Stream Day!, a huge success with more than 300 participants
On Sunday 20 November, Stream Day! was held as part of the research project Viu la riera!, spearheaded by researchers from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture and the University of Girona’s Institute of the Environment.
More than 300 people took part in the activities, which were held simultaneously in Caldes de Montbui, Palau de Plegamans, Santa Perpètua de Mogoda and La Langosta. The municipal events kicked off with a group walk along several stretches of the stream, at which point participants were able to observe, identify and photograph places that they did and did not like. During the walks, local residents stopped to explain certain aspects of the landscape, and, on the way back to the town meeting points, everyone was treated to hot chocolate and cake and given red and green stickers to put on a wall map, using green for the places they liked and red for those they did not like. This wall map, covered with stickers, provided a segue into the presentation of the participatory website Participate, which will help build this opinion map online with the involvement of all citizens.
During the session, input was given on aspects requiring improvement in the area around the stream and both institutions and individuals offered to promote the tool and help it reach as many people as possible.
All in all, the event proved highly successful, both in terms of the number of participants, which surpassed all expectations, and the level of involvement and commitment on the part of attendees, who were active throughout. The idea of taking group walks and learning more about the stream were some of the most widely mentioned reasons, together with an interest in keeping informed about the progress of the research project.
The next step in the process is for people to visit the Participate participation tool in order to create a map from the opinions about the stream’s surrounding area: negative and positive aspects and places where the public feels improvement is needed. As part of this opinion collection phase, the tool will remain open over the next few months to make sure that everyone has a chance to comment.
The results will be published in the spring in the form of an interactive map. Phase two of the tool consists of displaying the opinions posted by local residents, giving users the opportunity to see, for instance, which sites had the most positive feedback, which received mixed opinions and will thus require dialogue and which are the places where the majority of people feel environmental education and improvement efforts are needed. Following the second phase, in which the opinions posted by inhabitants will be displayed by topic, a new round of discussions will be held to bring the towns together and define improvement strategies.
The Viu la riera! project is the result of a partnership between the Research Group in the Regeneration of Intermediate Landscapes (RIL), which includes researchers from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, and researchers from the University of Girona’s Institute of the Environment. It is supported by RecerCaixa, a joint programme of the Obra Social “la Caixa” and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP).