URBAN La Orilla takes an inclusive approach to urban regeneration

The URBAN La Orilla project in Santa Lucia, Gran Canaria implemented an urban regeneration strategy based on social inclusion and participation. It focused on social cohesion, sustainable growth, employment and environmental sustainability, as well as concepts of gender and citizenship.

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Students of the healthy cooking workshop, targeted at people with obesity, in the URBAN Social Kitchen © Ayuntamiento de Santa Lucia Students of the healthy cooking workshop, targeted at people with obesity, in the URBAN Social Kitchen © Ayuntamiento de Santa Lucia

" In addition to investment in infrastructure, which is easily quantifiable, the social, educational, equal rights and health investment has enabled the population of the urban area to have, at present, higher levels of integration and rootedness, showing an increase in participation and school performance, and improving nutrition and access to the labour market. "

Dunia Gonzalez Vega, Mayor of Santa Lucia de Tirajana

By encouraging older people to enrol in adult education and young people to attend training or university, the project helped to cut unemployment, with 9.4 % of participants who were unemployed finding work. Absenteeism was cut; contributions were made to creation of jobs for women and ICT use increased.

The project supported self-employment and development of innovative business, encouraging many students to follow entrepreneurship programmes. Training for tutors involved in the project covered administrative issues, management of EU funds and their specific areas of competence.

Socially excluded people were able to access the programme, while multicultural and intergenerational integration was supported. The project also worked to improve personal relationships and helped cut domestic violence.

Participation for personal development

A range of educational and leisure activities were developed and a cycle network was created. Promotion of participation in associations, sport and cultural activities led to changes in participants' lifestyle and development in spheres such as self-esteem, social and analytical skills.

The project's School for Women’s Empowerment gave women the chance to exchange ideas and acquire new skills. At first, it focused on emotional and social aspects and led to the creation of a support network. The project then looked to incorporate male participation, forge entrepreneurial and independent role models and change attitudes.

The School has run 79 workshops on various subjects attended by 1 900 people. Many of the workshops have a dual approach, focusing on psychological issues and employment opportunities.

The URBAN Social Kitchen sought to reinforce the importance of healthy eating, while training the unemployed, people with disabilities and women in culinary techniques as a way to find work. Eight basic cooking courses, 53 workshops and themed events and eight food handling courses have reached 850 people.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “URBAN La Orilla” is EUR 1 507 659, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 753 830 from the Operational Programme “Canary Islands” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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