moment that allowed the students, teachers and members of the Straits Committee to discuss the projects presented and, more generally, served to underline the commitment of young people to taking action on climate change.

Although six excellent projects were put forward, only one winner could be chosen, and the most votes went to a project on using more local sustainable food and creating dedicated growing areas in schools. This project will now be implemented with Straits Committee support in the second half of 2022 and students from all regions represented at the Straits Youth Event will take part. Watch this space for more information about the project’s progress in the weeks and months ahead.

To find out more about the Straits Youth event in Bruges, check out the video below.  

https://www.focus-wtv.be/video/internationale-samenwerking-jongeren