La Titaranya SCCL crowned the Transformative Action of the Year 2021
(Source: European Committee of the Regions)
The winning project focuses on the rehabilitation of a degraded neighbourhood in the Catalan city of Valls
2021 marks the fifth anniversary of the Transformative Action Award, which recognises ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions – inspired by the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration – that accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, in addition to spearheading the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies. The Transformative Action Award is organised by ICLEI Europe, the Basque Country and the City of Aalborg with the support of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Investment Bank.
La Titaranya SCCL was announced today as the winner of the 2021 Transformative Action Award at a virtual ceremony hosted by the CoR. The winning project focuses on the physical and social rehabilitation of a degraded neighbourhood in the Catalan city of Valls. The initiative was selected by the jury for its potential to catalyse a socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation within its community. Alongside the prestigious trophy and the title of ‘Transformative Action of the Year 2021’, La Titaranya also receives €10,000 to help support further actions.
“We want to understand this award as a recognition to this effort of so many people. It is a recognition of all the projects of social and solidarity economy that are being consolidated last years in Catalonia and that are showing that there is a way to generate a local and democratic economy outside of capitalism. We are very happy because this is a symptom that the long-awaited transition to a just and sustainable society is possible. This award, allows us to continue to trust Europe” said Gérard Nogués Balsells, partner of La Titaranya SCCL, during the ceremony.
La Titaranya consists of a cooperative of homes in the heart of Valls. The goal of this civic-minded project is to ensure that affordable housing and dignified living standards are attainable for locals. La Titaranya developed a long-term strategy with direct governance from citizens to generate plans for social housing, premises for organisations, public spaces, a climate shelter, heritage recovery and a local, organic food store. The team tasked with executing the action, and multiplying it, specialises in rehabilitation, construction with an environmental perspective and feminist urban planning. More information on the winning project can be found here .
Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville, Chair of the CoR’s Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) and of the Green Deal Going Local working group and Transformative Action Award Jury Member, praised the organisation for its innovative approach to regenerating a local neighbourhood: “La Titaranya SCCL is the perfect example of how strong citizen engagement and an integrated socio-economic approach can advance transformative action to revitalise local communities and create a shared future based on sustainability, solidarity, inclusion and cooperation.”
Wolfgang Teubner , Regional Director of ICLEI Europe & Transformative Action Award Jury Member, underlined La Titaranya’s ability to localise action: “In order to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal we need local governments and civil society actors on the ground to implement it and to accelerate action. La Titaranya SCCL has convincingly demonstrated that positive transformation can happen when local stakeholders take ownership of creating a sustainable, equitable future.”
Alongside La Titaranya SCCL, two cities were nominated for the Award: The City of Nijmegen , the Netherlands for its ‘Kleurrijk Groen’ initiative, which leverages diversity as a tool to create more sustainable communities, and the City of A Coruña , Spain for its network of urban gardens, which cultivates communal resilience by offering environmental, social and economic opportunities.
All of this year’s finalists impressed the jury with their transformative actions and desire to build a better Europe, however, La Titaranya stood out for reasons that Hakan Lucius, Head of Corporate Responsibility, European Investment Bank & Transformative Action Award Jury Member, made clear: “Congratulations to La Titaranya SCCL. This promising project integrates all the main components of sustainability; environment issues, social challenges and good governance with a bottom-up approach involving all key stakeholders. It sends a strong message showing how a degraded neighbourhood can be turned into an opportunity for a more sustainable and inclusive place to live in.”
The Transformative Action Award is organised by ICLEI Europe, the Basque Country and the City of Aalborg with the support of the European Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank.
The European Sustainable Cities Platform was launched in 2016, following the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns in the Basque Country . Supported by the City of Aalborg, Denmark, the Basque Country and ICLEI Europe, the platform focuses on the uptake of the Basque Declaration and the Mannheim Message.
The Basque Declaration is the next step for local sustainability following the Aalborg Charter (1994) and the Aalborg Commitments (2004). The Basque Declaration highlights the need for ambitious local leaders find innovative ways to engage with civil society in order to meet economic, environmental and social challenges. At the same time, it marks the importance of finding sustainable solutions that increase economic value for the benefit of the local population.
The Mannheim Message was finalised by European Mayors on 21 September 2020. The Message was formally presented to the European Commission on 1 October 2020 as part of the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, organised by ICLEI Europe and the City of Mannheim (Germany). It builds on the transformative actions catalysed by the Basque Declaration (2016) and is a collective response to the European Green Deal.
Green Deal Going Local is a flagship initiative of the European Committee of the Regions to place cities and regions at the heart of the EU’s transition towards climate-neutrality. The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives from all 27 Member States.