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A day at the MOVE2009

The Move2009 World Congress on Active Cities: Sport, Health and Citizenship started on 21st of October in the beautiful City Hall of Copenhagen, offering an appetizer to the participants, and continued today with amazing presentations offered by key-speakers in the three areas of the event, coming from all over the world.

The first part of the day contained two plenary sessions, while the second part, after the lunch break, was composed of two parts of parallel sessions.

Jan Gehl and Gil Penalosa focused the audience’s attentions on urban planning and city profiling, showing good examples of cities that decided to change their aspect and become more friendly as a public space. The speakers shared their experience and challenges in different projects of redesigning cities and they used Copenhagen as a good example of public engagement and healthy environment.

The presentation of the European research project IMPALA expressed the importance of the infrastructure for leisure time physical activity, using good practices and examples of different national policies.

Sport should be accessible for all was one of the conclusions of the 4th theme, called “Target groups”. “Pictures speak for themselves”, Gudrun Jevne, the Women’s Development Coordinator from Street League, said before showing an inspirational movie of different social groups involved in street football and educational programs using sports.

After a delicious lunch, the participants had to choose between two sessions from the “menu” of Move2009, “A healthy, active city: what does it take to get there” and “Settings: Meeting citizens where they are”. How can we translate policy into reality, what is the process, what are the EU guidelines on physical activity and how to transform the community in our own playgrounds were the questions raised and discussed in the first session. Creating facilities that can be accessible for everyone, that are inviting people to be active and express themselves in a social way was a very important idea underlined in the second session and was one of the key points of the entire day.

Moving to the last part of the day, the speakers and the moderator offered the audience even more food for the brain, through the presentations and discussions on how to reach vulnerable groups in successful ways and what are the net gains for cities that are taking the challenge to redesign their public spaces as a healthy environment for people to meet.

A very important aspect of the ambience in the coffee-breaks were the different energy boosting activities proposed to the Congress participants, activities including massage and stretching, parkour, capoeira, latin dance and “global goals” workshops that moved the people physically and emotionally.

Sorin Buruiana, EVS at the ISCA office