Through the exhibition: “Educating Cities: Local Actions, Global Values” the IAEC provides its member cities with a tool for advancing and consolidating their policies and initiatives as an Educating City. It consists on exhibition materials that are easy to set up, polyvalent, sustainable and that can be exhibited in different formats.
Through an evocative review of specific initiatives – local actions – of different member cities, the IAEC illustrates the capacity which cities have to impact positively on their environment and the quality of life of the people who live there, establishing lines of actions to foster citizen participation, social, cultural and economic inclusion, the peaceful coexistence amongst different social and cultural groups, sustainability, and health and welfare, amongst others.
The visitor has access to information on effective and innovative initiatives from a sample coming from small and large cities that are members of the Association, and in addition, by going from one city to another, the visitor acquires awareness of the global values that they all share. Through this initiative we stress the importance of networking and international cooperation while strengthening dialogue and the joint work between different municipal departments and the latter and civil society, using the principles of the Charter of Educating Cities as a basis.
The exhibition and the activities built around it offer a two-pronged area of action. On the one hand, it tries to foster introspective work within the municipality in order to identify the progress and best practices that are being carried out in relation to the Charter of Educating Cities, as well as, to reinforce the work undertaken and the achievements made.
Furthermore, the cities are invited to reflect on the actions carried out by the cities showcased in the exhibition so that they can improve the quality of life of their citizens. On the other hand, the arrival of the exhibition is an opportunity to renew and make public the commitment of the host city to establish citizen education as a strategic, transversal axis of its political project. It allows local governments to proclaim that they set forth certain values, customs, attitudes and particular ways of working and not others. The accumulated experience after two editions allows us to affirm that the key to the success of the exhibition resides, to a great extent, in the preparations made by the host city for its arrival. Also, the right time and place must be chosen so that it is visited by the largest possible number of people during its 15-day stay.
The exhibition is addressed to a mixed public given that the Educating City is an integral, collective project, shared by local governments and civil society, whose goal is to develop policies and actions that improve the quality of life of all people and foster an inclusive, participatory democracy. That is why it is important to avoid the exhibition being restricted to the usual municipal circles, and that the society in general gets involved.
Continued contact with the media and positive interaction with the city’s educating agents can contribute to creating greater awareness of everyone’s educating potentialities in order to place them more effectively at the service of the community by steadily creating complicities that can lead to developing a network of collaboration.
Some of the cities that have hosted the exhibition have taken advantage of its arrival to design their own exhibition with a selection of educating initiatives that are carried out by different municipal areas, while others have organised activities, discussion workshops, and/or conferences inviting civil society to take part, from a critical, co-responsible perspective, in this fascinating task that is the construction of the Educating City.
The Secretariat is convinced that this communication tool, together with the local authorities political will, will contribute to strengthening the commitment to creating a more Educating City and to involve a larger number of people and institutions in achieving this challenge. Thus, member cities are encouraged to apply to host the exhibition.
For further information contact the IAEC Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org)